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Look to the stars for proof that hats are super fashion once again!   Superstar Beyonce tilts a rakish newsboy cap to set off her sporty Chanel-styled outfit for her daytime “easy elegance” look  But don’t stop with Beyonce, celebrities galore – even Paris Hilton –are into newsboy caps.  They are soooo wearable!  Just look: hats are all over the designer runways, and featured in glossy magazine print ads by famous names like the French Connection, Vera Wang, Juicy Couture and countless others.


Hats just naturally frame the face with drama as well as flattering form and color.  You can’t deny the aura of sophistication and chic that stems from the simple act of putting on a hat as the finishing touch before leaving the house. You can almost hear someone saying:


                    “Here’s your hatand ain’t you something!”


With the changing of the seasons, now is the time to consider the double benefits of chapeaux – utmost style, combined with cold weather comfort.  They look great, and they’re cozy warm. 


LITERARY ECHOES:  While the newest looks are innovative, the basic styles of the most popular fall hats are gloriously traditional.  Take the classic Fedora, now fitted with panache for today’s well-attired woman.  Made of 100% wool felt or crushable deep-pile corduroy, most feature a flirty brim and grosgrain band, often embellished with a small cluster of feathers. Think of a scene from a Hemingway novel, and a 1930s siren complete with a “liberated” woman’s smart fedora hat. You’ve got the idea!


We saw a very trendy Fedora with a band of very-now brass nail heads underscored by a thin leather cord which ties jauntily on one side. Also seen in the best places:  a Tyrolean Fedora of wool felt – it’s super trendy and adds an international flair of Alpine elegance to women’s sports ensembles.


Another “name” hat borrowed from another era (and actually, from the opposite sex) is the Bowler, one strictly crafted for ladies.  It mimics the venerable men’s derby, but has a somewhat flatter, more feminine brim.  Grosgrain band, of course, and a tuft of feathers give a very finished look      



ANIMAL MAGNETISM:  Close-fitting faux fur hats closely imitate the real thing in looks and warmth, and oh…! Are they ever gorgeous!  Choose an overall leopard skin print or a combination of black faux mink fur cap and deep leopard pattern trim. This is really elegant, with no small touch of British hoi polloi. 


Other faux fur hats offer different colors and patterns to match or contrast with winter coats.  Many feature satin or quilted linings and eyelet air vents for all-day comfort.  Some are small, chic little Chanel-like caps; others are Russian-winter big, glitzy in their own rich way, and flattering to almost everybody.


CAPPING IT ALL OFF:  The Kettle hat, modified cowboy hats, even military hats and “helmets,” all have their place in the current high rankings of headwear for women.  But perhaps the winning basic design, available in everything from faux fur and sumptuous velvet to wool, is the perennially popular Cap.


Here’s a quick rundown on some of these favorites:  The Ivy League Cap is often designed in a prowling animal print, and frequently satin lined. Look for this on the streets of Princeton, New Jersey, where Preppy looks reach a high point every Autumn as the new school year begins. . . 



The Newsboy Cap in fabulous faux fur looks great in any of a variety of colors, from trendy brown to sky blue. Some even have sequin or rhinestone embellishment for extra sparkle.  A Drivers Cap often combines the luxury of angora wool with nylon or polyester to create a becoming soft shape for the woman who projects luxury.  It is slightly larger than the traditional newsboy cap.



Then there’s the Cabbie Cap.  Inspired by the famous character cab drivers of Manhattan or Philadelphia, these hats are big brimmed and jaunty.  They are usually seen in charcoal black or grey on definitely take-control women. 



The Jockey Cap is one more variant on this now familiar theme, a sumptuous creation usually in black velveteen. Get it studded with clear rhinestones! Featuring an impressive high dome and short bill, this is all you really need to be ready for Churchill Downs!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, August 25th, 2008

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