Fall Hats Are Bolder, Brighter, and Better Than Ever

Here are five styles to try now.

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Franken-Caps

Caps have sprouted all sorts of freakish, but cool, appendages this season: pom-poms, ear flaps, tassels, braids—and we co-sign the evolution. The Franken-Cap, as we're dubbing it, was this season's runaway hit, demonstrating the explosive creative power of a new generation of designers who are challenging every rule in the book. Look to the Gucci runway for proof, where designer Alessandro Michele topped looks for both men and women with outlandish hats festooned with critters.

Embroidered ear flaps: prettier than noise-canceling headphones. H&M Studio, fall 2016.
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Berets

Feeling so Parisian. Louis Vuitton, fall 2016.

Berets tend to reside squarely in the realm of womenswear, despite the style's roots in French military regalia. That's where Louis Vuitton menswear designer Kim Jones drew inspiration for the brand's fall collection, making a strong case for men to reexamine this Parisian staple. (Don't worry, girls—there remain plenty of options for you to choose from, too.)

The Godfather


Tfw you're about to make someone an offer they can't refuse. Trussardi, fall 2016.

Fall runways simmered with a certain undeniable mafioso swagger. While men have been emulating Vito Corleone for decades (with mixed results), the wide-brimmed fedora packed a particular punch in the women's collections, where designers offered modern renditions in rich jewel tones with shimmering silk hatbands. Not to glamorize the gangsters of a bygone era, but those guys sure knew how to dress.

Textured Ball Caps

Rooting for Team Cozy. John Elliott, fall 2016.
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Summer's signature hat, the baseball cap, puts on some weight for fall in unexpected materials like washed velvet, supple suede, and fluffy shearling. The extra warmth lent by these materials makes this classic totally weather-appropriate for cool autumn afternoons and beyond.

Hardware

Channeling Napoleon. Maison Margiela Haute Couture, fall 2016.

We're used to seeing custom hardware on bags and boots (picture the Alexander Wang bag with the studded bottom, or Proenza Schouler's PS1 closure), and now that effect is coming to hats. Architectural felt hats adorned with bold hardware added toughness in a season otherwise noteworthy for feminine accents like beading, embroidery, and braiding.

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