WHAT WE'RE WEARING: Wool Hats
Wool Cape: check. Faux fur accessory: got it. Favorite pair of skinny black jeans: bought three when I found the perfect fit. Dapper hat: of course.
One of my favorite finishing touches is a fun, chic, fitted wool hat. Yes, they require a little bit of confidence to wear, but once it's on, I instantly feel like a more charming, adventurous, spunkier version of myself. It's all in my head (or rather, on it...ba dum chhh) but it feels great anyway.
When picking out the perfect hat, there are a couple things to consider including material, fit, and shape.
Since I'm determined to become a hat lady, I will focus on only wool and wool felt hats for now and tackle some of the other awesome options later on throughout the year. Because wool and wool felt hats can be warm and are at least slightly water resistant, they are wonderful options for the cooler times of the year. Or, if you live in Minnesota like me, they are wonderful options for 90% of the year. You definitely want to avoid water if possible as it can shrink and misshape wool, and I always like to spray a coat of water and stain repellent every few months. Wool hats have a delightfully soft yet durable quality to them that with proper care you'll be able to keep your favorite finishing accessory for many years.
Like any piece of clothing, fit is key. You'll find that hats come sized in different ways, which can make online hat shopping intimidating, but not impossible. Many times, you'll choose between the typical label sizes like small, medium, large, etc., but sometimes sizes will be listed by inches, centimeters, or hat sizes (see chart for guidance). When determining your size, simply take a piece of string and wrap it around your head, making sure to go across the middle of your forehead and staying about 1/8" above your ear. You don't need to hold the string too tightly, but make sure that it doesn't sag anywhere. After measuring the string length, you'll have a pretty accurate size for yourself. If you find that you are in-between sizes, absolutely go up rather than down...a hat that's too small is surprising super uncomfortable.
Probably the most fun part of picking out a new hat is finding the shape and style that is perfect for you. A great way to get a little direction here is to consider what style and shape of hat looks best on your head shape. Goorin Bros. provide a wonderful chart with really lovely examples of exactly that; check out their useful chart here. Personally, I really love waltzing into a hat shop and just trying on a bunch of different pieces. Having a friend with absolutely makes it even more fun, but I'll be the first to let you know that the people working are very knowledgeable and give splendid advice. Sometimes, I've totally been surprised by what I ended up liking most! Ultimately, it really just comes down to what you like aesthetically and what makes you feel the best.
Just like the grown-ups say in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, "Why should anyone be frightened by a hat?" Find a hat shop near you, spend 2/3 of your time trying on the most absurd looking hats for fun (although sometimes they will surprise you), and once you've found "the one" don't hesitate to take it out on the town...you look lovely.