It’s the season to express yourself with a beret, bonnet or beanie.
“Oh, I’m just not a … ‘hat person,’” I hear out the mouths of far too many people! What defines a ‘hat person’ anyway?
There are so many types of hats out there to play with after all. What about a straw boater for a picnic in your local park? Or a big floppy I-am-as-amazing-and-as-groovy-as-Farah-Fawcett-back-in-the-day number for a Sunday roast (I mean, come on that’s sass personified)? A peaked cap with banging, gigantic hooped earrings? A vintage Forties veiled and dramatic small hat, perched carefully on the side of your chignon for a wedding? Or what about my favourite: a beret. There are many great things about a beret, but the greatest thing of all is that they keep your head nice and toasty in cold weather!
Hats are both practical, and transformative. They are also a joy to display in your bedroom on hooks, they can make the plainest outfit become as chic and avant garde as poetry AND a hat means that you might not have to do anything to your hair that day.
Ah, so this brings me onto another ‘hat-myth’ – you don’t have to have long hair coming out the bottom for them to look good. If you have short hair, just make sure some is visible and that it’s poking out the front. Play with your hat, try it in different ways, and no head is ‘too big’ for the right one.
If you’re looking for hat-spiration, then Google the late, but incredible fashion forward icon, Isabella Blow.
Don’t be afraid, catapult your fear into intrigue and go and try a load on, you’ll soon see you start to sashay as you meander around the shop during a trying on session.
Here are some of Gemma’s favourite go-to brands.
Birkenstock & Spiers
“The new season Birkenstock & Spiers headgear options are car-stopping takes on traditional winter hats, like this mouse-eared corduroy number.”
Felt mouse cap, £90, Birkenstock & Spiers
“This brilliant veiled bobbled hat is just the coolest.”
Alpaca veil beanie, £95, Birkenstock & Spiers
“I LOVE independent hat shop Fabhatrix in Edinburgh, it’s just SO inviting, full of hats to try on, and they make you feel like you’re time travelling! This particular style, which you can order online if you don’t live near the shop, would look so sexy at a winter wedding.”
Jamine, £85, Fabhatrix
“My favourite hat seller on Etsy is a shop called BrionyLodgeVintage, it’s tag line is ‘Millinery and Other Delights’, Victorian Era-Sixties and it doesn’t disappoint. Fall down her rabbit hole of well displayed vintage hats of all types.”
Black wool tilt topper, £33.01, BrionyLodgeVintage
MARY x Gemma Cairney
“I’ve poured my love into a hat collection of my own, for everyone to enjoy. I’ve teamed up with fashion designer Mary Benson, to upcycle vintage berets and embellish them with positive and fun slogans - hopefully they make people smile when you walk down the street wearing one.”
Images: Courtesy of brands