Over the last three seasons classic design has inspired every aspect of fashion including hats — and classic brings the lady-like look to headwear this season. Some designs are retro, reminiscent of the sophistication that graced the silver screen in the twenties, forties, fifties, and sixties. Others are updates of timeless shapes. Traditional colors of black, brown, camel, and winter white never go out of style, but the major color this fall is grey. Plaids and pinstripes are big this fall and animal prints sizzle.
Ladies Fall Casual Hats
Of course, the first function of winter hats is keeping warm, but ladies want style with the comfort. Hood scarves slow the heat loss with an idea as old as sleigh rides, but animal print trim brings them up to date in fashion. Fur trimmed trapper hats guarantee warmth with a cutesy look. Wool pinstripes, fur buckets, and crocheted roll ups provide a fashionable way to keep warm this winter.
Still function isn't everything in headwear — the accessory that expresses individualism more than any other. Personality and the power to transform outfits are also players. Riding caps certainly have a transforming quality. The cute caps instantly add a dashing contemporary look as they enter their second season. The high domed crown with small bill in velvet makes a superb statement while modified crowns reduce the drama for the less daring. Shocking newness is gone this season for the jockey, but the cap still brings a smart look to an outfit.
When it comes to comfort zone, newsboys and driving caps rival ball caps for headwear women feel at home with. Newsboys ooze with personality and this fall come in every imaginable winter fabric from herringbones to jewel studded velvet, not to mention the hot trend of leopard skin. Appeal goes to all age groups with this cute design inspired by the boy selling papers on the street corner nearly a century ago.
It's hard to find a style of men's hats in history that milliners haven't modified into stunning looks for ladies. The stingy brim fedora Frank Sinatra made popular is frequently appearing on celebrity heads--guys and gals alike. Wool, suede, and faux leather offer a toned down version for women this fall while sequin studding and embroidered patterns provide an eye-popping interpretation in colors. Don't forget the wider snap brim fedoras men wore in the 40s and 50s. These are also showing up on the runways with stylish changes that drip with attitude.
Attitude becomes independent confidence with cowboy hats that continue their overwhelming popularity into the fall with felt gamblers, cattlemen, and pinch front hats. Celebrities ignited this trend with the rugged look of rolled straws and now fall refines the statement with dressier felts. The trend spread through the country with the exception of the Northeast. Surprisingly, the fall's rugged version of faux suede cowboy hats finds popularity as urban wear on the streets of New York. Another surprise is the runways and fashion magazines practically missed this important trend that leads the market in hat sales.
Women's Dress Hats
Dress hats take a British turn with high crowns and angled top profiles. Fluffs of feather trims add impact to the fresh designs in wool felts. Toned down alternatives use minimal trims of simple biots and curled felt ribbon for tasteful simplicity. Colors get daring with turquoise, tangerine, and light olive providing a fall surprise. But black, plum, camel, purple, winter white, chocolate brown, and shades of green are the safe fashion colors that everyone can identify with.
Traditional designs provide another safe trend for fall dress hats. Homecoming is a major hat event in the fall season and small brims with a tailored look are the felt hats that provide the desirable sophistication. Derby shapes with upturned brims are adorned with felt rosette trims for classic homecoming statements. Brimless shapes inspired by 1920's cloches flair at the base and use trims of satin rosettes and feather biots for elegant simplicity. More a staple than a trend, this timeless design is never out of style.
Traditional styles continue with rolled down wide brims and lampshades of the 60's providing elegance in church hats. Grosgrain bands and decorations of satin and felt rosettes with a sprinkling of feathers deliver the distinguished appearance worthy of Sunday morning services.
Ladies dress hats certainly complete a suit or fine dress with sophistication no other accessory can provide, but there is also a lighter side to dressy headwear. Many come in red with purple trim for the ladies that know how to enjoy life. These color combinations are not as easy to find as many wholesalers move on to other products, assuming the market is dwindling. But the popularity actually continues to expand with numerous chapters opening in Canada, Europe, and Australia as well as expanding markets in the US. Perhaps the most stunning red hat is the wide floppy brim in felt. Actually this celebrity look provides great headwear in any color and continues to sell year after year.
Hats are magical, whether casual, dressy, or fun. Yes, they transform a look, add individual personality, and impart an attractive dimension to the face. But the magic is their magnetic appeal to the human spirit. Even those that claim they never wear a hat can't pass by a large display without trying them on and having fun while they do it. It's only hats — no other accessory has this magic. Once, every suit in a mail order catalog was modeled with a hat. Then in the sixties sunglasses replaced the personality provided by hats. Today sunglasses are in nearly every convenience store and the pendulum begins to swing back towards hats as the expression of individualism. Certainly church ladies know how to wear a hat and inclement weather, both hot and cold, drives people to headwear. For everyone else, the runways and celebrities keep teasing us with looks so stunning that resistance is breaking down. The big trend goes beyond the new styles for fall — it's the increasing popularity of people's love for hats.