YOUR hat of choice for the Vodacom Durban July should complement your outfit and reflect your mood of the day. | Picture by Natasha Metior.
YOUR hat of choice for the Vodacom Durban July should complement your outfit and reflect your mood of the day. | Picture by Natasha Metior.
YOUR hat of choice for the Vodacom Durban July should complement your outfit and reflect your mood of the day. | Picture by Natasha Metior.
YOUR hat of choice for the Vodacom Durban July should complement your outfit and reflect your mood of the day. | Picture by Natasha Metior.
 
YOUR hat of choice for the Vodacom Durban July should complement your outfit and reflect your mood of the day. | Picture by Natasha Metior.

The Vodacom Durban July next weekend is an occasion for the perfect hat or fascinator. A wrong choice can ruin your race day outfit. There is a lot to consider before picking out your head-piece such as your hairstyle for the day, the style and colour of your outfit and most importantly, choose a practical piece.

You are likely to be on your feet the whole day on a hot and humid day, your whole outfit has to look flawless until the after party.

Milliner Bettina of Bettina Thomas Couture Hats shares her tips for shopping for the perfect hat.

What is your philosophy? 

I want people to feel empowered by my headpieces and let them experience the magic of haute couture millinery, excellence and hand craftsmanship.

Where do you find inspiration? 

There is no magic recipe for inspiration. It can be triggered by music, a conversation, a book I am reading, colours of nature, fauna, heritage, history, a perfume, a film, an article, a dream, a conversation, anything.

Your advice on shopping for the perfect hat for the Vodacom Durban July? 

Actually, the question is not finding the perfect hat for the perfect occasion but rather understanding how one wants to feel. The hat is no ordinary accessory, it is a strong and empowering statement and you must decide what message you want to convey. Do you want to feel beautiful, romantic, powerful, discreet, etc? The perfect headpiece will give you confidence and maybe
make you discover a side of yourself you didn’t know. Body language cannot lie and will immediately tell you if the hat is right or not.

Your pointers on how a hat would sit on one’s head? 

First of all, it must sit comfortably. There is nothing worse than a hat that gives you a headache. The position is probably the most difficult aspect to capture. I often see hats that are worn too backwards. One centimetre can make the difference between an elegant look and a very ordinary one. Of course it varies from one design to the other but a hat worn elegantly must deepen the expression of the eye and be in harmony with the line of the eyebrow.

As a couture milliner I always look at the harmony of the whole silhouette. The definite No! No! for me is vulgarity and the line between the latter and elegance is so very thin. A hat is stylish if it adds a beautiful movement to the head. It is all about lightness.

● Connect with Bettina Thomas Couture Hats on Instagram.