Wednesday, 6 May 2015

How to Wear a Boater (Sailor) Hat

Today I'm bringing you the first of new type of post, which I hope to do more of in the future. I'm focusing on a particular hat style again, but this time, on inspiration for styling outfits that suit the hat style.

The hat of choice for today is a boater hat. A vintage style popular from the 19th century onwards, these hats feature a flat crown and small-medium brim, and are usually made from straw.

When worn by a woman, this style of hat was more traditionally called a sailor hat, and (like most hat styles) the feminine versions are often more varied. These days, we tend to use boater regardless of gender.


I've scoured the internet (ok, Pinterest) for some great looks that feature boater hats. I'm bringing you the best photos from some stylish bloggers who wear a boater really well. All the images are copyright to the bloggers, used here with their permission, and each one links back to the blog post about that outfit (with more photos!).

Boater hats make me think of summer and associated activities, particularly boating (obviously) or riverside picnics, so I love them with slightly nautical colour schemes, and bright colourful summer dresses. I also think of Edwardian silhouettes, and Eton schoolboys. To me, boaters are unquestionably cheerful and fun, and just made for sunny days.

We start with Bonita from Lavender and Twill. She recently purchased this vintage yellow boater and this charming photo is from her first outfit post to feature the hat. This soft pastel colour suits Bonita's signature style so well. It tops off a beautiful summery look (although I suppose it is clearly autumn in the photo!) with such light bright colours and perfect vintage style.

http://www.lavenderandtwill.com/2015/03/goldenrod.html

Carelia of the blog My Small Wardrobe has worn her traditional straw boater for a range of Fourth of July outfits in classic red-white-and-blue colours, that are echoed in the colours of the hat itself.

http://www.mysmallwardrobe.com/2014/07/vintage-america-4th-of-july-week-finale.html

She pairs her boater with outfits that clearly speak to me of summer celebrations, and include elements of classic style, but are unique and modern.

www.mysmallwardrobe.com/2013/05/what-to-wear-on-4th-of-july.html

What a perfect combination a straw hat and denim are, and I love the juxtaposition of masculine and feminine pieces. (Juxtaposition is one of my favourite things, and words.)

http://www.mysmallwardrobe.com/2014/07/polka-dots-la-americana-4th-of-july-week.html

Annika, who shares outfit posts, DIYs and science facts at The Pineneedle Collective, has worn her boater hat with a wide variety of looks. They are all cheerful, cute and feminine.

http://www.pineneedlecollective.com/2012/12/ive-always-wanted-to-be-redhead-meteor.html

I've selected some of her more vintage-style looks to share, but it was really hard to choose my favourites!

http://www.pineneedlecollective.com/2013/06/lady-vintage-astrogardens.html

I seem to have gravitated towards the paler colours and florals here.

http://www.pineneedlecollective.com/2012/11/sunflowers.html


Valentine, who blogs at Hello It's Valentine, brings us some more florals, but also navy and stripes.


http://www.helloitsvalentine.fr/08346/jardin-de-bagatelle/

This bike! I've never seen anything like it. I'm a bit obsessed with outfit photos featuring bikes, possibly because I can barely ride one, and idealise the life that bike-riders have.

http://www.helloitsvalentine.fr/08177/le-batbike/

I think this photo below is still my favourite of all the boater outfits I've found! Just perfect.

www.helloitsvalentine.fr/04232/yellow-brick-road/

So we've got boaters with skirts, dresses, pants, and shorts; with bold primary colours, classic neutrals and soft pale shades; and all the touches of riverboats and picnics that my heart desires! And they show to perfection how well a boater can be worn at all angles - flat on top of the head, angled to the side, to the front, or on the back of the head.

Want more? Check out the rest of the images on my Pinterest board for How to Wear a Boater/Sailor Hat, and the rest of the great outfits posts from Lavender and Twill, My Small Wardrobe, The Pineneedle Collective, and Hello It's Valentine.

To keep up with the "How to Wear..." series and other hat-related content, sign up to the email newsletter.

