If you love hats and have been invited to a wedding, you’re in luck — especially if you’ve been wondering “can you wear a hat to a wedding?”
You sure can. In fact, wearing a hat to a daytime wedding is not only appropriate but is sure to add a touch of style to your look — if you’re wearing the right kind of hat, that is.
Ladies can emulate the likes of the Princess of Wales Kate Middleton while gents can get their inspiration from old-time Hollywood great Humphrey Bogart. One thing both of these style icons share is the ability to choose flattering and appropriate hats.
Need to know more? Read on to learn how to wear the right hat for any style of wedding.
Can You Wear a Hat to a Wedding? (How to Choose the Right Hat)
Whatever you choose to wear at a wedding, making sure your hat perfectly complements your ensemble is vital. Apart from matching it with your outfit, you should also match it to your body type.
Helpful hints for female guests
1. Tall ladies
If you’re tall, choosing a wide-brim hat will create a balanced silhouette. Be sure to avoid hats with a lot of flowers or feathers that will add to your height.
2. Petite ladies
If you’re 5’4 or shorter and have a slim or average build, a smaller hat will match your proportions. Avoid very wide brims and opt for a small or medium brim so you’re not lost under your hat.
3. Full-figured ladies
If you have a large build or are very curvy, avoid small fascinators and opt instead for a wider brim to match your proportions. A small-brimmed hat won’t do justice to your curves.
Tips for male guests
1. Tall men
Tall men who are thin or of average build should avoid hats that have a high crown, short brim or matching hat band. A hat that has a medium to low crown and a wider brim will add breadth rather than height to your already svelte figure.
2. Shorter men
If you’re below average height, wearing a hat will elongate your body — but only if you choose the right style. Avoid wide crowns and brims, which will make you look wider rather than taller. Instead, opt for a crown with a pinched point and a shorter brim. This gives the illusion of extra height and will flatter your silhouette.
3. Larger men
If you have a large build, you will need a hat to match. Wearing a small hat with a narrow crown and short brim, will make you look wider. For a slimming effect, choose a larger brimmed hat with a medium crown that will flatter your proportions.
If you’re looking for in-depth advice, this video from the Gentleman’s Gazette will definitely steer you in the right direction.
Wedding Hat Etiquette: The Dos and Don’ts
While wedding hat etiquette differs greatly for men and women, there is one rule that applies to both — don’t wear a hat to an evening wedding (any ceremony held at 6 p.m. or later) To avoid any other hat faux pas, be sure to follow our list of dos and don’ts to the letter.
1. Do wear your hat indoors if you wish — Your hat is a part of your outfit, so you won’t need to remove it indoors, not even in a church.
2. Do be mindful of other religious traditions — If you’re attending a wedding held in a different place of worship, you may be expected to remove your hat before the service begins.
3. Do follow the mother-of-the-bride’s example — If the MOB removes her hat, etiquette requires you to do the same.
4. Do be considerate of others — If your hat is large or tall, be mindful of where you sit. It’s always in bad taste to block someone’s view.
5. Don’t outshine the bride — When choosing your hat for the big day, it’s important to choose a hat that is elegant and understated rather than one that will grab everyone’s attention. You should also avoid wearing white, ivory or metallics.
1. Do remove your hat indoors — Men are expected to go bare-headed, especially in a church, but also at the reception venue.
2. Do be a gentleman — Men should always remove their hats when speaking to a lady. In formal situations like weddings, old-fashioned manners still apply.
How to Choose a Hat for a Wedding
Unless you’re used to wearing hats, you may need a few pointers on what type of hat to wear for different styles of weddings. Our guide will help you find something perfect for the next wedding you attend.
If you’re going to a daytime wedding that you know will be posh, wearing a hat will give your wedding attire an extra boost on the sophistication scale. Female guests can choose from a wide array of styles as long as they are tasteful and elegant. Male guests will be best served by a fedora.
Here are four elegant choices for the next upscale wedding you attend.
- Fascinator with Feathers and Satin Headband (featured above)
- Organza Hat
- Red Pillbox Fascinator
- Silky Pork Pie Hat
Church or formal daytime wedding
If you’re attending a formal daytime or church ceremony, wearing a hat can really elevate your outfit. Your style choices really are endless, but be sure to choose a hat that is elegant and compliments your outfit.
Here are our top picks for glamorous yet affordable hats.
- Feather Flower Striped Sun Hat (featured above)
- Glitter Floral Ladies Kentucky Derby Bucket Cloche Hat
- Fascinators Hats
- Black Borsalino Polar Fleece Hat
Beach or casual outdoor wedding
If you’re attending a beach wedding, or any outdoor wedding with a casual vibe, then wearing a hat is not just a style choice, but a practical one too. Not only will it protect your face from the rays of the sun, but it will keep your hair from getting mussed if it’s breezy.
Here are our favorite options for an outdoor ceremony or a wedding on the beach.
- Kentucky Derby Hat (featured above)
- Women’s Wide Brim Straw Hat
- Wide Brim Straw Sun Hat
- Panama Straw Hat
Garden or dressy casual outdoor wedding
Nothing is more gorgeous than a garden wedding, so why not celebrate that with some appropriate headwear?
Ladies should choose a hat that is both ladylike and practical. As cute as a fascinator may be, a wider brim hat will work better for outdoor nuptials. Not only will it protect your eyes from the sun’s glare but it will ensure you don’t burn. Men can opt for a wide-brimmed fedora-style hat in straw or a lightweight fabric.
These four hats are perfect for a garden or dressy casual outdoor wedding.
- Khaki Women’s Polypropylene Kentucky Derby Hat (featured above)
- Women’s Ascot Hat
- Kentucky Derby Wedding Hat
- Handmade Summer Fedora Straw Hat
A country wedding doesn’t necessarily mean cowboy hats. Unless you live in Texas or have been invited to a cowboy-style wedding, opt for something a bit more formal. These four hats are all elegant choices.