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Plus size model

The New Look of Models

Plus size model

It’s been too long in coming, but at least there’s been a long-needed breakthrough in the previous set in stone, tremendously narrow qualifiers that might land a runway hopeful even a chance of an interview for the gig. While fashions of all kinds certainly drape, hang, crisscross, loop, zigzag, bare and gather beautifully on those willowy, svelte forms as they glide down that narrow strip, real people want to know how those gorgeous designs might convey in the real world. Apparently designers listened, and some have come through with new, exciting lines for real people who need real clothes, and their real money spends just as well and any.

Embracing Plus With Flair
Any worthwhile effort to include a good variety of shapes and sizes should most obviously begin with designs focused on beautiful apparel for plus sizes, and like it or not, there are more plus-sized women and men out there who enjoy looking good just as much as their skin and bones counterparts. So when plus-sized consumers hear that plus-sized models are becoming more prevalent, the news is a welcome relief, as it serves as a signal that hope is on the horizon. And it’s true, that plus-sized people are finally getting more exposure on TV, in movies and as brand ambassadors.

Whose Version is This, Anyway?
While the modeling industry is busy announcing the inclusion of plus size models, some say they have a long way to go, with the leading plus size models not really being good representations at all. Leading plus size model Robyn Lawley is now known as the “first plus size model” to be featured on the Sports Illustrated mag. swimsuit issue. Sounds like the definition of beauty has expanded until you find out that this leading model (who does not think of herself as being plus-sized,) is a tall 6 feet, 2 inches in height, and easily slips into a size 12. Ashley Graham, another leading plus-sized model wears a size 16. While it’s encouraging to know that designers are expanding, somebody needs to tell them that plus sizes do not even begin until after size 18.

Turning Disabled into Fashion-Enabled
There are those who think that they don’t stand a chance at becoming a famous model and that they are too imperfect to fit into that perfect world. But then there are those who don’t care and just go for it. Fashion Week at NYC broke the mold, with a line of gorgeous models, some walking, some gliding down the runway in wheelchairs. Some of these catwalkers were amputees, some required prosthetic devices and some relied on canes to walk, but they all looked fabulous in their haute couture, and they made a fantastic political statement at the same time. It’s about time that the fashion world began designing for the real world.

We would love to hear from you! Who are some of your favorite models? What do you think about the new looks on the runway?

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man with braided hair.

New Men’s Hair Trend: Braids

man with braided hair.

It’s a brave new world for men’s hair. We’ve already seen men branching out into feminine territory with the embrace of the man bun, seen on celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio and others. Now we’re seeing men taking on a timeless lady look: The braid.

Of course, most men are not interested in this age-old ladies style or don’t even have hair long enough to actually put into a ponytail, but like the ponytail, braids are no longer faux pas when dealing with men’s styles. Just ask the Scottish men who have been donning braids for centuries! Now there’s a group of men that are completely secure in their kilted manhood!

We’re not talking about the long, sweeping Elsa braid that so many women wear with their long hair. Most men who are braiding still have short hair, so they are getting inventive.

Try THESE!
Some men are braiding their disconnected undercut into a single French braid right on top of their head. Men who have longer hair on the top manage to get the braid to hang down, but most end up with a little stub right at the edge of the braid.

Others are getting a bit more inventive with the braid trend, using several smaller braids to take care of their shorter hair. The look is similar to cornrows, but the pattern is not as ordered. Braids might go in opposite directions or might be arranged in geometric patterns. Men who have longer hair might pull the ends into a ponytail or bun.

Men who want to try out the look but who aren’t ready to fully commit can braid just a small patch of hair on the side while the rest hangs naturally or is pulled into a bun.

Of course, men with longer hair have the most options. They can pull it into a long braid at the back or try out French braids or other fancy braids. Jared Leto and Shia LaBeouf have already been spotted wearing braids that come down their backs, but that is no surprise!

There is also the 80’s throwback of rattails – or the “mini mullet”. A long, thin strand of hair that trails down ones back – braided or not, has started to gain more popularity. Even if it’s simply an extension – just don’t tell!

