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Hats: your online style guide for 2016

Hats can often seem like one of the hardest items of clothing to pull off. "Hats just don't look right on me" must be one of the most uttered sentences in our fashion vocab (we know you've said it before!) but with a little help from your Cafe La Moda fairy godmother we guarantee you'll find a hat that's the perfect shape and color to turn heads. 

Browse our style notes below to perfect your hat know-how before heading over to our shopping pages where our comparison tables and filters will help you shop for your ideal beanie/trilby/beret (delete as appropriate) without any of the hassle. That means you can concentrate on more important things, like what dress to wear, or what shoes...or what jewellery, or what bag, make-up, nail polish and hairstyle to wear with it!

2016's most gorgeous hat styles

Beanies Iconic beanie wearers such as Bob Marley have helped the popularity of the slouchy knitted hat, the beanie. Easy to wear, comfortable and perfect for quickly covering bed hair, the beanie epitomises nonchalant, cool and breezy fashion and has become an iconic symbol of left-of-center style.

Formal Womens dress hats come in all shapes, structures and sizes and can often be viewed as little pieces of wearable art, with intricate embellishments and adornments. Dress hats are perfect for weddings, funerals and special occasions.

Trilby From the same family as the fedora, the trilby is similar in style but has a narrower brim, making it easier to wear. A Humphrey Bogart-esque trilby was once considered a necessity to complete a man’s formal look. These days, it is as commonly seen on women and makes a real fashion statement.

Beret The beret, often associated with painters and baguette-wielding French people, was the headgear of choice for 19th century shepherds. It was later adopted by bohemians as a symbol of rebellion against the norm and was a staple on the heads of Le Maquis in World War II. The beret is a versatile number that manages to be all at once chic, refined and cute.

Straw hat Straw hats evoke thoughts of festivals, the French Riviera and hot, hot heat. They’re simply perfect for keeping the sun off your face, protecting your eyes and keeping you looking fashon-forward at all times (plus it easily covers your unwashed, festival fair!). We love!

Ladies hats to flatter your face shape

Hats can be like a magic wand for transforming your face shape instantly:

Oval The lucky owner of an oval-shaped face can pull off pretty much any style she likes. She looks best in a floppy hat with a wide brim (but no wider than the shoulders).

Round Hats with an irregular brim, prominent crown or vertical detail will work well to elongate your face, add definition and highlight your features. Any embellishments will also work to draw the eye and add length to the face.

Rectangle If you have a rectangle face opt for ladies hats with a full brim to soften and balance out your jawline. High crowns and small brims will make your face look longer so avoid these.

Square Use your hat to soften your jawline and slim down your face. Wearing a hat with an irregular brim and a prominent crown at an angle with soften the sharpness of a square jaw.

Triangle To add width around your forehead look for a hat with an asymmetric brim or a crown with height to draw attention upwards.

Heart The opposite of the triangle face shape, you should look to narrow down your forehead with your new hat. Shop for hats with a prominent crown and medium brim and wear them at an angle. 

Which hat colour should I go for?

Of course you don’t need us to tell you that womens hats in classic shapes and colours, such as a designer black formal hat or cream beret, will always look chic and on-trend in 2016 and beyond. What’s more, sticking with timeless colours will almost guarantee they’ll suit your clothes perfectly still in five, ten, twenty years time.

If you’re looking for a hat that will really lift your features, bring out your eyes and make your skin glow, stick to the following golden rules for your complexion:

  • If you have a cool complexion (your skin is often pale or pink and you have blonde or brunette hair with light-coloured eyes) stick to black, navy, sand, grey and pastel colours.
  • If your complexion is warm (you will have golden or yellow tones to your skin and will usually have red or brunette hair and darker skin) stick with neutrals: olive, camel, brown and beige. 

Delivery and returns

It is always best to check online independent retailers’ delivery and returns policy before buying hats. UK policy states that any purchase made online comes with a seven day ‘cooling off’ period where you’re able, by law, to return any online goods. Many retailers extend this to 28 or 30 days so it’s always best to check before you buy.