For this year’s style must-have, we’re crowning headwear as the perfect finish to your summer look—from beach-ready straw hats to fascinators fit for a queen (or at least a Royal Wedding). “I have always been fond of hats, even as a child,” says Mich Dulce, a London-based hat designer who created a line of introductory hats for those who are shy about sporting their first piece of headwear. “When I was a teenager travelling with my family, other kids would buy postcards or magnets, and I would buy a hat from every place I ever visited.”

The luxe hat designer started out designing clothing in her native Philippines, and started making hats as a way to complement her runway shows. At the time, “There were no milliners in the Philippines,” she says. “I ended up loving hat-making so much that I decided to focus on it.” Since capping off any signature style is this hat designer’s specialty, we asked Dulce for her expert hat trick tips on selecting the perfect style to suit your face shape.

Hat trick #1: Choose a small and subtle first piece.

“It’s important to always feel comfortable in a hat,” says Dulce, about trying on a new headpiece. Her hat trick? “For first-time wearers, I always suggest a small piece that sits on the side of the head or a headband.” She recommends steering clear of donning a heavy or loud hat for that first time, to avoid feeling self-conscious and having to fuss with it all night. Her fascinators, for starters, come with an elastic band and can be safely secured on top with bobby pins.

Hat trick #2: Find a hat that complements your face shape.

Remember there are no hard and fast style guidelines when it comes to crowning your look with the perfect fedora or Parisian-inspired beret. “I don’t really abide by the hat ‘rules,’ as I think it’s all about comfort. You should choose a hat you feel comfortable and confident in,” advises the hat designer. Of course, there are structural exceptions: “Generally oval and triangular-faced women can pull off any hat shape; people with round or square [faces] should tilt their hats and wear them at an angle. People with long faces should stay away from tall hats as well.”

Haute hat trick: Click here for our picks of best runway hat looks.

Read on for more expert tips for finding the best hat to flatter your face shape…

Hat trick #3: Find the right hat for your style.

Day or night, don’t be afraid to cap off every look—literally. “I think people aren’t used to the idea of wearing hats daily anymore and they always think it’s ‘too much’, which is a pity as back in the day, women were rarely seen without a hat—it was part of getting
dressed in the morning!” says Dulce. Her solution? “Hats are the easiest way to spruce up your outfit and are really quite comfortable, it’s just a matter of picking the right one for the
occasion or the outfit.”

Hat trick #4: The right look starts and ends with the right headpiece

Starting from the crown and working its way to well-heeled feet, your outfit should complement the style of the hat—not outshine it. “The more extravagant the hat, the simpler the outfit should be. The hat can be the starting point to dressing up, and you can build your outfit from there.”

Hat trick #5: Make it an investment piece.

One hat every girl should own: A basic black ‘50s-style veiled pillbox. “I think it’s a must for everyone!” Dulce says. “It’s such a chic piece and is easy to pair with everything. And one of my crown hats, obviously!” As for her favourite
headwear styles to get under this summer? “I’m not keen on trends!” We’re with Dulce on this—a timeless, personalized hat is the cherry on top of any
elegant look.

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