How to buy and wear the perfect hat

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Here are some tips for choosing and wearing the right hat for you:

• Get your head measured to save time when hat-shopping.

• Always try on a hat before buying. It may not look as good on you as it does on the store shelf. Check mirrors to see how it looks from the back and sides, not just the front.

• Know what fabric a hat is made of and the appropriate season(s) for it. Straw hats, for example, are for warmer weather.

• Wear the hat; don't let it wear you. Choose hats that complement your head shape and facial features and that are on scale with your body frame.

• Avoid wearing overly large hats to functions where it could obstruct the view of those around you, such as at a church or wedding. Or, simply remove it upon arrival.

• If you are buying a hat for a specific outfit, wear the outfit when trying on the hat so you'll know that they work well together.

• Consider your hairstyle and whether it will change, which could affect the fit of the hat.

• If you find a hat you can't resist and it's a little too big, add fabric or paper layers inside the band around the interior of the crown for a snugger fit. Similarly, hats that are a tad too small can sometimes be professionally stretched to fit a larger head.

• It's OK to be creative and personalize your hat. Brooches, feathers and faux flowers are common embellishments.

• If you're concerned about sun exposure, choose a wide brim. Some hats are even treated to block ultraviolet rays.

• Angle is everything when wearing a hat, especially a fedora. Play around with it in the mirror to see how different angles project different attitudes.

• Between wearings, it's best to rest a hat flat, as if it were atop your head. Hanging can cause it to stretch out of shape over time.

• In off seasons, store hats in large boxes, stuffing the crown with soft paper or foam to help it retain its shape. Be sure to get them professionally cleaned before storing, especially those made of suede, leather, or some other natural fiber that might attract moths.



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