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How Can You Go Outside Without a Hat?

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Hey ladies, do you want to look younger and more elegant in about five seconds?  Well, you could spend hours blow-drying, curling, spraying, dyeing, flipping, flopping, and fluffing your hair.  You could sit in front of a magnifying mirror, dabbing your under-eye concealer, blending your foundation, slyly smudging your eyeliner, rouging the apples of your cheeks and lining your lips with some magic potion. Or, you could be chic and lazy, like me, and just throw on a hat.

You Really Can Rock a Hatlook younger in a hat

Of course, if you really want to blow all the other women out of the water, you could twirl your hair and bangs just so, then add the perfect amount of makeup to balance your lips and your eyes and, of course, give your look the finishing touch of a magnificent hat.

Yes, Yes, Yes, I Am Biased Towards Hats

I was not born with gorgeous, flowing hair.  I inherited my Bavarian-peasant grandmother’s mop of stringy locks.  Oh, it wasn’t so bad to have stick-straight hair in the 60s when long, ironed hair was mod and modern, but towards the end of the decade, wavy and flowing tresses started to become the earth-mother ideal.

Fortunately, big floppy hats were also part of the trend as we rock-n-rolled into the early 70s.  And, that was when I began to realize that hats could make or break my look.

During the spring of 1971, I found a groovy, red, flapper-style hat with a gigantic red flower on one side.  My friend (and future sister-in-law) said I was the only girl she knew who could wear that silly hat.  Yes… silly hat, indeed.  It was a rocking cloche and it looked fabulous on me.

As the 70s continued on into disco, it seemed like hats went out of style.  But, when I hit my late 40s, a dermatologist suggested that I start wearing sun hats to protect my Northern European complexion.  And, sun hats were the gateway drug to my current chapeau addiction.

What If You Don’t Look Good in Hats?

It is my opinion that women who say they don’t look good in hats are either “chicken” or they have tried wearing the wrong styles.  Here are some tips.

  • The right hat will draw attention to your eyes.  See the main photo (above) and notice how the black brim encircles the model’s dark eyes.

  • A pink or peach hat will add a warm and rosy glow to your skin even when you don’t have time to add blush, foundation, or lipstick.

I’m sure some of you gals have perfect tresses.  You wash your hair and shake it until it dries into a fabulous halo of face-framing color.  Well, lucky you.  The rest of us are too slammed for time to spend half of our days blow drying and moussing our locks into glamorous curls and bobs.

  • If you are an average woman with high-maintenance hair, the next time you need to run to the office or you need to meet someone for lunch, toss your baseball cap into the trash.  Pin your hair up any old way it wants to go, and throw on something like this scarlet bucket hat.  It’s quick, it’s cool, and it’s powerful.

  • Here’s another quickie idea for chicks with long, thin locks.  Just brush your hair behind your ears and wear something like this green hat, which is so awe-inspiring that no one will notice your hair even if you’ve dyed it purple.

Hat Styles That I Like

After wearing hats for a few years, I’ve gotten a real feel for what shapes I should try.  I think I look best in:

  •  Hats with round crowns. Square or flat crowns make my head look squashed.
  •  Hats in bright or jewel-toned colors.  Light pink or peach tones are almost always good on me.
  •  Hats with asymmetrical brims.  Hats with large brims (that can be worn on a slant) and hats with huge cabbage roses on one side give the same effect as asymmetrical brims.
  •  Big or medium-sized brims that shade the sun from highlighting the bags under my eyes.
  •  Cloches (and other styles) with hatbands of a contrasting color.

Find the right hat for your face and body

After you’ve tried on about 20 hats, you’ll get a real feel for what looks good on you.  Everyone is different, but the most important element of any hat is the color.  You need a hue that lights up your skin.  It is a thousand times more important to have the color of your hat complement your face than to have the color of your hat match your outfit.

Have Fun With Hats

You have to play around with different colors.  Black is a bit harsh on me, but I can wear a black hat if I’m wearing a pink sweater or if the black hat has a pink flower.  However, women with dark eyes usually look wickedly gorgeous in black chapeaus.

Some chicks look good in both pink and orange, but most women find that their skin glows more with pink-based shades or with orange-based shades. In general, if your outfit is curvy and flowing, like a gypsy skirt, you should wear a larger brim.  On the other hand, if your dress or suit is more "straight up and down," you’ll look better in a cloche.  But, there are lots of exceptions to these rules.  One example is when a tall, thin woman looks fabulous in a large-brimmed hat.

