It’s taken me a while, but I am slowly warming to the idea of hats. Yes, there’s hat hair, and yes, you have to consider head shape and hairstyle. But this aside: hats can provide an effortless, cherry-on-top feel, to practically any look. They seem to say confident and fashion-savvy in a way that no other accessory can. Maybe because they’re not as often needed as a bag or a shoe, they’re an added bonus. An after thought – that actually required thought.
Luckily, when it comes to headwear not only have the fashion God’s blessed us with a myriad of designs to choose from – they’ve also made our options VERY simple to remember. Beret, Baker-Boy, Boater, Bucket, Bands, Beach Towel – the six B’s of the 2018 hat world. All you have to remember is one letter and there’s a style for whatever life (or weather – looking at you, Beast from the East) throws your way.
This iconic felt hat began its popularity way back in the 14th/15th centuries – favoured by the poorest of classes. It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that the black beret finally became a fashion statement.
The beret seems to constantly live a life between fashion and politics. In 1920’s Paris, the beret movement began on artists, poets, writers, singers and movie stars. During WW2 in the 1940s and 50s, the beret turned into a French wartime staple – light blue in colour. The hat returned to being a fashion item in the 60’s, after a revival of new wave French films. Then in the 1970’s it adorned the heads of activist groups across the world, most notably, members of the Black Panther Party.
Thierry Mugler brought the black beret to the Paris runways – pairing them with slinky, sophisticated dresses. Then in 2016, Beyoncé used it to pay homage to the Black Panther Party during her Super Bowl halftime performance. Chanel’s Resort ‘17 runway collection – hosted in Havana, Cuba – used the hat, not only for fashion, but for what could also be interpreted as a subtle nod to the country’s former leader.
This massive yet broad following proves that there are countless ways to style a beret – from Beatnik to military to hip-hop-inspired.
Modeled by a melon, this is Topshop’s classic charcoal version, £12. There are so many colours available nowadays; there really is one for everyone.
Originally, an early 20th century, working-class male’s hat – this puffy topped, peaked number has taken over in recent months. It is now the ultimate cool-girl must have.
However, this is not the first time girls have stolen this topper from the boys. Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin rocked the look way back in the 1950’s. The look was reignited again in the 90’s by supermodels, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. Then most recently on It Girl models like Bella Hadid and Kaia Gurber as well as cropping up on a number of different Autumn/Winter ’17 runways.
What’s more, this style has moved with the times. There are now options in wool, leather, twill, corduroy and more – as well as a range of luscious colours, so there’s a style for every outfit.
This black number aloft all the bananas is from ASOS ‘My Accessories’ collection, £12.
Widely seen as a leisure item for both men and women of privilege, this hat might be most recognised as posh school attire (it did start life as children’s wear in the middle of the 19th century) or an accessory that would grace the noggin’ of a barbershop quartet.
Originating in Luton, Bedfordshire, the boater is the most classic of the straw-hat designs. Taking influence from the flat-topped caps of French sailors, its flat brim beneath a flattened crown is usually finished with a coloured ribbon around the middle.
Put on the back burner in recent years with people preferring wider brims and domed or trilby head shapes – the boater looks to be coming back with a vengeance.
This cute topper of apples and oranges is from ASOS ‘South Beach’ range. You can get it with a black ribbon or a blush one like this, £10.
The bucket hat originated in the 1940’s, some say during the Israeli War of Independence and others say with Irish fisherman – to this day it is still uncertain. It quickly became the headgear of choice for outdoorsy people, what with its foldable qualities, waterproof materials and sun-blocking skills.
Its rise into the fashion scene was during the 1980’s when it started to make an appearance on the heads of rappers. To this day the music industry is still a massive fan of the bucket hat, with the likes of Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus often seen in the style.
A more unlikely pairing was with 90’s tween icons. Being sited on top of Britney Spears and the Olsen twin’s heads – the bucket hat has definitely proved itself as one of the most versatile hats out there.
Cobalt blue and velvet, what more could a bunch of kiwis want? Topshop, £14.
Headbands started their days as ‘Headache Bands’, worn tightly around the head, claiming to relieve and prevent headaches.
In the 1920’s, headbands made their mark on the fashion scene with the Flapper movement. Adorned with feathers and sequins, this accessory quickly became the defining look of the era.
Every decade since, has seen their own take on the traditional headband. In the 50’s, Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly popularised a glamorous headscarf look. The 1960’s hippy movement introduced us to the flower crown. Neon colours blended with workout practicalities in the 80’s, birthing the terry cotton sweatband, favoured by the likes of Olivia Newton John and Jane Fonda. Then the 90’s scraped back any and all stray hairs, in the form of the comb headband. What’s more, every single one of these styles is back in fashion today.
This 1920’s style, bottle green velvet one is from ASOS, £8. Just add your most extravagant earrings.
Ok, stick with me here guys. This one does appear the odd one out, but actually it’s not. Not really anyway.
The idea behind this trend seems to stem from Mario Testino’s ‘Towel Series’, a project where the photographer captured A-listers wearing nothing but towels. Over the years, stars including Kristen Stewart, Gigi Hadid, Kate Moss, Selena Gomez, Blake Lively and Kendall Jenner, have all appeared in the series. (This is definitely worth a Google – they are GORGEOUS.)
Chic, but not to leave the house in, right? That’s what I thought too… until BATHLEISURE was born.
Rita Ora confused the world when she stepped on to the MTV EMA’s red carpet in nothing but a towel and matching bathrobe. Unknowingly to maybe not her, but everyone around her – she sparked a trend in the headgear department.
Instagram exploded with towel portraits, but not ‘just out the shower’ towel portraits. These women were styled with a full face of make up, possibly a pair of teeny tiny sunglasses (a whole post in itself) – resulting in THE most literal form of effortless chic imaginable.
I for one, think for a holiday it’s a great idea. There’s always that awkward moment when you’ve got out the pool or ocean and your hair is hanging in limp tendrils around your face – bound to dry flat as a pancake to your head. However, get it twirled up into a chic beach towel and you’ll have lush beach waves when you release it. Talk about best of both worlds.
You can use any towel you have to hand as well. I used my ol’ trusty leopard print beach towel, from Debenhams ‘Star by Julien McDonald’ collection. Now I have one sassy ass pineapple…
There you have it folks. Noggin’ toppers to take you from freezing cold to scorching sun and back again – I’ve just got to get mine back off these fruit queens.