What to Tie it With…
So that leaves us with the manly dilemma of what on earth do you secure your new man-braid with? Leather is the answer. You cannot go wrong with a dark, leathery band or tie. If you can’t find this manly strap, go for the tiny, clear rubber bands, similar to the ones people use for braces – no one will be able to tell.

What do you think of the new trend? Will you be trying it out? Ladies, what would you think about your man wearing a braid? Share your thoughts about what type of braid you’ve seen or would like to see on your man!

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Woman with a beautifully braided hairstyle.

Fall Braid Ideas

Women’s braiding techniques just continue to burst forth, with a nice flow of so many absolutely gorgeous ways of performing the standard crossover, to create 3D effects, sculpting with strands of hair and breathtakingly beautiful sweeps of loosely gathered tresses that amaze, impress and definitely turn many a head. This fall, why not consider changing up your same old braiding go-to, and instead, exchanging it for something really different, really stunning and really high class? If you have not checked out the many new braiding techniques that are now available for women’s hair styling, it’s definitely time to do so now. Here are two lovely braid styles for brisk, fall days.

Half-waterfall braid.

The Waterfall Half-Up
This braid is easy to do with a little practice. You want to wind up with a bottom row of very loosely gathered loops in with the whole braid–that is what gives this braid its glory.

  • Gather three equally sized strands of hair at your hairline on the opposite side of your part and begin making a French braid toward the back.
  • After a couple of full passes, take the top piece, cross it over the middle of the braid, leaving it to hang in a loose loop. Next, pull in some hair from the bottom, to become the new middle piece. Continue this process for the next three passes, so you’ll wind up with five loose loops at the bottom. Once you’ve completed the third pass, gather up the waterfall pieces now hanging down to introduce back into the braid. These will form the top for the next five passes. The looser you can keep everything, the more dramatic your loops will be.
  • At the end, do a regular braid, then securing with bobby pins in an X, to secure the end to your head.

Woman with beautiful hairstyle

The Celtic Knot

  • This one is relatively small, but mighty impressive, for sure! Begin by gathering a ¼” strand of hair from each temple, so you’ll have one on each side.
  • Take the left strand and create a loop and hold securely. Take the right strand and go underneath the left loop. Next, slide the right strand up over and through the loop.
  • Then, you slip the right section back underneath where the strand is pulled back from your right temple.
  • With the end of the right side section, go back up through the loop. Now, you gently tug on the ends of both left and right strands, as you observe the Celtic knot come together.

Fishtail braid.

Fishtail Braids
Think whimsical and romantic – the fishtail braid appears as if it took DAYS to create, but in truth, these striking braids are simple, once you get the hang of it.

Of course, the trend is not the straight up fishtail braid of the past, the new fishtail starts at the front of the hairline, somewhat asymmetrical and “weaves” around the side and ends skewed on one side. It sounds like something out of Star Wars, but looks AMAZING. This braid works dressed up or down, and is even acceptable for weddings!

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Woman getting her hair styled.

Could Your Hair Be Ruining Your Skin?

In the never-ceasing war on harmful agents and practices to your skin, you may think that you’ve got all the bases covered. You’re intelligent, well-read, and make a genuine effort to stay informed with all the latest scientific findings to promote the retention of that creamy, supple skin you were born with You are cautious about all the makeup and products you use on your face, and you wouldn’t dream of engaging in any form of outdoor activity without first protecting your skin with sufficient sunscreen, and you follow the guidelines on how and when to reapply. You probably feel confident that you’re doing everything humanly possible to tenderly care for your skin in the very best manner. Unfortunately, there might be a contact exchange that is currently looming within your astute beauty regimen that could render your most concerted skin care efforts into nothing more than a waste of time and money.

Woman with wet hair.

Invisible Damage Occurs During Hair to Face Contact
Most women understand how something as seemingly harmless as touching one’s face with the hands or fingers can prove detrimental, and can absolutely nullify all the best preemptive measures exacted to benefit the facial skin. Less obvious, but in many ways more damaging, your hair touching your face can ruin your skin over time, if not addressed. You might counter with something like “The way I wear my hair prevents it from touching my face at all,” however you would be semi-wrong. Even if your trademark hairstyle is a severely pulled-back coif, forming braids, a bun, ponytail or any other off-the-face style, there are always going to be times when you release your hair from being tightly pulled back. You probably don’t sleep with it styled that way, and hopefully you don’t wash your hair while it’s pulled back like that.

