There are practical reasons for hats in summer: hair wet from a day at the beach, protection from the sun’s bright rays.
But those who make and love hats would ask that you look beyond the functionality.
“Hats are a wonderful opportunity for self-expression,” said Lore Emelio. “People who wear hats are more stylish, more self-expressed and a patron of a fine art.”
A Charlotte, N.C.-based designer, Emelio (www.LoreEmelio.com) made her first hat when she was 8. Now 35, she wishes everyone would wear them more often.
“People might have a bad past experience. The hat was too small or too big,” she says. “That painted their perspective. But it’s not that hats are not for you, it’s that that wasn’t the right hat.”
Choosing a hat is a personal thing, said Pablo Alvarez. Alvarez owns the Hat Lounge, a store that specializes in men’s hats, in Durham, N.C.
“It’s a feeling,” he said of finding the right topper. “You meet it and you greet it.”
A seasoned hat veteran can shop online, Alvarez says, but if you’re new to hats, go to a store and explore.
Emelio agreed, and added that the right hat for you depends on your hair, your face shape and, equally, your personality.
Her other tips: Hats should land about one-inch above the ear.
Make sure your vision is free and you feel comfortable.