When I was a child, much time and energy was spent on finding just “the right” Easter dress and bonnet, and it was nearly as exciting to go shopping for these treasurers as it was looking for our baskets on Easter morning. Then, we’d go to church and get to see what everyone else was wearing, and we’d giggle and point with our short white gloves to all our friends who were similarly dressed.
It seems like a lifetime ago.
Today, the only people you’re likely to see dressed up in Easter hats and finery in the United States are little girls and Southern women. It’s a tradition that has sadly fallen by the wayside, but one that still brings a smile to my face whenever I see a woman who takes the time to get “all decked out” in her Easter best.
If you’re thinking about your holiday ensemble and are considering wearing an Easter hat this year, here are some tips to keep in mind as you search for and wear that “perfect” hat:
- Formal hats can be outrageously expensive, so look for once that you can wear multiple times in order to justify the expense. Opt for a classic shape to which you can add embellishments (ribbons, scarf, a brooch) and consider wearing it for Mother’s Day, garden parties, weddings, and the like.
- The hat does not have to match the color of your Easter dress or suit exactly, but it should have some color or embellishment that mixes and matches with your ensemble. It should always be in the same mood as your clothes.
- If your hat is elaborate, your clothes should be simple. If your clothes are elaborate, your hat should be simple. The hat should finish the ensemble, not compete against it for attention.
- A lady adds embellishment to the right side of her hat band; a gentleman adds it to the left.
- Easter hat brims may be small or wide. However, since both Emily Post and Miss Manners says that you should keep your hat on while in church (and while eating Easter brunch at a restaurant), consider those who will be seated behind you when making your selection.
- Daytime hats should be removed at dusk. Evening hats may be worn with evening attire throughout the night.
- Always store elaborate hats in hat boxes to keep them dust-free and in correct shape. If your hat gets misshapen or damaged, take it to a milliner for repair.
Easter hats aren’t just for children. They can be fun and elegant for women too, so long as you follow these few simple rules. Match it to your ensemble, keep in on during services, and garner glances and comments while it’s on your head. You’ll wonder why women don’t wear them more often!
Need more tips on how to wear Easter hats and other fashion accessories? Download a copy of Accessory Magic to see how using accessories can define your style and stretch your budget.