The Wide Brimmed Hat Hunt

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ASOS Felt Fedora $41.39

It recently came to my attention that I have a problem. It came about because I’ve been getting tagged on Instagram, and in every single photo I’m wearing the same thing. All. Day. Err. Day. And that thing would be my wide brimmed hat. This one was a gift (thank you Mark!).

What once felt like an overpoweringly large obstruction to my peripheral vision now feels like a necessity. On windy days when I’m forced to take it off I feel quite plain Jane. I must stress that the me of two years ago would never have worn such a thing. So if you are looking at this very large brim and thinking “I’d never wear that” then I say to you, never say never.

Only in the past year have I found the confidence to wear such a statement piece on the regular. And it is a statement. There has not been an occasion that I’ve gone out in this hat that someone did not remark on how much they liked it. I have a theory that it’s not the hat that they admire (though it is a fine one) but rather my confidence to wear it. And while I love that my confidence can support such a wide brim these days, it’s becoming a bit embarrassing how often I wear it.

So today I’m hat shopping. As tempting as it may be, I can’t get another black hat with a larger or smaller brim because the difference in size would only be detectable to me. So then it has to be a new color. It’s incredibly handy to have a blog because today I referenced my own archives, dating back to May 2011 when I first fell in love with the Bec & Bridge x Akubra collaboration in pinks and purples. I first blogged about it here and again one year later here. I still love everything about those posts.

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ASOS Felt Fedora $28.22

I was living in Australia at the time when I first blogged about the Bec & Bridge x Akubra hats, so they hold a special place in my heart. The Akubra is an iconic hat typically worn out in the bush (rural areas) by farmers and big burly Aussie blokes. So it’s been fun to see these violet and pink iterations on the fashion set.

Though they were limited edition, the hats have been so popular that Bec & Bridge have produced them in new colors this season — so while you’ll have to hunt Ebay for the violets and pinks, you can still get the real deal in mint, black,  ink, khaki and hazelnut here for $240. I’m not in a position to splash that cash on a hat, so today I went searching for affordable lookalikes and here’s what I found.

The same year that I blogged about Bec & Bridge’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection, I also had a thing for Gucci’s Fall/Winter 2011 show. The peacock blue hats were my favorite part, and I can definitely see myself adding this blue version from ASOS into my lineup. Felt is more of a winter material, but I think the bright colors of these hats will work for spring and summer.

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ASOS Felt Fedora $28.22
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River Island Shaker Hat $20, also available at ASOS $47.04

This hot pink version by Bec & Bridge is probably the most ostentatious of the lot, but it also happens to be the cheapest (only $20!) so it’s actually relatively low commitment and if you think a black wide brimmed hat garners attention and compliments, just imagine what a hot pink one would do. Not that that’s why we wear the things we wear, but just know to expect a lot of attention when you have this baby on.

To think that I originally posted about these hats 3 years ago and I’m still posting about them, some may call this obsession. I prefer to call it research. I like to research before I shop! Unfortunately I still haven’t decide which of these hats to get, but my friend Nancy (pictured above) has offered to buy the blue if I buy the lavender and then we can switch. Which is a pretty good solution. But I still want the hot pink, and I’d rather have the peacock blue all to myself… The hat saga continues. Which one’s your favorite?

Cristina V. Cleveland

Cristina V. Cleveland is a senior beauty editor based in Austin, TX. She has been exploring personal style and decor on Fuji Files since 2009. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, To&From Magazine, Coco+Kelley, CamilleStyles and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.

SHOWHIDE Comments (2)
    1. Yea me too, and then I want to make a gallery wall of hats in my new place. Should we buy a rainbow collection of hats then?

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Rather than pushing up-to-the-minute trends and products, Fuji Files is about discovering a lasting, personal aesthetic and the journey to feeling your personal best. 

Fuji Files was started by Cristina Cleveland, the Managing Editor of NaturallyCurly, the largest hair and beauty content platform. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Teen Vogue, CamilleStyles, Blavity, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, Coco+Kelley, and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.