One of the most popular social events of the season, the Naples Botanical Garden’s 13th annual Hats in the Garden fundraiser is scheduled for November 9. At this elegant affair, stylish guests will display their stunning millinery and fashions over a delicious luncheon and enjoy a runway show of red carpet designs.
In the spirit of haute headwear, three of the event’s sponsors weigh in about what current hat trends they’ve been seeing this season.
Beach-Ready Straw Hats
Good news for Neapolitans – according to Marissa Hartington, co-founder of local namesake boutique Marissa Collections, straw is the dominant material she’s been seeing when it comes to hats this season. Perfect for parties and sunbathing alike, straw-weaved brimmed hats are extremely versatile and can be styled according to the wearer’s personal preferences. For a fashionable, romantic look, go for a wide brim with floral straps tied into a soft bow at the chin.
Brimmed Hats Are Back
One of the biggest headwear trends for 2016, brimmed hats are returning to the runways and storefronts alike. “There’s been a comeback of small-brimmed hats for luncheons and day wear,” says Marilyn Hellman, owner of Marilyn’s Distinctive European Fashion. On the same note, Hartington notes the importance of size. “Following the rules of Royal Ascot, a mandate that states hats ‘must have a solid base covering at least four inches of the head,’ we have seen a return to the brim, but not the oversized dramatic types such as the one worn by Audrey Hepburn in ‘My Fair Lady,’” explains Hartington.
While fascinators are never out of style, Quenby Tilley, owner of Audrey’s of Naples, has noticed that more of her customers are gravitating towards fun, heavily embellished, or oversized fascinators. “We like to refer to them as ‘hatinators’ here,” says Tilley, “as they look substantial, like a hat, but are constructed on a headband, making them comfortable and airy.” One complementing fashion trend has been to use the large fascinators as an accent color to a plain, colored dress. “A few colors I’ve been seeing are blush and royal blue,” says Hellman, possibly a reference to the two Pantone colors of the year – Rose Quartz and Serenity.
Flaunt Your Feathers
Besides noting that black and neutrals no longer seem to be the favored colors, Hartington also commented on the added accessories to one’s headwear. “Flowers are always popular trims at the annual Hats in the Garden event, but the feather trim is making a strong presence this year,” she says.
Elegant and mysterious, net-veiled hats add the perfect detail to finish off your formal outfit, and Hellman has been noticing more and more hats coming outfitted with veils this year. Tilley noticed this trend as well, adding, “One of the runway trends we were happy to see was the resurrection of the oh-so-mysterious veil. Gucci, Moschino, and Isabel Marant were showing small hats with veils, which is wonderful as it is such an alluring look on just about anyone.”
Still looking for a fashionable hat for the season? Make sure to stop by one of the sponsor’s shops. Marissa Collections will be bringing in fabulous hats at every price point, from large-brim hats to fanciful fascinators. For every hat purchased, the store will donate 15 percent to the Botanical Garden.
In addition, Audrey’s will be hosting its season kick-off party on Saturday, October 29 from noon until 4 p.m. Guests will be served refreshments, light hors d’oeuvres, and an old English classic called the Pimms Cup. The store will also be showcasing its newest array of fanciful hats and latest jewelry collections.