Although some people might argue against it, hats are one of those things that you need when the winter hits. From classic, plain coloured beanies to more vibrant designs, we've got you covered for the autumn and winter months, no matter what your look and budget. Here are some of the best on offer for autumn/winter 2017.Read more Men’s Style Guide features and check out our Store.
The most versatile of all hats, and probably the easiest to throw on, the beanie is one of those hats that can easily be worn in both formal and casual looks without a tonne of styling. Its straight, simple form means there's not a lot of bells and whistles to work with, and, if you keep the colour neutral, it wont detract too much from the rest of the outfit. You can match a beanie with anything from a suit to a pair of joggers, but choosing the right fit and colour can make a big difference to how the overall outfit looks.
So let's start with the most basic colour, and easily the most versatile. It's a good idea to have at least one basic black beanie, and they tend to go with most formal and casual looks. A un-textured design without a lot of detailing is usually best for formal looks, as it won't detract from the rest of the outfit. When you want something clean and sleek looking it's best to keep your accessories to a minimum, and a big chunky hat isn't really going to keep things that way, so a basic black beanie is your best bet. With black being a staple colouring for formal looks a simple black beanie can work perfectly with the look, staying in keeping with the overall vibe and style. Its simple, close fitting design ensures that it can blend in with more classic looking outfits without changing up the look, and although the shape of the beanie can veer towards the casual side, the neutral colour keeps things smart.
Even a smart casual look with more variety in colour can easily be achieved with a clean black beanie. The neutral colour helps to ground the look, while the basic shape ensures you don't look over dressed. If you're feeling a little too formal and you want to add a casual vibe to your outfit, a basic beanie can help you with this in a subtle, clean way.
Despite its plain colour, you can incorporate a black beanie into a range of more colourful, casual looks, without creating too much of a contrast. A simple, light double denim look can be complemented with a solid black beanie, with it giving some more structure to the outfit, yet working with the laid back vibe. You can have it as a subtle contrast to the look, or add darker tones to the outfit to match with the beanie.
A tonal colour like grey can be more difficult to work into an outfit, especially as a finishing touch, but with the right styling it can be a versatile staple that's great for different looks. With the varying tones of grey there's no need to stick to just one style, and darker and lighter finishes can give different vibes. The temptation can be to add a dark grey beanie to a formal look to get as close to black as possible. However darker tones don't always equal a smarter finish, and you can easily achieve a formal look with a light grey - it all depends on how you style it. If you keep the pieces structured and slim line you can play around with colours and patterns, ensuring that the outfit still looks clean and put together, but with a more breezy, light finish.
It's easier to achieve a more casual look with a grey beanie, especially if you choose one a light tone. The clean colouring goes great with more laid back pieces, and will complement the outfit without taking over it. A simple, relaxed outfit like a cream jumper paired with jeans and a parka can work well with a clean grey beanie, with the more neutral colour of the beanie helping to ground the look. If you want to go for an even more relaxed look, opt for a slouchy beanie, with the less rigid structure keeping things laid back. If you're out and about in the cooler months and need to stay warm while looking tailored and sharp, you can easily mix up different shades of grey and black to create a formal edge with warm finish. A good coat can really bring an outfit together, and if you keep the rest of your clothing unintrusive you can easily achieve a smart casual look. Even something as simple as a dark green, or other muted coloured, top, paired with some navy jeans can be smartened up with a decent tailored overcoat. If you're looking for something warmer, try layering something like a quilted vest underneath. Quilted jackets have been styled badly for a long while, and because of that a lot of people are cautious of styling it. However, if you keep things subtle it can actually be a great way to keep you warm while adding a clean, layered look to your outfit. Wearing a simple black one underneath a long grey overcoat keeps things elegant and refined, and of course is finished off perfectly with a simple grey beanie.
Men's Flat Cap
Now despite the flat cap usually being associated with little Victorian orphans, there is a way to wear one without looking like you're about to be shoved up a chimney. The main thing to remember when styling a flat cap is that they're not like beanies. You can't really blend a flat cap into an everyday outfit and expect it to not stand out. When you wear a flat cap it takes centre stage, and the rest of your outfit needs to be built up around it. This is great if you're wearing a standard formal suit in a neutral colour, as a stylish cap can really bring some interest to the look while maintaining the smart vibe. It's best to make sure that your cap is in a muted colour, such as dark green, navy or black, to keep the outfit streamlined and without any bold contrasts. The same goes for a smart casual look, and even if you're using a little colour, make sure that your flat cap isn't in a garish tone, as it'll end up just ruining the clean finish. After all, the best caps are the simplest.
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