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Are there rules for wearing a hat?


The modern rules for wearing a hat, and the expectations of how and what to wear can still cause some confusion. You can wear a hat with any outfit you choose and with great flair and confidence, what ever the occasion. That’s it in a nutshell, but the subject of hats is still much debated and there are many nuances worth knowing about.

Mary Spiteri, shares her experience on the matter as a milliner and founder of Titfertat Hats

There are virtually no times when women are required or expected to wear a hat today, but there are certain events when it’s regarded more appropriate to wear one.

You may choose to wear a hat to keep warm, at church or at a religious place, at the races or weddings and other special events.

Rules for wearing a hat: styles and sizes

Hats come in many shapes and styles, but are there any rules that we should still follow? A large collection of ladies hats are decided by the event or occasion, but ultimately you should choose a hat that enhances your appearance.

“I look at face shape, bone structure, skin tone, hair, stature and attire when designing, or selecting a ready to wear hat for my customers” says Mary. All these components play an important part in deciding on the perfect hat for someone. It’s also important to take the personality of the wearer into account. You can certainly make an entrance and be noticed when wearing an extravagant hat. You can also hide behind a rim or a net on occasions when you don’t wish to draw attention to the way you feel or look.


Summer head wear is worn to protect from the sun’s rays. A panama or trilby straw hat, originally from the Toroquilla palm plant in Ecuador, is breathable and light weight. It can be woven in to many shapes and colours that deflect harmful rays from the sun.

Titfertat Hats Richmond stocks a collection of sun hats with 50% sun protection and are also foldable and can be packed in your suitcase without creasing.

The wide-brimmed straw hats are designed to shade the head and face from direct sunlight and are often used as a fashion statement.

Occasion, discs and cocktail hats

Hats for weddings, sporting events and celebrations fall into three categories; occasion hats, disc or cocktail hats. The word ‘fascinator’ is not recognised in the industry,. It simply refers to a decorative hat attached to a headband or a small comb with an elastic back.

There are many renown, up and coming milliners who create fabulous structural head pieces for the rich and famous. These usually have a price tag of thousands of pounds each. However, the fundamental process in finding your perfect hat is to visit a recognised milliner who knows the art of creating a hat for you. This creative process starts with your personality, face shape, stature and outfit for the event you’ll wear your hat at. This personal experience gives confidence to the wearer and completes their look. Hats created and chosen for you can be worn at many occasions for many more happy memories than the initial intended event.


Hats during this season are usually copy and warm additions to the snug coats and boots we wear in the colder months.

Fedoras with a soft large brim made of felt, with a crease in the crown are perfect for autumn. And so are tribys, bowlers, berets, cloches and bucket hats. These are all made of felt but with different qualities. There is wool felt, fur felt, beaver felt and they come with an assortment of colours. And again, once  must remember the key markers: face shape, hair and personality.

Lastly the iconic beanie hat. It’s a soft cap that hugs the head. They may be straight or have a folded cuff, plain or decorated with embellishments, or a logo, made of cotton, wool or cashmere. Some fit snugly others are slouchy and they suit all of us.

The word beanie, some suggest, comes from the top button that originally secured the gathered fabric together on the crown in a shape of a bean.

Don’t forget your hat! Good hat hunting.

If you would like any help in choosing or creating a hat for you, please get in touch with Mary at Titfertat.

One lucky PA Life Club member will win a hat from Titfertat in our May competition.

Members can enter through the PA Life Club page here.

PA Life Club is now free to enter – please see how through the Club page link above.