Back to Black

In our last blog, we wrote about white women’s church hats. These hats make you look elegant and fresh, and go with many different outfits. On the flipside, though, are black church hats, which look regal, timeless and elegant.

Black has typically been preferred by women for its slimming qualities and ability to blend with literally any color or pattern. For church, this season and next, we recommend investing in a white hat and a black church hat to give your Sunday outfits range and depth. Here are several things to consider when selecting black church hats:

  • If you aren’t careful, black can start to look too sexy. Make sure you select black church hats that look stylish and fashionable, but which are sleek and simple enough to be appropriate at church.
  • Check the quality of a hat and the fabric it is made from before purchasing it. You can clean dirt off a white hat, but it is difficult to repair a black hat if it fades or begins to become discolored.
  • As with white hats, check the fit. You want it to fit well, but not too snugly, or you will be uncomfortable.
  • Also, as with white hats, you want to pay attention to the style of the hat and make sure it works with your face shape. This is slightly less important, than with white hats, however, since black is slimming and tends to flatter most face and body shapes. Most styles are also compatible with a wide range of women’s church suit styles.

White Church Hats: A How-To

Neutrals can be your best friend when you are building a wardrobe. They never go out of style and they can be used in many different combinations with countless different outfits. In fact, if you plan your neutrals well, you can have an endless variety of fashionable outfit options for many Sundays to come.

Some of our favorite neutral pieces are white church hats. These hats pair perfectly with women’s church suits in many different colors and patterns, and are always in season. Here is a short how-to to guide you through purchasing the perfect white women’s church hat for you:

  • Make sure the style is reverent and appropriate for a place of worship. Be mindful that there will be people sitting behind you, so you may want to avoid hats with elements that are too tall, flashy, or distracting. The hat should pair with your suit so that you look fashionable, yet appropriate. Also, keep in mind that simple hats aren’t the same as hats that are boring or plain.
  • Consider your face shape and your hairstyle, when choosing a hat. The style of the hat should complement your natural features, instead of working against them. For instance, a wide brim works better with heart or oval-shaped faces, than really round faces.
  • Make sure the hat fits on your head well. Your hat shouldn’t be slipping down on your face, but you also shouldn’t feel like the top of your head is being squeezed. Take the time to find a hat that fits well, and you will thank yourself later.

Capes to Consider

We introduced several different features and benefits of capes that make them popular for Winter 2013 in our last blog. Here are a few of our favorite capes that we carry at Hats and Suits that have been designed to keep you warm and stylish over the next few months.

  • We believe white looks beautiful for winter, especially when used for church hats and women’s church suits. One of our favorite white designs this season is the Donna Vinci Couture 5435 Women’s Suit for Fall 2013. The dress is 51 inches long and has a band of embroidered mesh at the bottom made from the same material that the beautiful 21-inch cape-let is constructed from. The dress is slim and sleeveless to balance the extra volume added by the cape.
  • Even though the Donna Vinci 11202 Women’s Suit for Spring 2013 was designed for spring, the color and style are perfect for wearing it into fall and the early winter 2013 months. The golden yellow goes perfectly with fall leaves, burnt oranges and deep reds, and the longer jewel-encrusted 41-inch cape offers some warmth when you walk from your car to church or work.
  • The Donna Vinci KNITS 2963 Women’s Suit for Fall 2013 is made from bold, wine-red satin and lace, and is trimmed with rhinestones to make it shine. The cape is 24-inches in length, and comes with a beautiful matching 31-inch slim skirt to balance your ensemble. The color and style of this ladies’ church suit make it one of our favorites for the coming months.

Capes for Winter

While it is hard to deny the magic of hot chocolate, cold winter nights, Christmas lights and the other joys of winter, the daily temperature changes can be incredibly annoying. You go outside and freeze, but the minute you get to your destination and walk in, you begin to sweat, because you can’t get your coat and scarf off fast enough in the heated interior. One of our favorite ways to deal with these fluctuations is to wear a cape instead of a coat.

Many women’s church suits come with matching church hats and capes to help keep you warm while you are on the go outside during the winter. Capes also translate better than many coats and jackets from outside to inside, since they are open on the bottom and much easier to unclip.

