Frankly I don’t think people wear enough hats.

In line with my eternal plan to look as fabulous as possible with as little effort as possible I think the wearing of hats is to be positively encouraged. Nothing makes an outfit look “finished” like the addition of an elegant little hat.

My own fairly modest collection ranges from a practical black felt cloche and tilt hat for winter day wear, through tiny little hats that sit on the back of your head  to summer straw and the decidedly impractical sequins and feathers variety.

A lot of people are scared of hats, but investing in a nice straw one for Summer is the easiest way to start wearing a hat without feeling too obvious.

A subtle straw cloche has a 1920s feel and sits close to the head. Team it with a dropped waist dress and low heeled shoes.

Straw Cloche Hat £25 John Lewis

For a more dramatic look a straw hat with a huge floppy brim has a very 1930s feel. Wear it with cotton wide leg trousers, a wrap top and sunglasses.

Black and White Dents Wide Brimmed Hat £12.99 TK Maxx

For Summer events, weddings and garden parties, a small 40s style hat is an excellent choice. It looks fabulous with smart summer tailoring. Wear a nipped waist jacket and blouse with a straight knee length skirt. Hats weren’t rationed during WWII, though they were expensive.

Lincoln Green Hat £90 Sakura Designs

photo: candee photography


A cute pillbox hat is a very 1950s look. Although this style is smaller and less obvious than a cloche or sun hat you’re unlikely to convince anyone you’re wearing it to shield your eyes from the sun or prevent burning scalp. Great for evening events. but if you want to wear it everyday make sure you’ve the confidence to pull it off. Team it with neat gloves, pearls and shift dress.

Pill box hat £165 Suzanne Betley at House of Fraser

Hat Etiquette

As ever, if you’re going to wear something like a hat it’s important to be aware of the etiquette surrounding them. Women’s hats don’t come with many complicated rules likes men’s do, but be aware of your surroundings. Women are not expected to remove their hats when going indoors as it is considered part of their outfit, so feel free to construct elaborate hair styles around them. A polite woman, however will be aware of the comfort and personal space of others and broad brimmed hats should be removed during the day when inside or dining in a restaurant.

After 6pm Women should generally stick to small brimmed or brimless cocktail hats, and if you’re going to the theatre or cinema any hat that may restrict the view of those behind you should always be removed.

Finally, it’s unlikely to happen to you as you go about your daily business, but should you hear the National Anthem it is the style of hat that dictates whether it is removed. Women generally are not required to remove their hats, but should you have opted for a men’s cap, fedora, or trilby it should be removed when the National Anthem is played!