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How to rock a hat right this season

Fascinators, cocktail, turban, calot whichever hat you plan to wear this season, wear it with style.

Fascinators, cocktail, turban, calot whichever hat you plan to wear this season, wear it with style but don’t look at me for advice (a trilby is as adventurous as it gets). I decided to seek expert advice on the subject.
Follow luxury milliner Giulia (pronounced Julia) Mio’s tips to help you choose the right one and get ahead on hat etiquette.

Image by: Steven Barrington Smythe (

The Rules:

Ladies should wear their hats with the decoration on the right side (gentlemen on the left), and usually the label is placed at the centre back.
There are some materials more suitable for cold months (felt, wool, heavy silk, leather) and warm months (straw, sinamay, light silk, cotton, linen), but for ceremonial and special occasion hats, this general rule can be overlooked.
The correct fit for a proper hat is when the internal circumference is a bit larger than the actual size of the head (about 0.5cm). It might seem strange at the beginning, and a bit loose but you’ll get used to it. If the hat is too tight, it could cause a headache.
The fit for fascinators is different because they don’t sit on the head circumference, but usually they are attached to a head-band or they fit with an elastic. Both solutions are equally secure, but I always recommend to use some hair grips too.

Image by: Steven Barrington Smythe (


Round faces work well with hats that have large brims and sharp lines. The trick with large brims is wear them on an angle, sloping the hat on the right side of the head, to create an interesting line. Asymmetric brims are also a recommended choice, like saucer shapes but always think about the balance with the face. Large brims can be overpowering, so choose carefully. 
If you have long and slim face, you should avoid a tall crown because they add too much height to the face and the head area. Crowns should be deep enough to cover a good portion of the forehead to even out the length of the face. Large downwards brims are a good choice and they can be worn straight or at an angle.
Also take into account your height and your body shape, not just the shape of your face. If you are petit, a large brim could overpower you, and if you’re quite tall, a high crown could make you look disproportionate.

Image by: Steven Barrington Smythe (

If you’re a hat lover, and the hat is going to be the most important feature of the outfit, then you should buy a hat first and create the look around it. The down side is that if the colour of the hat is not in season, matching it to an outfit could end up being quite hard. If you only need a hat for a wedding or a special occasion, then it’s easier to create the whole outfit first (including shoes and bag) and then start looking for a hat. 

This is an absolute personal choice but try to avoid the hat and outfit totally matching. The easiest solution is matching the hat with shoes and bag (usually available in more standard colours), but the classy option is to match the hat with the outfit and have a hint of the accessorises’s colour in the hat’s decoration.
The science behind the right choice of colour is an ancient one. My advice is to try the hat possibly under natural day light (a shop’s neon lights are always very cold and bright). As a rule of thumb, fair/pale skins can wear a wide range of muted colours, plus black, navy and all other dark shades. This palette will enhance the light component of the skin, making it look brighter. 
For darker complexion, I recommend bright and bold colours. This choice will make your skin look warmer and deeper, and your eyes bigger. I would avoid very dark colours like black and grey, but a nice shade of navy blue could also work quite well.
For olive skin tones I suggest to experiment with shades of colours that are either lighter or darker than the middle tone. For example, instead of choosing a standard red, it could be interesting to pick a deep burgundy or a peach/apricot shade. Just avoid the shades that have too much yellow and green in it, because this two colours are usually the undertone of olive complexion, and potentially will make the skin to look unhealthy.
Like shoes, wearing an uncomfortable hat is a nightmare so test it by wearing it in privacy for a few hours before the event. To wear a hat properly, the head and the back have to be fairly straight, allowing your posture to balance the size/weight of the hat. 

A bespoke creation by Giulia

Wearing a hat is all about posture, attitude and mood. An unflattering hat could ruin a perfect outfit and make you feel miserable, while a great hat could make you feel beautiful and confident. My general advice is to look at yourself in the mirror and focus on how you feel. If you don’t feel right, than maybe it’s not the one for you. The secret is to try different styles, ask advice from professionals and stop caring about what other people think – if you like it, wear it.

To wear a hat is always a statement, but to wear it properly is an art.

Giulia Mio Millinery Studio 6, Makers’Yard, 82-86 Rutland Street, Leicester LE1 1SB

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