How to Find the Right Hat For Your Hair Type — Because the Answer to the Question "To Hat Or Not to Hat?" Should Always Be "To Hat!"

Oh, hats. Can’t live with ‘em, can probably live without ‘em — but why would I want to when they look so darn good on the beach-waved models of the world? The pixie-cutted cuties? The fringe-flopped hipsters? Answer: I don’t. I love hats, and I own many. But I very, very rarely wear them. Why, you ask? Well... a hat is a big commitment, not unlike a relationship. Think about it: You put it on, and you feel good. Pulled together, right? You walk down the street with it and people look at you in what could either be envy or disgust (you’re too in love to care which!). But as the day goes on, it gets itchy and uncomfortable. It’s been too long, and you’re dying of the heat (or something). You’re burning alive! But if you take if off suddenly, you’ll be a mess. A sweaty, ratty, messy mess. The problem, then, seems to not be the hat itself, but what lies beneath it, and — wait. That came out wrong. There’s nothing wrong with you, you see. It’s just your hair. But not your hair. It’s, like, you know. The general “your’s” hair. As in my hair. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s — I mean... I really shouldn’t be allowed to make relationship metaphors. MY POINT IS, I think, that wearing a hat is a statement, and shouldn’t we all be free to make whatever statement we so please?

You’d think so. But Google image “hats for women” and you’ll see: 99 percent of the results show girls with mid-lengthed, smooth-waved locks. Hair that’s ultimately straight with the ever-so-slightest of twists. Hair that has either been barrel curled, or straightened, then barrel curled, or blown out. Because is anyone’s hair actually like that, in its natural, or even semi-natural, state? No! At least, definitely not 99 percent of us. More like that 1 percent leftover. And why, oh why, would I spend so much time on my hair only to cover it up?

Well, if you’re being professionally readied for a photoshoot and you’ve got that kind of time, by all means, go for the wavies. Knock yourself out! But remember, then, that there are other factors: Hair thickness (can’t do much about that one!), humidity/precipitation (good luck maintaining that silky finish in balmy summer air/even the lightest of snowfalls!), length... you get the idea. So before you fry yourself with various Hot Tools, I ask you this: WOULD YOU ALTER THE VERY CORE OF YOUR BEING FOR A RELATIONSHIP?

Of course you wouldn’t! You may scrunch into a side bun, weave on into a braid — compromise, you know, because it’s not just you anymore — but you wouldn’t deny yourself of self. At least, not healthily. And even if you did, no such denial would last very long.

So the key is to find a compliment, to find the right guy — I mean hat! — for you. Let us begin. If your hair is: 

SHORT/STRAIGHT, SHORT/CURLY OR SHORT/IN-BETWEEN

You can do pretty much anything you want, as you have very many options of hat. Fedora it up, bean’ it down. Slouch the back, slim-brim the front. A few tips? Choose something that allows for some peak-action and doesn’t over-shadow your nearly-hairless head (so as to not appear actually bald — unless, of course, that’s what you’re going for). Let your curls curl, your bangs bang, your wisps wisp. And, please, for good greatness, STOP LOOKING SO AWESOME. 

Gosh.

MID-LENGTH/STRAIGHT OR MID-LENGTH/IN-BETWEEN

Your choices, too, abound. Fitted fits work quite well. Face-framing angles ooze chicness. You need not fear the conehead!

MID-LENGTH/IN-BETWEEN OR MID-LENGTH/CURLY

This is where it starts to get tricky. This is where placement really matters. Because you can't just slam anything down on your head (like a Vivienne Westwood basket hat) and call it a day — let your ends poof out like the inverted muffin-top of the century. I mean, you could, but I'd certainly rather not.

So play with bowlers, newsboys, flatcaps. Let whichever you choose be One With Your Hair. Set it to the side, the back-ish or the back side-ish. Some pins may be required for proper fastening, but better those than hiding your luscious locks. 

And what's clutch? The cloche. You guys can rock this style like no other. It frames the face just so, and moderately-lengthed chicas don't have to worry as much about the aforementioned Conehead effect, though it is something to keep in mind. But a cloche's forgiving brim eases into the width of hair that bursts below. Just check mine out on the ever-lovely Marie Southard Ospina! Absolute glam.

LONG/STRAIGHT OR LONG/IN-BETWEEN

And so, the big floppies come into play. And the super-fitted knit beanies. And the... everything, really. Long/Straights (and wavies) are pretty much the only hair type who can pull off almost all forms of hat with minimal-to-no effort — hence, I'm sure, that 99 percent-yielding Google image search.

I live in envy and awe.

LONG/IN-BETWEEN OR LONG/CURLY

Take the big and floppy and run with it. Voluminous hats work best with voluminous hair, and why shouldn't they? It's only logical: Your hair it needs space to be. But there's more than just the B&F to keep you entertained. Loose-fitting knits, wide-brimmed boaters . . . it's all about balance. But seriously — just check out this wide brim masterpiece on the lovely Lily Kitten.

However, if you're like me at all, being confined to these styles simply will not do. So of course there are ways for Long/Curlies to wear beanies and cloches — it's that compromise I mentioned earlier. Sweep your curls into a low side bun, opposite your hat's flowery accouterment. Braid it — to the side, into pigtails (never letting go of these, sorry), whatever suits you! I will say, though, that I have yet to find a fedora that even pretends to sit right. So I'll leave those to the straight-heads of the world and flop about in style.

Because though my hair may not look any bigger than the Mauritania, I can promise you, there are times it feels like it. And, frankly, I like my hats that way, too. 

Images: Fotolia; freepeople.comRachel Crittenden Photography; Getty; Lily Kitten; Giphy

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