Gladys Tamez riding cap, £350,


Don't tell me – if I want to get ahead this season…

Oh you know the old fashion adages too well! But actually, regardless of the changing directions of the trend winds, this is the best moment of the year to get a hat.

Protection from autumnal mists?

That's your cover. If you incorporate a hat into your look in spring or summer, all you'll get from your nearest and dearest will be observations that a) "You're wearing a hat!" and b) "You never wear hats!" Gee, thanks folks. Right now it's a touch easier, since it's the natural time for rugging up with extra accessories.

Bobble hats ahoy, then.

You don't have to go too far with the practicality pretext; let's keep it fashion. So beanies and posh baseball caps if you think you have sufficient edge and something a little equestrian for those seeking elegance.

Bridle and blinkers?

Now that would be edgy, but actually I was thinking jockey rather than horse. Although this quirky riding cap from milliner Gladys Tamez (above) with its ear-like peaks has a bit of both (£350, It's a finely made piece with an equally impressive price tag, so if you're just dabbling, check out Zara's similarly horsey headgear (from £15.99,