Archive | Hats RSS feed for this section

Warm up with winter accessories

16 Nov

With the end of daylight saving time everyone’s gearing up for the change in seasons. Our closets may be packed with cozy sweaters and down jackets, but winter preparation isn’t complete without cold weather shoes and accessories. Here are some ideas on incorporating accessory trends to stay stylishly warm in wet and frosty conditions.

Other than a good coat, shoes are one of the main components of dress that can determine whether you’ll be dry and toasty for the day, or drenched and freezing. Warm boots are an essential. Cute rainboots are a great pick for rainy fall days, but when the temperature drops, you’ll want something both stylish and functional. When shopping for a winter boot, you’ll want to look for enough insulation to keep your toes warm, so check the lining and insole material. Shearling wool makes for a warm and comfortable option as does thermal material such as Thinsulate.

Mid-height snow boots, such as these ones from Sorel, make for a more casual look.

Mid-height snow boots, such as these ones from Sorel, make for a more casual look.

In addition to lining material, ensure your winter boots are waterproof and have enough traction. Wet leaves and icy sidewalks can easily lead to slips, so if you feel your favourite winter boots are doing more sliding than strolling, take them into a shoe repair shop to replace the outsole. Since you want to keep in heat, opt for slim fit bottoms to tuck into your winter boots. Pairing leggings, skinny jeans or tights with your boots will create a less bulky look. For a trendy option, try combat boots. Punk and grunge are huge for this season. Rock some combat boots with tartan jeans and a leather jacket for a punk style. Or portray a grungier sensibility by wearing combat boots with an oversized cardigan, babydoll dress and black tights.

For scarves, circular versions are still a popular option, whether as an infinity scarf or a snood. Snoods are tubular neckwear that can be either worn as a scarf, or pulled over the head and lower face like a hood. Whereas infinity scarves are usually wrapped around the neck several times snoods are a simpler, yet just as stylish, alternative. Scarves are a great way to add a pop of colour to an otherwise neutral ensemble, so go for chunky knit scarf or snood in a bold hue this winter. If you want to sport one of this season’s trends try wearing a plaid scarf. Plaids, checks, tartans and houndstooth are hot patterns for fall and winter, and accessories are the perfect area to try out a trend. Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns in your outfit — the key is to find patterned items with a similar colour palette.

Change up your scarf routine with a chunky snood.

Change up your scarf routine with a chunky snood.

Just like a colourful scarf can provide some much needed brightness to dreary grey days, the same can be said for a fun winter hat. One easy-to-wear trend is a slouchy beanie. Also known as a tuque, look for beanies that are close-fitting around the head and loose on top for a slouchy style. Flattering for most face shapes, tuques are available in a variety of material, colours and patterns. Find one that expresses your sense of style or personality so you’ll be more likely to grab it before heading out the door.

Cure the winter blahs with a fun, colourful tuque.

Cure the winter blahs with a fun, colourful tuque like this mustard version from Zara.

Gloves are another winter accessory essential. While fitted leather gloves are a timeless and elegant choice, a more practical idea may be capacitive gloves for frequent smartphone users. The capacitive threads in the fingertips will allow you to use your touchscreen devices, so now you’ll be able to change your music selection or reply a text without exposing your hands to the elements.

Dressing for the cold weather doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Incorporating fashionable, yet functional, winter accessories into your wardrobe will allow you to stay chic even in subzero temperatures.

[Article first appeared in the Nov. 13 issue of Richmond Review.]

Advertisements

Hot weather style

18 Aug

With the temperature rising and everyone trying to get the most out of the remaining summer days, it can be easy for fashion to fall by the wayside and throw on any old tank and shorts combo. But with some tips and tricks, it can be just as simple to be stylishly cool in hot weather. And while our weather stays pretty mild compared to cities like Bangkok or Las Vegas, it doesn’t hurt knowing how to dress to beat the heat in case of spontaneous trips to hot and humid locales.

When it comes to hot weather, it’s always a good idea to skip the skinny jeans and go for flowy, loose-fitting garments. It’ll help circulate air around your body and keep fabric away from your skin, which is also what makes textured fabrics so appealing. Clothes made out of textured material such as linen, seersucker and madras are favourites for summer because they allow the skin to breathe rather than suffocate under tight, unbreathable fabrics like polyester. Especially in summer, try to wear clothes made out of natural fibres rather than synthetic. Cotton is always a good choice for casual looks. If you need a dressier outfit, go for silk. Items with sheer panels and lace will also allow any breeze to pass through.

Keep cool with one of summer's hottest trends, the maxi skirt.

Keep cool with one of summer’s hottest trends, the maxi skirt.

As for actual pieces, sundresses were made for summertime. Casual and feminine, it’s an easy outfit that doesn’t require much coordination — just slip on a pair of sandals. Maxi dresses and skirts are popular options for the season too. For a more sophisticated yet comfortable ensemble, try pairing a boxy shirt with pale linen pants. It’ll take you from an elegant brunch to a nighttime stroll along the beach. For a more eclectic look, try colourful kaftans and tunics made out of cotton or linen. Avoid unnecessary layering since that’s just additional fabric that will add to the heat. Also check your skirts and dresses for lining material. Linings made with satin or polyester will trap in heat.

