Knit a Hat to Flatter Your Face

I borrowed my daughter's barley hat to see if i could pull off the slouchy hat look.

I borrowed my daughter's barley hat to see if i could pull off the slouchy hat look.


The air is cool today and I am in jeans. I'm looking longingly at my cute fall jackets that I love to pair with a stylish scarf and fingerless mits. I love hats. No seriously, I love hats.    [She considers for a moment.]   Though I usually think I look silly in them right before I walk out the door and take it off at the last minute.

So this season I am on a mission to knit an adorable hat. Something that makes me feel good when I wear it and not like I need to duck into the next isle at the grocery store if I'm seen in it by someone I know (who only shows up at the grocery store when I'm makeupless and not wearing a bra under my big coat at 6:00 on a Saturday morning to buy cream for my morning tea). No, I want a hat that makes me feel like Mary Tyler Moore. I want to dance around in my hat and fling it with excitement and enthusiasm...and then go get my hat because I need that accessory to complete my look. 

I think I just need to find the right style to fit my face. Sure I could knit every hat under the sun for the next 6 months and do a comparison at the end of what looks better to my friends, but that might be a little more commitment to this project than I was hoping for. Why not narrow down the focus of what style of hat would flatter my face? So I turned to The Google and typed," tips on choosing the right hat for my face shape".  

First we need to determine what shape our face is. I found this video by Wayne Goss very helpful.  He had really great things to say about all of the face shapes.  Take a look if you are unsure of your face shape.

Next we want to match the face shapes to complimentary hat styles. The most helpful information came from (how could a website with a name like that steer my wrong?) with a post called "Flattering Hats for Every Head".  The post starts out with terminology and the construction of a hat, but most of us knitters know how a hat is constructed, so feel free to skim down to How Face Shape Figures In.   Read this to get an overall idea of what the hat is trying to achieve for your shape. The tips here are for all kinds of hats, but we can easily take the overall ideas and apply them to winter head-wear.

I am going to be focusing my search results here using 5 face shapes: Heart, Round, Long, Square, and Oval. I wanted the hats to be cool and up to date and have a little bit of feminine look to them (because come winter when we are all in bulky unisex shaped parkas, you may appreciate some gender specific accessories so you don't get greeted as, "Welcome Sir" as I have).

Heart: A great hat for a heart shaped face is a slouchy hat because the brim fits close to the head and keeps your chin proportional. A wide banded or brimmed hat would throw off the proportions, but so long as you keep the width of the hat to a minimum you should be fine in the other styles below. I love how easy it is to wear a slouch hat. Try the Sockhead Hat  by Kelly McClure in All of Time and Space or the Rikke Hat by Sarah Young in Admiral Adama

Round: A wide brim or band is very flattering for a round face. These hats seem to up the style factor with the simple addition of a band or brim. I think the Newsboy Hat Hannah in Shrewd Lady Mary or Litchfield by Elizabeth Doherty in Hinkypunk would make great brimmed hats.  Procella by Holli Yeoh knit in Love Potion Update 9.2 doesn't have a wide brim, but the horizontal band achieves the same effect. 

Long: A hat that sits deep on your head with a bit of flare, like a cloche, is great for a long face. It adds a little bit of width while not adding any extra height. I have a love of the cloches. They seem to frame the face so well. Try Izmir by Shana Schasteen in Knight Bus Escape or Darla by Alex Tinsley in Miss Fisher's Pearl Handled Pistol. Regina by Carina Spencer is a cloche that uses two colors and can be knit in a variety of weights, but I think it would look smashing in Shrewd Lady Mary and Hinkypunk (both available in fingering and sport).


Another hat test. This is actually a rolled brim hat, but I styled it so it sits deep on the head and it has a brim similar to a cloche like Izmir. I liked the look. 


Square: suggests a beret worn up at the hairline and tilted to one side for a square face. I love a jauntily styled hat.  It is so cool. I like the Rustling Leaves Beret by Alana Dakos knit in Shrewd Lady Mary and Rosewater by tincanknits knit in Acid Peacock.

Oval: This face shape can really do any of the above styles so just to add another style of hat I thought I'd use this category for beanies. Close fitting and adding no additional height or width to the face shape, a beanie is a great accessory. Hutchin by Jared Flood knit in Hinkypunk or Gather by tincanknits knit in Love Potion Update 9.2 are great hats for warmth and style. 

Here is my favorite winter beanie. It is knit long so it covers my ears in the cold winter  months. See how different the look is just by how I styled it? Play with it and see what you like. 

Still thinking that hats aren't for you? Go to a store and try on different styles of hats. Look at the shapes that appeal to you and come home to search for those types of hat patterns on Ravelry. Try wearing it styled a different way. I like to wear mine far back on my head to let my bangs show. Try that hat tilted to the side a bit. And if all else fails, add a pom-pom. You may still feel silly in your hat, but you will be owning it.