The Autumn/Winter 2012 way to make a bold statement – are you ready girls? – is to purchase a hat. It has been the job of jewellery, bright colours and footwear in the past, but now, headwear has been swiped in, to head the way in fashion through the cold months.
If you haven’t noticed the numerous types of hats that have swept your local high street, then take our word for it, this year, all of them are inspired by past decades and will help you acquire that vintage look without scurrying through the nearest charity shop and fighting off the old women and students.
One making a comeback, first of all, is the Cloche hat.
The cloche hat became popular in the 1920s and is usually made out of felt (or in Marc Jacob’s latest collection, ponyskin, no expense spared it seems). These materials make the hat shape one’s head better than other material. ‘Cloche’ is French for ‘bell’ given its shape. Various fashion houses such as Lanvin helped manufacture some of the hats back in the day, and, in the process made them fashionable to all classes.
The beauty of these hats, is that they are easily customised. Some of the cloche hats on the high street have jewels on, designs and even bows, and you can easily do the same. Adding a peacock feather will stand out, give it a ‘flapper girl’ feel; another influential character in Britain’s 1920 history.
Second, we have the ‘bowler’ hat, yes, we know what you are thinking… Charlie Chaplin and Peter Doherty?
Shockingly enough, the first bowler hat ever created was in 1849 and was made for someone connected to someone else connected to the Earl of Leicester; reading up on second and third Earls is really tedious, so to summarize they were someone very important, and of very high class. Not surprising. These days, the bowler hat is still something reminiscent of the royal family, with Prince Harry and Prince William having worn them more recently for state events, but, wearing them as a fashion is something different.
Pete Doherty, who’s fashion sense is inspired by the ‘old gentleman;’ blazers, hats and ‘proper shoes,’ the bowler hat has also been one of the items chosen to complete his look.
So, back in today’s terms. H&M have taken the bowler hat, an older man’s accessory in the olden days, and turned it into something young, fresh and bright. Don’t get me wrong, for those Winston Churchill inspired fashionistas (if there is such a thing) there are black hats and grey ones, but for those inspired by today’s freedoms of wearing whatever you want, then there is a particularly gorgeous bowler hat, in a very bright colour, stripping away the ‘vint-age’ and giving it ‘today-age’ instead.
Kill two trends with one accessory, by opting for H&M’s cobalt blue bowler rather than the black, unless of course, you are re-enacting the dress sense of a droog from a Clockwork Orange; if not then there’s a nice little idea for your next fancy dress party, you can thank me later.
Victoria Beckham has included woollen hats in her latest collection and so did Burberry with tweed caps. Now it’s your time to make a statement, whether you’re walking down the catwalk wearing Marc Jacobs (who included a hat on every single model wearing his collection) or whether you’re braving the rain whilst leaving the house and getting the bus to work.
Marc Jacobs said to British Vogue; “This season you either have to wear a really crazy coloured wig or a crazy hat because someone hair feels just too conservative.”
So, if you don’t want the uncomfortable feel of a wig or dodgy side glances when it blows off in the wind; which is more than likely given the weather at the moment, we’d advise you opt for a hat.
With today’s trend you can be as classy as a 1920s girl with the daring, flirty attitude of today’s IT girls.