It took me a long time to get into the hat thing. I felt like I looked funny; I started questioning if my head is abnormally large or maybe abnormally small (still not sure) or why I only noticed the size of my head once I put a hat on. I’d see people wearing cute hats or stores selling cute hats and wonder why I couldn’t pull off a cute hat. Then I identified some of the reasons I failed at wearing hats, and came up with some rules of thumb that turned me into a floppy hat fanatic. Here they are:
1. Start with a versatile hat that doesn’t make you feel like everyone’s staring at your head. Ex: a ball cap at a sporting event or during play offs, a straw hat at the beach, wearing toques for more than just warmth (keep it on inside). Once you get comfortable with having something on your head and don’t feel like everyone is thinking what is that?, you can consider step two.
2. Don’t use a hat to cover a bad hair day or a greasy ‘do, at least not until you’re totally comfortable with rocking the hat all day. If you don’t get to a place where you just forget the thing is on your head, you’ll be fidgeting with it all day and probably eventually take it off, which means you now have a bad hair day + hat head. No bueno.
3. Save your hats for days you can wear them for your entire outing. If you decide to wear a hat simply for the commute, be prepared with a comb and dry shampoo as your hat will build up grease and tangles. I often made the mistake of bringing a hat to a hatless event and then had the responsibility of holding the hat I no longer felt like wearing for the rest of the day, building my dislike for headwear.
4. If you’re hesitant about wearing a hat, don’t let it be the one accessory that pulls your outfit together just in case you do take it off. You’ll end up being self conscious of yourself while wearing the hat, and then self conscious of your outfit when not wearing the hat, so basically major lose-lose.
5. Remind yourself that you can rock anything you want to wear. Girl power, yeah! Your outfit is a reflection of yourself and you should feel proud to be you, always. After all, beauty is not a look or a size or a color or anything that can be measured. It is a vibe, an aura that you give off when you show your authentic self.
Maybe giving tips on how to wear a hat is useless information, and if you’re cursing yourself or me for wasting several moments of your time, then I hope you caught my underlying message, which were actually 5 rules of thumb for life:
1. No matter what you do, don’t push yourself further than you’re comfortable with. If you’re trying to go out of your comfort zone and you know that you’re a nervous/anxious/fearful person, then take baby steps. Some people excel at hurling themselves into the unknown, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Taking one small step at a time will still enable you to cross the finish line, as will one big jump.
2. Do not use temporary solutions, or “bandaids” to fix big problems or “wounds”. Just as a hat only covers a bad hair day while it’s on your head, and a bandaid barely holds together a gash, using temporary solutions for big issues only delay the inevitable and make things harder in the long run. Challenge yourself to deal with problems thoughtfully and head on. Pride yourself in being a “problem solver”. You will save so much time and energy that can be used for activities to make you happy.
3. When you’re going to try something new, give it a fair, whole hearted shot. Deciding it’s time to learn to swim when the water is freezing cold and has rough waves will set you up for failure, just like covering your greasy hair with a hat on a windy day will eventually make you take your hat off. Be reasonable, be prepared, be aware of the risks or challenges.
4. Build yourself on pillars of strength, not insecurities. Trying to base your life around an inauthentic or fake quality is like a chair with a bum leg that will eventually give out on you. Building yourself up and guiding your life based on your true passions and principles will only help to create a solid foundation that cannot be rocked.
5. Just like your outfit, the people you surround yourself with and the activities you partake in reflect the kind of person you are or want to be. So surround yourself with the best of everything- clothes that make you feel good, friends that have your back, a job you enjoy working at, and your beauty will shine on through.