DIFFERENT HATS ARE DESIGNED FOR DIFFERENT FACES AND BODY SHAPES.
When someone walks into my hat shop, I know immediately which hats are going to look good on them. I observe their face shape (especially their jaw), their build, and the style and colour of their clothes. When you have fitted more than 100,000 hats, you also can see what size head they are as well - which is one of my fancy hat tricks.
That is why people go to a hatmaker, it just cuts through all the confusion & you get professional help.
I am going to teach you how to do this for yourself, so you can find the right hat.
Let's start by looking at the diagrams above and below. Which shaped face are you?
If you're confused, then look in a mirror or take a selfie. If you fall between shapes, choose the one you like the most, and that will work. Focus on your jaw, as it determines the shape more than anything. Now, write it down, & you are ready.
Before we get into it, I want to suggest that there are no real rules in wearing a hat. It is a game; an interplay of ideas to express yourself. If you are experienced with this game and know how to speak Hat, you don't need this guide at all. If you are setting off on your early hat journeys, this will provide a map and help you to make a better decision, and get you a hat you love.
It helps if you understand there are four basic shapes of hats. Each one has a distinctly different look and fit :
1. Diamond Crown - pinched front and flat across the top (American style)
3. Centre Dent - pinched sides leading into a centrefold through the middle (European style)
Your face is perfect for most hats, so you can wear whatever hat you like. Both men and women have the full range of choice - so follow your heart and choose the hat that excites you the most. If you are a beginner, choose the one that you would feel would most comfortable putting on in the morning. A dramatic hat is more likely to stay in your cupboard.
With your strong jaw, it works best to choose an equally strong hat. Ideally, the width of the crown in the hat should mirror the width of your jaw. Then the hat and your head become balanced. A low-set diamond crown like the Kerouac, Corsair, Morpheus, Creme Brulee & Indigo will look great.
The slightly taller diamond crowns will work too, especially if you are taller. Look at The King, Mr Natural, Cuban, Ironside, Blue Valentine, Wanderer, Havana, and Diamond Fino. If you are after a wider brim, then consider the fedoras like The Iconoclast, Montechristi, Cuban and Captain Starlight.
For men avoid the rounded crowns as they will feel chunky. Although for women, it can look soft, charming and very feminine.
With your longer face, your need to balance your features. You have a nice strong jaw, so you can wear the full range of hats. The only thing to watch is if your head is very tall - in which case the diamond crowns will give you enough room for the hat sit deeply on your head.
If your head is not very tall, then you could also wear a lower diamond crown like the Cuban.
Now it is possible to lengthen the crown with a little steam, but you need to ask for this when you order.
Generally speaking, if you are taller, then a wider brim in a fedora would be better - at least 5cm wide.
With a more pointed jaw and a wide forehead, you need to balance your face with a softer crown. The centre dents will work the best, mirroring the shape of your jaw and creating nice symmetry. All of the classical centre dent hats will suit you well (i.e. Casablanca) The diamond crowns will look good, but don't go too wide unless you are rather tall.
Ideally, you avoid the very wide-brimmed hats, or they will make you look top-heavy.
Your face is more chiselled and balanced, and much like an oval face, you can wear any hat you like. The more angular diamond crowns will be the most stylish, and the centre-dents will soften your features if you wish to. Very short brims will tend to make you look a bit pinched, so make sure the brims are 5cm or over.
With a wider face, you need to get a wider hat. The crown needs to be balanced with your jaw, so avoid the more pointed hat shapes like the centre dent. The diamond crowns will all look good and provide some crisp angles to play off against the roundness.
Avoid rounded crowns as they will accentuate your rounded face, although with women it can look soft and charming.
Angling your hat will have a greater impact so you should experiment to see what looks best on you.
When it comes to body shape, a lot of advice can get very confusing, so I will keep it simple. Matching the hat to your face is still the most important thing. Some basic principles will help to avoid the more obvious mistakes -
If you are tall, then you can wear a bigger hat. Meaning it can be a higher crown and a wider brim. Wearing a tiny short brim, will look disproportionate and a little comical. Hats make you taller, so if you don't want to accentuate this, choose a lower crowned hat.
Avoid very wide brims as they will overshadow you, making you look smaller. Hats always make you look taller, so you can play with this and add extra height, by choosing taller hats. If you are very little, just be a bit careful about overdoing it.
With a little extra width, it is better to choose a wider hat to balance things out. I short brim will just make you funny. A mid to wide brim will be the most flattering. When you see a beautiful curvy mama, in a big curvy hat, it just looks great.
Choose a hat that is not too wide, and you will look better. Veer away from the heavy big hats as they will be too much for your build. If you wore The Iconoclast, it would be completely overwhelming. While the Casablanca Trilby will be flattering.
Most people will be a combination of a different face and body shapes, so stick with the basics and trust your heart.
If it is confusing you, then drop me an email with a photo, and I will help you out. When i see your face and body, it is obvious what will work. Alternatively, you can book in for an online fitting and we can work things out properly.