Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And the bride wore.... A HAT?

Dear ESB,

I've been going back and forth on whether I should wear a hat at my wedding in September, and now is the time to decide. On the one hand, wide-brim hats make me feel instantly glamorous. On the other hand, I don't want to look like I'm emulating Fergie's daughters (or the royal wedding in any way).

In the end, the practical consideration that trumps trendiness is that the wedding will be held outdoors at 4 p.m. in early September -- and I have this problem where if I'm out in the sun for any amount of time without a hat in the summer, I get a migraine. So basically, I need to set up a tent or shaded arbor, carry a parasol, or wear a hat.

Here is my dress. I'd like a hat that serves its core hat purpose (not some silly fascinator), but is a little nicer than your standard straw (though I have and love the purple one you can find in these pics). I'm thinking grey or silver, to match the dress's ribbons at waist and knee. I would be very open to color, but we don't really have wedding colors other than that the bridesmaids' dresses all have some green in them. Finally, I would rather not spend more than $200. I realize that this may be a fantasy, but do you have any leads?

Thank you!


I really wanted to say don't wear a fucking hat. I mean. You're the bride. Make some SHADE for fuck's sake. Leave the hats to the quirky guests.

But then I remembered Bianca.

And so, with the help of the twitterverse, I looked at EVERY HAT IN THE ENTIRE INTERNET.

And I concluded that you really ought not wear a hat. They're all stupid ugly, and besides, if you use a hat to shield your face from the sun you'll also be blocking your face from your guests.

Make some shade. (Did I say that already?) Visit the ceremony site at 4pm a day or two before the wedding to see where the sun is falling and plan accordingly. There may already be a spot of shade you can set up the altar in.

Fallback: This is the least worst thing I found in your price range, but unless you get something custom-dyed there's a pretty good chance it'll clash with your dress.


  1. Our Sept. wedding was outside at 2:30 PM and it was really sunny. The majority of our ceremony pictures are of both of us squinting like crazy at each other. Happy, blissful, wedding-y squinting...but still squinting all the same. And we had a "shady" arbor thing, which didn't do its job at all.

    I actually think that a hat could be really pretty with your dress and would fit the garden-y/tea-time feeling that your bridesmaids dresses have. But, yeah, it takes the right hat...and that's not easy to find.

    Here are a few that I think could work, especially if you dressed them up a little with some satin ribbon or maybe even a waft of veil across the front (sorta like this):

    Specimen one

    Things to think about, though: If it's windy at all....there could be a problem. And please please don't forget to look up at your groom! It would be a shame to hide all that bridal-glow under the hat brim for the whole ceremony!

  2. I say fuck it. go all out

  3. She's Canadian, and I'm not sure about the shipping options, but I love all of the Lilliput Hats (and they are very flattering, they just seem to fit one's head properly). Most of her hats are around your price range.

  4. I think a hat is going to take your dress from Modern Jane Austen to full-on Southern Belle. Not my taste at all, but maybe yours.

    I think Bianca's hats looked chic because she rocked a specific streamlined, fashion-forward look.

  5. Ok, more. Slightly less helpful, however.
    This hat is beautiful, but sold out. You might be able to find someone selling it used on ebay, though!
    This post has some pretty hats too...anyone know where they're from?

  6. I think it might make kissing awkward, and if you want to take it off later (which you would), there is a risk of hat hair.

  7. I love hats, I truly do, but I have to agree with ESB on this all the way. A hat will totally casualize (new word I just made up) and distract from that gorgeous and presumably not inexpensive dress.

  8. Umm how about you wear a parasol? One of those lacy ones to go with the Jane Austen kind of look? I have some pics, I can send to you if you like. Let me know.

  9. I think the option of a hat is pretty dependent on hair, too. Anything to sleek or pulled back and you'll look like a fussy snoot but anything too loose/curly and you're straight up channeling the Kentucky Derby. I don't think it's a wretched idea, but choose wisely.

    And while I normally balk at fedoras, @carrijoe's lilliput suggestion has a kinda cool wide-brimmed one (large fedora) eking in at $195.

    God there are some seriously fucking hideous hats out there.

  10. I agree with ESB and – Amanda! What about a nice parasol?
    Because you will kill yourself after seeign all pictures of the ceremony on which your face is covered by the shadow of the damn hat ... really. No joke! Greets, Heidi

  11. Yes to parasol but not to vintage lace. Too much lace, lets get some color going on.


  12. Maybe I'm crazy but I love the parasol idea.

  13. Yes to a parasol. No to a hat. You will be fussing over it, worrying about your hair, getting sweaty (sweatier) under it.

