A staple wedding accessory, hats are still as fashionable as ever. Whether you're partial to a large, bold number or a more subtle headpiece, here are some tips on how to wear a hat brilliantly, no matter your outfit or face shape, with the help of renowned milliner Vivien Sheriff.
It’s essential when shopping for a hat to take along your dress or suit (if possible), a swatch of the fabric or even a Dulux colour card, as the colour and shape needs to compliment the rest of your outfit. You can always play around with colour when it comes to hats - don’t assume the hat and outfit should be an exact colour match.
A good rule of thumb is to remember that the stronger the colour of the outfit, the more likely that an accent colour will work better than a match. For example, with a very strong colour like sapphire blue, a matching hat might be too much, so try on some lighter options from the same palette, i.e a light, silvery blue.
If your dress or outfit is a neutral or natural colour, these look stunning when colour matched with a hat or headpiece. A flattering oyster dress and hat ensemble is also great for complimenting most skin tones. This is also true for soft golds, silver-greys or very pale rose-pinks.
For weddings, and especially if you are mother of the bride or mother of the groom, an upturned brim is best when greeting guests and much more flattering as it won't cast a shadow in photographs. It’s also a good idea to avoid a dark-coloured brim as this can shade your face in photographs.
If you don't consider yourself a 'hat person', try a substantial headpiece (disc-shaped is ideal), which is less formal than a traditional hat and is worn on a comb or headband. As well as feeling lighter, headpieces are also less likely to mess up your hair!
A hat that is too big or too small is as uncomfortable as an ill-fitting pair of shoes. And make sure it doesn't blow off in the wind! You can buy pads which reduce the size of a hat that is too large, and if you're wearing a headpiece with a headband, try some good old-fashioned hair grips crossed over to secure the band in your hair.
Hats, like people, come in all shapes and sizes and a little awareness of your face shape will help you find the hat to fall in love with. Round and symmetrical faces suit most hats, but if you have a narrow face, avoid wide brims as they will only accentuate that shape.
If you are petite in size, go for height rather than width. The more statuesque you are, the more daring you can be as wider brims can be much bolder.
If you’re unsure, be daring and try on different shapes and styles. From a classic beret in a jewelled tone to a showstopping feathered work of art, you’ll be amazed at what you can wear.
A slightly jaunty angle down over the right eyebrow is best, and not on the back of the head unless it is a 1940s vintage piece. Stand tall, feel splendid and enjoy the day!
For more inspiration, check out the Vivien Sheriff website.