I own a Gourmet Bakery/Tea Shop called La Dolce in Aiken, South Carolina. We serve Afternoon Tea and High Tea as part of our menu. I'm often asked if hats are required for our Teas, mostly because so many tell me they "can't wear hats". Of course hats aren't required, but I encourage my customers to wear one.
I personally love hats and I believe that anyone can wear a hat. You just have to choose one that looks well with your face shape and hair style. I'm sure I own 50+ hats and wear some often, many at least several
times a year, a few only rarely, and I would never give any of them up.
My face shape is square and my hair is short with bangs. I have tried on hundreds of hats, and I have a milliner in England that designs hats specially for me. What I have learned is that for my particular face and hair I need a hat with a wide brim. It doesn't have to be huge, but definitely a brim all the way around.
Here are some pictures of a variety of different style hats. Wearing a hat that fits properly and is set on the head at the right angle are critical. My milliner in England says "a wide brimmed hat should be worn slightly tilted to the right and forward".
If you have a heart shaped face or a narrow oval, you can easily wear a more fitted hat like the red ones above. I would also recommend learning the colors that work best with your skin tone. Hats, like the rest of your clothing should be in colors that compliment you.
You will be amazed at the compliments you receive when you are wearing a hat that looks good on you. I have found that men especially like women in hats.
I wonder if the custom of "air kissing" or "cheek kissing" in Europe began because of the complication of kissing with a hat on? Hmmm, something to research for a future post.
Happy Tea Times,