Topping it off

Hats were a huge hit at Lollapalooza this summer. Brigitte Noel of Ontario dons a fedora-style hat at the music festival in Grant Park. (Photo by John Konstantaras)

“Suddenly, hats are everywhere…From rock concerts to Ravinia, on men and women, young and old.

Want to be indie cutting edge? Buy a fedora.

Yearning to look well-dressed, supremely put together or just plain chic? Same advice.

You pick your vibe, these hats help you get there.

If you don't believe me, wander into one of the stores where I found the hats shown here and try one on. Everybody looks good in these things. Honest.

Even confirmed "I-look-terrible-in-hats" types can pull off a snap brim beauty.

It's all in how you wear it. One option is to perch a straw fedora on the back of your head like Lindsay Lohan's gal pal, DJ Samantha Ronson.

Or, if that's not the look for you, how about a dark felt number, cocked coolly over one eye, Bogart's Sam Spade style. These hats cry out in an especially loud voice to us Chicagoans. Think Belushi and Aykroyd in Blues Brothers. Think gangsters like our own Al Capone. Think crowd and performers at Lollapalooza here earlier this month or photos of Cubs fans in the '40s and '50s enjoying a glorious afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Incidentally, pay no attention to gender labels. The hats are unisex and can be found in both the men's and women's departments.

Need more reasons to make this style your own? The prices for new hats start at rock bottom ($5.50 at XXI/Forever 21). Vintage shops and thrift stores like Goodwill ( and Brown Elephant ( also stock used ones at bargain prices.

Finally, there's nothing like a hat to come to the rescue of a bad-or bald-hair day.”