When you wear capes, though, you need to make sure you balance them on the bottom. Since they add more volume to the top of your body, you should pair them with thinner pencil skirts, stockings, or other slender pants and skirts. Most ladies’ church suits that come with capes have been designed with this balance in mind, so you won’t have to worry so much about finding that balance yourself, but you will if you mix and match pieces of different wardrobes.

Also, while capes tend to have a more traditional look, they can also look trendy and youthful. Take as an example, the DONNA by Donna Vinci 14047 Knit Cape. This short cape combines a deep-purple, wide ribbed-knit collar and rabbit fur for a luxurious, fashionable feel.

Trimmed with White

While many fashion designers typically advocate trim that is in a different shade of the same color, or which gives your women’s church suit a pop of bright color, we love how much white stands out against darker colors. This traditional neutral takes center stage when is stitched onto a darker canvas, such as with these classic ladies’ church suits.

  1. The jacket for the two-piece Donna Vinci 11244 Women’s Suit for Fall 2013 is black with bold white fabric sewn on as trim across the front, and as free-form trapunto cuffs on the ends of each sleeve. There is a matching church hat with a swirl of stiff white fabric to mimic the trim on the suit, and the entire ensemble has a simple, yet bold, feel to it that will make your outfit one to remember.
  2. The Donna Vinci 11229 Women’s Suit for Fall 2013 has a wide, bold white collar and cuffs on a navy blue, two-piece church suit set. The trapunto-stitched collar has rhinestone buttons and is dramatic because of its extreme width, pulling attention up to your face. You are guaranteed to stun in this lovely fall church suit.
  3. The Donna Vinci KNITS 2960r Women’s Suit for Spring 2013 comes in a beautiful red and white color, making it transfer well into Fall 2013. The white trim contrasts the beautiful red of the suit, and is studded with rhinestones to give the white an extra oomph. We love this suit for Spring, but we especially love it for Christmas-time.

A Season of Stripes

Bold stripes were in for summer, but those stripes have been given a makeover for fall, and pinstripes are gracing women’s church suits and casual wear this season. This pattern is used over entire ladies’ church suits and church hats, or on certain sections. Here are a few of our favorite church suits for fall that incorporate this trend:

  • The Donna Vinci 11246 Women’s Suit for Fall 2013 has relatively thin strips of rhinestones across a classic black two-piece suit. The neckline is bold, as are the shoulders of the jacket, giving you an elegant, slightly futuristic look. The skirt is a modest 28 inches long, with a side seam and matching double-row rhinestones.
  • The Donna Vinci Couture 5431 Women’s Suit for Fall 2013 has a slightly more traditional take on stripes, though the collar is still bold. There are black and light green satin stripes on an emerald green satin jacket with a black skirt that stretches 32 inches. The satin is elegant, and the stripes are slightly retro, giving the whole look a timeless feel.
  • The DONNA by Donna Vinci 14153 Women Sportswear for Fall 2013 coat is made from beautifully colored striped faux fur with black, green, tan and brown stripes. The fur is almost as soft as real fur, and is 36 inches in length. There is a matching hat that goes with the coat, and there are in-seam pockets that are trimmed with faux leather. These stripes give you a chance to express yourself with bolder stripes that mimic the fashions of Summer 2013.

Contrasting Colored Shoes

Color blocking is one of the top trends this year, and one of the easiest ways to achieve this trend is by pairing contrasting colored shoes with a solid colored outfit or a women’s church suit that has a different primary color. This subtle color blocking is sophisticated and beautiful, and is one of our favorite alternatives to some of the more bold blocking options.

Make sure you pay attention to colors when you pair brightly colored heels or shoes with your colored outfit. For instance, green and yellow work well together, as do green and red, as long as one of these colors is used in a much smaller quantity, such as red shoes with a solid green dress. You don’t have to go with traditional color pairings, as long as the colors work well together, like yellow and pink, or yellow and purple. The key is to wear your outfit with confidence.

Another option along the same line is wearing a church hat with your suits or ladies’ church dresses that is the same color or a similar color to your shoes. If you do this, we recommend choosing a more muted color, like deep red with a yellow dress, or forest green with dark purple.

