Why American Women Should Wear Hats

by AbbyFitz

A hat wearer from the womb, this quirky American discusses her fascination with hats and why her female compatriots should be utilizing this underused fashion accessory.

In America, bonnets and hats on babies and toddlers are expected, and is even considered cute. However, once you've got your sea legs, unless you’re at the beach, most people think it’s weird to be wearing a hat.

Personally I think hats are an awesome way to express your individuality. Who wants to look like everybody else anyway?

Hats are a great conversation starter. Through the years, I’ve had many women talk to me about my hats and why they do or don’t wear hats of their own.

There are a lot of notions about wearing hats that American women have that just aren’t true. I want to dispel these anti-hat myths and help women find the right hat for them.

No Hat is Safe Around Me
No Hat is Safe Around Me

A Lifelong Love Affair

I've never met a hat I didn't like.

I'm a hat wearer from way back. I mean, way back.

From babyhood up through even my awkward teenage years, I've loved and worn hats.

Age 14 and Still in a Hat
Age 14 and Still in a Hat

My family would roll their eyes when I'd come out of my bedroom sporting a brand new chapeau. I needed no special reason to wear a hat, a trip to the grocery store was reason enough for me.

My sister just didn't believe we were related.

Most people would say I'm just a ham and I love the attention. But that's not true. Wearing a hat actually makes me feel confident and attractive. To me, it's a fashion accessory just like a purse or jewelry.

I've tried to convert the uninformed masses here in America to the joys of wearing a hat, but I'm usually met with two schools of thought when it comes to hats:

People Will Look at me Like I'm Stupid

They'll be looking, but it will be with admiration.

True, if you show up wearing a hot pink leopard print fur hat with black ostrich feathers, you’re going to get some looks. But for women who dare to wear a hat, they’ll be met with nothing but compliments.

Nearly every time I wear a hat in public I am stopped by someone telling me how nice it is to see a lady wearing a hat and how elegant I look.

Women usually tell me they wish they were brave enough to wear a hat. Older men remember when it was common for women to wear hats, so they typically tell me they wish women still did.

What will surprise you the most is I receive the most comments from younger men. They compliment me and actually say they wish more women would wear them.

So grab a hat, Ladies.

I Just Don't Look Good in Hats

Well, that's because you haven't found the one that's right for you

When asked why they don't wear a hat, the majority of women will state this reason. But there's a hat out there for them, they just haven't found it yet.

Just like a certain style of clothing will look better on one body shape than on another, the same philosophy holds true to finding the perfect hat for you.

For instance, I wear mainly large brimmed hats. It’s the only style that flatters my head and facial shape. Beanie hats, cloches, and skull caps just make my long narrow face look strange.

I’ve had several friends who claimed they can’t wear a hat because they think they look funny. However, I quickly changed their minds after I had them try on several different styles to see what suited their facial shape.

Do You Wear Hats?

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They're not for me
dustytoes on 11/12/2013

Mostly in winter. I try to knit myself a new hat each year, but sometimes they don't turn out to great! I also wear ball caps in summer.

Hat's are great!
Elaine Moreland on 06/26/2017

I just wore my first hat yesterday at church and you are completely right! I did get a few looks but most of the ladies at my church loved it! They wanted to know where I got it. Several said they started to but did not want to be the only one! I plan to continue and hope it will help to start a fad that will last forever! I figure if the Queen of England and ladies at court can wear hats, we American women can too. I have said many times that First Lady Melanie Trump would look fantastic in hats as well as her daughters! Somehow we must start the use of hats going again in America! We can show the world that we are still ladies and I know personally, men like them! Thank you for sharing your article on hats. God bless!

lisa on 12/11/2013

i love hats. I sometimes wish for the days of wearing gloves and a hat like women used too. People will say youre wearing a hat? or if i tell them i wore a hat they would get all strange on me. Like it is a horrible idea. i like also to say men and pinkie rings. Men used to wear pinkie rings in the early 1960"s and not worry about being considered a homosexual weirdo, in those day the homos stayed in the closet which I think they should go back at. like white gloves and hats for the ladies. People use to get dressed to go out. Now a days it just slap on a pair of jeans and a baseball cap like the rest of the world. I mean Who cares if you are a homo? why are we being subjected to that ? Its a sin against nature and GOD

cmoneyspinner on 11/04/2013

Use to wear them all the time. (1) They looked stylish. (2) Great for a bad hair day!!! Now I kind of only wear them if it's cool weather. Mainly because now that I'm 50+, i really don't care if men don't turn around when I walk by. :)

Guest on 11/02/2013

Baseball caps to shade the glare when I'm typing. A flat cap to keep my ears warm and rain off my glasses. A sunhat to do the same to my neck in summer. Chapeau!