I'd love to know what styles of hat you would enjoy a "how to wear" post about, so please tell me in the comments!

29 comments:

  1. Oh, great post Tanith! Thank you so much for featuring my photos! I think this is a neat idea, because I know with so many of my vintage hats it can be hard to know how to wear them. So useful! :) ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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    1. You are very welcome! Thanks for allowing me to do so! :)

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post and I look forward to sharing more in this theme.

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  2. What style. I love boaters they look great
    Retro rover

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  3. Great post! Sometimes it's really difficult to find a good way to wear a hat. I also have a kind of boater hat and I like to wear it with a snood but this post shows me that there are lots of other ways to wear it, fantastic!

    Emma - Little Miss Bamboo

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    1. Thank you. I'm so glad you found it helpful for wearing your own boater hat. That is just what I wanted to achieve :)

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  4. What a lovely post and great inspiration pictures. I have so many vintage hats (so so many) that I never where because I haven't figured out how to wear them well. I love this idea for reoccurring posts.

    She Knits in Pearls

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    1. I hope you will find lots of inspiration in this style of post! I'm really looking forward to more :)

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  5. What a wonderful post! I'm so delighted seeing my pictures next to such stylish hat wearers. These ladies really do justice to the boater hat. I love all the outfits. Thanks so much for creating a very helpful post and for including my looks in it.
    xo
    Carelia
    MySmallWardrobe.com

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post and thanks again for being a part of it!

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  6. Great looks, I love the inspiration. I don't know if I can really pull one off - I just feel like they look strange on me - but I would love to try different sizes and shapes. Very informative, it would be fun to see more posts like this.

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    1. I guess all you can do is experiment! You never know until you try.

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  7. I love this look for summer, and feel inspired to find myself one. I am struggling with how to wear my vintage pill box hat....

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    1. I think I need one myself now too!

      It looks like pillboxes are going to have to be investigated...

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  8. There are way too many ridiculously chic people in this world.
    Seriously the looks are lovely. I've never been particularly fond of boaters but I'm prepared to concede the awesomeness here.

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    1. It's so true. I'm glad you enjoyed the post :)

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  9. Charmingly awesome post series idea! What a fun choice to kick it off with. I love that boater hats have the ability to transcend so many decades. Their popularity may wax and wane, but they're never entirely forgotten, it seems (whether by ladies, gents, or both), and that is truly one of their most endearing qualities.

    Can't wait to see which style you shine the spotlight on next!

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I can't wait for the next one either! I love seeing the classic styles return to popularity and all the different takes on them.

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  10. Truly inspiring images! Makes me want to try one :-)

    Beta xx

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  11. I just finished reading your entire blog and love, love,love it! I'm a fledgling milliner in Boise, Idaho. I appreciate your thoughts and enjoy your hats. I'm looking forward to more of your posts. My millinery business is called Tatiana Millinery and I hope to get my shop up and running soon. Best of luck for your talented business!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm so happy that you found my blog and I hope you keep enjoying it. Good luck with your business!

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    2. Let me know when your shop is up - I would love to see your work!

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  12. Great post! I adore boater hats, there's just something so cute and carefree about them.
    I really struggle with wearing pillbox hats, not sure if it's just because they don't suit me or I'm doing it wrong but I'd love a how-to-wear post just to make sure I've tried all angles (hehe)

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    1. It looks like pillboxes are a popular choice! I will add them to my list. I actually think they are a tricky hat to wear, so this should be interesting!

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  13. This is exactly the kind of series that I need! I love hats but don't wear them all that often, with the exception of knitted ones, as I don't feel I quite know how to! This is going to help me loads. You have featured some great looks here.

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    1. I'm so glad you think it will be useful for you!

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  14. ohhh how pretty! I love all the looks. To keep the hat on your head, would you need a hat pin? Especially since it's worn back for most of the looks.

    Lovely post :)

    Liz

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    1. Good question! I think it would depend how well it fits. If it isn't snug, then a hat pin would be a good solution, I think.

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