Woman getting a hair treatment at a salon.

Minimizing the Damage is the First Step
While certainly a greater degree of harm would come from extended periods of contact between your hair and skin, it’s best to acknowledge that your hair is going to, at some point in time, touch your skin. And then it’s advisable to know how to prevent or at least minimize the harm that could be produced from that contact. And this brings us to share the most frequent skin irritants that can be in our hair.

  • Hair Spray: Unless you shield your face (with a suitable material like a clean towel) when you’re applying hairspray, it’s the same thing as applying hairspray directly to your face. Likewise, whenever you engage in an activity or sport where you’re likely to sweat, prevent hair care products like hairspray from running down onto your face by wearing a sweatband. Just about all hair products are skin irritants, but hairspray, in particular, is one of the worst. It’s a great way to clog up your pores, dry your skin out and irritate it.
  • When You Wash Your Hair: Try to limit the time you spend running (especially heated) water through your hair when rinsing, etc. Not only can the heat be drying, but water from public utilities is full of purifying agents that are bad for your skin. Some showerheads filter out these damaging chemicals.
  • Your Shampoo: If your shampoo contains DEA, MEA or TEA, get rid of it and opt for a product without these hormone-disrupting carcinogens.
  • Found in Hairsprays: phthalates and parabens are used as preservatives and antifungals, and help keep your hairspray sticky. Both are known carcinogens linked to breast cancer.
  • Beware of That Enticing Smell: Sadly, most fragrance-influencing ingredients commonly added to shampoos are either carcinogens or toxins.
  • Quaternium-15: A commonly used preservative in hair products can cause dermatitis.
  • Others to Watch out for: Isopropyl Alcohol (drying,) Polyethylene Glycol (dissolves natural skin oils on contact,) Mineral Oil (clogs pores and prevents skin from breathing.)
  • The Worst: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, frequently found in shampoos and conditioners, causes nothing but bad skin troubles and more.
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Beautiful woman with braided hair.

Hollywood’s Latest Braid Obsession

From the looks of things, Hollywood has flipped over what everyone apparently thinks is the new “thing” of Dutch braids, however in actuality, Dutch braids, French braids, inverted French braids and Cornrows have been around for ages–and there’s no telling how long the newish trend of the fishtail braid has been practiced, seeing as how it, like the others, is just another variation on the braid. Braided hair has been traced back thousands of years, with its first evidence in Africa. It has been alternately referred to as plaiting, which involves the exact same procedure. While the French braid has been the term more widely used, with the term inverted French braid being the industry term for what is now being called the Dutch braid. And then, the cornrow in every way appears to be the same thing as the “new, trending” Dutch braid, with one exception: The Dutch braid does not take up all the hair into the braid, while the cornrow does. This gives the cornrow a thicker appearance.

All Braids in History
Looking back into a more ancient time, in some cultures, braids were worn in order to communicate particular status about the person wearing them. Just by looking at a woman’s braids, you could tell whether they were single or married, a widow or mourning, “on the market,” (as in an age ready to be courted,) and her particular lineage. Some braids revealed the great wealth of the wearer, while others conveyed a lowly status.

Fishtail braids

First, Look at the Fishtail Braid
A good look at the execution of the fish braid will reveal the basic technique that is the central component of the French braid, the Dutch braid and the inverted French braid. It has to do with the number of strands of hair that make up the braid. In the fishtail and the other three, essentially two strands are braided on top of a third strand. For the sake of simplicity, let’s eliminate the inverted French braid, as it is the same thing as the Dutch braid. So, we now have the Dutch braid, the French braid and the fishtail braid. Assuming that fishtail braids all begin at or around the base hairline, there is no other close to the scalp hair to pull into the braid as you progress. You begin with three strands, pulling the two outermost strands in a sort of “double Dutch” fashion, to form a braid. With each new wrap of the right or the left strand, you pull in a bit of hair from the third, inactive strand. This is the fishtail braid.

Dutch Vs French Vs Cornrow braids.

