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Updated: January 16, 2014 19:24 IST

On the top of things

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Choose wisely and well and you will not go wrong
Choose wisely and well and you will not go wrong

The hat is a great favourite being functional as well as adding zest to any outfit

National Hat Day was a couple of days ago and now is as good a time as any to remember Jeanine Larmoth’s words. “A hat is a shameless flatterer, calling attention to an escaping curl, a tawny braid, a sprinkling of freckles over a pert nose, directing the eye to what is most unique about a face. Its curves emphasise a shining pair of eyes, a lofty forehead; its deep brim accentuates the pale tint of a cheek, creates an aura of prettiness, suggests a mystery that awakens curiosity in the onlooker.”

In 2011, Johnny Depp was named ‘Hat Person of the Year’ by The Headwear Association (which annually selects individuals renowned for wearing hats with signature style) and the following year it was the dainty Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton who was bestowed this honour. Her namesake, Kate Moss, was conferred the title in 2013.

Santa hats have made their quiet return to the closet and while it’s still rather chilly, there’s no escaping the scorching heat of the winter sun. And donning a hat appears to be the perfect way to keep the sun off one's face. For those of you who are of the belief that hats are meant only for bad hair days, to conceal a haircut gone awfully wrong or to cover a receding hairline, fashionistas say you’re highly mistaken!

Picking the perfect hat can be tricky but not impossible especially since the market is flooded with many varieties to choose from. At this time of the year, for that casual chic look, make sure you have a few oversized knit French berets in your favourite colours. They instantly add classiness to your outfit.

Snoods are another wise option since they provide more protection from the cold and are also versatile. Historically a type of European female headgear, the now tubular neck scarf worn over the back of the head, is becoming popular. Faux fur hats are also following suit.

“Beanies are an absolute must-have this winter,” opines stylist Anuradha Singh, adding: “They’re cute and keep you warm, more importantly they go with almost any western outfit. While I was in London last month, I saw quite a few church goers add a small net veil to their beanie and they looked so pretty. Even a brooch on a beanie looks good. Men should stick to skull caps this season.”

The newsboy cap is also hip for both men and women. “Designers like Ralph Lauren are largely responsible for giving this accessory a refined getup. Geometric prints, ethnic patterns and plaid newsboy caps are trending,” informs Anuradha.

For a more sophisticated look, choose a cloche hat in a neutral shade. Floral embellishments in silk or satin, bows and buckles are always welcome. With sporty fashion at the forefront again in 2014, a sports cap is a must-have for both men and women. Helmet hats and military inspired headgear are also what you could consider wearing.

Looking beyond winter, while cowboy hats have been done to death and those paper light straw ones don’t quite make a fashion statement, if you’re looking to play safe, the wide brim fedora is for you. Typically a light weight hat, you don’t sweat much in it. Team it with a floral dress, a pencil skirt or even with skinny jeans and a feminine top, and you’ve got the look right. If your only aim is to keep the sun at bay, go for the Panama hat.

On the party circuit, jester hats, green Leprechaun hats, pointy wizard hats and of course pirate hats are popular “and the best part is that one doesn’t really need to wait for St. Patrick’s Day or Halloween to wear them,” says collegian Ashriya M.P.

The cinema sunhat is for the page 3 people. Also, if you’re going on a wine tour in a chic outfit that befits the occasion, don’t forget to carry this hat with you. As a general hat rule, go monochromatic and don’t be afraid to experiment with vivid colours.

With your fashion fundas in place, all you need now to complete the hat trick is oodles of confidence when you don one!

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