Reader Deb W. posted the following question earlier this summer: “What is someone who likes hats to do in our culture? I live in central Kentucky, where ladies who attend the Kentucky Derby go all out wearing hats, but that is ONE hat event in a year. The only other hat occasion I can think of might be a wedding. Is our culture so casual that hats aren’t appropriate?”
You raise a great, question, Deb. For an answer, I turned to Kathleen Lisson, author of the blog That’s A Pretty Hat. Kathleen loves hats and has integrated them beautifully into daily life- that’s what she writes about this on her blog. It’s a delightful read for anyone who loves hats. I passed your question on to Kathleen and here is her response:
I find that women in America must see hats as an every day accessory, not a special occasion accessory. As a hat lover, I had to train myself to not mind that I was the only person in a hat. Usually, I received many compliments on my outfit and hat, so people are not offended when they see a lady in a hat.I would encourage the reader to look around at 20-something men. They put a ballcap on and wear it everywhere!
My method for introducing someone to wearing hats is to first have them buy an everyday sort of hat – not a Kentucky Derby fantasy hat – in a neutral color that can match many of her outfits. Then, wear it to church on Sunday, visiting a museum and brunch with friends. As she becomes more used to being admired and complimented, she can expand to wearing it for shopping at the grocery store, going on a day trip, and taking a walk in the park.
The key to putting on the hat that first time is feeling confident, and for many, the key to confidence is having expert help in selecting the hat. I recommend that she go to a professional hat shop wearing an outfit that makes her feel pretty and try on all sorts of hats. A hat is a lot like a wedding dress – when you put on the right one, you will get all smiley and feel feminine inside!
Kathleen has a some helpful rules of thumb for hat wearing some of you might be interested to read. I think her advice to choose a neutral hat you feel comfortable with is an excellent idea. In this spirit, I thought it would be fun to look at some neutral royal hats that any of us could wear today. I have randomly put together 10 winter and summer hats (winter for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere and summer for our lucky friends in the Southern Hemisphere)- in the comments, let us know if will soon be winter or summer where you live, and which one of these royal hats you could see yourself actually. wearing this season. Feel free to include links to other royal hats not included here. Please tell us where you might wear this hat, and what you might pair it with. (NOTE- while I have not included hats worn by royal gentleman, I hope our male readers will join in this discussion with links to their favourite hats as well. Apologies, gentlemen- please join our discussion as it is not complete without you!)
Wearable Winter Royal Hats:
Wearable Summer Royal Hats:
Winter Hat Photos from Dutch Photo Press; Philip Van Der Werf via Corbis; Ugeavisen; Hello Magazine; Chris Jackson and UK Press via Getty; Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis; Michele Porro and Mark Cuthbert via Getty; Semana
Summer Hat Photos from Tim Graham via Getty; Chris Jackson via Zimbio; Patrick van Katwijk via Corbis; Tim Graham via Getty; Danish Royal Watchers; Alain Benainous via Getty; St. Barnabas Hospice; Chris Jackson via Zimbio; Dutch Photo Press; and Edwin Veloo via PPE