Free hat guide: what hat works best for me?

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We've all tried and tested hats, only to realise that they don't actually work with our face shape. Matching the appropriate hat with one's head can be difficult. For those who are fortunate enough to have an oval or somewhat triangular face, almost any hat will do the trick...for the rest of us, pay close attention as we answer the question 'what cap shape works for me?'


Men: Long Face

Try to find a hat that will shorten the appearance of a long face. We recommend that you wear a moderate height tapered crown with a moderate width brim. If the brim is too narrow or flat, it will overemphasize the long lines of your face. Experiment by wearing your hat tilted to the side and slightly to the back. And that's the long and the short of it.

Men: Square Face

Round hats tend to work best with square faces. Hats which have curves with rounded edges are the way to go. It's best to avoid a sharply tapered crown as it will overemphasize your strong jawline. Stay away from narrow brims, especially with a short snap.


Men: Short Face

What is the best choice for short faces? Wear a tapered crown in order to create the illusion of a longer face. If you're feeling bold, choose a high and narrow shape, worn with a slight back tilt and to the side. It's probably best to avoid a full crown, high crown with a band or a wide brim which hangs over the face.


Men: Round Face

A medium height full crown hat will balance out big facial proportions. Choose one with a narrow hatband, which will give the illusion of extra crown height, however don't wear it too far back on your head.


Men: All of the above

For those who remain unsatisfied with the above recommendations, fortunately there is an alternative option: 

The Flat Cap suits almost everybody. Although it’s particularly fetching on longer faces, this may still be the style for you...So whether you're George Clooney, a pig farmer, or somewhere in between - and you're still unsure about 'what cap shape works for me?'; choose a flat cap!


Baseball cap

A panelled cloth cap with a brim. The heroes of America's pastime made it famous in the early 1900s, and fans soon brought it off the field to make it the most popular casual style.



A tight-fitting, casual knit cap that's cosy and protects from cold. The Canucks call it a tuque.



A soft, wide, circular cap made from felt, felted jersey or fabric, sure to give the wearer an air of intelligence and timeless style.



A flat-topped hat with a small flat brim, traditionally made of stiffened straw. Some call it a skimmer, but by any name this hat will always be the quintessential summer style.



A large headdress with a deep brim and ribbons to tie under the chin. Think Pride & Prejudice and you'll have the right idea.


An oval hat with a round, rigid crown and a small, curved brim. If you're stateside, be sure to call it a derby - bowlers are strictly British.



The projecting edge of a hat, sometimes called a peak. Keep it low down for that air of mystery or up a bit higher for unmistakable confidence.


Brisa weave

A basket-type weave used for Panama hats. This highly efficient method makes for an extra-breathable hat, the perfect choice for long hours in the sunshine.



A hat with a small brim at the front. It could be an ivy, a Gatsby or a baseball - however you wear it, a cap is the perfect everyday choice.



From the French for “bell”, a close-fitting hat featuring a round crown and either no brim or a narrow, flared one. Originating in the 1920s, it was so popular it could be found atop the flapper and the temperance campaigner alike.

Cowboy hat

A fedora-style hat with a high crown and wide brim originally worn by cowhands in the American West.



The top part of a hat. It should be comfortably snug without fitting too tight - a headache is no one's friend.


Cut & sew

Hats sewn together from pieces of fabric using an existing pattern. Cut & sew describes most hats that aren't created using blocking.


A hunting cap with visors at the front and back and earflaps that can be tied up over the head. Put one on and you might find yourself doing some sleuthing - after all, it's Sherlock Holmes' signature hat.



Partially removing a hat as a sign of respect or greeting, the perfect way to say hello to friends and neighbours as you go about your day.



Putting a hat on one's head, something you must remember to do after doffing it to passer-by.




A brimmed hat with a tapered crown dented down the top. Named after the lead character in Victorian Sardou's 1882 drama Fedora, it has remained the Western world's favourite shape since its debut.


Cloth made from wool, fur or hair, compacted (felted) by rolling and pressing in the presence of heat and moisture.



A collapsible top hat named for its inventor, Antoine Gibus, whose hinged model solved the 1800s problem of bulky top hats crowding up coat check at the opera. For this reason, they are sometimes called opera hats.


Harris Tweed

Hand-woven tweed from Celtic isles of Ireland and Scotland. Known as the “Champagne of fabrics”, it is protected by an Act of Parliament that oversees use of the Harris Orb label to ensure authenticity.



Formal hat made of felt with a narrow, upturned brim and a depression in the top.



A cone of felt or straw for blocking hats, shaped into form in the blocking process.


Hair from a horse's mane or tail traditionally used for millinery. Now refers to a synthetic imitation of horse hair.


Jockey cap

Cloth cap with close-fitting 6-panel crown and wide brim at the front.



The craft of making hats, refined into an art form through hundreds of years of feathers, frills and felting.


Short fibres extending above the surface of cloth, creating a soft, downy effect. Luxurious velvet is a prime example of fine napped fabric.


Panama hat

A straw hat hand-woven in Ecuador. The craft of making Panamas has been passed down through generations for centuries.


Picture hat

A hat with a very wide, stiff brim, usually worn tipped back to frame the face. Also called a cartwheel or portrait hat, this bold headwear style has been a favourite of the fashionable since the early 1900s.


A small brimless hat with high, flat sides and a circular shape. It debuted in the 1910s but it hits stride in the 1950s. Did someone say Jackie O?


Pith helmet

A helmet of cork or pith (dried spongy tissue from the sola plant) and covered with cloth. Some call it a safari helmet in reference to the British imperialists who wore it in the plains and jungles of colonial Africa.



Natural straw from Madagascar sourced from the raffia palm, which has the biggest leaves of any palm variety.


A panelled cloth cap originating in elite British schools, now a casual and stylish alternative to the flat cap or cadet.


Stovepipe hat

A very tall 19th-century top hat made popular by President Lincoln. The style never recovered from his death, but its legacy lives on with its most famous wearer.


Top hat

A tall cylindrical hat with a narrow brim and the most popular among gentlemen of every sort until the bowler supplanted it in the late 1800s.



A 15th-century British term for hats, coined in a time when headwear was often more fashionable than functional.


Woolrich tweed

Manufactured in the oldest continuously running American wool mill, Woolrich is considered the premium American tweed.

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