    I would rent an umbrella/parasol, like this mint green one, for $20.

    Easy. Cheap. DONE.

  14. If you wear a hat with this dress, all I would see is Audrey Hepburn at the horce races yelling at her horse to " move her bloomin ass!"

    Normally Audrey is wonderful inspiration, but this is not her finest fashion moment.

    Vintage Asian parasol would be a much less cheesy option.

  15. I agree with ESB on the shade. Parasols can be cumbersome and if you also hold flowers things could get a bit complicated when ring-exchange time comes.

    You don't have to be Jewish to have a Chuppah. Just call it a "Wedding Canopy" or "Marriage Cabana" or "Matrimony Tent". If it needs to be portable just attach a piece of fabric to four poles and have your wedding party hold it over you or stick the poles in flower pots so it will stand on it's own. If you're not into the DIY thing you can rent them (and those probably won't blow over).

    If you put "wedding canopy" or Chuppah into google images you'll get a gazillion pics but here's a few examples:

    hand held

    simple rustic

    draped fabric

  16. As someone who also gets migraines in direct sunlight, here is my advice:
    1. create some shade
    2. still wear a hat or have a parasol on stand-by
    3. try to stand with your face away from the sun as much as you can (this might make your husband/officiant face the sun, but if there is created shade so they aren't squinting, this should be fine).

    As long as you don't have the brim of your hat pulled down low, your face won't be a shadowy reference to Carmen Sandiego in your pictures. Creating some shade will help keep you from pulling the brim down instinctively.

    Also, in hats, always look for something where the brim provides shade, but pulls away from your face. Your peripheral vision should not be obstructed (other than upwards). I love wide brimmed fedoras, or cloche hats with brims that can be flipped up on one or both sides. Go to a hat store to check out styles you like, and then check out Etsy!

  17. wear an asshat, later that night.

  18. You can check out vintage hats on ebay like this one

    but I think you'll wear yourself out trying to find something there, or you might have to spray paint one white (yikes).

    Another option is to sew your own

  19. Hats are hot.
    If we can't see your face it isn't hot and you become the headless hatswoman.
    Parasol? I'm actually liking the idea but agree with @Dawn on the awkwardness of holding flowers, rings, and a parasol but you have a few bridesmaids that have some extra hands. But if you are putting them to work holding your parasol why not but them to work holding a chuppah?
    This is your day, you are the queen, and as long as you don't act like a MQB the wedding party SHOULD be happy to provide you with some shade.
    But hats are HOT and the kissing will figure itself out.

  20. Totally disagree with ESB. Wear the SAME kind of hat you linked to, but obv. not purple. not silver.

    it will be fantastic.

  21. Wear a freaking hat if you want to! May I look at my wedding photos in 10 to 20 years and think "what the hell was I thinking?!"

  22. If you are looking for an one of a kind hat
    This french designer Albane d'Argence makes custom pieces. She is able to adapt to your requests and well in your budget even wacky ones here are some of her work.

    I'll be wearing one next Saturday at a friend wedding near Bordeaux, and the bride is wearing one too if you wish to check out pictures.

  23. Thank you, everyone! This has been extremely helpful, although it is causing me some indecision that you are almost evenly split between hat, NO HAT, and parasol. Though I love some of the hats linked (especially the Lilliput ones), I think I am going to take ESB's advice and make some shade. Hat hair and wind are both highly valid concerns.

    @Dawn, thank you for giving us permission to copy the Chuppah. Really, this has been my secret desire all along, but I feared cultural appropriation. Wedding canopy here we come!

    @Ana, I love your three-step plan. I am going to look for a nice parasol to keep on hand in case of sun.

    @Anonymous 8:17, that's funny because my hidden fascination with hats MIGHT trace back to that movie. MAYBE.

  24. How effing awful. Don't wear a stupid hat. Bad. Just bad. Get a parasol. You can rent or buy.

  25. And regarding the holding too much stuff issue with a parasol, you could always walk down the aisle a la P Diddy or whatever his name is now:

    I'm only half kidding.

  26. A hat with that dress would be stupid.
    Ditto a parasol. A parasol?! Lame.

  27. Parasols are ace. You know what's *really* lame? Getting a migraine on your wedding day. Seriously, I shudder at the thought.

    I wouldn't do a chuppa OP, but a gazebo or arch of some description sounds like a plan. Say a simple birch stake frame driven into the ground and draped with muslin or lace.