Gone are the days when woollen beanies were enough to counter the chilly winds during the winter months. Fall 2012 is turning the hat into a fashion must-have for the season, but with an array of different styles, shapes, colours and fits. Making a recurrent appearance on the fall / winter 2012 runway, the hat has got a serious upgrade from its days of a mere cold weather necessity.

While most of you might save the hat for a bad hair day, Fashionising.com is going to inspire you to wear a hat on a good hair day as well. Whether you decide to wear one to the derby, a winter wedding or to the grocery store, with this new wave of hats, you’ll have something for every occasion.

Fur, wool, plaid, embroidered or adorned with beads… find your ideal headpiece after the break.

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Fur hats

Despite being the most predictable material for fall, a fur hat has found a very comfortable spot in the fall / winter 2012 runway shows. The majority of designers chose to add a quirky leaflet of fur hats to their collections, like Rachel Zoe and Temperley London.

But Marc Jacobs paraded a collection of fur hats with layered fabrics and distinctive hues, where most of them added to the heavy, winter-approved fabrics in the collection. If a mounted hat doesn’t tick your approval chart, then try Russian-style, fur Cossack hats, as seen on the Issa London runway.

Remember you don’t have to be camping at the Arctic Circle to wear a fur hat. Similar to the styling seen at Rachel Zoe’s and Issa’s show, these furry toppers can be worn with paisley prints, leather pants and velvet skirts. There are no colour restrictions either, so go crazy with what you pick, but make sure it sits well on your head.

cossack hats

Cossack hats at Issa and Temperley London, F/W ’12

Wear it to – a ski trip or a walk in the park. The fur hat has very little boundaries, but comes with a tonne of attitude.

The cowboy hat

Before you start thinking of Cotton Eyed Joe and his horses, have a look at what Moschino had to offer with their version of the cowboy hat for fall 2012. There were still leather gloves, visible zippers and cropped jacket involved, but the dash of gold into the outfit discounted from its hardcore animal-loving instinct and gave it a city attitude.

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Cowboy hat for women at Moschino, F/W ’12

Hermes also offered up felt hats with a Western slant, befitting to their fall 2012 collection.

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Western style hat at Hermes, F/W ’12

Wear it to: a music festival or road trip across the country. While you’re busy channelling your Texan country music idol via this hat, it’ll act as a great accessory for when you’re involved in a physical activity. It won’t budge from your head, that’s a guarantee.

The fedora

Men popularised it and women pulled it out of its clichéd state – a fedora hat has come long way since the 19th century.

Kinder Aggugini’s fedoras were higher and floppier than usual, making them look almost Witch-like – but they still had a dent in the core of the hat. The designer paired the hats with overly feminine silhouettes, giving an edge to the bright designs. However, Giorgio Armani’s tilted fedoras gave an androgynous twist to their mighty old all black felt and velvet fedoras.

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Fedora at Giorgio Armani, F/W ’12

Wear it to: anywhere! The beauty of fedora hats is that you can team it with flirty floral printed dresses or a stiff-fitted blazer and pants.

Cloche hat

Draw inspiration for this from a Gossip Girl character or the fashions of the 1920s and 30s, this bell-shaped hat is a French staple. It’s feminine, classy and does a stellar job at camouflaging a bad hair day in the chicest possible way.

Ralph Lauren and Emporio Armani’s face-framing cloche hats were only a part of the huge hat collection, but these pieces struck against the masculine silhouette presented on the runway.

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Cloche hat at Ralph Lauren F/W ’12

Wear it to: every holiday party on your calendar, a wedding or to a supremely feminine gathering. These hats will stand out the most when worn with a trench, court shoes and leather gloves; don’t hold back on your sisterhood for this style.

The schoolboy cap

If you consider that school girl fashion and androgyny are both key themes of the season, it makes sense that women’s fashion would thus turn to the schoolboy cap for a youthful and fun take on headwear. House Of Holland rocked them in leather and houndstooth in bold, bright colours.

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School boy cap at House of Holland F/W ’12

Top hat

This broad-brimmed topper is a visitor from the 18th century, when the likes of Uncle Sam and other prominent political figures gave the hat its prestigious status.

With the fall 2012 accessory trend, this top hat has made its way out of period drama closet, and into the mainstream wardrobe of men and women. These pre-war inspired hats are now accessorised with velvet lacing and accented with felt fabric at the rim. Once again, Ralph Lauren represented this in the most obvious fashion, but its variety can also be seen in the Louis Vuitton fall 2012 collection.

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Top hat at Ralph Lauren F/W ’12

Wear it to: an era-based themed party, the opera or the street for instant female empowerment. To stay clear of its costume-like apperance, don’t wear the top hat with a tuxedo-inspired suit. And if you wish to channel androgyny, Yohji Yamamoto and Daks fall men’s are great runway looks to steal from when styling the top hat for fall 2012.

Gaucho hat

The gaucho hat has a similar fit and style to the topper hat, except it’s more horizontal and stiff in its structure, with a straight brim. This style was sighted at Zoe Jordan’s fall / winter 2012 show, where its red, white and black versions were paired with off-shoulder and cowl necklines. Carlos Miele was another to fall in love with the gaucho hat for fall.

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Gaucho hats at Carlos Miele and Zoe Jordan, F/W ’12

Wear it to: This style is common amongst ladies attending Derby Day or polo racing events, as it not only provides coverage from the sun, but also an immense level of sophistication and style.

More pictures

For more picture inspiration of hats of all shapes and sizes on the fall 2012 runways, click on the thumbnails and peruse the accompanying gallery.

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