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Caps, hats and beanies.

hat and bag set for wedding or the racesHats, Caps & Beanies - Mens' and Ladies' Styles and History

Did you know that a third of the heat we lose from our body escapes from our heads? This is why wearing some sort of hat in cold weather is a really good idea.

The current trend for young people is to wear baseball caps and beanies. Beanies are often made of a wool / acrylic type material and are good at keeping your head warm whilst at the same time making a fashion statement. Caps are not usually worn for their insulating properties, but for either sun protection, to show membership of a team (such as F1) or as a fashion item. Many young people wear them back to front for this latter purpose.

It seems that for every day wear, the hat is only worn by the young (beanies and caps) and the old (wool flat caps and trilbies for men and wooly knitted hats for ladies).

Ladies normally only wear the grander decorative hats for special occasions, including going to the races and weddings. This is a far cry from the past - at the start of the 20th century, a lady would not leave the house without wearing a hat.

The wearing of hats for ladies started to decline during the second world war - it just wasn't practical when you had to drop everything and dash to an air raid shelter - and has never regained its former importance.

Hats bought today for special occasions can cost a few hundred pounds, so it can be an idea to hire one if you are not going to get much wear out of it. An alternative would be to buy one second hand.

Popular hat styles for ladies attending a wedding or the races include:

  • ladies fascinatorFascinators - these are barely hats at all, but an array of elegantly arranged feathers and netting that attach to the head via an alice band. These can be quite impressive in appearance, but can often be cheaper than hats, and they are easier to wear on warm days when you don't need the insulating properties of headwear.

  • wide brimmedStraw hats - usually wide brimmed, perhaps with a flower or other decoration attached. These are available in a variety of colours. These are useful in bright sun as the straw material is light, and the brim offers protection against the sun's rays.
  • Other wide brimmed styles, decorated with lace and / or feathers and available in a range of materials and colours. Often made from felt or a synthetic material.
  • trilbyTrilby style - these have a brim but it is narrower than for the wide brimmed styles. They can be very stylish whilst having a slightly understated look. They can be made from straw, felt or synthetic material. Men also wear trilbies, but the styles for women use far more flamboyant colours and decorations. Men's trilbies are usually brown or black.