The Right Hat Will Make Your Day

You have to experiment.  You have to be creative.  And, you have to take risks.  But, when you find a hat that you love…it’s all worth it.  A great hat will make you smile every day of your life.

I wear a lot of Scala hats. If you don't know what you're looking for, try a Scala, Betmar, or Jeanne Simmons hat... or just try one of the others. You can send it back if you don't like it.

another hat article :)

You Need a Hat

The only way to learn what type of hat looks good on you is to try it on. Everyone likes something different...but there is a hat (somewhere) that will make you elegant and gorgeous. Village Hat Shop is one of my favorite places to buy relatively inexpensive hats, as well as hats that will be passed down to my daughters.

Yep, my youngest just inherited one of my best sun hats because she went on a Mediterranean cruise with her father and she's moving to Arizona.

More Articles for Baby Boomer Women & Chic Friends:

Knit Jersey Dresses: Travel Wear for Women Over 40 or 50

How to Wear Leggings if You're Over 40 or 50

Best Swimsuits for Women Over 40 & 50

Photo Credits: All hats are from Louise Green with permission.

Are you a hat girl? What kind of hats have you tried? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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  1. Christina Gregoire

    I hope you know that the title is tongue in cheek. However, the older you get...and the more wrinkly you get...the more you will appreciate having a cute hat to pop on for those days when you're in a hurry...and you want to look a bit better than you did when you rolled out of bed.

    Also, I've seen a lot of women in baseball caps that look pretty good...the girl who cuts my hair is one of them. However, it's nice to have a good fall-back hat...though it needn't be fabulously expensive (or as fabulous) as the hats in the photos above. I just think that hats are the most underrated piece of clothing on earth. Once you are bitten with the hat bug...well...you'll know it.

  2. Debbie

    Good Afternoon!

    I love our website! I just wanted to know where can I purchase a hat (white top hat with black accents) Please e mail me.

    Thank you and God Almighty Bless you and yours.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Debbie, this article (and that photo) is from 2 years ago. I will email you with similar hats from the same site.

      • Tiffany


        Do you have a website that I can go to that sells reasonable, but good quality plain hats? I would like to decorate it with the flowers myself. But I am looking for a classy hat like the white top hat from above. I am getting frustrated because all the sites I find are really cheap plain hats that would look horrible with some classy feathers, flowers, and ribbon. Thanks for any help!

        • Tina-Boomerina


          I just got back into town and I have a lot of comments to go through. I'll see what I can find and email you, but so far, the only white top hat I've seen is $350... without any embellishment. That's ridiculous. You might as well get the Louise Green hat for that price.


          • Tiffany

            Thanks for your reply Tina. Yes, the Louise Green hats are beautiful, but expensive. If you run across a website that has good basic hats that I could decorate. Please let me know. I wish I knew how to make hats. :)

      • Leigh Ostin

        Me too, please

        • Tina-Boomerina


          Sorry, I was travelling and couldn't get online. The hat is from Louise Green but I'm not sure it's still available because the article is from 2 years ago. Try contacting someone from the Louise Green website or look at Daniels Hats or just google white hat Louise Green.


    • Tina-Boomerina


      I don't know if it's still available, but the hat is from Louise Green. Her hats are expensive, but she may be able to make something similar if it's for something important like a wedding or tea with the queen.

      ps her hats are worth it. crazy expensive but very good quality that you can pass down to your grandchildren.

  3. Tina-Boomerina


    I don't know much about decorating hats, but I want to try it someday. I just googled the words "women's hats plain to decorate diy" (without the quotes) and several sites with inexpensive hats popped up. You should go deep into the search. Also, check out the ads on the right. I'm in the middle of packing so I don't have a lot of time, but that's how I would search for hats.

    Next, I tried adding the word "plain" and I got other sites. You can also add words like straw, sinamay, felt, cloche, sunhat, etc. for exactly what you want.

    The only thing bad I've found with cheap hats is that they're too small for my fat head. Email for hat size if it's not in the description. I've seen some really cute hats that started off as plain straw hats and ended up adorably amazing, but I'm not a crafty person... so I've never had much success.

    I just tie a long-ish, thin silk scarf around my plain sunhats to jazz them up. Other than that, I'm a total washout for DIY.

    If I see any good sites, I'll come back to this article and add a comment, but I don't have time to do much now. (You might also try the words millinery and DIY.)