How To Choose the Right Hat

by Miranda Hilderbrand

There are two things we hear from people on a daily basis: one is “I love hats but they just do not look good on me” and the other is “I am just not a hat person”. If you have ever thought or said one of these, you simply haven’t found the right hat yet. So, in other words, it is not you, it’s the hat! Have no fear, here at Hatbox we are the Hat Professionals and have been greatly trained as Haberdashers to help you find your perfect hat.

Your first step is to get familiar with the many different types of hats and get a feel for which styles you are naturally drawn to. You should find a hat that fits your personality. This will give you a great starting point in your search. If you have any questions about hat styles or the origin of particular types of hats, do not hesitate to ask your haberdasher.

Once you have an idea on a type of hat you would like to find for yourself, it is crucial to be sure you try on the proper size. A good rule of thumb is you want a hat to fit snug enough that it will not fly off with a gust of wind. You never want a hat that is too big for you. You want to make sure you are wearing the hat, not the other way around. On the flip side, you never want a hat to be tight. Having a hat that is too small will be uncomfortable and it affect the overall fit and shape.

How do I figure out my hat size, you ask – It is as simple as measuring your head. Use a tape measure across the widest part of your head, just above your eyebrows and ears, and measure to the nearest ⅛ of an inch, as this is how hat sizing is determined. Once you have this number, view our Proper Sizing and Care section for an industry standard size chart. Or, if you would rather, come and see us at our original 6th Street location or the Domain Hatbox, we would be more than happy to help you with sizing.

Once you know your proper size, the next step is to start trying on hats. You would not believe how many hats may not appeal to you on the shelf but look amazing once you place it on your head. Hats are like any other article of clothing, you will never know how it looks until you are wearing it. Once you have the hat on your head, we can start to get an idea of the subtleties that will make or break the hat for you.

The greatest thing to take into account when choosing your hat is your facial characteristics. There are several key features you need to look at when selecting hats: the shape of the crown and the width of the brim and the band.
When looking at the crown shape, your hat should create an oval shape from your chin to the top of the crown of the hat. The crown cannot be too wide or too narrow – you want to find a shape that mimics your jaw line. If the crown is too wide, you will create a shrunken head effect and if it is too narrow the hat will look way too small on your head. You also want to find a hat where the crown is not too tall or too short. A good guideline to follow is you want your eyes to be centered between your chin and the top of the hat.

When you are looking at the brim, a good rule is that the brim width does not exceed your shoulder width except in the case of a utility sunhat or certain fancy hats for women. You want a balanced triangle effect from the top of the crown, following down to the brim and ending at the shoulders.

When you put all of these factors together, it will help you in finding the proper hat for your face shape. For example, if your face is long and thin, you want a hat that makes your face appear shorter than it is, such as a shorter crown and a wider hat band. Or if your face is short and round, you will need a wider brim for balance.

If you find a hat you love and have a relationship with, that is the hat for you. It is an absolute must that you feel comfortable in your hat which will not be an issue when taking all of these factors into consideration. Come visit your local Haberdashers here at Hatbox – your hat is waiting for you!

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