Fall Hats: Wide Brim Fedoras for Women With Style
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
I’m sure you’re all wearing your wide-brimmed sunhats this summer to protect your skin. And… I’ll talk a little about that. However, I’m also madly in love with wide-brimmed and medium-brimmed fedoras, floppies, gauchos (matadors) and other types of felt hats for fall and winter. Yowsah! Groove it to me, baby!
Hats are the best fashion invention on the planet… even better than shoes. Because, as fun and sexy as high heels are, shoes don’t make your face look better. Hats do!
Wide-Brimmed Hats Save Your Skin in Summer:
If you're a teenager, you may not understand how important it is to wear sunscreen and a hat to save your face from the ravages of wrinkles and brown spots. Hey, you're young. You're invincible. (We all were, once.)
So, if you're a younger woman, I want you to take a good look at your granny's skin... I mean the granny who doesn't live in Beverly Hills... the granny who doesn't have her plastic surgeon on speed dial. (I've had my wrinkles lasered off by a plastic surgeon, so don't look at me, either. My skin is good for a former beach babe who is now 62 freaking years old... way older than I ever expected to be.)
Now burn that image of your granny's wrinkled skin into your young and impressionable mind... and go get a sunhat with the right UV rating.
Big Brimmed Fedoras in Winter for Women Over 40 & 50:
If you're a chick over 40, or a baby boomer, or a senior, you are smart enough to realize that a big floppy hat, with good sun-screening capabilities, is a necessity during the late spring, the entire summer, and the early fall.
What you may not have considered is how a wide-brimmed hat can also protect your face (especially the thin, crinkly skin around your eyes) during the bright and semi-cloudy days of fall and winter.
It's probably not as imperative to wear a large hat in the middle of winter, but who knows... with all the holes in the ozone... and with the extra UV rays that reflect off the snow... why expose your face to more rays than absolutely necessary? (Sunglasses help, but they don't give much protection to your forehead and other areas.)
So, now that I've given you a brief lecture about shielding your precious punim from the harmful rays of the sun, we can now move on to the fun stuff about fashion.
Brief History of the Importance of Hats for Chic Women:
Once upon a time, when I was a little girl in the 50s and 60s, all chic women wore hats... even in the unknown backwaters of Seattle. (And, Seattle really WAS a cow town back then.)
Up until the 1960s, you could almost always tell a lady's station in life by her chapeau.
Women, such as my "poorer" grandmother, always wore the same little black velvet hat with stingy netting. Women of means (chicks with a lot of moolah), wore French designer clothing like you see in the photo above. And, haute couture outfits almost always came with the "correct" designer accessories (hats and shoes and gloves).
Average American women had to settle for cheap knockoffs in lesser fabrics (complete with crappy matching hats) from places like Montgomery Wards and Sears.
........... (time lapse)
Then, something happened during the sixties.
Younger women, teenage girls and preteen teenyboppers, like me, decided they didn't want to wear matchy-matchy outfits with matching "mother" hats (and shoes and purses). It's hard to say what year the fashion revolution began because it hit the hipsters of California long before it hit the Southern Belles of Mississippi. Anyway, French fashion designers lost their dictatorship, as their lofty places on the fashion pedestal fell to the rebellious street styles of the "kids".
Suddenly, it was cool to go bareheaded or to wear any type of crazy hat that caught your eye... your younger brother's boarding-school cap, some kind of old hat from the Army-Navy surplus store, a cheap, plastic rain hat with polka dots from the thrift shop, or a big floppy hat you crocheted yourself. And, if your hat didn't match your outfit, even better. That was considered more expressive... and more YOU.
Why is this important? Because, these days, we're somewhere in between "Hatless-ness is cool," and, "Your outfit isn't complete without a hat."
Fashion seems to be in transition again. Well, clothing is still lawless, and you can wear whatever you want, but there's definitely been a swing towards trendy women's fedoras and other wide-brimmed hats... for shading your face from the summer sun, for adding an element of cool to your festival (party) threads, and for adding a touch of "elegant completeness" to your fall and winter ensembles.
Match Your Hat to Your Outfit or Wear a Funky Boho Hat:
All of the hats in the photo above (You Can Match or Go Funky With Hats) are from 2015, so as you can see, you can look stunning with a matching hat or you can look groovy with a hat that has neither the feel nor the exact color of your outfit.
Of course, if you like things to match... or if you like colorful prints near your face... you can take any plain floppy or fedora hat and add an extra color (or several colors) with a hatband or a long, thin scarf tied as a hatband. (And, if the hat has a simple hatband - like the hat on the right - you can cover the hatband with a scarf... or a beaded Southwestern belt... or a Tyrolian band with a feather... or a lei of plumerias... or just about anything you can think of... to make the hat look "right" with just about any outfit you have.)
