Styling Hats 101
Hat Styling with Nanphanita "Anita" Jacob
Whether you are having a bad hair day or just want some extra protection from the sun, a hat will be your best friend this summer. When it comes to styling hats, we knew we had to recruit the queen of hats, Nanphanita Jacob, or Anita for short. Her impressive list of credentials, including fashion blogger, business owner, content creator, and hat connoisseur (to name a few), had us eager to learn more about her. Anita has broken down her styling process, tips for wearing a wide brim, and upcoming trends she will be rocking this summer. If you weren’t a hat person before, we are sure you will be after learning all about Anita’s hat styling tips.
Her passion for fashion began in Bangkok, Thailand where she was born and raised. She says, “Growing up in Thailand, style came to me naturally through my time spending in the markets. I always was on the hunt for some treasures and I pretty much enjoyed mismatching my things.” Finding pieces to curate unique looks is what fashion is all about. It is not about what the mainstream is telling you to wear, it is about creating outfits that make you feel confident.
After moving to the United States, her love for fashion grew even stronger. She says,
“Here in the USA, I learned fashion firsthand on Manhattan streets. Soho is my favorite spot to observe trends and styles from people walking by. I thought I got the first-row seat of a real-life runway show. New Yorkers wear lots of blacks and I feel much more relaxed to wear all black when I’m there, but if you drew my blood, it is multi-colors!”
Anita has since settled down in New Jersey where most of her iconic fashion shoots take place on Instagram. When describing her style, she says “My style is erratic and pulls from a lot of different places; it’s honestly like I’m going through an experiment each day – some days I feel preppy or completely monochrome and the other days loud, weird, and distinctive mixes. During my time growing up, I was a quiet girl, so I tried to fit myself into the mold of a certain way and style because I thought that’s how I would be accepted. As the years passed by, I’ve learned to feel okay to have a style that’s forever changing or no particular style at all. Style should be fun. No judgement.”
Anita’s Styling Process
We can all appreciate a 'Main Character moment’ and when it comes to Anita’s styling process, it involves just that. Anita says, “Building an outfit is like asking myself what narrative or theme character I want to be each day. Somedays I love an über chic boyish look and somedays all I want to be is an ultra-flirty-girly look. Once I have a vision of the mood I’d like to transform into, I pick a hat that I want to wear, then I decide which clothes to go with my hat. My basic styling tips to go with hats are three things:
Go with the monochrome look (it doesn’t have to be all black - I love the warm earthy tone of sand, tan colors for a simple look and I love all pink, pastels, and bright colors for a statement look). I love pairing things with different tones and textures to make them look interesting.
Just go with it and have fun. Go with vibrant colored or bold printed ensemble or both, if that’s what you feel like. Just experiment. If you don’t like it… you know more next time.”
And if you are ever looking for a boost of inspiration, Anita says, “I also like to go to Pinterest every season to see what’s trending and what’s not and I pin a lot (like a madman) of runway fashion, street fashion, western fashion, etc... so I have my mood board collection that I can refer back to and twist a couple of things that suit my personality and budget!”
How to Style a Wide Brim Hat
The Capitola in Cream will be the perfect addition to your hat collection this summer. This neutral color can be paired with an endless array of patterns that will keep you on-trend and protected from the sun. Anita says, “This wide brim hat can be worn all year round but obviously a must-have in summer. I love pairing it with a boho or floral print dress or romper. Finish with a pair of white boots for a western vibe or with a cute sandal for city girl brunch.”
Hats are clearly a staple in Anita’s wardrobe. Her love affair began when she first came to the United States and she says, “I fell in love with the four seasons and the idea of needing to wear coats, boots, and HATS! I never thought that one accessory can really make or break an outfit…but hats truly have that power.”
It is difficult to narrow down her favorite hat style, after all, there are so many amazing ones to choose from. Her recent favorites are the cowboy, boater, and bucket hats. She says,
“In my book, there are no rules to style hats, you can wear them with pretty much everything. The easiest way to style hats is by pairing them with basics like your favorite jeans and a white button-down. Or you can get creative and wear what makes YOU excited about dressing up and going out.”
With a love for accessories that runs deep she decided to start her jewelry brand, Siammpatra. “I pretty much wear the same or almost the same jewelry every day now. It becomes my signature look. Also, hats are my main focus, so I choose jewelry that compliments the hat rather than steal the show,” Anita says.
“I always love wearing a bit of everything. My go-to jewelry will be a chunky statement necklace with lots and lots of rings and hoop earrings. I love gold-colored jewelry; I find it adds glamour to an outfit especially with hats. If you don’t want to wear too much jewelry (I get it), at least you wear an eye-catching necklace or earrings which will help draw attention around the face – nicely frame to compliment the hat.”
What’s Trending this Summer
Some summer trends we will be sure to see on Anita’s Instagram are sorbet pastel tones, tie-dye prints, groovy prints, and of course: over the top hats and all the accessories. She says, “One of my favorite ways to celebrate the warm weather is by dressing in all white: utility-inspired wide legs paired with a flirty, feminine top. Add intrigue with a vibrant neck scarf like a golden or yellow scarf and high-shine jewelry like gold earrings and necklace.”
“Last but not least, I love bright colors for summer, and pink is the perfect pop (plus it’s my favorite color). Flourishing pink pants and sleek polka dot blouse for a fresh and flirty-girly look. Keep the rest – sandals, jewelry – simple.”
What has shaped her style the most is the different cultures she’s been a part of while traveling the world. Anita says, “In Asian culture, we didn’t get much chance to express ourselves or speak our minds. Dressing up becomes the way I can show my identity and express my personality. When I was old enough to travel, I became inspired by; architecture, language, cuisine, people, culture, philosophy, and the unique energy that each place provides. I first traveled to The Netherlands for work and got a chance to visit a trade show, I was swooned by various beautiful things…I learned what’s trending in the market in one day. After the show, I went for a walk, visited a couple of shops, and had a piece of Stroopwafel – all little things like that fill me up.”
When it comes to fashion, it is never one size fits all. Anita says,
“Dressing up should be fun and it should be personal to you. Your style is about who you are and how you want to appear to others. And, if you’re not happy with how you look, either change what you wear or change your filter. It doesn’t have to be a commitment for that matter. Also, once in a while we go through a transformation phase either in style or life so just have fun while doing it.”
Own your look and be proud of where you’ve come from. Be sure to follow Anita on Instagram @nanphanitajacob to see all her latest colorful fits to find inspiration for any occasion, as well as even more advice to feel empowered. You can also check out our Instagram @wanderhatco for all the daily inspiration you’ll need to get you through the week.