BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Whether you’re headed to Preakness or a Royal Wedding party this weekend, you may be in the market for a fascinator or a hat for the special occasion.

This year, the two special occasions land on the same day — May 19 — and it’s all about the hats at both events.

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Keith Pfeffer, the e-commerce general manager for Hats in the Belfry, talked about what’s in style and gave some tips for those shopping last minute.

Matching Styles: Royal Wedding vs. Preakness

For the Royal Wedding, Pfeffer said it’s important to match the hat and dress color.

He recommended that you purchase your hat first and then buy your dress to match.

But if you’ve already picked out a dress and are still looking for a hat to match, Pfeffer said bring the dress (or a picture of the dress) to the store with you.

Although Europeans are quite literal with matching their hats and dresses, he said for the Preakness it’s more about color coordination.

“You don’t have to be so matchy,” he said, “just coordinate the colors.”

Hat Choice: Fascinator vs. Hat 

It’s time to decide which kind of hat you’d like to wear.

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For the Royal Wedding, Pfeffer said fascinators are the preferred choice.

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“You can still do your hair with a fascinator,” he said. However, he said if you do need a hat — go with a smaller to medium-brimmed hat.

But at the Preakness, “you can go as big as you want.”

Pfeffer said a lot of it has to do with the height of the person. If the woman is tall, she should wear a wider hat. More petite women should wear a smaller-brimmed hat.

“What’s great about wearing a fascinator is that you can get the impact of wearing a bigger hat, but it’s condensed,” Pfeffer said.

Other hat trends

The most popular color for a hat right now is champagne, Pfeffer said, with dusty pink and navy following close behind.

Another trend is the hatinator — which Pfeffer explained is like a fascinator, but a bit bigger. He said their stores are seeing a surge in purchases of hatinators.

If you do end up purchasing a hat and you’d like to re-wear it, a wedding or a garden party is the perfect occasion, he said.

Pfeffer’s last word of advice — be flexible with your dress, especially if it’s last minute.

Hats in the Belfry has two locations in Maryland — in Fell’s Point and in Annapolis. They also have a location in Philadelphia.

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