Head Case: The Trending of Hats in Weddings
By Deanna Duff
It might be old hat, but, well, hat’s are back. Britain’s royal nuptials reintroduced hats as a fashionable addition to wedding attire. Even if you aren’t planning a wedding at Westminster, we consulted with the experts on how brides, brooms and grooms can make their own headfirst fashion statements. A favorite is the top hat: a flat, stovepipe shape with a brim. It’s been the signature topper for everyone from Abraham Lincoln to rock guitarist Slash and we have tips on how to make it work for you, too. We recently covered hats for femmes and butches. Here’s a look at a few fashion statements for the gents.
Pulling Back The Veil
Top hats are one of New York milliner Dina “Cha Cha” Pisani’s specialties. Now celebrating her 20th year as owner of Cha Cha’s House of Ill Repute, she has custom designed countless wedding hats including those for same-sex couples. The advantage for two grooms in tuxedos is that top hats with different detailing impart individuality. An either whimsical top hat or masculine version does the same for two brides. Either way, top hats grab the spotlight. “If you’re the person in the room wearing a hat, you get more attention – in a good way. That’s kind of the point at a wedding!” says Cha Cha.
Tip Your Hat to Style
A top hat is appropriate for a formal or funky wedding, but always modernize it to reflect your personal style. Stick with basic black or gray for a clean canvas, but add flamboyancy with feathers, metal hardware and leather trim. Provide your milliner with a swatch of your outfit’s fabric to match accent colors and textures.
Some Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Renewed
A vintage hat has character and doesn’t look overly stylized, but the real deal can be hard to find, expensive and difficult to size. Instead, find a designer who specializes in distressed styles. Felt is a good base fabric for creating lived-in looks. Cha Cha uses bleaching, dye baths, burning, sandpaper and even rusty nails to weather the material.
Go for a dramatic statement, not goofy. If you are an average height or shorter, avoid overly-tall top hats which will dwarf you. Cha Cha recommends having a hat custom made so that you can find the perfect proportion and shape to complement your face. A quarter inch difference in height can determine whether it will be couture or cartoonish. Expect two to three fittings to perfect the fit and prices starting at $350 for a basic version.
Don’t Pull A Rabbit Out of Your Hat
Hats are a memorable style statement, but not for everyone. If you normally shy away from hats, your wedding may not be the time to start. “You need to have the personality to pull it off and already feel comfortable in hats. You don’t want to be fiddling with it constantly,” says Cha Cha. If you like the idea, but are worried that a top hat will make you look like a magician or ringmaster, consider a slightly more conservative style such as a hamburg or bowler.
Photos/Courtesy of Cha Cha’s House of Ill Repute
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