Felt Fedoras for Fall & Winter:
Check out the picture above. As soon as I saw the photo of the new green coat (for fall 2015, on the left), I knew there was a wonderful change in the air. But, the photo kept haunting me... as though I had seen that outfit before... and I finally put the pieces together when I was looking at hats on Pinterest.
The green outfit is a a bit of a knockoff (copy) of the 1960s mod designer outfit on the right. Of course, I do realize that the new outfit is for fall/winter and the retro lavender outfit was for spring/summer, and a lot of the details are different, however some of the general details are surprisingly the same:
- Both garments (coat/dress) are virtually the same loose, trapeze shape, and both are approximately the same length.
- Both pieces have stand-up collars and large buttons.
- Both outfits are worn with a groovy fedora tipped at an angle.
So, in reality, the new outfit is a retro style from the late 60s - early 70s. Well, if you're a boomer, you may have recognized this right off the bat.
So... I started wondering if we were going back to matchy-matchy outfits, with special hats created to be worn with specific outfits. How freaking retro. How 1950s. How early 60s. How Jackie Kennedy. How weird.... and that's when I started thinking about writing this article.
Are Matching Hats & Coats (& Dresses & Sweaters) the Next Big Thing?
After thinking about retro 60s fashions (with matching/companion accessories), I realized that most of us can't afford to have a special handbag, a pair of matching shoes, and a perfectly sculpted hat, all of which have been specifically created for one or two designer outfits.
It's just too freaking expensive.
However, if you have a large stash of cash, and you want to look as chic as anyone on the planet, it seems as though outfits with matching/companion hats are on the rise. I mean... the trend seems to be going back toward matching accessories.
On the other hand, you don't have to dress like a Barbie Doll. You can still wear your favorite hats with your favorite outfits... even if they don't "go" together. You can still wear a purple hat with a green sweater. You can still wear a summer hat with a suede dress. You can still wear a winter fedora with a sundress or a pair of shorts. You can still mix and match hats and outfits however you want... within reason.
Large Brimmed Fedoras, Floppy Hats & More:
I hope I've got you thinking about wide-brimmed fedoras and gauchos and floppy hats for fall and winter. Even if you're not a hat person... just try one or two on... just to see. You may be surprised by how flattering they are.
But, I've never really explained why I like wide brims on my hats. I mean... I love cloches and berets and mod caps... and I have quite a few high-end cloches that I've worn almost to death... so why am I writing about large-brimmed floppies and fedoras?
Answer: While it is true that wide brims protect my lily-white, honky-girl complexion from turning into a rat's nest of wrinkles and a modern-art canvas of splotches, the real reason I'm gravitating towards larger hats is because my face is a little bit fatter than it was a few years ago and cloches just don't look as good on me as they once did.
Hats With Big Brims are Great for Older Women:
I need a wider hat to balance my wider face... at least until I find a good plastic surgeon to pull up my jowls.
Hey, I still wear my cloche hats (mostly at night), but the rest of the time I prefer medium-brimmed or oversized fedoras, humongously big floppy hats, and cute, retro gaucho hats like I wore in the 70s.
- Large hats help hide my wrinkles by keeping my face in the shade.
- Large hats make everything look smaller and more proportional (including my oversized body).
- Large hats in the right color cast a beautiful glow that makes me look just a little bit younger and healthier.
I cannot tell you how much I love hats. I never leave the house without one. I fill my luggage with hatboxes smashed to the brim with chapeaus when I travel.
So... I'm so glad that stores are showing lots of beautiful women's hats for fall and winter.
As for the rest of you gorgeous women in the United States, you can wear whatever style of hat you like... a lot depends on who you are and who you want to be.
More Fashion Articles for Baby Boomers & Younger Chicks:
Photo Credits: Prshots.com and Creative Commons.
- Main Photo: Monsoon (2015).
- Wear Big Hats to Save Your Skin: Dorothy Perkins (2015).
- Haute Couture French Fashion With Mother Hats: Vintage ads from creative commons - ad from 1956, model Sunny Harnett 1956, Christian Dior ad 1955.
- You Can Match or Go Funky With Hats: Jacques Vert (2015), Asos gaucho (matador) hat (2015), LaRedoute (2015).
- Retro Fedora Fall 2015 & Vintage Fedora 1960s: Hobbs (2015), 1960s magazine ad.
- Mod Matching Hat, Coat, Dress 1960s: Vogue magazine ad 1967.
- Big Brim Floppy Felt Hats for Fall: M&Co (2015), Asos (2015), Hobbs (2015), Hobbs (2015).
- Southwestern Style for Fall: Primark UK.
Other good websites where I've bought wonderful hats include Nordstrom.com, LouiseGreen.com, VillageHatShop.com (mostly Scala), HatsInTheBelfry (Betmar & Kaminsky), SamuelsHats.com (Louise Green on sale), and others I may think of later. If you have a big, fat head... like I do... be sure to measure your head before ordering. Also, I seldom order a hat that cannot be returned, because hats are so personal.