It's safe to say a well-loved hat speaks of its owner.
There's the passive language that comes with habitual wear: subtle evidence in even the tiniest quirk like an exaggerated pinch in the crown or even the slightly uneven dip in the brim where its wearer developed a habit of handling it just so speaks volumes of habit and even comfort. It's the way you feel it settle right into place at just the right angle you love wearing it, too, and even if the color is slightly faded from the sun, or the band's a bit scuffed, it's yours.
Then there's the more active language in how you dictate details of the hat, because a hat becomes more than just a simple accessory--it becomes almost an extension of yourself and how you want the world to view you.
This is why it's so much fun for us as hat lovers to really turn a hat into our own, to tell our story and share our fancies and quirks.
Whether it's adding pins, feathers, even changing up the bands, your hat is a canvas all your own to create from.
So come with us on this first blog from the store in Annapolis as we explore some of the basic ways you can accessorize and cater the look of your hats to really show the world you.
Bold New Banding
One of the most obvious ways to change up the look of a hat is putting a new band on it. This is especially true if it's a hat you inherited or found at a vintage shop and want to put your own spin to the look, or if you bought a hat that was sans a band to begin with, like our Belfry Bucci!
There are generally two styles of replacement hat bands you'll find to utilize in personalizing your hat: simple flat grosgrain ribbons, or pleated. (Our pleated styles we offer are extremely limited one-offs available only in the store! Check them out before they're gone!)
We tend to recommend the flat grosgrain bands if you're wanting to completely replace an existing band because they offer a sleek flush look against the hat, like so:
And don't feel like you have to match tone on tone--you're allowed to have fun with it! If you want patterns, stripes, or dramatic pops of contrasting color, this is your expression you're crafting, after all. Allow yourself to play.
If you don't necessarily want to lose the existing band by removing it either because it's still a nice look or you even have sentimental value to it because the hat was inherited (odds are once you take the old band off, unfortunately you won't be able to use it again so be mindful of your options,) you can always opt for a pleated band to layer over top of the old band.
The pleated style will have give to it, hiding the bows and tacks of the initial band with no threat of puckering like a flat grosgrain band will. Here we opted for a polka dot band to add some visual interest on our Belfry Ortona.
If you can see a peek of the underlying band, don't worry, you likely aren't done accessorizing yet! Which brings us to:
There are a lot of ways to go about adding feathers to your hat, and all of it honestly comes down to where you want to go with it!
For a sleek and elegant air, pairing one of the smaller feathers we keep in stock can add a touch of class to your look:
Or you could go funky with more of a statement feathery piece:
It's amazing how looking between the two they give off completely different vibes, right? And that's just from changing the feather! The same can be seen with how feathers make our Belfry Ortona get a bright pop! with a flash of red.
If the more elaborate feathers are bringing the right fanciful touch for you, we always try to keep a small selection made up for you to peruse, and if you don't see a certain color, we can always see what we can do in a pinch to get it to work for you!
But what if feathers aren't really your thing?
Feathers are far from the only accent you can add to your hat.
There's a whole wide selection of pins you can get creative with just as much, and they give as broad a range in styling that a good feather arrangement could.
A simple pearl pin can tack down a formal look:
Simplicity can also serve function if you're wanting to further secure your band to the hat, or any feathers you may add if you figure: why not both pin and feather?
For more funky additions, we also sell bigger clips in silver and brass if you were fans of our Belfry Montano:
Ladies (and gents or anyone in-between, if you want an interesting alternative to a fancy feather--we won't hold you back!) we can't let it go unsaid we also have vintage inspired extended hat pins by one of our beloved millinery partners, Kathy Jeanne:
They are perfect for pinning through your hat and hair to make sure your hat doesn't go flying off in a good wind, but since it's summer and that means Big Brim Season, they're perfect for pinning up your brims for more visibility and flair (it's our personal favorite way to use them!)
We've also seen folks get really creative with some of their favorite enamel pins, so the sky's the limit!
And honestly? All of this between the bands, feathers, and pins is just the beginning. There's so much you can add to your hat to make it a true expression and extension of yourself, and we look forward to helping get you started!
If you have any questions about what we offer in hat accessories or styling, feel free to reach out to us either online with our customer service at 888-999-HATS (4287) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or better yet, come see us at the store in Annapolis at 103 Main Street so you can check out our accessories in person!
Bring your own beloved hat, or find a new one with us to get styled the way you want it--we'd love to see what you do!