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How to... ...Wear a hat; Can you wear a white hat to a wedding? And how can a hat make your face look slimmer? Welsh milliner Robyn Coles shares her tips.

1. Be comfortable A hat is often a sign of someone with confidence, so if you feel awkward you will probably look awkward, try as many styles on as possible until you find your ideal piece. 2. You are a hat person Contrary to some people thinking hats just don't suit them, there really is a style out there for anyone and everyone. 3. Girls allowed Traditional etiquette dictates it's appropriate for women to wear hats inside a church, but it's considered inappropriate for men. If a woman wears a hat into a theatre she may leave it on, unless it causes those behinds to strain their necks around it to see.

4. Keep the mystery Men normally remove their hats when entering a building or reaching their destination.

Removed hats are to be held in hand in such a way that shows only the outside - the lining ought never be visible. 5. Shorter people can wear hats It's often more flattering to go for a headpiece with an upwards lift which will give a few extra inches to your height as opposed to a big formal hat with a downwards facing brim which can dwarf you.

6. Consider your face shape Generally the following rules apply: | Square - Go for a wide-brimmed hat, particularly when worn at an angle or wearing the brim asymmetrically. | Wide - Try an 'off the face' style. Bretons or pillbox hats worn on the back of the head should all suit you.

Oval - Lucky you! This face shape can usually suit any hat. Wear hats straight across the brow or straight across your hairline. Make sure that the crown is never narrower than your cheekbones. This applies to all hat types.

Round - Bigger hats and those with brims worn at an angle.

Long - Brimmed, full hats. Tall narrow hats should be avoided.

7. Specs appeal If you wear glasses, try wearing your hat with the brim turned up, as it's more flattering. Brims that swoop up on one side and asymmetrical shapes will also complement your frames.

8. Hats can be used to disguise a hangover Just team with sunglasses.

Extra large hats can be also used as a social barrier to avoid kissing people you dislike at weddings. 9. It's not all-white Wearing white to a wedding is generally bad etiquette and this does extend to hats and head pieces.

However, I'm of the opinion that as long as you aren't top to toe in bridal colours it should be acceptable, just break it up with other colours.

It's also advisable to check these aren't the bridesmaids colours either.

10. Match the season Wool and felt hats are to be worn from September to February, and straw and sinamay hats ought to be worn from March to August. | Robyn Coles is available for consultations at her new pop-up shop at 29 Castle Arcade, Cardiff.

Open until December 24, bespoke hats are made on site and Robyn is also selling a new range of Welsh wool bobble hats.

For more information, go to


Milliner Robyn Coles
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 13, 2012
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