The Dutch Braid VS the French Braid VS the Cornrow
With an understanding of how the fishtail braid works, it’s safe to move on to decoding the only difference between the Dutch and French braiding techniques. There is, however, a distinction that the Dutch and French braids have from the fishtail braid, and that is that while you can begin and end either in any spot, both are typically begun with a triangle section at the facial hairline. Then, the distinction that remains is in the direction–as in “over” or “under” of the braided strands. In a Dutch braid, the strands are pulled in, one over the other, and on top of the middle section, pulling in extra hair from the right and left as you go. In a French braid, the same strands are introduced, one under the other, and on top of the third, or center strand. With a cornrow, use the same technique as a Dutch braid, but include the middle, third strand in with the braid.

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Woman with Halloween hairstyle

Halloween Hairstyles

Halloween is upon us again, and there are so many fun ways to get geared up for the holiday that it can be difficult to determine just what you want to “go as.” Sometimes, the best decision process involves a narrowing down of the options, and the best narrowing down of options has to do with defining costume choices by categories. For instance, there are numerous costumes that require the wearing of a mask or head, or something that either covers the head or obscures a part of the face. These are the costumes that adults, particularly don’t like wearing, and they end up becoming halfway disassembled early into the evening, as a result, due to their awkwardness and the discomfort they produce.  If you would be likely to get fed up with such elements of a costume, then you could dismiss such types from the range of possibilities. Especially when you’re going to a party or function where you know food and drinks will be served, it can be really frustrating to try to eat and/or drink with many types of costumes, so that will rule out a certain type, as well. You just continue to rule out until you have that light bulb moment when you “feel” your costume, coming on.

Woman dressed for Halloween

Your Hair Provides Many Possibilities
Changing your hair and applying exaggerated makeup can be a highly effective Halloween get up, and is open to going in many directions, from being more zombified or Bride of Frankenstein, to some form of alluringly elegant Elizabethan ambiance. When eating and drinking, it’s good to be wearing makeup that is not water based, so your look will remain intact as you sip, and if you accidentally spring a leak. Your hair can do even more than your makeup, actually, with a myriad of forms it can take on. While some Halloweeners don wigs for the date, wigs can be uncomfortable, itchy and downright hot to wear for long. By styling your own hair to wear for the evening, you’ll be more comfortable, cooler and consequently, happier.

Coloring and More
There are advantages to both short and long hair, when it comes to Halloween hairstyles. A simple way to easily acquire Halloween hair is to buy a bunch of small plastic Halloween-themed trinkets and pre-glue or securely attach to covered rubber bands, bobby pins or clips to add all over your hair, at the ends–or maybe in a pattern of sorts. With shorter hair, you can always tease and spike it, and coloring effects can include stripes, all one color, tipped ends and more. If you use the spray-on color that’s sold for these purposes, make sure to spray it on outside, because it will otherwise leave the color all over the room, as you will find out later. Longer hair can be straightened and painted with more geometric designs, or curled and colored with one or several colors. The thing is to plan first–you’ll like the results much more this way. Long hair can be teased also, and taken really high, with the right products. You can braid long hair in a myriad of patterns, or create a retro look with the 50s flip, or go much further back to Victorian era hairstyles, or the romantic curls and braids of mythological goddesses. Hair, done right, can be a fabulous Halloween costume!

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Woman getting her hair dyed in a salon.

Hair Report: Hand-Pressed Color

Woman getting her hair dyed in a salon.

Trying new hairstyles can be exciting, and trying new hair colors can be even more exciting. One of the coolest hair coloring techniques you’ll hear about today is called hair-pressed color. It’s a new way that hair colorists are experimenting with, to infuse several colors into hair, all at once. The technique is so new, in fact, that it hasn’t even hit major salons yet. It was only invented recently by one of New York’s premier colorists.

Tools Used

  • A few hair dyes
  • Putty knife, paintbrush, toothbrush, or another type of brush
  • Piece of plexiglas or glass.

 

All About Hand-Pressed Color
If you’ve ever done your own screen printing, you’ll be able to figure out hand-pressed color. And even if you haven’t it’s a piece of cake. Screen printing uses a screen and a press to push dye into clothing, and hand-pressed color works the same way. Chiala Marvici, a hair stylist, says she came up with the idea in her sleep, and the concept has been making the rounds online ever since.

