Chapeaux

Like a refreshing glass of lemonade or a decadent lobster roll, you can count on certain oldies-but-goodies to hit the spot each summer. Of course, as dedicated editors, we always appreciate a nostalgic nod in the apparel department too, so we were beyond pleased to observe some decidedly classic hat styles on some of our favorite fashionable ladies. Naturally, a chic chapeau will always add an immense deal of character to any outfit and we are always pleasantly surprised by how a straw boater, timeless cloche, or always-in-favor fedora can add a little extra polish and flair to an outfit. While these whimsical fashions are certainly eye-catching and fun, we also love this accessory for its functionality: when it comes to shielding your face from the sun's rays (or, in the case of this sextet, unwanted camera flashes), a hat is about as good as it gets. Of course, narrowing down the crème of the crop was not an easy task, but we are happy to present our well-edited selections in today's edition of How They Wear.

Hats have long been indispensable in creating memorable fashion moments, past and present. After all, who can forget Jacqueline Kennedy's pink pill-box, Isabella Blow's iconic Phillip Treacy lobster headpiece, or Sarah Jessica Parker's gravity-defying green feathered cocktail hat at the London premiere Sex and the City? Additionally, some of the most directional designers often enlist famed milliners to collaborate on accessories for their collections. This season, the most notable example was Stephen Jones for Marc Jacobs' smooshed boaters that sat tilted atop of almost every remarkable runway look.

In addition to being aware of hat-centric pop-culture moments and the recent runway renditions, it's also important to observe how the most influential style-setters are incorporating this accessory into their own wardrobes. Today's well-brimmed subjects are embracing the full spectrum of hat styles, and will undoubtedly provide some instructive and inspirational ideas regarding your own chapeaux choices. So for those of you who harbor a little hat-phobia, fear not, because we have gathered six seriously chic mad-hatters to help you pick out the most fashionable and fresh headwear that will make you flip your lid!

Kirsten Dunst
While cruising the cobblestone streets in New York's West Village neighborhood, Kirsten Dunst accessorized an inky bias-cut sleeveless dress with a vintage Mayle bag, of-the-moment leather loafers, and a wide-brimmed felt fedora. The muted palate of her look is sophisticated for a city stroll, while her hat provides just enough cover for an unruly hair day (or unwanted photographers). Next time you find yourself perplexed about what to wear for a low-key day of running errands, simply throw on your favorite dress, a pair of flats, and Amherst's Felt Fedora ($145) to get a Dunst-approved off-duty appeal!

Rachel Bilson
Though Rachel Bilson is always impeccably put-together, what we love most about this particular outfit is her vintage navy cloche hat. While the cloche or bell hat first enjoyed popularity during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras (approximately 1900-1930), its close-fitting crown and small brim is in vogue again. For a day of sightseeing in Paris, Bilson wore Paige Premium Denim's Skyline Ankle Peg Jean ($200) in Beachwood and a ruffle-y Zac Posen Blouse with her vintage treasure, but we recommend trying Brixton's Parlor Hat ($52) to create your own take on this bell(e)-du-jour look. Just wear it carefully: the topper perfectly frames your face, so it primarily flatters those with delicate features.

Erin Wasson
Though this flat-topped straw-hat style is currently experiencing a sartorial moment-in-the-sun, early-adopters like Erin Wasson have been rocking the boater for some time now. Back in March, we spotted Wasson wearing a slightly deconstructed version by Number(N)ine to a private RoseArk jewelry party in Los Angeles. (Wasson's selection, which she picked up at Maxfield in Los Angeles, is no longer available in stores, but the New York/Tokyo-based line is currently working on building their website!) Leave it to Wasson to take an on-trend piece and make it her own by styling it with plenty of rough-and-tumble punky bangles, a mini-dress, and high-heeled creepers from Phi. Of course, Wasson nails the high-low mix that has become her signature: think the canals of Venice by way of Venice Beach!

Nicole Richie
To attend the third annual Kidstock Music and Art Festival at the Greystone Mansion, Nicole Richie mastered the bohemian rocker look by pairing her medium-brimmed felt fedora with JET Trasher Jeans ($185), a long tank top, and a fringed cross-body bag. The end result is haute hippie to be sure, a look that suits Richie splendidly. For other mothers-to-be take note: a great hat-like RVCA's Hamptons Fedora ($39)-not only keeps the sun out of your eyes, but also draws the eye upward.

Chloe Sevigny
Though our love for Sevigny's Chloé ensemble- Scalloped Blazer ($1310), Scalloped Shorts, and Suede Multi Strap Wedges-goes without saying, we would be remiss if we didn't mention the most dynamic aspect of the outfit: her exquisite, one-of-a-kind straw boater hat. Seen here attending the Manhattan Polo Classic at Governors Island, Sevigny's bow-and-faux-flower adorned topper, is the perfect tip of the hat to this au currant style, and looks both quirky and proper for an outdoor afternoon event. Try searching your favorite vintage boutiques or eBay.com for an authentic and unique piece.

Mary Kate Olsen
For those city-dwellers who wish to remain under the radar, a wide-brimmed fedora is without a doubt the best choice. Mary Kate Olsen proved that the best way to provide a little shield from the sun and the unwanted attention of onlookers, is by incorporating a hat, like Eugenia Kim's Max Feather Fedora ($275), with her urban-safari staples, like denim stovepipes, a cropped leather jacket and Carol Christian Poell's Rubberband Boots ($1731). All in all, it is the perfect pick for an incognito city coffee run!-Kate Mulling

Photos of Kirsten Dunst and Mary Kate Olsen, from Splash; Photo of Rachel Bilson, from Bauer Griffen; Photos of Erin Wasson and Nicole Richie, from Getty Image.
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