Holly Kennedy runs Ireland’s first dedicated cancer support magazine & approached me to write an article on choosing Winter headwear, which I did. Here it is:
The style/shape of headwear and the colouring are both really important in creating a look that suits you and therefore creates some confidence with your new look. Most of my clients have wigs and many people find they want a wig for business meetings or dinners out but many people do find them rather uncomfortable hot and sweaty and so turn to more comfortable headscarves or hats quite quickly. Some people end up never wearing their wigs at all!
It is worth looking at your wardrobe before choosing your headwear; if you wear a lot of print then choose a plain fabric, alternately if your wardrobe is very plain then choosing a print could be a good idea. Also, think of your skin tone and eye colour, this is what people will notice and picking a blue, green, grey or brown print to pick out your eye colour will be result in a flattering headwear choice. Also, think about your make-up, firstly you might need to apply more when going through chemo and if you know, for example you are going to wear bright red lipstick then pick a red headscarf or hat to complement that; same goes for pinks etc.
Once you have chosen what headgear you are going for experiment with your looks. Do you ears look better tucked in or out? Try some big earrings. Pull together some looks that work with your wardrobe and make you feel confident. One of my clients had a friend help her by taking photos of several different outfits with headscarf, shoes and bag choice and sticking them inside her wardrobe door for quick reference as she felt just too ill to think about what to pull on each morning. If you have a willing friend I think this is a great idea!
It is really important to feel completely “you” in the style of headwear you choose. Some people will prefer a headscarf style while others will prefer a stretchy jersey hat as it can seem more casual and modern. The classic turban style tends to be my “marmite” style as people either love it or hate it – if you have the confidence it can be a really attractive and flattering headwear shape. I usually advise people to think through at the start of their chemotherapy treatment the time of year you are in and which seasons it will need to carry you through. If it is winter take a look in your current wardrobe and see what colour jumpers are your current favourites and pick some headscarves or hats to go with them. As knitwear is often plain maybe go for a pretty print that might pick out the colour of your jumpers. Equally think of your winter coat, this is an item of clothing you wear a lot at this time of year and you want to know you have a hat you can throw on with your coat as you leave the house. Same might go for a dog walking coat? Now turn your thoughts to neck scarves – these become even more essential wear during chemo to keep you warm and many people feel their neck feels terribly exposed with the loss of hair. If you have a very favourite scarf which is patterned then think about a plain silk or cashmere headscarf or plain colour bamboo jersey hat. Though it is easy to find a woolly bobble hat or beanie from the high street it might be too hot when you are inside and look a little strange that you are wearing a bobble hat inside, I design all my headwear to look more normal when worn inside.
A quick summary of some of my styles that are great for the winter months:
• Alice easy-tie headscarf in the softest Liberty print babycord. 100% cotton.
• Alice headscarf or Lucy turban in 100% cashmere. Made from the softest/lightweight pashminas.
• Olive gathered hat in plain bamboo jersey or Liberty print.
• Caroline reversible turban – print one side and plain on the other!
• Kitty beanie – good under a woolly bobble hat so you can take your outdoor hat off when you go inside.
By Claire Featherstone, founder of award winning Chemo Headwear. All styles available to buy online at chemoheadwear.co.uk