Though you probably can’t order a hand-pressed coloring job from your local salon just yet, it’s not too hard. There’s no reason you can’t give it a shot on your own. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Hair dye is painted onto a glass. First, the colors are chosen, then painted onto the glass or Plexiglas. The best shapes are the most basic, such as stripes, swirls, and circles. Since the colors will wind up in the hair, the shapes should be big. Too small and they won’t stand out or they’ll blur together.
  • Layer the hair on top and press. Once the hair is layered on top of the glass, the putty knife is used to press the color into the hair. This is where having a friend to help out comes in handy – they will be able to cover more area, more evenly than you can. The whole process can be finished in 20 minutes or less. And once the pressing is done, the hair needs about a half hour to process and soak up the color, depending on whether your hair is a lighter shade or darker color.

 

Pretty simple, right? Right!

Any color can be used for the hand-pressed coloring process, from bright highlights and bold hues to natural shades. Since the color is applied underneath your regular hair, fading is less apparent, so you won’t feel compelled to get it redone as quickly. Also, with the right-sized glass, short-haired girls can also try out this technique.

Whether you want to try this at home or head to your nearest salon in the next few months, hand-pressed coloring is one technique every girl should try. Keep in mind that lighter hair shades take the color much better and quicker than darker hair hues. Talk to your stylist before trying for pro tips and tricks that may end up saving you money and time!

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Woman with rainbow hair.

Rainbow Hair Dying Tips

Woman with rainbow hair.

Hair that is all colors of the rainbow is hot right now. Instead of the traditional blonds, brunettes, and reds, people are experimenting with blues, pinks, purples, greens, and more. You’ll see these colors everywhere from the red carpet to the local gym.

If you want to really be on trend, you can try several of the colors at once. Rainbow hair can have brightly colored primaries like red, yellow and blue, or it can have pastel hues like lilac, pink, and periwinkle. Here are a few tips for how you can get the look at home:

Bleach Your Hair
Unless you naturally have platinum hair, you are going to need to bleach your hair (even if you’re already blonde). The platinum base will help the colors stand out and last longer. You can buy a lightening kit at the beauty store, or you can buy the powder and developer separately to make your own mix.

Bleach a test strand of your hair, on the under side of your hair first to see how it reacts. You may need to adjust the processing time, or you may need to plan for several bleachings. If you have to bleach more than once, give your hair several days to a week between sessions to prevent damaging it. Also, make sure to use a deep conditioning treatment after bleaching to salvage hair and keep permanent damage at bay.

Choose Your Colors
Semi-permanent dyes are your only option for fantasy colors. Do your research to find out which brands deliver the most vibrant colors and the longest-lasting results. Manic Panic is a popular brand known for getting good results. If you find a brighter or darker color than you want, you can turn it into a pastel by mixing it with a white conditioner.

Woman dyeing her hair.

Use Professional Tools
Apply the colors to your clean, dry hair using professional tools. Wear gloves and use an applicator brush to put the color on each section of hair. Have your colors ready to go in small bowls, and apply each in small sections. Have a plan before you start so you know where to stop and start each color.

If you just cant bring yourself to doing the bleach and color yourself, call around to find a professional salon that WILL do it. It may be a little on the pricey side, but well worth it to save your hair and do it right!

Touch up just your roots every three to four weeks to maintain the look. You may have to add a new color to the top once your roots grow too long. Keep up the conditioning, this is key to keeping hair looking and feeling great!

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Woman dressed in Victorian clothes looking into the mirror.

Unique Clothing Trends of Victorian Times

The Victorian era was famous for its strict social customs and its conservative fashion trends. As with every other culture, the clothing trends that defined this era were intended to accentuate the ideal of beauty. In Victorian times, these clothing trends spoke of modesty and meekness with women, and culture and sophistication among men. Even now, some of these trends are just as popular today as they were then.

Victorian Clothing Trends
Here are some of the most popular clothing trends throughout the Victorian times:

Woman wearing a corset.

Corsets, Big Skirts, and Big Sleeves
Small waists were attractive, so clothes were designed to make the waist look smaller. Big sleeves and big skirts tightened around the waist, creating the hourglass figure that was idealized at the time. Corsets also became popular, which squished stomachs and torsos even further, making waists look even more narrow.

