Philip Treacy explains how to choose the perfect hat

 Pale complexion

Your colouring

pale skin needs a warm colour such as fuchsia or Bordeaux

Your figure

if you’re petite, choose a narrow brim with a high crown to add height; a tall woman can carry off most styles, but should be careful to avoid a hat that looks too small. I never stick to the rule that says the brim shouldn’t be wider than the shoulders, but the crown should never be narrower than the cheekbones. Always use a full-length mirror to check the proportions

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 Petite figureTall figure


Your accessories
Matching hat and bag

the received wisdom is to match the shoe with the hat, but I feel this makes the wearer look shorter; instead, match the bag with the hat A hat is an indicator of yourself, of your personality you will know if it’s right. Are you happy in it? Do you smile when you look in the mirror? Are your eyes sparkling?


Your features

small perching hats, such as beanos, suit heart-shaped faces; a full sweeping brim, or one with a trim that lifts the eye, will soften a rectangular face; broad and angled brims with a wide crown will narrow a round face; and almost any shape suits an oval face, although large brims are the most flattering


Heart shaped faceRectangular faceRound faceOval face ILLUSTRATIONS BY JASON BROOKS