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Here’s the first part of everything you need to know about wearing hats & sunglasses!!

Personal Styling Essentials

Working as a personal stylist in Sydney, I know how ESSENTIAL these 2 little accessories are. I’ll let you in to a secret, I only owned 2 pairs of sunnglasses and 1 baseball hat before moving to Sydney…yet I now own about 7 of each (read : 10)!!

I did start by writing ‘summer’ essentials but then I then I realized we wear our hats & sunnies all year round here in Australia so lets not box them in to one season.

Below shows how a baker boy hat works for summer AND winter:

Personal Style – Hats

The UV is so strong here all year round that I rarely go out without a hat, they really have become a part of my personal style but at first, I was a little unsure of how to wear hats as they felt like quite a statement and because they were an after thought – I was making a pretty rubbish statement!!

This was because I didn’t have the right headwear in my wardrobe and needed to invest a little time purchasing a few different styles to work with my different looks, fast forward almost a decade and I now consider a hat as an integral part of my clothes style.

Your Fashion Style

My personal styling services are about exploring YOUR fashion style. Some people are ‘hat people’ [enter Boy George, Beyonce & Samuel L. Jackson] and find it easy to experiment because this accessory is part of their iconic personal style, yet others (like moi) struggled initially and felt like fashion trends we ‘wearing me’, so here’s my fashion tips outlining how to buy hats:

Personal Shopper Tips

how to wear hats
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Wide Brims

As a Sydney stylist, I say the wider the better!! Hats need to offer a practical defense against harsh Australian UV. I know there are LOTS of other hat styles but being a practical stylist, my professional wardrobe advice is generally one with a wider brim.

Dense Material

No, not a fabric with a low IQ, I mean choosing a denser material so it’s an actual barrier not just diffusing sun rays, particularly important for summer hats made of straw or similar. Hat Guide UK, have a fantastic website that tells you, among other interesting information, all about the different types of materials hats are made from, some of them might surprise you!?!

More tightly woven fabric also helps retain the shape better and look for stiffened fabrics so the brim doesn’t sag after a few months, unless this is the look you want?

Talking of saggy brims…

Fashion Trends

Jennifer Lopez at the Grammy Awards 2019

Wider brimmed hats look more contemporary and because they’re on-trend, there’s more choice of style, color and fabric, hurrah! Don’t think you have to go as far as J.Lo at the Grammy’s this year (see right), but in my opinion a Panama looks more modern than a fedora these days. Not sure what I’m talking about? Then have a look at this fantastic headwear directory from @akaitsume that breaks down the lingo:


Being a colour consultant, I know how incredible clients look when wearing shades that flatter their features and this is especially true when wearing hats as they sit right on top of our eyes, skin & hair! It’s also a giveaway when wearing a hat to realize that the ends of your hair have got so light, they no longer connect with your roots!! No? Maybe that’s just me.


The most flattering size of hat is dependent upon your body type as you want to echo the scale of your physique, so:

  • If you’re petite then stick with a petite hat such as a bucket, beret or visor
  • If you have a fuller figure or taller then you suit something larger scale, more of a statement like a boater, cowboy or large panama style


Most specialised hat brands will tell you to fit larger and pad it out, but I prefer mine to fit snug – not tight – as I want to be able to wear it in windy weather without the need for an embarrassing tie underneath!


In an ideal world, as a personal stylist I’d plan your wardrobe so you have:

Summer : straw hat x 2 – 1 x dark colour and 1 x lighter coloured

Winter : felt hat x 2 – 1 x dark colour and 1 x lighter coloured

This means that what ever your outfit, you’ll have a hat that works WITH your fashion style, which means you’ll be more confident about popping it on, reducing your cost-per-wear!

Below shows how a floppy hat style works for summer AND winter:

Traveling With Hats

For formal occasions you would be given a hat box with your purchase, but traveling with casual hats I ALWAYS wear mine, then pop it in the overhead locker after everyone else has sat down!! Wooo betide anyone who attempts to open the locker and dent my hat!

Three Bird Nest & Inspire Uplift offer genius baseball caps with higher holes!

What’s The Best Hat For My Face Shape?

Ok, so there’s SO many guides about what head wear suits your particular face shape, but this also means that firstly you need to KNOW your face shape!

Goorin Bros has a fantastic face & hat guide, one of which is below, click here for more of their shape guides also note the advantages of ‘the tilt’.

Hat Help!! My Personal Shopping Advice

So I’m here to break it down for you.

My personal shopper advice is to initially try a hat style that’s medium width and height and that’s a classic rather than a fashion trend, something like a Panama or cloche hat, see above directory (although the latter can look a little dated if it looks to ‘costume’).

It’s also got a good mix of roundness across the crown and angles to suit most face shapes.

Bingo! Your new hat! It looks good right?

No? Then contact me and let’s chat about taking you on a shopping session to find your style!

STYLE TIP – If you’re new to hat wearing and you don’t want it to stand out much, choose a hat that’s tonal to your hair colour to build your confidence.

Fashion Trends in Headwear

Nowadays there are SO many more fashion trends for head wear it’s not funny, the use of skinny scarves, turbans, head wraps, hair jewellery etc. all encourage us to experiment with our personal style by adding another element to our look we might not have considered a few seasons ago?

Have fun with it!

STYLE TIP – The only thing to avoid is it looking too ‘costume’ or ‘dress up’, try and stay authentic to your personality style.

Brands to try:

Cheap Thrill

Wallet Friendly

  • Lack Of Color –fantastic mid priced brand with a great range and edge
  • Johnny Was – local brand who you might stumble across at Sydney markets
  • Perez – specialised supplier of genuine Panama hats and handmade products from Ecuador, again found at Sydney markets

Savvy Splurge

  • Akubra – an iconic Aussie brand made right here in Oz for the serious hat wearers among us
  • Strand Hatters Sydney –stock hand-crafted head wear from around the world

Read part 2 here!

Found this helpful? Then let me know! x


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