Whether at an air conditioned office or a more formal event, look chic with a linen blazer.

Whether at an air conditioned office or a more formal event, look chic with a linen blazer.

For colours, it’s probably common knowledge at this point that pale and pastel colours are better in reflecting sunlight. So for those hot summer days, try to stay away from dark colours as it absorbs light and heat. A favourite I always make sure to have multiple versions of is a casual white dress. Not only does it scream summer, it’ll also contrast nicely with your tan and go along well with any bright accessories. It might also be a good idea to avoid colours that will make sweat patches more apparent, such as grey.

Aside from sunglasses, which are a necessity for this time of year, I always like to keep accessories to a minimum in hot weather since it’s just one more item that will be sticking to my skin. One way to show off your sense of style without bulky accessories is with nail colour. Fun vibrant colours are perfect for summer festivities. Another stylish but practical way to incorporate accessories is with straw hats. The material will let heat escape from your head while keeping your face in the shade. Try adding a floppy style hat to your look for a chic touch.

Stay in the shade wherever you go with a straw hat.

Stay in the shade wherever you go with a straw hat.

For makeup, avoid heavy layers of coverage for the summer and opt for a natural, dewy look instead. Sometimes a combination of tinted moisturizer, little cream blush, mascara and lip balm is all you need. Or skip the blush and go for a bronzer to give your skin a healthy glow. Whatever you put on your skin, make sure to slather on sunscreen first!

[Article first appeared in the August 14 issue of Richmond Review.]

Hats off to headwear

19 Feb

Hats and headwear made a big statement on the runways for the upcoming spring season. Whether it was the dramatic black hats seen at Alexander McQueen, whimsical animal ears spotted on the models at Anna Sui or biker caps at DSquared2, there were hats for every personality and style. Not only does the perfect hat take your outfit up a notch, it’s also great for covering up bad hair days and keeping your head warm during the colder months.

Alexander McQueen spring 2013

Alexander McQueen spring 2013

One hat trend that’s easy to wear and fantastic for the winter is a slouchy beanie, otherwise known as a tuque. Close-fitting around the head and loose on top, slouchy beanies come in a variety of colours, patterns and knits. Wool fedoras are also a popular, albeit more formal, option for this time of year. Try finishing off your outfit with a fedora at night if you want a dressy, polished look. For even more glamour, you can accessorize with a wide-brim felt hat, as seen at the Saint Laurent show — designer Hedi Slimane topped off his rocker chic models with 70s-inspired floppy hats in neutral tones.

Saint Laurent spring 2013

Saint Laurent spring 2013

An alternate approach to picking hats other than trying the trends is to go with one that will suit your face shape. Much like a hairstyle or a pair of glasses, hats can also help in flattering and framing the face. For oval faces, you’re in luck! Just like haircuts, oval faces are suited to most types of hats. Try a beanie without too much excess fabric at the top so you don’t elongate the face. To complement longer faces, stick to big circular hats such as thick beanies and Russian fur hats. Oblong faces also work well with curved brims like ones found on newsboy caps, cloches and floppy hats. You want to add width, not height, to your face. Another trick is to pull the hat forward to cover more of the forehead.

Look cool while keeping your head warm with this slouchy beanie from ASOS.

Look cool while keeping your head warm with this slouchy beanie from ASOS.

For round faces, look for rigid, structured hats with angled brims and aren’t too circular at the crown. You want to add angles instead of roundness. Fedoras, newsboy and conductor caps are great for rounder faces. If your face is more heart-shaped, try slouchy beanies or berets to balance out and soften angles of the jawline and cheeks. Heart-shaped faces are also best suited to hats with medium-sized brims such as cloches, as shorter ones tend to enlarge the forehead and longer brims will make small chins appear pointier. And for faces with square jawlines, opt for feminine hats with large brims and curved crowns, like trilbies, floppy hats and bowlers.

Get ready for spring with a straw trilby from Topshop.

Get ready for spring with a straw trilby from Topshop.

To prevent hat hair, choose hats made from natural fabrics like cotton, wool and cashmere. They’re less likely to cause unruliness from sweating of the head. Also take into consideration how snug the hat fits: tight beanies are more likely to cause hat hair while slouchy, loose berets are less likely to. Control flyaways and static with hairspray after wearing your hat. Spray some into your hand and run it over your hair for flyaways, and into the roots for a boost of volume. Those with short hair can also put in some volumizer before donning a cap. For longer haired ladies, you can pull your hair into a loose bun under a hat. Once it comes off, you’ll have waves since the hat insulates heat.

Baseball caps at DKNY spring 2013.

Baseball caps at DKNY spring 2013.

Hats are an easy addition to change up an outfit. Just think of the different styles conveyed when a hat is worn with a simple jeans and tee look: glam with a fedora, androgynous with a newsboy cap, or even urban chic with a baseball cap as seen at DKNY. Play around with how the hat sits on your head, tilting it for different angles to find the right balance for your face. You can also individualize your hats with brooches, ribbons and studs. Like any accessory, hats can be an extension of your mood and style — have fun with them!

[Article first appeared in the Feb. 13 issue of Richmond Review.]