Best Summer Hats for Bad Hair Days

Jennifer Aniston wearing a straw fedora

The straw fedora is an updated look to replace the boring baseball cap for when you are dressing casual.

Dear Deborah,
Summer is almost here and I need a hat I can throw on when I go out in the sun, or for when I’m having a bad hair day. Do you have any suggestions for an alternative to a baseball cap?

Thanks! Sandy G. Austin, TX.

Hi Sandy,

What a great question, something we all struggle with, especially with summer humidity! I love the little straw fedora when you are dressing casually.

How do you style it so you look cool not kooky? Fabulous After 40 Stylist Morgan Mullin has a few ideas for how to wear a fedora and other popular summer hats.

The Fedora 

Possibly the most popular hat on the market right now, fedoras ooze effortless chic. Popular over-40 style icon Jennifer Aniston wears fedoras all the time.

What’s the secret for how to wear a hat like this and make it work? Jennifer likes to:

  • Wear fedoras with super-casual pieces, like slightly-faded jeans and fitted t-shirts. This is a super-stylish daytime look you really should try. It’s perfect for running errands, going to brunch, and more.


how to wear a fedora



  • Throw one on with a maxi dress- it makes the perfect topper because it’s more unexpected than a floppy hat with these ’70s-inspired pieces, giving your look a fresh spin. It also provides just enough sun coverage for barbeques and other outdoor events.
  • Style a fedora with masculine pieces. Since fedoras are borrowed from the boys, they go perfectly with shorts, tees, blazers and button-up shirts.

Just remember: To keep the effortless feel of a fedora, stick to more casual pieces. Otherwise, you risk looking costume-y! Here’s a few fab fedoras.


Floppy Hats For Women

The floppy hat is a staple of boho style. Popular with the rich and glamorous in the 70s, it carries a movie-star quality that just can’t be denied. But how to wear a floppy hat without looking like a blast from the past?

First of all, skip pairing it with a maxi dress or anything else too  “hippie”. It will seriously age you.


floppy hat



Instead try:

  • Pairing your floppy hat with tailored pieces – This will make your look more modern and also create a beautiful visual contrast: The strong shape of your clothes will play off the loose shape of the hat’s brim. Structured dresses or fitted trousers are great examples of “structured” pieces. They’ll keep the look 21st century and let your hat be the scene-stealer.
  • Adding a dash of floral print or feminine hues, like corals, pinks or yellows.These will add a bit of softness that will complement the hat. Meaning? A structured, floral dress or pair of fitted pants in a summery hue are made to go with floppy hats!

Still feeling nervous? A floppy hat is a natural at the beach or pool, so take it for a test drive there first! Here’s a few great floppy sun hats for women.




Bucket Hats

I’m sure you’ve got the memo by now: The ’90s are back. For better or worse, all the big trends of that bygone decade are re-surfacing, including bucket hats. But you don’t need to look like a faded hip-hop star to wear one. In fact, bucket hats are so popular now because they are  a great alternative to last season’s baseball cap.


bucket hat


If you have a style that veers towards preppy or athletic, then this hat is the one for you! Here’s how to wear a Bucket hat:

  • Combine it with preppy staples like cropped pants and flats. It will look so cute!
  • Try a bucket hat with canvas tennis shoes and Bermuda shorts for an athletic spin on the style.

Unlike floppy hats or fedoras, bucket hats cannot, ever, be worn for evening. The beauty of the bucket is that it’s a casual daytime piece- and sporting one after dusk will make you look seriously out-of-place.

Other tips for nailing the look? Keep the rest of your look streamlined and simple- you want the interesting shape of your hat to be the showstopper here. And if you really want to work the trend? Try a bucket hat in a preppy pattern or some sporty stripes! Take a look at these.



What what is your favorite and what ideas do you have for how to wear a summer hat? Comment below and send in a photo so I can post it!


How to Wear Vintage Costume Jewelry

Deborah BolandDo you appreciate the quality, design and uniqueness of vintage costume jewelry but avoid it simply because you don’t know how to wear it with contemporary clothing and accessories?  

Recently I ran into Barbara Schwartz, a faux jewelry expert who offered to style an outfit around a classic vintage necklace and teach us how to choose the earrings. Can you guess which pair goes best with this ensemble?

blue vintage costume jewelry necklace

Barbara: This little black dress by Isabel de Pedro is the perfect backdrop for this elegant 1950s Blue Glass Bead Eight-strand Torsade by Hattie Carnegie.  I’ve added black Jimmy Choo “Elaine” Sandals and a bright blue crocodile clutch by Nancy Gonzalez to give it an elegant punch.

A necklace like this is a statement piece and needs to be the focal point of the outfit.  It’s made from glass beads in two shades of blue, with a textured gold-plated, leaf-shaped clasp.  The crocodile clutch complements the blue in the necklace.

vintage necklace

The clasp on the necklace is very decorative (with its layers of gold-plated leaves and flowers as well as blue beads and a large pearl in the center), which is why I’ve shown it worn in the front.  Here is a close-up, so you can see the details better.

You see the blue beads, gold-colored metal and pearl – These give you clues about which earrings to wear. The style of the necklace is classic and graceful and this will also influence my choice of earrings.

O.K., Here are your four choices of earrings. Are you ready?….Pick one. 



Now let’s look at them one by one.

Option 1 – Gold Crystal 

These Oscar de la Renta Gold-plated Crystal Clip Earrings with blue glass and gold-plating have a compatible style.  However, the shade of blue doesn’t match either shade of beads in the necklace, and I would avoid introducing a third blue in a piece of jewelry.  In addition, at 2 ½” long by ¾” wide, these earrings are too big to wear with a statement necklace.  Because of their size and color, the earrings would compete with and not complement the necklace.

Option 2 – Gold Chandelier

 Although these 24kt Gold Plated Filigree Chandelier Earrings by Jose & Maria Barrera are the right color metal, they are too ornate for this necklace because of their style and their golden crystal and bead embellishments. As in the previous option, these earrings would be in competition with the Carnegie necklace.

Option 3- Gold Fern

These Fern Frond earrings by Catherine Weitzman are the right color metal.  They may seem appropriate because they pick up on the leaf motif of the necklace clasp.  However, the style of these earrings detracts from the elegance of the necklace.

vintage costume jewelty


Option 4- Gold Hoop

Gold hoop earrings are a staple in many women’s jewelry boxes for a good reason:  they’re neutral in style, and they never go out of style.  These Blue Nile Medium Hoop Earring in 14k Yellow Gold are an example of the type of earring you could wear with this necklace.  The gold is consistent with the color of metal in the necklace, and the earrings are simple enough not to compete for attention.  If you wanted to add a bracelet, I would suggest a gold bangle, which many women also consider a jewelry wardrobe staple.

pearls earrings wht vinage costume jewlery necklace

Pearls – Another Can’t Go Wrong Option

Pearl studs, another earring staple for many women, are another good choice to accompany this necklace, especially if you don’t generally wear gold metal jewelry.  These Freshwater Cultured Pearl Earrings by Blue Nile are an example of a pair you might already own.  Because of the large faux pearl at the center of the necklace clasp, pearl earrings would add another touch of elegance to the jewels for this outfit.

 Barbara Schwartz is the proprietor of TruFaux Jewels, a web-based boutique at that presents the best in vintage costume jewelry produced from 1920-1960.  She enjoys helping women select classic, wearable pieces that are just right for their personal style.  Barbara also writes and lectures about jewelry and fashion history.

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