Manitoba Chapters of the Red Hat Society



One of the most frequently asked questions about hats is “What style of hat should I wear to suit my face?”

If you have a small face it is best not to wear a hat with a very large crown and brim. If you have a large face, do not wear a crown and brim that hugs your face, as these will emphasize your features.

People who wear glasses often choose hats with swept-up brims, as this takes the attention away from the glasses and does not come into contact with them as much.



Sometimes it takes a bit of adjusting to make a hat look its best. Try a few of these tips:
1. If you keep touching your hat and pushing it up off your forehead and off your ears, or if it blows off with the slightest breeze, it does not fit properly! Don't despair! There are some logical, practical and inexpensive solutions:

- Use safety pins (one or two will do) on the inside ribbon of the crown to tighten the fit; that is where the expression "pinhead" came from.

- Purchase self-adhesive weather stripping or Dr. Scholl's pads and place them inside the crown. Tape it in to check the size before permanently applying it.

- Go to a store that carries VCR's. Find the pads used under them so they don't scratch tables, etc. These self-adhesive pads are thick and firm enough without being hurtful to the head. Get the long narrow shape, about 2 inches long, approximately 10 per package. DON'T get the dots. If you go to Wal-Mart, these strips will be found in the hardware section, near the picture hangers and other pads used to keep items from scratching surfaces.

- Leave your hat on for at least 5 minutes: If you feel pressure, it is too small. If it slips or shifts when you turn your head side to side, it is too large.

Follow this rule of thumb:

1. If you can slide an index finger between your head and the hat, it fits correctly.

2. Try wearing it at different angles. Sometimes it will even look better worn backwards!

3. Try wearing your hair differently under the hat. If you have long hair, try an up-do, a bun or a French twist.

4. Stuff tissue paper, paper towel, or plastic bags into the crown and try it on again to see if it looks better when it sits higher on the head

5. If the hat is too large or it looks better sitting higher on the head, try wearing a headband or scarf tied around your head under the hat. (Or use one of the above methods to make it smaller.)


If you are one of those talented ladies who can create your own original designs from a basic hat, this section's for you!

There are few crises that can't be completely forgotten, at least for a little while, while you're trimming a hat.

Working with different types of hats:
Natural straw hats tend to be fairly stiff and tend to shed. They don't easily reshape. Mixed fibre hats have more "give" in the crown, allowing for changing the position of the brim and packing.

Finding the right trim:

1. Watch for items that might look interesting on a hat, e.g. Christmas garland, broaches, belt buckles, feathers. Shop at dollar stores, craft stores or fabric stores.

2. Utilize all types of hats as your base, e.g. straw hats, felt hats, men's hats, cowboy hats, etc.

3. Work with unusual materials, e.g. floral wire to hold pieces of material, vials to fill with fresh flowers, oil paint to draw designs, spray paint or fabric paint to change the colour of the hat entirely, paper towel rolls to hold hat while decorating it.

4. Fasten decorations on your hat with hot glue or sew them on.

5. Take a smaller hat and fit it over the crown of another. Two hats can be better than one!

6. Choose a theme to make a memorable hat, e.g. 1st of July; Christmas, Halloween...

7. Stiffen flowers by making a mix of white glue (the kind used for woodworking) and water (one teaspoon glue to a little bit of water). Don't thin it out too much. Generously paint it on to the petals and let dry OR use clear matte finish Krylon (available at art stores, craft centres, and paint departments).

REMEMBER - A little ingenuity, a glue gun, and a mirror go a long way in stretching the pocketbook and increasing the number of hats in your closet, without sacrificing style. In most cases, it enhances it.

- Trimmings must be securely fastened with either a secret safety pin or two, fixed from inside, or simply basting with thread.

- If your hat matches your shoes and purse and gloves, you are a HEAD of the rest. Being "coordinated" gives you the most bang for your buck - and you lucky, crafty ladies have the talent to get it.


Sure wish we could hang our hats as we hang our purses!  NEVER PLACE YOUR HAT ON ITS BRIM!

Either use a hat stand or place it upside down on a shelf or in a hatbox and stuff the crown with tissue paper to hold its shape.

Always store unused hats with crowns supported, preferably placed in a hat box and put in a warm dry place, stuff the crown with tissue paper, put the hat into a plastic bag.

Do not stack one hat on top of the other. Doing so can cause the hat's shape to be distorted. It will definitely crush the trim.

For long storage periods, place hat in hatbox (cardboard or cloth covered). For temporary storage, use a hat stand.

Hats with upturned or pancake-flat brims may be stored flat, right side up.

Hats with down-turned, dipped or sloped brims are best stored "floating" on a ball of tissue lightly stuffed into the crown.

Some square-crowned (flat top) hats may be stored upside down.

Store hats so that there is not undue pressure on any delicate trimmings; use a hat stand, if there are elaborate decorations or feathers which stick up above the crown.

Remember: Your goal is to keep the weight of the hat off the brim.

Hatboxes: They protect a hat from crowding, dust, dust mites, light, moisture, and heat. You may wish to add a sachet.

Hat stands: Either buy a decorative one or save the stands that hold paper  towels. Be sure to protect your hat from strong light and dust often with a soft brush. Consider using a container to store your hats.


If you just want hats for sightseeing, invest in the crushable variety! If you have special hats that go with special ensembles for special events where you're headed, fill the crown with tissue paper and put it in a plastic bag. Place it topside up in the middle of your suitcase. Surround brim with tissue paper or rolled up underwear and socks.


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