There was a time and age when no lady would think of venturing out of the house without wearing a hat, however, now they are restricted to women wanting to make a style statement or for practical reasons like blocking the bright sunlight on a day out by the seaside. There are also certain ceremonial occasions like weddings and formal dinners where ladies of sophistication and grace are expected to wear hats. It follows that there is a certain etiquette that governs the wearing of hats. A brief primer on the socially accepted rules of wearing hats by ladies as well as mistakes to avoid:
Wear Hats to Up Your Everyday Fashion Quotient
You can make a distinctive fashion statement by wearing a fashionable hat that goes with your ensemble. There is no dearth of fashionable hats, and depending on your style and your clothes, you can choose stylish fedoras, berets, cowboy hats, boater hats, to mention just a few of the many types available. Each hat has its distinctive color, shape, and style that can be worn virtually everywhere, such as a friend’s home, a party at a restaurant, at a shopping mall, or sports or cultural events.
Wear Hats for Weather Protection
While a dressy hat is perfect for wearing on special occasions, functional hats are typically used for protection against the bright sunshine when you are at the park, the beach, or out for a walk. These hats typically feature large wide brims that give you the necessary shade to protect your face from getting sunburns and your eyes from the glare. However, if you are in a crowded place, etiquette demands that you remove your hat because its large brim may bump against other people. Also, it is better not to wear hats with large brims in case it is snowing heavily.
Wear Your Hats with Pride
Unlike men who have to remove their hats when indoors, women need not take off their hats. For women, hats are considered essential accessories for their outfits; the wearing of hats indoors has become socially permissible. However, the caveat is that hats worn for warmth or protection should invariably be removed when indoors. Brim hats for women, when worn at outdoor functions, may be continued with regardless of whether they are dress hats or hats worn for protection against the weather.
Ensure That the Hat is Secure
Since it can be embarrassing to find your hat flying away when you are attending a garden party or spending the day out at a sports function, you would want to ensure that your hat is properly secured. It is neither practical nor desirable for ladies to keep holding on to their hats to prevent a gust of wind from taking off the hat. Remember, even as you would want not to become a funny sight for others, you would also not want to inconvenience the people around you with the distraction. Choosing the right hat size is important, which can be somewhat difficult for ready-to-wear hats, making it desirable to have your hats custom-fitted for you.
Make Sure That Your Hat Compliments the Shape of Your Face
You should make sure that the hat you choose to wear goes well with the shape of your face. If you are petite, you should try to wear delicate hats as they tend to make you look taller. If you wear glasses, you can try to wear something that has an upturned brim with layers of tulle for extra impact. If you have a square jaw, wear a large hat as it will act to soften the shape of your face. Ladies with long faces will benefit by wearing a beret while those with a round face could consider wearing a hat with a headpiece or a flower that serves to elongate the face.
Avoid Hat Etiquette Bloopers
Hats are essentially fashion statements unless they are worn for protection against the elements. While it is perfectly acceptable, and even sometimes mandated, that you wear a hat at ceremonial occasions like marriages, church services, funerals, etc., you need to make sure that the hat you wear is appropriate for the event. While a bright and dressy hat may be perfect for a marriage or luncheon party, it would be inappropriate for a funeral. Don’t make the mistake of wearing a hat with a cocktail dress or an evening gown. Wearing hats is generally optional, so if you are unsure, you can easily drop the idea. Also, make sure that all ornaments are positioned on the right side of the hat.
Hats are wonderful for adding a classic look to your appearance; however, you mustn’t deviate from the accepted etiquette. Reading up on hat etiquette and asking people, if you are unsure, is a good practice for avoiding looking awkward and gauche.