Runway To Real Way: Hats Off to You, Spring!

Well, here we go Chicago! In true Chi-city fashion, our weather-beaten city has decided to “spring” right into summer! The snow has melted, the sun is out and — all of a sudden it’s hot! Enter: the perfect accessory built for both fashion and function — the spring/summer hat! Fresh, breezy, and endlessly valuable to blocking out the sun and saving your face from harmful UV rays, hats are arguably the most essential piece of your new spring/summer wardrobe.
As soon as the temperatures rise, wool and felt toppers are promptly replaced with confections in lightweight straw. Trotting down the spring 2014 runways in every imaginable shape and size, like this wide-brimmed number from Timo Weiland, happy headgear is perfect for every seasonal activity from picnics, to festivals to outdoor concerts. And while dozens of more budget-friendly iterations are available just about anywhere, we simply love and adore the stylish, perfectly flattering shape of this Crochet version from none other than Lanvin. Simple. Chic. Timeless.
One doesn’t usually affiliate a burnt orange hue with the spring/summer. But who would Donna Karan be, if not a trendsetter? The design classicist presented the autumnal color in a seasonal, floppy hat in her spring 2014 runway. Unsurprisingly, now there are dozens of versions of the rich, jewel-toned hue in lighter versions. We’re particularly fond of this lightweight fedora shape by Brixton, whose structured shape will pair perfectly with flowing maxi dresses.
Who can resist a touch of vintage? Cloche hats from the endlessly chic decade of the Roaring 20’s are making a big comeback in a modern way. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson, the dynamic duo behind fashion forward line The Row, incorporated the close-fitting cloche into their Spring 2014 collection with an almost Breakfast at Tiffany’s nod. We love the idea of black in the spring, with fabric as light as possible so as not to roast under the rounded brim. The winner of our in depth search? A light linen cloche sunhat from the style mavens at Barneys New York.
And finally, keeping in step with the bygone era theme, our last trend makes a tip of the proverbial hat to menswear with the bowler style. A popular trend in menswear hats for most of the early twentieth century, designers like Badgley Mischka rounded the top, pulled down the brim and created a decidedly elegant and more feminine shape. Pairing it with their signature line of gowns for spring 2014 in a frothy, ethereal white, this topper trend begs to be duplicated on the street. For an adorable alternative for the everyday, we had to look no farther than Topshop. Hats off to you, spring/summer in Chicago! We’re armed with our high class headgear and ready for the season to begin!
1. Straw Hat
Runway: Timo Weiland Spring 2014 RTW
Real Way: Lanvin Crochet Straw Hat, $330
2. Orange Floppy Fedora Hat
Runway:  Donna Karan Spring 2014 RTW
Real Way: Brixton Piper in Burnt Orange, now $46.99
3. Black Cloche Hat
Runway:  The Row Spring 2014 RTW
Real Way: Barneys New York Linen Cloche Sunhat, $155
4. White Bowler Hat
Runway:  Badgley Mischka Spring 2014 RTW
Real Way: TOPSHOP Transitional Bowler Hat, $36
–Alia Rajput
Runway Photos: Timo Weiland, Donna Karan and The Row – NY Mag; Badgley Mischka – WWD
Image Layout: Second City Style

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