‘Vessels for joy and play’: Sarah Jessica Parker cements big hat moment

Last Updated: June 8, 2024By

Big Hats, Big Statements: Why Oversized Hats Are Taking Over

And just like that, Sarah Jessica Parker started a trend. On Monday, she posted a photo from the set of the next season of the “Sex and the City” spin-off, rocking a gingham hat the size of a car steering wheel.

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This move cemented the growing popularity of oversized hats, as seen on celebs like Margaret Qualley and Anya Taylor-Joy at the Cannes Film Festival this week.

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The Appeal of Big Hats

Sure, these hats scream “Riviera chic” and might remind you of something out of “Tender is the Night,” but guess what? You don’t need a millionaire’s budget to get in on this trend. Take Cos, for example. They offer an oversized straw hat with a brim big enough to shade your entire face, neck, and shoulders for just £65. Over at Toast, you can snag a handwoven palm leaf hat with a wide, floppy brim for £69. Not bad, right?

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Trending Now

Since the start of the year, searches for big and oversized hats on the secondhand resale site Depop have shot up by 145%. On Etsy, sellers like Stephanie Beck of Bottega Apparel are noticing a surge in interest—and sales. “Straw is the fabric of choice,” Beck says. “It adds a touch of beachside glamour.”

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A Bold Fashion Statement

Most of these large hats are made from simple straw—the iconic Jacquemus La Bomba hat took over beaches in 2018. But Parker’s hat is even more flamboyant. Some say it looks like the one worn by the 1979 Strawberry Shortcake doll or even a diaper bag. Others believe the hat completes the look. Created by artist Maryam Keyhani, her designs range from souffle hats to clown nose hats. When she found out her hat would be worn by the fictional Carrie Bradshaw, she felt “pure pride and joy.”

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Keyhani thinks the hat fits Bradshaw perfectly because “she looks like she’s completely disregarding what mainstream culture tells her—her inner world is much more important than the outside world.” The message here goes beyond fashion; it’s about “the freedom to look totally unhinged if you want to. As women, at a certain age, we truly don’t care what people think of us—as long as we feel right about it!”

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High Fashion’s Big Hat Moment

In high fashion, the “personality hat” is having a moment, leading with character over practicality. At Prada, this meant feathered military caps. The Row brought back pillbox hats. Chanel, fresh off announcing a revenue increase, went all out with big hats in its latest collection.

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Social Media Impact

Anya Taylor-Joy, seen at the Hotel Martinez on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival, is another example of the big hat trend. “Huge hats are not so wearable,” says the owner of Etsy shop Katarina Hats, “but they stand out on TikTok and Instagram, which boosts their appeal.”

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Big Hats for Everyone

Thanks to Bradshaw, the time feels right for big hats to enter mainstream fashion. “We are ready for bold statements, and ridiculously big hats make big fashion statements,” says Katarina.

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Keyhani sees big hats as a way for adults to play dress-up. “Hats to me are absolutely vessels for joy and play,” she says. “Not just for the wearer but for those who see them. Every smile I get when I wear a giant funny hat goes straight to my heart.”

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She hopes summer 2024 will be all about big hats. “In this crazy world, we all need some lightness—some fun. Hats are to adults what toys are to kids. They elevate our sense of lightness.”

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