Vintage hats can add so much to an outfit, yet most girls are afraid of wearing them. Unfamiliarity with the various styles, uncertainty about how to style them and how to place them, and a lack of a modern”hat wearing” culture all contribute to this fear.
I’m planning to do a short series showcasing a variety of very different vintage hat styles, from day hats, to Russian faux fur, to military. My hope is that by the end, you will have gained some confidence and tips that will help you ease into the wonderful world of being a hat wearer!
Today’s hat is a navy blue raffia hat. We can tell, from the fact that it’s made of raffia straw, that it’s a hat meant to be worn in the daytime. The navy blue gives us a colour palette to work with: this hat will look best when worn with navy blue, black, red, white, or grey.
The hat has small velvet bow details in one area. We know that the two bits that project downward (which I’m pointing to in the photo) go on either side of the head, and it’s usual for decoration such as these bows to be worn at the back of the head. If you’re not sure as to which is the front and the back of your hat, try it both ways until you get a feel for which looks most natural. It can also be helpful to check if there’s an original makers’ label or size label inside, as these labels are usually at the back of the hat.
Now let’s have a look at placement.
Unless your hat has been severely squashed at some point, you will usually be able to feel where it sits best, curving gently around the shape of your skull. But you can also definitely see which placement looks right or wrong! This hat looks ridiculous and feels uncomfortable when worn forward on the crown of the head.
And on a jaunty angle? No way! Again, it feels at odds with the shape of my head, and it looks odd.
Perched on the back of my head? Perfect. It fits the curve of my skull so perfectly here that it needs no hat pins to keep it in place, and it just looks right. I could now add a hat pin (we’ll look at those in more detail with our military hat), but as it’s not windy and the hat stays put without one, we’ll leave it out.
Now let’s have a look at today’s outfit that was built around this particular hat. I’ve gone with dark tones, choosing black with a hint of cherry red, though you could play it extra safe by wearing a navy blue dress to exactly match the hat then adding a contrasting red belt and bag.
Which style of hat would you like to see next? Pink pillbox? Black faux fur? Grey military? Blue broad brimmed felt? Red corduroy? Cream day hat with veil? Or brown girls’ “school hat”?