This type of body sculpting may have created attractive figures, but it was also quite unhealthy. They made it difficult to breathe and could crack ribs.

Bosom Boosters
Big bosoms were also attractive during this time, so women wore undergarments designed to boost their breast sizes. Bodices contained padding that lifted breasts, for instance, and reinforced corsets helped to push out the bosom. Combined with the constriction of corsets and the design of Victorian era clothing, these garments accentuated the top-heavy figure that became popular toward the latter end of the 1800s. Even now, stylists, stars and stores all promote this full-bosomed look! Even Victoria’s Secret (hmmmm, wonder where that name came from!) has one of the most popular bras of all time – the push-up bra. Bosoms NEVER go out of style!

Woman wearing a ball gown

Gowns
The ball gown became popular during the mid-1800s and was the most revealing piece of clothing that women wore: arms and necklines were exposed. Though they often fell to the ankles, they also stayed tight around the waist and torso, then spilled out below the waistline. Wedding gowns followed the same trends as ball gowns, spreading out wide below the waist and wrapping the upper body tightly.

Rear Raisers
Big backsides were another trend that continued throughout the Victorian times. To accentuate this portion of the anatomy, women wore petticoats and bustles. These small cushions were placed in just the right spots to make the rear end stand out and the waist seem smaller. Backsides that were too large, though, used other constrictive clothing to keep the size under control. Once again, another Victorian trend that has surpassed the ages. These days, bottom boosters are more of a permanent thing thanks to plastic surgery and Jennifer Lopez. Of course, padding is a little pricey AND less painful. Larger bottoms are more than a style, they transcend time and are always in.

Victorian era woman wearing a hat.

Hats
Hats were useful protection from the sun, but they were also hugely popular fashion accessories. Women’s hats were large, frilly affairs that framed the face with flowers, feathers, ribbons, and so on. Bonnets were popular during the early part of the century, and over time these gave way to wide-brimmed hats that sprouted plume

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Stylish woman wearing a hat.

How to Rock a Hat

No matter what kind of hair you have, chances are there are times you want to cover it up with a hat. Maybe you’re having a bad hair day, or maybe it’s winter and you need to keep warm, or maybe it’s summer and you don’t have any hair at all and you need to protect your head from sunburn. No matter what the reason for wearing a hat, there’s no need to worry. Look to none other than the stars that stay on the cutting edge of fashion – from Taylor to Miley and Brad to Liam, they all have unique styles but can really rock a hat. This list will help you rock that hat in style.

Woman wearing a baseball cap.

First of all, we need to think about what season you’re planning on rocking that hat. During the hot months of summer, baseball hats, Panama hats, and other straw or lightweight hats are best. They protect you from the sun while also allowing the heat to escape your head, and any breeze to get in and help cool you down. Conversely, for cooler months you, of course, need to keep the heat in. This is when wool, felt, and other knitted hats come into play. This is purely a functional standpoint, so once you get choose the hat material to match the season, you need to find a style that suits you.

The first step in finding a hat that look great on you is matching the hat shape to the shape of your head and face. For example, if you have a round face, you want to avoid round hats like bowlers, this will surely result in an unintended silly look. Those with round faces should look for hats that are taller, to give the appearance of extending your face, avoid short, round hats at all costs.

If you have a long skinny face, you won’t want to wear a tall hat that only makes your face seem longer. For those with long faces (or large ears), a wide brimmed hat or a larger floppy hat will help camouflage those ears and bring a balance to a long face or a long neck.

Woman wearing a bowlers hat.

For square faces, look for round hats like a bowler or a cloche. They help give the appearance of a rounder face. If you’re lucky enough to have an oval face you can pretty much pull off any shaped hat.

Now that you’ve got the hat material and shape down, you need to choose a color.

For your new hat, you need to think about what season or seasons you will be wearing the hat, and what color that season’s wardrobe is. If it’s a hat you’ll be wearing in the fall and winter, you’ll most likely want to keep your choices limited to duller fall-appropriate colors like gray, black, mauve, and other earth tones. For summer and spring hats, more bright and colorful hats are sure to match with your warm weather outfits.

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