What Outfit Goes With a Cloche Hat?

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A model wears a cloche on the runway during Fashion Week in New York City.
A model wears a cloche on the runway during Fashion Week in New York City. (Image: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

The cloche hat, simply meaning "bell" in French, offers any outfit a feminine, sophisticated edge with its gently flared shape. With a nod to its heydey in the 1920s, this accessory brings to mind a free-spirited, powerful, wear-what-makes-you-feel-alive vibe. So whether you're a fan of preppier styling, a more casual look, or if channeling a vintage-inspired flapper ensemble is right up your sartorial alley, consider some outfit ideas that seamlessly incorporate the cloche.

Urban Chic

True, your beanie is an ultimate staple of your urban chic look -- but that doesn't mean you have to settle for a single hat style just because you have a focused aesthetic. Consider changing things up a bit with a black wool cloche or cloche-style beanie. Go with a simple outfit, such as a black slim sweater over black or boldly-hued straight leg jeans -- think cobalt or rust. Add a pair of black boots, from sleek ankle boots to combat-style lace-up boots. Add your cloche and a black leather moto-style jacket and you're done.

Classic Prep

Keep your look clean and classic if you lean toward a preppier style. Start with a simple black mini shift dress with long sleeves and a round neckline -- opt for a solid, saturated color, such as black, fuchsia or emerald green. Add a neutral cloche, such as charcoal, black or navy. Slide your feet into a pair of nude or black pumps and you're done. Or, for a cooler weather look, add a crewneck or turtleneck sweater in any of the aforementioned colors to a pair of dark rinse, straight-leg jeans. Pull on a classic black peacoat and add a black wool cloche and black riding boots.

Dressed Up

Create a dressier, sophisticated look by adding a cloche to your outfit. In warmer weather, visualize yourself in a black, sleeveless sheath dress that hits at your knees. Add a pair of black high-heel sandals or black leather pumps. Finish the outfit with a black cloche with special detailing, such as a satin ribbon or ornamentation. Or, in cooler weather, pull on black trousers and a floral blouse. Top your look with a black tweed or bouclé jacket, add black suede pumps or booties and the same adorned hat.

Modern Flapper

If you want to go for a more era-appropriate take on incorporating the cloche into your wardrobe, consider creating a flapper-inspired look. For a more interpretive take, start with a cream-hued, round-neck blouse with a pair of dark blue skinny jeans. Add brown or cognac-hued, high-heel Mary Janes and a light to dark brown tweed cloche hat with a grosgrain band to your ensemble. Or, for a more literal take, pull on a silky drop-waist dress -- go for a muted tone, like cream, pale green or mauve; if you have an hourglass shape, stick with the first option as this shapeless dress style may not flatter your curves. Add the same cloche and nude or brown T-strap high heels.

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