So Why Did Americans Stop Wearing Hats?

We're just too relaxed

One Relaxed CatWomen in hats was a common sight up until the early 1960's. In the latter half of the decade, the younger generation balked at everything that was traditional and, well, stuffy, so out went the hats.

From the '60's on, the United States just became more and more relaxed in its attitude, and in their clothing attire.

Jeans and a t-shirt paired with a feathery fascinator? Yeah, they just don't mix.

Abby's Fashion Challenge to Americans: Wear a Hat

Be bold and try something different

If you've ever walked around town and saw a woman wearing a pretty hat and wished you could pull the look off, quit thinking and just do it!

Wearing a hat can be kind of scary at first if you've never worn one, but I'll let you in on a little secret. If you've seen a woman in a hat and thought she looked great and didn't look weird, when people look at you, they will think you look pretty classy in your hat, too.

Why Should I Wear a Hat?

Glad you asked. Here's five funny and practical reasons to wear a hat
  1. A hat will protect you from the sun (no cancer or wrinkles!)
  2. Wake up to a bad hair day? A hat can fix bedhead
  3. A classy hat can make just about any outfit look glamorous (channel your inner Audrey Hepburn)
  4. A wide brimmed hat can block prying eyes when you're having a private conversation
  5. Hats make you confident and self-assured (you look good and you know it!)

Women who wear hats don't look great in them because they've got a hat face, they look great in hats because they're confident and comfortable in what they're wearing.

So my challenge to every American woman is to find a hat that appeals to you, pair it with your favorite outfit, and go about your daily activities in public and enjoy your hat.

Women's Beanie Hats

Perfect for the shabby chic look

Beanie hats are something I wish I could wear. They look so natural paired with denim and other casual fabrics. Beanie hats can make you look chic without even trying.

It's not a well-kept secret either. Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway, and Ellen Pompeo are just a few celebrities that have embraced the beanie.

If you're wanting to ease your way into hat wearing or you're a very casual person, a beanie is a great starter hat.

Large Brimmed Hats

Adds a touch of class to your wardrobe

Large brimmed hats are my absolute favorites. I love the colors and the detail in these hats. I think there's nothing more alluring that having a hat cover half of my face. It gives me an air of mystery I think!

These hats are perfectly suited for more formal occasions, such as weddings, funerals, church services or garden parties.

Again, though, it doesn't have to be a special occasion. I've been known to wear a hat to go shopping, so there's no hard and fast rule that says you can only wear them certain places.

The bottom line is, try a hat. If the beanie doesn't suit your fancy, try a larger hat, or even a fascinator. Put something on your head and walk out the door with your head high!

Updated: 12/05/2013, AbbyFitz
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AbbyFitz on 01/24/2014

Thank you!

ologsinquito on 01/24/2014

I like the Victorian hats you have featured. This is going on my new Victorian hats board.

AbbyFitz on 11/23/2013

Thank you! I never thought of hats as inspirational!

DerdriuMarriner on 11/23/2013

AbbyFitz, Hats certainly can convey a lot about their wearers! Your lifelong devotion to hats is inspirational.

AbbyFitz on 11/12/2013

Yes, I am jealous when I see pictures from Great Britain

dustytoes on 11/12/2013

I love to see the beautiful hats worn by fancy ladies - like the Queen! I agree that it would be nice to see them be worn more often by Americans.

AbbyFitz on 11/10/2013

There's one out there for you. It'll sneak up mo you when you least expect it :)

Rose on 11/10/2013

Unfortunately I've never found a hat that suits my face shape. Am still looking...

AbbyFitz on 11/04/2013

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.

cmoneyspinner on 11/04/2013

Fantastic article Abby! I am so glad you published this. The large brimmed hats take me to the days of Edith Head, the famous American fashion designer and also remind me of all the church ladies when I was growing up.. The beanie hats take me back to my days at the University of Miami.

By the way, you sport hats quite nicely! If I were in your family, I would have waited each day to see what you'd be wearing on your head when you came out of your bedroom. :)

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