How to find your Ideal Hat

How to find your Ideal Hat

How to find your Ideal Hat: Hats can be a bit of a daunting purchase, but this is only because most women are unsure of which shape and style will suit them best.

Your hat should match or complement the colour and style of your outfit, whilst still making you look and feel fabulous. Here, we offer some pointers to help you find your ideal hat, and see also our article on Which Hat to Buy for Your Face Shape.


  1. Choose a hat that is in proportion with your height and body shape. If you’ve opted for a peplum dress, this can change the look of your body shape, so keep this in mind.
  2. Consider your hair – if you’re styling your hair, make sure the hat still fits. If you’re wearing your hair loose, ensure the hat suits the style.
  3. For those with wider faces, choose a hat with more volume or a heavier fabric. If you have a small or narrow face, a bulky hat will only make it look smaller, so choose a more delicate hat.
  4. Think about your skin tone. For pale skin, a warmer colour would be best. For very dark skin, avoid black or dark hats.
  5. If you’re unsure, choose a hat with a brim that extends forwards. It’s the most flattering style so you can’t go far wrong. This type of hat should be avoided if you wear glasses, in which case you should wear the brim turned up.
  6. For large noses or other large features, choose a hat with an impression of forward movement and add front trimmings.
  7. Try to avoid a brim wider than your shoulders, unless your height or outfit can balance it out.
  8. Your hat needs to look great from all angles, including behind, so get a friend to take a picture of you from the back before you buy it.
  9. Use your hat to create a pop of colour if the rest of your outfit is dark or plain.
  10. Choose your outfit before you choose a hat. It’s much easier to match the hat to the outfit and not the other way around.


Hat are not optional; they must be worn in the Royal Enclosure at the Royal Ascot meeting.

Fascinators are not permitted. An alternative would be a headpiece, but it must have a solid base of 4 inches (10 cm) or more in diameter.


If you’re wearing your hair down and wearing a hat, make sure you tuck it behind your ear as this looks the most flattering. If you have a fringe, choose a hat that sits across your hairline such as a breton hat with a short back brim.


Pictured top, left to right: The Portia Hat, vintage 1940s boater style, £310 from Maggie Mowbray Hats (Etsy); Jan, large sinamay saucer hat with cabachon roses and spadonas, £180 from Ostentatia (Etsy); Limone, origami side beret with collaged Mattise inspired design, £670 from Laura Aspit Livens.

Foundation by Laura Aspit Livens, ‘Semi-Construct’ SS17 Collection

The Ophelia Mini Trilby Hat, £280 from Maggie Mowbray Hats (Etsy)

Contour by Laura Aspit Livens, ‘Semi-Construct’ SS17 Collection


Measure around your head, and use the chart below to work out your official hat size.

HINT: if you’re doing big hair on the day, remember to account for that when picking a hat size.

Measure the circumference of your head in inches or centimetres. Don’t pull the measuring tape too tight, otherwise your hat will be a tight fit. You should measure around the spot just above your ears.

Now consult the chart below to determine your size.

Inches21 1/421 5/822 1/223 1/42424 7/8
UK Hat Sizes6 5/86 3/477 1/47 1/27 3/4
USA Hat Sizes6 3/46 7/87 1/87 3/87 5/8

7 7/8

We hope that reading our guide ‘How to find your Ideal Hat’ has helped – so if you’ve used this information to find your perfect hat, please come and show us by posting it on our Facebook Page!

For further racing fashion tips, plus advice for men, which hat to choose for your face shape, and summer make-up suggestions, see our Summer  Racing Fashion Guide 2017.

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