"I’m so used to trying on Hats in order to choose a favorite. What’s your advice on when we can’t try them before ordering?"
I am so glad I saw this comment to one of my recent hat posts. It's a valued question. How do you know what to choose when shopping online, sans being able to "try on"? Here's a little guide to help you in that decision process.
The first step is to know your head size.
Whether shopping for a hat in person or online, knowing your head size will greatly help the process.
Two ways to measure your head:
Take a tape measure and place it around the circumference of your head (about an inch above your ears and eyebrows.) Don't pull it tightly or too loose. Just a natural fit. I recommend measuring 3x to make sure you have the right number.
If you don't have a tape measure then you can use a long string. Do the same as above and mark the string where it meets up. Using a laptop or desktop, look up "online ruler" and you can measure your string from there.
All of the KCM hats have an adjustable headsweat inside to customize a great fit. The ribbon can be tied or loosened up to fit your needs the day (big hair day, fresh haircut, etc.).
The following are good basics for finding what hat will suit you. Everyone is different and really it's about what YOU like. These are my suggestions.
Wide face - You’ll look great in a decent-sized brim (2 1/2" or more) and you favor a square crown (not narrow or pointy.) Don't be afraid of a shorter stingy brim. As long as the crown is square, your face will be framed beautifully.
Narrow face - Hats are easy for you. You can wear pretty universal with brims and crowns.
Small face - Try a narrow crown and not too wide of a brim, 4” max.
Tall - You can rock a wide brim with ease. I wouldn’t recommend a close-fitting cloche hat unless it has a brim to balance proportion.
Medium height - you can wear anything brim-width.
Petite - 4” max on brims. This gives you the look of a wider brim without a mushroom effect. You are perfect for cloches. You will likely feel perfect for fedoras in a 2 1/2" - 3" brim.
Shown above: Modern Bucket with 2 1/2" brim, Tailored Classic Fedora with 2 1/2" brim, Minimalist Wide Brim with 4" brim.
Crown heights like most of the suggestions here are really a preference thing. Some people want that tall crown and others prefer a shorter crown. At KCM the crown heights I choose I know work for proportion and style factor. Unless you are going for a Boater, I recommend "at least" a 4" crown height. Any lower and the hat won't feel like it's fitting on your head. For the Fall/Winter '22 I chose to run with a 5" crown because this is a great height without being too tall. In this line I wanted the hats to feel strong and make a real statement in a modern woman's wardrobe. I also offer "most" of the styles in a 4" crown height.
Whether you are petite or tall or somewhere in-between, the crown height makes no difference in "will it work for you?". It's a personal style choice, there is no wrong way.
How the trim can make the difference. When thinking about crown height the trim itself makes the difference. Take a look at these three hats below. They are the same hat style (crown height 5" and brim width 4"), yet see how different they look with their trims.
Choosing a minimalist look like the Mink colored hat (with no trim), a narrow leather band (shown in Light Copper), or the tailored 1" bow (Cerulean) gives you the look of a taller hat. The 2" ribbon trim makes the crown appear shorter. And with the triple-bow trim, the bows draw your attention away from the crown height giving you a different focal point (one of my personal faves - hence "the signature"). All styles work great. It's purely preference.
I hope these tips help in your decision process the next time you are wanting that hat you saw online and wondering how it will look on you.
The most important takeaway I can offer you is that your personal style is just that, Your Personal Style. If you make sure to put on confidence with whatever you are wearing, you can BEYOND pull it off, you can make a major statement. And if you are wondering if you have the confidence to wear that hat you have been eyeing, all you need to do is put it on, head out for the day or eve and hear the compliments that will fly your way. The best compliments are from strangers that see you. These are the unbiased comments that are from someone who doesn't know you or what your style is. They just SEE you and state how amazing you look. Who doesn't love that?
At KCM I do offer personal consultations. You can find out more about this process HERE. Curious how to pair your new hat with your Fall coat? Check out this blog post: How To Pair A Hat To Your Coat.