A long road trip, a day at the beach or pool, a garden tea-party, an elegant evening out under the skies, a river boat trip – these are all images that scream summer. And a boater hat is unquestionably cheerful and perfect for sunny days.
Furthermore, for all these events, you can express your sense of style any way you want and wear a magical boater hat to top off your outfit – it will make you look glamorous, even if you are dressed casually and just heading into town to run errands.
A brief history
Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was raised in an orphanage and taught to sew. She designed this humble hat in her twenties and she brought it to new fashion heights, just as she did with jersey fabric. Her nickname, Coco, came from her brief career as a singer when she sang in clubs such as Vichy and Moulins.
She was one of the most influential and innovative fashion designers of all times. With her trademark suits and little black dresses, Coco Chanel created timeless designs that are still popular today. She herself became a much-admired style icon known for her simple yet sophisticated outfits paired with great accessories, such as several strands of pearls and off course, her hats. As she once said: “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not a luxury.”
She opened her first shop on Paris’s Rue Cambon in 1910 where she started out selling her hats. But, her break came in 1912 when French actress Gabrielle Dorziat modeled her hats in F Noziere’s play ‘Bel Ami’. The publicity ensured that her hat line took off.
The Boater Hat was generally regarded as a warm-weather hat in the days when all men wore hats when out of doors. “Straw Hat Day” in the USA, was the day when men switched from wearing their winter hats to their summer hats. It was seen as a sign of the beginning of summer.
Boater hats were usually worn by men and were considered part of the formal dressing. They were also worn by fishermen and sailors generations ago. It is said that FBI agents wore them too as a sort of unofficial uniform in the pre-war years.
Boater hats are also known as basher, skimmer, Cady and Katie. Today they are worn by women too and they are the perfect fashion accessory. They are also ideal for themed occasions.
Coco Chanel in One of Her Timeless Suits, Pearls, and Boater Hat
How Is a Boater Hat Made
It is normally made of stiff sennit straw and has a stiff flat crown and brim. It is typically embellished with a two-tone ribbon around the crown. The top part of the hat is flat. Today the boater hat can also be made from materials such as lace, raffia or sometimes even canvas.
How to Wear Your Boater Hat
You can wear it slightly tilted – either to the front or to the side. Wearing it like this gives it a more modern edge. If you have long hair, you can leave your hair long, wear it to one side of your face, do an up-do or low bun. The hat sits perfectly on short hair.
- Wear a cream-colored hat with jeans short, jeans shirt with your sandals and clutch bag matching the cream hat. Add bright-colored accessories.
- Wear a cream and black hat with a maxi dress and sandals.
- The cream-colored wide brim boater hat is a perfect topping for a metallic dress.
- Wear a white and black wide brim boater hat with a black midi skirt and a formal white shirt.
- A crisp white dress turns chique with a white and black hat.
- A formal cream dress, matching colored handbag and brown leather sandals. Top it off with your cream wide brim hat and a string of pearls.
- For the younger generation a black boater hat, dark colored dress and black combat boots – it’s a fun look.
- For a feminine look, wear a beige boater hat with jeans shorts and a frilly blouse.
- You can also pair your boater hat with a colorful summer dress, such as one adorned with flowers.
- Look like you belong in the navy by pairing your boater hat with a stylish white and dark blue outfit, whether it be a suit or short white-and-blue pants with a matching elegant blouse.
It is true that a hat transforms an outfit and yes, they are good for bad hair days too. Plus they protect your face from the harmful sun.
If you’ve never worn a hat before, don’t hesitate to start now. People might look at you all the time, but don’t let that put you off – your hat really does make your outfit. And they are surely just jealous.