Kampala social gatherings—besides being fun and mingling hubs—are places we can learn about contemporary trends in fashion.
Wearing hats is among the styles that have increasingly been embraced at Kampala’s popular fetes like Roast and Rhyme, Blankets and Wine, Bayimba and Nyege Nyege festivals.
A quick search shows hats existed in Britain as early as 1700, and they were made by travelling sales people called Millaners from Milan in Italy.
France, a hub of renowned hat brands like Blanche Abel, Fedora, Betmar, Jaxon hats, Gold Hats also had pioneer hat-makers called chapeliers.
Putting on hats in the medieval times was mainly for protection from falling rocks, weapons or masonry.
Eventually hats evolved to become a status symbol, for instance, special hat designs were reserved for Royals, and progressively folks began wearing hats as uniforms and headwear to appear stylish.
In Uganda, there isn’t much information to trace the origin of hats, but there is a bunch of differently designed locally made hats in cultural shops and show rooms.
Asking women on why they wear hats, their opinions vary with the most recurring answer “dressing for fashion appeal”.
Kellen Mbabazi, who affirms “I have lost count of hats in my wardrobe”, says women “have always had hats depending on the occasion. “They add a final touch to the outfit,” she says.
According to Shiba Nalugo, other than adding charm to the ensemble, “a bad hair day” can make a lady wear a hat.
Josephine Nakafeero, who hosts a fashion show on NBS TV, maintains that “swag” majorly influences ladies to wear hats, though at times the weather conditions come into play.
“When it’s hot, it (hat) helps to shield the head from too much sunshine,” she says.
She also adds that ladies can use hats “to disguise little bit.”
Basic knowledge on hats
Sun hats with big brims are worn when it’s warm and you want to shade your face from evil wrinkle-producing rays. Pinks and blues are good colors for most women.
Straw hats and other lightweight hats are worn during hot weather or whenever a warm hat is not needed.
Fashion designers argue that how your hat matches your outfit is as good as how it blends with your skin tone.