How to make a formal ladies hat

Updated April 17, 2017

Whether attending a wedding, formal party or the Kentucky Derby, you can wear a hat to add elegance to any outfit. Known for her simplicity, style and use of many formal hats, Audrey Hepburn is a great example of this. You can obtain this same flair by making your own formal ladies hat in a few simple steps.

Purchase a plain hat, such a wide-brimmed straw hat or a pill box hat. Stores such as Wal-Mart or Kmart usually offer these hats at very reasonable prices.

If you would like to change the colour of the hat, spray the hat with spray paint. Alternatively, if you are experienced at sewing, cover the hat with a fabric of your choice. In order to do this, trace the various pieces of the hat (the brim, headband, cap etc.) onto fabric. Cut out the fabric along the traced lines, and sew the fabric pieces onto the hat. If you are unsure of a colour, black and white are the safest colour choices and solids are always safer than patterns. However, for a wedding, avoid bold colours, such as anything neon and black.

Decorate the hat with ribbon, tulle, beads, flowers, fur or feathers. These items can be attached by sewing them onto the hat or by gluing them with a hot glue gun. Consider the formality of your event when choosing your decorations. For example, a formal hat for a wedding should have simple and small decorations, with the idea that the focus should be on the bride, not the guests' hats. However, if you're attending the Kentucky Derby, the larger and more elaborate the decorations, the better. If you are not sure what is appropriate for a particular event, or if you simply want to get some inspiration, search for photos of a similar event.

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About the Author

Though constantly traveling the world, Julia Williams is based in Chicago and has been writing since 2006. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting. She is also a licensed fitness instructor, specializing in Pilates since 2003 and has written hundreds of articles on exercise and health.