Whether you are wearing a more structured church suit, casual wear, or sportswear, this trend looks good if it is done well. Make sure you choose your colors based on the fall color palette, and purchase items that you can mix and match to create a variety of outfits.

Earth Tones Are In

Amidst the bright oranges, deep purples and warm reds of fall, neutral earth tones have also made a comeback, particularly in casual wear, women’s church suits, church hats, and sportswear. A new trend this fall is tie-dye earth tones, which allow the fabric to mimic the natural swirls and lines of nature.

When shopping for outfits to improve your current wardrobe, search for warm tans, browns in different shades, slate gray and blacks. These colors are perfect for fall, and can be blocked or swirled together to create garments that are cohesive and beautiful. Match them with white, clear, or black jewelry to stay consistent with the theme of your outfits, or, if you’re feeling bold, choose jewelry that is red or yellow for a pop of color.

Here are a few of our favorite earth tone outfits for this fall and winter:

  • The Love the Queen 17096 Women Sportswear Fall 2013 is a beautiful tie-dye mix of tans with a ruffle collar and a cascade ruffle-trimmed skirt. There are mesh cascades and beads on the neckline and at the bottom of the skirt, and these, with the other accents, make this outfit a true work of art.
  • The Love the Queen 17103 Women Sportswear Fall 2013 outfit is made from mixed medium knit fabrics, has ruffled print appliqué trims, a novelty hem, and is fully lined. This dress uses blocking to make a unique, beautiful outfit, and is discounted to the low price of $145.00. This is one of many perfect earth tone women’s church dresses for fall offered from Hats and Suits.

A Guide to Suit Fabrics Part 2

We gave you information about two of the most common fabrics for ladies’ church suits in our last blog: namely wool and cotton. Each of these fabrics is made from naturally occurring fibers, and are durable and breathable. We also have available one synthetic and one natural fabric that make good alternate materials for women’s church suits, if you don’t want either of the two most commonly used materials:

  • Polyester is cheaper than naturally occurring fabrics, and has gained popularity in women’s Sunday suits since the 1950s, shortly after British chemists invented it. This fabric tends to hold its shape, and doesn’t wrinkle very easily, though it isn’t as stiff as either cotton or wool. Since it is not natural, though, it doesn’t breathe, and it can be stifling in warmer climates. It is best to use this fabric in cooler environments so the low breathability doesn’t affect you. Since you can wash polyester in your home washing machine and don’t need to get it dry cleaned, it is also a good choice for women on a budget. This fabric is usually blended with other textiles to make it look and feel more natural.
  • Silk is more expensive than any of the previous choices, and is considered to be more luxurious, as well. It is very thin and breathes well, making it the best fabric for cooler climates. It doesn’t hold its shape well, and is often used for looser, flowing fashions and suit designs. This fabric doesn’t wrinkle, and can’t be ironed or washed in a washing machine without being damaged.

A Guide to Suit Fabrics Part 1

A Guide to Suit Fabrics Part 1

A suit is only as good as the fabric it is made from, meaning one of the biggest considerations in expanding your wardrobe is what kind of fabric the suit is made up of. While some fabrics are considered to be better quality than others, each fabric is ideal for different levels of warmth and different styles, so it is important for you to know your materials. Here are a few of the major fabrics used for women’s church suits, and their benefits and shortfalls:

  • Wool is one of the most common fabrics for ladies’ church suits, and, since it is made from sheep fibers, it is an excellent fabric for colder weather. It is durable, holds its shape, keeps in warmth, and can breath in slightly warmer weather, making it a good all-around fabric. It can be slightly itchy, and many people describe it as weighty in hot climates, since it is a mid-weight fabric.
  • Cotton is another popular fabric for women’s Sunday suits, and is particularly ideal for warmer climates, since it tends to be lower density and breathes well. Cotton does wrinkle more, than other fabrics, and must be ironed frequently, while wool does not. Similarly to wool, cotton has the ability to take dye easily, resulting in beautifully colored and patterned suits.  Cotton also tends to be slightly less expensive, than wool suits, since cotton fibers themselves are cheaper than sheep’s wool, as they take less refining to create a smooth fabric and a polished-looking church suit.