Hats are often under-appreciated. A hat may be used as a quick and easy solution to a bad hair day. But hats can be so much more if you spend the time to find the right hat for your outfit and your face shape.
“The most common mistake is assuming you’re not a ‘hat person’ because you haven’t found the right hat yet,” said Michelle Bermoy, the store manager of Goorin Brothers, a San Diego company known for its extensive collection of vintage-inspired hats. “There is a hat out there for every type of face and personality,” she said. “You just have to take the time to find the perfect fit.”
Hats provide a variety of benefits, from health to style. Choosing the right hat style for your outfit and your face shape can be a challenge. Four main types of hats — fedora, floppy, cowboy and baseball cap — allow for a variety of options, but each is appropriate at a different time.
“Adding a hat that matches or coordinates with your outfit gives you a polished look that tells the world you have it together,” said image consultant Barbara DesChamps, author of “It’s In The Bag: Your Custom Business and Travel Wardrobe.”
By simply adding the right hat to an outfit as simple as jeans and a T-shirt, you can elevate your look to the next level.
“Hats are like shoes: Certain styles are only appropriate to wear on specific occasions,” said Megan Johnson, lead buyer for LuckyChic.com. The four common types of hats are appropriate for different situations, according to style experts.
“Fedoras are becoming the new ‘baseball cap,'” said Bermoy. Fedoras are the most flexible hat style, popular because they are made in all types of material, which allows you to wear a fedora almost anywhere for any type of occasion.
Floppy hats are more appropriate for the beach or summer pool parties. Baseball caps, while popular and cheap to buy, should be worn mainly to sporting events or outdoor activities. Cowboy hats, according to Johnson, should be saved for rodeos or theme parties.
“No exceptions,” Johnson says.
Once you’ve decided on a type of hat to buy, you need to find a hat that fits your face shape.
“This is more art than science and you need to try on the hats,” DesChamps says.
If you have a long face, stay away from hats that have a tall crown, because they will elongate your face, says Bermoy, who has helped many customers find the right hat for their faces. If you have a round face, pay attention to the width of the brim and ensure that it is proportional to the size of your face.
Baseball caps, because of the narrow brim, don’t look best on round faces, but heart-shaped faces and thin faces look great in ball caps, Johnson says.
A common mistake of rookie hat wearers is the purchase of a hat that is either too small or too big, adds Johnson.
“A hat that is too small for your head will shorten the length of your face,” she says. “One size does not fit all.”
A new hat should fit snug because it will stretch over time. Bermoy says to place the hat on your head and nod from left to right. If the hat moves at all, it’s too big for your head. If a hat leaves marks on your forehead, it’s too small.
“Choose a hat that you’re comfortable in and makes you feel good,” says Bermoy. “Don’t worry about what other people think. Remember you wear that hat. The hat doesn’t wear you.”