ACCESSORIES REPORT: Tipping Our Hats to Toppings

Though I’m awful with memory, there’s one scene from my childhood that lives in the back of my mind as if it was yesterday. The year was 1997, and it was the dreaded Picture Day. Now, if you were one of those adorable, photogenic second graders, chances are you never accepted a comb that the photographer’s assistant handed out to the rest of us as we practiced our gap-tooth smiles in front of compact mirrors. However, if you were like me, you cursed your mother under your breath for ever instructing the hairdresser to give you a bowl cut and nervously combed your pin-straight hair as you waited for your name to be called. After the grueling photography experience, I sat on a crowded bus and daydreamed until I had a brilliant thought: “I want curly hair.” Emulating what I had seen my mother do with curlers for many years, I took the comb out of my backpack and wrapped a piece of hair from the top of my head around its teeth as hard as I could. Through a few minutes and a few wrestles, I realized a few things. For starters, my hair wasn’t going to curl with a comb. Secondly, I really wasn’t good with ideas. Third, and most importantly, there was a comb stuck in my hair that was going to have to come out somehow. When I reached home, my furious grandmother yanked me into the kitchen and cut the comb out with silver scissors, prompting a giant clump of short hairs to stick up relentlessly from my scalp, á la alfalfa (or a cockatoo). Looking back, I can only think of one thing that would’ve somewhat eased my misfortune: a hat.

Humans are a fan of covering their heads, from gladiators to the Royal Family. Hats are versatile, stylish and obviously protective, and can take an outfit from bland to va va voom regardless of the weather forecast. From berets to beanies to newsboy caps, these toppers range from high drama to completely low-key, balancing practicality and poise effortlessly. Today’s Fashionista showcases a fedora as part of her otherwise simple ensemble of cotton, denim and leather. She keeps her accessories minimal and her colors playful, prompting the headpiece to speak for itself on a bright November day, and adds a backpack that casually compliments the hat’s ribbon. What I love about her outfit is that it’s not overly summery, even with the use of straw; her longer sleeves and boots allow her outfit to transition right into the breezy, autumn weather without looking out of place.

Hats are perfect for the approaching winter weather, mainly because they serve a dual purpose. On the one hand, they’re totally chic and nostalgic (think Great Gatsby), and on the other, they’ll keep your head protected from snow, rain and even bad hair days. When incorporating headpieces into your outfit, you might want to go lighter on the other accessories and definitely try on a few different styles to see what looks best. Steer away from extremely wide brims and sunglasses pairings — looking like you’re fleeing the paparazzi is never a good idea on a college campus. Hats off to hats, the perfect winter accessory! 

Spotted: Hats have been seen all over the runway in a plethora of seasons, most recently at the Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren spring 2012 RTW shows.

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