The Rules of Hats

Gone are the days where hats were part of everyday dress. And you know what? We’re a little sad about that. Today, there is a particular sophistication and trendiness associated with wearing hats that has made the whole thing intimidating. No worries! We’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help. Hopefully, this post sparks some newfound confidence in your hat-wearing abilities.

(image via pinterest vivi gigi pip)

When Can I Wear a Hat?

First, let’s look at the rules for when hats can be kept on versus when they should be removed. Typically, it’s appropriate for women to keep a fashionable hat (not a ball cap) on:

  1. In someone’s home
  2. During introductions
  3. At an event such as a wedding
  4. Religious services*
  5. During the National Anthem
  6. When the flag is passing by, such as during a parade

The rules are different for men (or if you’re donning a baseball cap or another casual variety). In those cases, hats should be removed in all the above circumstances. If at any time you find you’re obstructing the view of someone else, your hat will need to be removed as well.

*Note that in most Jewish synagogues, men are required to cover their heads; in most Muslim mosques and Sikh temples, both men and women are required to do the same.

Do’s and Don’ts

Now that we know when to leave our hats on or take them off, let’s consider the do’s and don’ts when pairing hats with our outfits.

Do: Opt for a hat every day – if that’s your thing. If you have a collection of hats, meaning everything from a beanie to a wide brim, find one that will work with the look you’re going for.

Do: Know when you need a hat for functionality. For instance, if you’re going to the beach or catching a baseball game, you want a hat that blocks the sun.

(image via glamour via anthropologie)

Do: Straw hats are great because they look just as classy with jeans and a white tee as they do with a delicate spring dress. Floppy hats possess the versatility of woven straw hats but are more appropriate for the fall and winter.

Don’t: Any type of knit hat with ears is probably not a good choice for anything other than lounging around the house – or maybe stepping out to grab the mail.

Do: Hats, like anything else you may be wearing, should be worn proudly and confidently. If you aren’t wearing your hat with confidence, your hat is just wearing you.

Don’t: Match your hats too perfectly with your outfits; whether it’s by color or texture, creating a little contrast with your hats will make them stand out.

Do: Make sure your hat is secure. The last thing you want is a gust of wind to take away your crown. Do this by trying on hats before you buy them. If you’re ordering online, take your measurements and purchase accordingly.

(image via sconnie girl)

Don’t: Wear inappropriate hats. For example: Don’t wear a baseball cap with a cocktail dress or a wide-brimmed beach hat to the office.

Do: If you wear fedoras, make sure they fit; those too big look sloppy, and those too small just look silly.

Don’t: Wear an all-black outfit with a tight black beanie. You don’t want to look like a bank robber.

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