Style Notes: The Wide-Brimmed Hat

Lately, I’ve had an unexplainable obsession with wide-brimmed hats (by wide, I refer to hats with a brim width of 3.5inches or more). I could credit this to Saint Laurent for reviving the ’70s style or maybe even Pharrell Williams’ for his neverending selection of kooky hats – but it’s an obsession alright. So much so that I spent a work night online shopping for five hours straight trying to hunt down the perfect wide- and stiff-brimmed fedora that didn’t cost a limb or my left kidney (read: Saint Laurent price).

Thing with hats though is that they’re really difficult to buy (like shoes) when you don’t get to try them on, my coat rack is covered with Panama hats, pork pie hats, floppy straw hats and wool fedoras – all of which were purchased after endless hat-shop hopping (and plenty of “they look the same” comments from my friends). Another difficult thing to nail with hats? How do you wear them in Singapore and not look like a pretentious hipster?

For me, when it comes to hats (especially wide-brimmed ones), the rule is to keep things simple. While many of us would like to imitate the femme fatales of Saint Laurent (see feature image above), let’s face it, it’s just not practical to be waltzing down Orchard Road in a tuxedo suit and wide-brimmed hat. Overseas, I wouldn’t say no to pairing my hat with a leather jacket, plain white tee and worn-in jeans and sneakers. But on home ground, I think it’s best to be comfortable. On really hot days, I’d keep the wool hats at home and opt for a straw one instead. And I also prefer to wear my hats with shirt dresses, T-shirts plus skinny jeans combo or with a cute top and midi skirt. For the icing on the cake, just top the look off with sneakers or Oxfords- this way, you’ll look like you’re not trying too hard.

On the other hand, there’s also the option of paying homage to the ’70s and going all out with a wide-brimmed hat matched with a bohemian maxi or romper. The idea at the end of the day is comfort and simplicity over making a statement – by doing so, you’re making your own kind of style statement. How do you like to wear your wide-brimmed hat?

Close-up with my wide-brimmed fedora

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If you’re still looking for the perfect wide-brimmed hat, try shopping online if you know your hat size at Rag & Bone, Borsalino, Topshop, and Brixton. Otherwise, pop into department stores like Robinsons and multi-label boutiques to try as many as you need until you find the one – good luck!



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