How to choose the perfect hat for a day at the races?

January 17, 2024

Hats are to a day at the races as strawberries are to cream, they are undeniably intertwined. Choosing the perfect hat for a day at the races is an art. It involves understanding the style that suits you, the shape of your face, and how the hat complements your outfit. In the following guide, we’ll take a closer look at how to choose the ideal hat that will make you stand out from the crowd, while still adhering to the traditional dress code associated with horse racing events.

Understand Your Face Shape

You should first understand that the shape of your face plays a crucial role in determining the best hat style for you. This is the foundation of your search.

If you have a round face, opt for hats with a high crown and wide brim to elongate your features. For those with an oval face, just about any hat style will complement your balanced proportions. Those with square faces should go for hats that soften their angular features, such as styles with rounded crowns and slightly wide brims. Heart-shaped faces, on the other hand, look best with hats that have a smaller crown and brim to balance out the wider forehead.

Choose a Style that Complements Your Outfit

Next, think about how your hat will harmonize with your outfit. Remember, your hat is not an isolated piece but part of a larger ensemble.

If you’re going for a classic look, a derby hat, also known as a bowler hat, can be a great choice. Its curved silhouette and short, rolled brim are both elegant and timeless. Alternatively, for a more casual, modern look, a fedora with its wide, flexible brim and indented crown could be the perfect choice.

Consider the Dress Code

Choosing the perfect hat goes beyond merely matching it to your outfit; it’s about adhering to the dress code as well. At the races, while it’s a chance to showcase your style, it’s also important to respect the tradition and formality of the event.

Some races have a strict dress code, which may dictate the type of hat you should wear. For instance, certain events may require ladies to wear wide-brimmed hats, while gentlemen are expected to don top hats. Before making a hat selection, ensure you are aware of the dress code for the event you’re attending.

Factor in the Time of Day

The time of the day is another important consideration. The sun’s position can impact how your hat will look and feel.

For daytime events, consider hats with a wide brim to provide some shade. For evening events, you might opt for something a bit more dramatic, like a hat with a tall crown or one that features bold colors and decorations.

Make Sure It Fits Well

A good hat not only looks great but fits comfortably too. You don’t want it to be too tight that it leaves an imprint on your forehead or too loose that it keeps falling off.

Begin by measuring your head. Use a flexible tape measure and wrap it around your head where the hat will sit, usually about an inch above your eyebrows. This measurement will be your hat size. When trying on hats, it should feel snug, but not too tight. You should be able to comfortably fit one or two fingers between your head and the hat.

Maintain Balance

Finally, it’s all about balance. While it’s fun to make a statement with a bold, extravagant hat, you don’t want it to overshadow your outfit or obscure your face.

Keep in mind that the wider the brim, the more understated the rest of your outfit should be. Similarly, if you opt for a hat with lots of decorations, keep your jewelry and other accessories to a minimum.

Choosing the perfect hat for a day at the races is a delightful challenge. It’s a chance to express your personality, complement your outfit, and adhere to tradition, all while shielding your face from the sun. Keep these tips in mind as you search, and you’ll be sure to find a hat that’s a perfect fit for the occasion.

Experiment with Hat Styles and Colors

When you’re choosing a hat for an event as prestigious as the Kentucky Derby or the Royal Ascot, it’s not just about finding something that matches your outfit. You want to find a hat that also matches your personality and makes a statement about who you are.

Before you can do this, you need to familiarize yourself with the different hat styles on the market. We have mentioned some earlier, like the wide brimmed and top hat, but there are so many others to explore. Fedora, trilby, boater, cloche, fascinator, and bucket hats are some of the hat styles that have been spotted at race days around the world. Each has its unique characteristics and charm.

After you have a clear sense of the hat styles that you prefer, it’s time to think about color. Consider the colors that usually look best on you. Do you usually wear warm or cool tones? What color is your outfit? If you’re wearing a monochrome outfit, a hat in a bold, contrasting color can be a fantastic way to add a pop of color and interest. Just remember, balance is key.

Extra tip: A wide-brimmed hat with a UPF rating can provide sun protection while allowing you to make a fashion statement. The wider the brim, the more sun protection you’ll get. This can be particularly important if you’re planning to be outdoors for most of the day.

Bring it All Together

Choosing the perfect hat for a day at the races is not just about the hat itself, but about how it complements your overall look. Remember, your hat should be in harmony with your outfit, face shape, and the event’s dress code.

When trying on hats, pay attention to how they look from all angles. How does it look from the front? What about the side? And the back? The perfect hat will look good from every angle. Also, consider how comfortable you feel in the hat. You’ll be wearing it for several hours, so it’s important to choose one that fits well.

Whether you choose a classic derby hat or a modern bucket hat, ensure it reflects your personal style. This is your opportunity to express your creativity and personal style. Don’t be afraid to be bold and unique, but remember to always maintain balance. You want your hat to enhance your look, not overpower it.

In conclusion, choosing the perfect hat for a race day is an exciting task. It’s your opportunity to stand out from the crowd, make a statement, and have the day feel even more special. Just remember these thumb rules – know your face shape, complement your outfit, adhere to the dress code, consider the time of day and location, ensure a comfortable fit, and lastly, maintain balance. Happy hat hunting!