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The Mad Hatter!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

AnnMarie O'Connor-Stylist & fashion blogger

According to her website -

"I've been a style writer for more years than is fashionable to mention. Suffice to say I have worked with the likes of The Irish Examiner, RTE, Dazed and Confused, Elle, Trace, Image, IF, The Dubliner, The Irish Independent, Prudence, and interviewing designers, chasing trends, styling, profiling and lying about my spiralling shoe habit. My mantra-burn the tracksuit honey and learn to walk in a pair of damn heels. Life's too short not to look tall and fabulous. Mwah! Lovin' your work. Xxx"

Annmarie is a freelance fashion writer, blogger and personal stylist. Her credits include The Irish Examiner, Elle, Dazed and Confused, Image, Trace, IF, The Irish Independent, and

Over the past 8 years she has interviewed the likes of Terry de Havilland, Zandra Rhodes and Ben de Lisi, and has gained a cult following with her blog: I Blog Fashion which is being made into a book. She is also the organiser of the monthly Fashion Bloggers' Brunch events in Dublin

Things to consider:

1. What is the event and what are you wearing?

Wearing a hat can either make or break an outfit. But one of the most important things is wearing a hat that is appropriate for the occasion. If it's a dressy/formal occasion, is it suitable to wear a hat or not? Should you wear a hat with a full length dress or only with cocktail style dresses? What about the rules for wearing hats with your trusted old LBD? How flamboyant should you be at a wedding?

Annmarie will have top tips to make sure you get your hat -etiquette spot on.

Outfit 1:

. Philip Treacy hat, €895, The Design Centre
. Dice Kayek dress, €499, The Design Centre
. Ring, €18, Topshop
. Clutch, €65, Coast
. Shoes, €139, Fran & Jane

Second option for this outfit:

. Nessa Cronin hat, €280, The Mad Hatter

Outfit 2:

. Black/cream wide brimmed hat, €54, M&S
. Pearl necklace, €45, Coast
. Black shift dress, €175, Coast
. Pearl bracelet, €16, M&S
. Peep toes, €100, Topshop

Second option for this outfit:

. Philip Treacy flower veil, €495, The Design Centre

2. Face Shapes

The shape of your face can determine which type of hat you should choose. Generally, you should go for the opposite of your face shape- so if you have a round face, opt for something more angular to balance it out. If you have a more square, angular face, opt for something softer or something with softer accessories such as feathers etc.

Generally, the following rules apply when selecting a hat:

ROUND FACE: Opt for a hat with a high crown. It should also have a wide brim.

OVAL: You are lucky - almost any hat will suit your face shape!

LONG: A hat with a wide brim will balance out the length of your face and give it extra width. Avoid one with a high crown.

HEART: Hats with a medium crown and medium-sized brim will work best. Avoid anything which has a high crown.

For a round face:

. Cream high crown mid brim, €47, Accessorize

For an oval face:

. Cream flat bow hat, €40, M&S

3. Colour

As the hat is close to your face, colour is important - it can make you look either a million dollars or a dog's dinner!

1. Try to avoid to match exactly your hat's material with the material of your outfit. You may end up overdoing the look. Important is that it is "picking" up on it either in colour, pattern or style!
2. If you are wearing solid colour or a classic style in your outfit then it gives room for e.g. a printed, patterned hat that combines together the colours you are wearing. Or you could as well opt for a hat that creates contrast to the colours of your outfit.
3. Playing with contrast in style is as well a way to go by e.g. wearing a " man's hat" like newsboy, trilby, panama or fedora hat.. You can soften the look by choosing this hat in softer colours, choosing a more feminine outfit or accessorising it with feminine earrings or necklaces .And of course, a dash of lipstick and lengthening mascara will do as well the trick.

Appropriate colour 1:
. Benito Mussolini hat, €192.20, Brown Thomas

Appropriate colour 2:
. Black pillbox hat, €155, Edel Ramberg, Arnotts

On mannequin:

. Circle print dress, €229, Fran & Jane
. Peep toes, €129, French Connection

Hat that works:

. Navy mid crown hat, €47, Accessorize

Also consider:

Body size

Short: Avoid wide hat shapes since they will make you look even shorter. Opt for styles that will give you visual height - high crown. Choose solid colour rather than patterns which add volume and shorten your height visually.

Tall: Avoid any style that make you even taller - e.g. high crowns. Opt for styles that are wide and/ or busy with colours and patterns.

Plus size: Avoid any styles and patterns in your hat that look petite, because it will create an unwanted contrast and will emphasize your body size. Choose chunkier styles, shape and patterns.

Petite: If you are petite in your size the opposite will be here the right choice.

Dominant Colour

A hat is close to your face, so the right colour or colour combination is important. So, make sure it is matching your dominant colour. Also, you need to remember that large brim will reflect the colour of your hat on to your face. So, make sure that it doesn't clash with your skin colour.

Neck size

If you have a short or short/wide neck then keep in mind that hat styles such as the cloche, summer hats with long wide brims or hat details like e.g. ribbons or feathers will make your neck look "visually" even short because it will pull your face down right on to your shoulders!

Match your outfit

Matching the style of your hat to the style of your outfits is just as important, because it is pulling everything together. Nowadays you don't need to go matchy matchy in style or colour but it has to sum up or add personality to your outfit.

The hat you select will look best if it is the same colour as your outfit, rather than a contrasting one.

If the outfit is in a print, try and co-ordinate the hat to be in the predominant colour of the outfit, and ensure that all your accessories are in that colour, too.


If you wear a statement hat don't overplay it by wearing everything you got in scarves, earrings, necklaces. Remember that you need space, so that styles and details work altogether. Otherwise you look just too cluttered on top.


If you wear glasses make sure that the hat is not overpowering it.

Choosing the style, colour and shape that's right for you and your outfit, isn't difficult if you know how - but it takes time and strategy!

Hair Rules

Long or medium-length hair should always be tied back in a low pony tail and the fringe should be tucked away under the hat to avoid spoiling the overall look.

Short hair should be neatly tucked behind the ears and the fringe should be hidden.

How to Avoid Helmet Hair

When the hair is brushed or blow-dried in the wrong direction and then smoothed over into the correct style, it has extra body, so do this before you put on your hat.

If your hair is flyaway and has a tendency to suffer from static, use a brush with natural (not nylon) bristles. Or use a serum before you put on your hat which will smooth down the hair cuticle.