First time buyer? Not confident on which style will suit? Or perhaps you’re a regular hat-goer who just hasn’t shopped with Hicks & Brown before. Whatever your reason for browsing the collections, founders Alice Leet-Cook and Rosie Turner, have shared their top tips and style advice on how best to wear one of their designs. From styling to storage, pantones to practicalities, read on for their know-how…
First and foremost, for first-time wearers, how should a hat be worn?
We tend to wear our hats on our head, which sounds obvious, but rather than being perched on the back of head, we would recommend it sit on the crown with the brim just above the eyebrows. That way it’s firmly fixed and not likely to blow away if there’s a slight gust of wind.
Where would you wear each style – Fedora, Trilby and Panama?
The Fedora is the go-to of all the styles, it’s by far the easiest to wear if you’re not a hat person. It’s so versatile and with its comfortable, soft wool felt, it almost doesn’t feel like you’re wearing it. From walking the dog and tackling the school run, to a day at the races and out on a shoot.
The Trilby tends to be worn for a more formal occasion or to smarten up an outfit, working best with a smart coat and boots.
The Panama is an easy, breezy style made for warmer climates. Its lightweight and breathable fabric make it perfect for poolside and relaxing on the beach, to sightseeing and exploring.
What are the key things to consider when purchasing a hat?
The first thing we would recommend considering is the colour. What are the main colours in your wardrobe? You don’t want to limit yourself by buying a colour you don’t usually wear.
Choosing the right size is important to ensure your hat is best suited to your head, you can find our size guide here to make sure you measure correctly. Our hats tend to come up true to size, however should you find yourself in between sizes, we would advise to go up and add a hat resizer to your purchase (£1.50). If you wanted to have a go at a makeshift resizer yourself, you could do this by simply rolling up a piece of fabric to pop around the lining band and voila!
Pantone’s colour of the year 2020 is blue. Always ahead of the curve, The Duchess of Cambridge confirmed this trend when she wore the striking navy Suffolk Fedora at the start of the year. How would you say this colour is best styled?
We always encourage our customers not to be too matchy-matchy. We love that The Duchess wore the navy fedora with a maroon coat. Experimenting with your accessories to create a contrast is a great way to ensure you purchase a hat that will coordinate with many items.
How should you style your hat best for the seasons; spring/summer & autumn/winter?
Fedoras are often associated more with autumn/winter, with the warmth of the water-resistant wool felt to keep the rain off your face. However, colours like the camel and grey are lovely choices to be worn throughout spring/summer too. Those softer colours look good with linen and lighter fabrics, as well as jeans and heavier coats.
The Panama is an obvious one for overseas wear in warmer climates, keeping your head cool and hair in check, as well as the sun out of your eyes.
What's one accessory that is styled well with hats?
For a Fedora worn in autumn/winter, a large wrap or comfy scarf works so well. It’s the perfect combo for keeping you snug and stylish.
For the Panama, a wicker bag always looks super chic. Whether it’s a beach bag or a slicker cross-body bag for those daytime essentials, it finishes off a Panama perfectly.
What is the best way to keep your hat in pristine condition?
Storing it in a box helps maintain its shape and keeps the dust away. Keep it away from direct sunlight, to avoid discolouring, and use a clothes lint roller to clean it. We would also advise using a face wipe or damp cloth to clear away any make up from inside lining, which we all get! For the exterior, you can purchase a waterproof protector spray from one of our stockists or visit our stand at an event to pick one up.
How do you both style your own hats?
We always wear a hat with boots, not casual footwear. Suede ankle boots and smarter outwear would be our preference. My favourite (Alice) is the Suffolk Fedora in Black with Guinea Feather Wrap and Rosie’s preferred style is the Suffolk Fedora in Dark Brown with Gamebird Feather. While they are worn in a similar way, the black is a contemporary and versatile option for the city and the brown is better suited to the country lifestyle.
When purchasing a hat from Hicks & Brown you can also choose matching accessories. Do you have a favourite combo?
The Chelsworth Clutch Bag in Maroon is a stunning shade, teamed with its matching Chelsworth Fedora makes for a perfect pairing. It works equally well with any of the Suffolk Fedoras in Maroon, depending on the look you are going for. All our bags and belts have been designed with our colours in mind, so you can play around with accessorising and experiment with your styling!