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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fedoras have staying power in hat fashion and can be worn to a simcha or as part of a casual everyday outfit. (Credit: Soléne Boutique)

Everyone knows how much time and effort can go into just the right hairstyle for a simcha or other event. For many women, a hat is the adornment of choice for these events, whether for religious reasons or just because of the elegance this piece brings to any ensemble. Many mothers of a simcha event look for fancy hat pieces or fascinators for the chuppah, or even the whole wedding, as well as sheva brachot or bar and bat mitzvahs. Brides often wear custom or high-end headpieces to their sheva brachot.

Teaneck’s resident millinery master, Omri Amar of Soléne Boutique on Queen Anne Road, knows how to find, or even make, just the right hat for any occasion. He met with The Fashion Link to help readers in their quest for the most charming chapeau.

“The latest styles lean toward coordinating colors, rather than an exact match,” explained Amar. “More customers are looking for hats that have a mix of colors, with a strong accent that can pick up the main color of their dress or overall color scheme.” Amar explained that the “melange” look, which uses more than one color in a design, has been especially popular.

“Make it special, but I want to use it after,” is a request often received by his customers, which is a current trend in simcha hats across the board, which makes the versatility of the melange style even more popular.

While some may think that the hat and sheitel is an “either-or” type of conversation, Amar has found that not to be the case. Amar explained that people often adorn their sheitels with a headpiece for an added flair. “Everyone wants to feel like they are doing something special and look nice,” he said. A hat, or more often a fascinator, over a sheitel adds something extra to their look as the hostess of the simcha. “These hats are an investment,” he said.

Wearing hats to simchas often follows a seasonal trend, too. Hats may often be seen at spring and summer and even early fall events, which are more likely to have an outdoor component, if not being held outside completely. “Some styles of hats are more formal than others,” explained Amar, “but as is the case in many trends, people continue to look for hats that they can dress up and dress down to get the most use out of their purchase.”

Fall Hat Styles

Amar has spent the past few weeks getting ready to supply his customers with an on-trend vast selection of hats for the upcoming fall season. Styles no longer phase out as quickly as they used to, and people are more likely to integrate past season trends into current seasons. Additionally, fascinators are an elegant accessory (thank you, Duchess Kate), but hats with a brim provide the added benefit of blocking out some sun, so guests do not have to squint or shield their eyes in the middle of an outdoor chuppah.

Fedoras are a classic shape and style. “They are the type of hat with staying power,” said Amar. “Just make sure to find an updated look to suit your personal style.”

Cloche hats, recognizable for their bell shape, have been all over the runway from designers like Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren. Their popularity in high fashion will make them what Amar called a “relevant hat shape” again, and with the addition of a tulle bow or a row of flowers can be fancy enough to wear to shul or any simcha.

Boaters are a more old-fashioned hat style, but are beginning to come back into popularity. They typically have a flat top and a flat brim, but with the right accessorizing can be made into a feminine hat, perfect for shul and any other formal celebration.

All these styles can be worn with formal outfits or as a casual accessory. Amar does warn, however, that custom-made hats tend to stay formal, though with minor alterations can be as versatile as any of the other options listed.

As the summer simcha season ends, and moves into the fall, outdoor events are still planned. As mentioned before, hats make a great choice for simchas al fresco, but with the options available, hats and other headpieces can really be a unique embellishment for any ensemble.

By Jenny Gans