Don't think of hats as simply a way to cover up a bad hair day, red eyes from a happy hour gone long or -- eek! -- an unexpected forehead pimple. Hats are great for all those cover-up reasons, but they are also a great way to accessorize and express your fashion style.
Nothing's more glamorous than a giant hat and dark sunglasses, but unless you are at the Kentucky Derby, you could get hurt wearing that look. Make sure the hat you choose is suited to your head (i.e., it doesn't slide down over your eyes or obstruct your vision).
There are two exceptions to this rule: First, when you are trying to add a little touch of mystique to your look (cock your hat down over one eye for a dramatic look); and second, when you're just hanging out at the beach in a wide-brimmed hat (in which case, the bigger, the better). A hat with a wide brim can be totally sexy with a classy dress for a girls' luncheon or late-afternoon tea, or with jeans and a tee at the farmers market or the corner java joint.
Cowgirl at heart? Make cowgirl hats your thing, but don't take this too far. One signature/theme piece is enough to rock at one time -- so unless you are headed for a rodeo, don't wear your cowgirl hat, plaid shirt, jeans and boots at the same time. Top a casual maxi-dress and a jean jacket with a cowgirl hat for the perfect blend of fashion and signature style. If you love the newsboy cap style, pair it with skinny jeans, boots and a loosely wrapped scarf for a hot cool-weather look.
Some hat rules are never said out loud, but perhaps they should be. For instance, a fedora should be worn only in daytime, and baseball caps and trucker hats are no longer cool when worn sideways.
Don't think of a hat as protection for your head. Think of it as an accessory that becomes the focal point of any ensemble. Keep the rest of your outfit simple, and pare back on other accessories such as big jewelry, earrings, belts, etc.
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