Accessorizing Your Church Outfit: from Sunday and Easter Hats to Heels and Handbags

Your “Sunday Best” begins with a great suit or dress but isn’t complete until you’ve accessorized it. From magnificent women’s church and Easter hats to elegant dress shoes and handbags, embrace the joy of pulling together your one-of-a-kind church outfit.

Add some “Hattitude” to your Sunday Ensembles

When you’re wearing a fabulous hat, you carry yourself with more grace. You instinctively walk a bit taller. You’re a queen, and your hat is your crown.

And when you’re wearing a great ladies’ church hat, you’re not just a little bit closer to Heaven, you’re following generations of strong women who cleared our path. From tams to turbans, fascinators to first ladies, adorned with ribbons, flowers or feathers…magnificent church hats are a glorious part of the African American “Sunday Best” tradition.

Whether you already treasure a collection of Sunday hats or are just starting to get on board, you’re sure to find a beauty in Ashro’s unique collection of Easter hats and church hatsPillbox or sun hat? Fedora or panama? Flowers, ribbons, rhinestone or veil? When it comes to dazzling church and Easter hats, there are many options to help you express your unique sense of style.

Easter Hats Style Spotlight: The Jack McConnell Hat Collection 

Looking for a cloche with cachet, or perhaps a designer derby? If you’re drawn to chic, contemporary church or Easter hats with an indisputable fashion pedigree, see Ashro’s exclusive Jack McConnell hats

Jack McConnell, aka “the King of the Milliners,” was one of the most exciting, creative hat makers of the 20th century. The son of a Tennessee farmer, he was working in radio when he asked a milliner friend to make a special hat as a gift for his mother.

His friend turned him down, so he made his mom a gorgeous church hat himself, revealing his hidden talent. From those unexpected beginnings, he quickly rose to success in the 1940s and 50s, creating unique headgear for the Hollywood elite.

Today, his vintage originals remain highly collectible (and very expensive). Lucky for hat connoisseurs, his legacy lives on through a modern milliner shop that has found inspiration in McConnell’s timeless styles and meticulous handcrafting.

Jack McConnell Peony Coche

Jack McConnell Peony Cloche

Choosing the most Flattering Easter Hats or Church Hats for You

It’s not enough to choose great-looking Easter hats or church hats, they have to look great on YOU! Be sure to:

  • Look for hats that are in scale with your size. For example, if you’re petite, a huge hat might overwhelm you.
  • No matter what size you are, think twice before choosing a hat that’s wider than your shoulders!
  • When you first try on a new hat, play with it. Move it into different positions to see what works. You’ll know the right angle when you see it.
  • Choose a hat that flatters the shape of your face.  If you don’t have an oval face (ovals look good in almost all church hats or Easter hats), think in terms of opposites and balance:
    • Round face? Choose hats with angular lines, like a fedora or tam perched on the side. Stay away from cloches and round hats that hug your face.
    • Square face? Go for less structured hats, with curves or floppy brims to soften strong angles. Also, soft accents like feathers and veils are your friends.
    • Long face? You’ll want to add width, not height, so look for interesting angles and hats with short crowns. Try positioning the brim so it cuts across your forehead.
    • Heart-shaped face? Go for short or medium-width brims as opposed to wide brims—they’ll slim your forehead. For example, angled fedoras look great on you!
  • If you’re wearing Afrocentric clothing, try a headwrap—it’s a very fashionable way to honor your African heritage.
  • When you find a hat you absolutely love, snap it up. Many women choose their hat first and then plan their church or Easter outfits around it!

 

Easter Outfit Accessorizing: To Match or Not to Match?

When it comes to awe-inspiring church outfit and Easter accessorizing, you can go two directions. Some women love the “matchy matchy” head-to-toe look with accessories made in the same materials and adorned with the same embellishments. If you want to step out like a Hollywood starlit, this is your look! But others prefer complementary accessories that could “go together” with a variety of church outfits. If you like mixing colors, textures and materials, this is the more “creative way” to put your own spin on your look. (Oh yes, and more budget-friendly, too!)

What’s trending in church dress shoes? The style of the season is women’s dress shoes with straps: cross-straps, ankle straps, T-straps, you name it. The look is fresh, flattering and fun—especially if you choose white heels or bright or pastel pumps. (Honestly, if you have a weakness for colorful pumps, what better day to wear them than Easter?)

Or, slip into slingbacks with a flash of sparkle—rhinestone buckles, pearl accents, satin, lace touches. Another spring look we’re loving: pumps and dress sandals with intricate cutouts.

And now’s the time to grab that new white and light-colored handbag. Classic clutches, small purses and scaled-down satchels make great go-to choices to complement Easter outfits—and you’ll reach for them all spring and summer long.

Church Hat Fashion: A Timeless African American Tradition

Fancy church and Easter hats have earned a well-deserved place in African American cultural history. Not many can pull off the elegant look of a glorious church hat like a strong and confident black woman!

Visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to check out the recreation of Mae’s Millinery—a 1940s-era hat shop owned by Mae Reeves, one of Philadelphia’s first black female entrepreneurs.

You know what other magnificent church hat is on display in the Smithsonian? The unforgettable cloche that Aretha Franklin wore to President Obama’s 2013 inauguration. The Queen of Soul is known for her flamboyant hats. So was gospel singer and activist Mahalia Jackson before her. So is Florida Congressman Frederica Wilson, for that matter. Perhaps you’ll be next!

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