Here we go with the 2nd half of the article, following on from yesterday's blog post! This part looks in more depth at face shapes, hair and even glasses.
Don't strangle that forehead
We all want a Hat that stays put and survives the fiercest of winter gales, but that shouldn't mean that the brim of the Hat has to pinch our heads oh so tightly. Negative ease will determine fit and how well it stays on but the choice of knitted Brim will make a huge difference to how it looks, without affecting fit.
Brims work for just about everyone, and the deeper rolled edge on this design, Dulcie, provides an alternative to regular brims
Ribbed brims are classic; a soft 1x1 rib suits women better, whereas a 2x2 or wider would be more wisely used on a mens Hat. A short ribbed brim will have the effect of softening the edge, and a deeper brim adds more emphasis to the tight fit and will look more dramatic. One of the most flattering edges I have ever seen doesn't belong in the ribbed category though, and is often considered insufficient on a Hat until it's actually tried – a basic stocking stitch rolled edge. Sure, ribbing has much more stretch than stocking stitch, especially if a ribbed cast-on is used, but do we really want the brim of our Hat to be able to stretch through 5 sizes? It's prudent to remember that a suitably sized Hat with a soft brim edge will both fit better and last longer.
Another example of brims suiting most people – they break up the face and add interest, and are a perfect addition to berets. Here we see Roberta modelling Camden Cap.
Manage your hair
Long hair is easy to please with knitted Hats, especially long straight hair. Short hair can be more difficult, as can a lively curly mane, yet that's not to say that these styles don't or won't suit Hats. The key with hair is to let it frame your face and work for you. Don't tuck it up and under, or squash it under a tight fitting Hat causing it to flail out wildly. Even short hair can be of benefit provided it's allowed to be seen. Hair pulled back or tucked away often looks harsh, which in turn will make the Hat, and your face, look harsh. Have super short hair and don't want to look bald with your new knitter Hat? Allow a touch of your fringe or a few strands either side of your ears to be visible. This works every time.
Karenin is a Hat that really hugs the face, yet here we can see that even short hair works with this style if it's allowed to be noticed.
Don't be afraid to let your Hat hug you
There's been a trend of late to wear Hats, particularly berets, towards the back of the head. This can be a flattering look, especially for those with shorter hair or rounder faces, as it can add length to the face. Yet it's not a great look for everyone.
The biggest deal breaker with wearing the Hat towards the back is that it isn't necessarily going to keep those ears warm. There's no reason why you can't pull that beret or slouchy Hat down onto your forehead, even to eyebrow level, if you want. Provided other points are considered (some hair visible, either at the fringe or the ears, proportion maintained with features etc) wearing your Hat more snuggly not only provides you with a good look, but a warm one too.
Wearing your Hat lower works particularly well for those with long faces and/or long hair, as it breaks up the length, visibly, whereas wearing it back enhances the length, which is something those with long or narrow faces should avoid.
The Meret is a fantastic Hat, as it not only provides that soft rolled edge, but also height and width to suit all face shapes.
Let's not forget glasses
Right behind “Hats don't suit me” the next most common thing I hear is that glasses and Hats don't mix. They do. Glasses are simply another feature to bear in mind, and don't affect how you wear your hair or the shape of your face. They main thing to avoid doing with glasses is pulling your Hat down so low causing the edge of the brim to meet the rim of your glasses. You want to give a little room around your glasses but not too much at the same time. Allow your hair to maintain balance; it's good to see a few wisps between the brim and the rim of your glasses.
Here Piro shows how a classic style, Dylan's Beanie, can be worn with glasses.
It's really just a balancing act
Really, it is. The trick is to emphasis the good bits and distract from the not so good bits. If you have a round face consider a Hat that adds a bit of height without pulling in – tight Hats on round faces really are a no-no. Round faces are also better suited to softer looking brims too, and should avoid deep or tight ribbing. If you have a long face consider a Hat that adds a bit of width without too much height – such as a beret worn lower over the ears. For a square face, consider something with a more upright structure, and again, avoid anything too tight fitting beyond the brim. Those with heart shape faces are lucky, in that they can wear many styles, but would they'd still be wise to avoid anything too tight, especially if it's short in length.
Alyx's squarer jawline is well balanced by the shape of this turban inspired Hat, Imagiro.
Try on a few Hats. Be prepared to experiment. Grab Hats belonging to your friends/family/neighbours and see what works for you. And don't be afraid to try the Hat in different positions. There really is a Hat out there for everyone!
I hope this article has been helpful! If any shop is interested in having the Hat Clinic then do drop me an email. Personal consultations via email just aren't possible I'm afraid, however, you may wish to check the 'Which Hats Suit Me?' thread in my Ravelry group - lots of great tips and tricks have already been posted. I'm only able to help out there when time is on my side, which it isn't right now, but I do think it's worthy of a read :)