A headpiece is the most important accessory for the summer wedding season — Stylist decodes the best styles to buy.
The summer wedding season is upon us. As our weekends for the foreseeable are set to fill up with watching our beloveds say ‘I do’, the wedding marathon requires some strict sartorial planning to avoid the last minute packing panic.
If there’s anything we’ve learned here at Stylist, it’s that accessorising is key. Nail the hat or headpiece — which will demand the most attention on the day — and the rest of the outfit will fall into place. And while it’s considered the most tricky part of any formal wardrobe, it’s also the most fun. From velvet hair bands to bows and full blown boater hats trimmed with ribbons, hair accessories have never been so in. The spring/summer 2019 catwalks were awash with hair pieces, from Simone Rocha’s beaded headbands that looked like crowns to Prada’s super padded satin and leather styles (proving hairbands aren’t just for Blair Waldorf — even Little J in her grunge days would love Miuccia’s Alice bands).
What to wear them with, you ask? Simple but chic suits and dresses are failsafe formal attire — think culottes and an oversized blazer, jumpsuits or a turtle necked sleeveless midi dress. Choosing to style a flamboyant headpiece with a more muted outfit will not only keep the focus on your accessory of choice, but also have the added benefit of being re-worn to multiple occasions: simply change up the hat and your outfit looks shiny and new.
Whether you’re jetting off to Italy for a rustic Tuscan wedding or travelling to the countryside for a traditional British celebration, there’s a hat and a hair accessory for every occasion. Keep scrolling for our pick of the best.
Is there anything more frustrating than being hot in a hat, or having a hat blow off in a freak gust of wind? Thankfully New York-based brand Clyde have the answer. This hat — called the Dream — is named so for this very reason. Woven in small batches from straw, with a cutout crown for maximum ventilation, this hat is fitted with a snug cotton jersey band which not only keeps it on your head, but makes it comfortable. Perfect to wear for sunny weddings abroad — and it’s cool enough to wear on the beach with a bikini afterwards.
Clyde Dream hat, £199 at Net-a-Porter
Sartorial rule of thumb: don’t spend money on formal headwear you won’t be able to wear again afterwards. That super formal wide brim hat might look amazing on the peg but you’re better off investing in a hat that has longevity far beyond wedding season. This Sensi Studio style is just the ticket: the wide brim and ribbon trim makes it feel elegant and very Pretty Woman-esque, but paired afterwards with white linen trousers and a vest it’s the ultimate city-chic look. Perfect for weddings in Marrakech.
Sensi Studio Cordovez hat, £210 at Net-a-Porter
Reinhard Plank Hats
Whoever said raffia was just confined to hats? This summer’s must-wear material is made new by Florence-based brand Reinhard Plank Hats, in a super comfortable headband that feels quite 1920s but will also prove to be the perfect accessory for floaty, bohemian dresses this summer season. Handcrafted in Tuscany, this bow is an ideal choice for the hat shy.
Reinhard Plank Hats, £78 at Matches Fashion
For those in need of a formal hat, look no further than Barcelona-based brand Eliurpi. With all the airs and graces of a formal piece of headwear and a sculptural, spherical style, this contrasting-hued hat with its undulating shape is sure to make a statement. The raffia fabrication, however, stops it being so uptight — for sunny city weddings, pair with a linen suit in black or white for maximum impact.
Eliurpi Circles hat, £310 at Matches Fashion
A bucket hat, but make it chic. Zara reinterprets this summer’s must-wear hat silhouette with a raffia monochrome stripe that makes it perfect for elegant weddings. With a striking pattern that is sure to make a statement, keep the outfit simple — this hat would look perfect worn with laid-back linen suits for sunny weddings in European cities. And best of all? Pack it in your vacation suitcase afterwards.
Zara bucket hat, £25.99
Want to wear your hair in a low-key chignon but not sure how to style it? Look no further than Philippa Craddock, the go-to designer for all manner of floral hair pins that are sure to dress up a laid-back bun. Stylist loves this yellow poppy that will complement all summer shades and patterns — simply tuck behind the ear for Mexico-style beach weddings (worn like this, it gives off serious Hawaii vibes), or for an understated look, tuck it into your bun to forget you’re even wearing it – it will add a nice bit of interest to your look from different angles.
Philippa Craddock hair pin, £175 at Matches Fashion
A relaxed take on the traditional Alice band, this turban-look headband is a fuss-free approach to wedding headwear. With a wide band that looks like it’s been knotted and a comfortable elastic underside that keeps it snug in place, this Zara style comes in a myriad of colours (we love the stone grey) and patterns (think florals, watermelon prints and leopard spots), that means there really is a style for every outfit. We love the rustic terracotta hue the best, however — perfect teamed with floaty dresses for weddings in exotic, far flung locations.
Zara rustic headband, £7.99
& Other Stories
Want a straw hat but don’t want it to look like a straw hat? & Other Stories have got you covered. This raffia sun hat is dyed the perfect shade of blue that mimics our favourite denim hue, while the fringed edging further adds to this style’s laid-back and low-key mood. With a wide brim to shield you from the sun’s rays, this hat is perfect for al fresco LA weddings or informal garden party events.
& Other Stories hat, £23
No wedding headwear roundup would be complete without some pearly hair slides. They became the fashion industry’s favourite accessory after Simone Rocha introduced bejewelled hair clips a few season ago, and since they’ve become a mainstay on the catwalks, with every designer from Ashley Williams to Gucci offering twinkling slides. Now, Topshop has a version — offered as a dual-clip pack, this slimline slides are perfect doubled up and worn just in front of the ear. If you’re feeling daring, buy two packs and double up on both sides. Perfect worn with princess-style dresses to more formal events.
Topshop pearly hair slides, £12.50
Main image: Net-A-Porter/MatchesFashion