Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hat Hair

In response to a comment on a recent post, I thought I'd do a quick guide about styling long hair for wearing a hat. Wearing a hat with long hair can be tricky, as the hairstyle needs to work in harmony with the hat, or the hat looks like it's been simply thrown on.

You can find some tips in a 1947 article I posted last year, Your Hat and Your Hair, which offers guidance on styling your hair to suit the style of hat.

I thought I'd share the styles which I've found work well for me with various styles of hat. Most hats look best with the hair around the face upswept, so I usually either twist or roll the front of my hair.

Twisting the front is the simplest and quickest, and works great for hats worn either forward or further back on the head. To make the look, just section off the front couple of inches of hair from the parting. Then you literally just twist the hair - towards the parting - and pin into place with two crossed kirbigrips (bobby pins). I have very thick hair so I don't backcomb or add any product, but if you have fine hair you might find something like a volumising mousse or backcombing helps to give it a bit more body.

Victory rolls is a great treatment for the front section of hair if you don't have a fringe (bangs). It works especially well for a 1940s feel, but doesn't look completely out of place with any look. You can play with the size and position so that they don't interfere with the placement of the hat. My parting isn't static either - it can be anywhere from centre to an exaggerated side parting. Sometimes I even switch it to the other side, if it works better with a hat.

Although I sometimes just roll one side, often I'll do both even if one is hidden by the hat. It can help give 1940s hats a little extra tilt, and the roll that ends up inside the crown also acts as an anchor to keep the hat in place - and provides something for a hat pin to skewer, if necessary.

While 1940s hats usually offer the option of having the back of the hair loose (in bouncy curls is most vintage-appropriate - you never see fashion illustrations of the era with hair hanging long and straight), 1930s and 1950s hats are inevitably designed to be worn over close-cropped hair, as was fashionable at the time. I often wear my hair in a tight bun at the nape of the neck, in an easy back roll or sometimes in Casey's romantic braided updo. I confess I'll also often take the easy route and pull it into a low ponytail - not very vintage, but my hair is too thick to fit in one of those barrette things which would be appropriate, so elastic has to do.


  1. I really do need to start wearing my hats more, thanks for the tips! X

  2. Thanks for these tips! I always go for (with more formal hats) simple twists or rolls, and with my more informal ones (which tend to be 60s-70s style) long hair swept back off the face.

    I've just chopped off my hair though... so will now have to re-think how I style my hats!

  3. I love hats but always get hat head and end up looking like Crystal Tips, which is why I favour hats that perch, unless I can guarantee I will be allowed to keep it on without question or requests to move it.

    I very much like the red rose one .. did you make that?

    1. Which one? I didn't make the one at the top, but I did make the second one - find out how here: how to make a vinyl record fascinator.

      xx Charlotte

    2. I meant the top one, I completely missed the rose on the other one, hehe, but I have been pondering over trying out the vinyl one!

  4. Ooh wonderful! It all went well, although hat pins were needed, they defeated the stage manager helping our actress with a really fast change and at one poit the daft thing went missing anyway backstage so I don't think the blue one even made it into the play *lesigh* but the other one I made DID so that is cool!

  5. Thanks for tips, about a week ago I was wondering how to wear a pillbox hat - looks really great with victory roll(s)!

  6. These hairstyles are gorgeous and your accessories are equally as attractive!
    -- Eden


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