Unpacking the Appeal
A single article of clothing can take the internet by storm. Whether it’s the fit, trend, or color we just can’t shake, some pieces hit different. But what makes fashion go viral? With Unpacking the Appeal, we’re digging into the most-loved clothes on the internet and figuring out why they make us go absolutely bananas. Plus, more on the trend, shopping, and styling details to satiate your style palette.
I think about Rihanna's greatest hits at least once a week. And no, I'm not talking about Diamonds or We Found Love—I'm referring to her utterly iconic wardrobe and ability to always pull up in instant fashion classic. Take, for instance, last summer. The singer was spotted out shopping in New York wearing camo cargo pants (hot!), a slinky pink tank (even hotter), and a matching furry bucket hat (literally, hot). Now, I don't need to tell you that for most of us, wearing a cold-weather accessory in peak summer heat might feel a little... well, silly. But on Rihanna, it spurred a months-long style obsession (for me anyway) that's currently reaching its zenith: Emma Brewin's furry hats are everywhere.
Beloved by more than just celebs—although Brewin's famous fan club is impressive: Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, and Bella Hadid have all been spotted wearing the brand—this hat has had a bit of a revival in recent weeks. No surprises there. With chilly weather always comes a renewed interest in staying stylish and warm, elevating this piece from "quirky statement" to "seasonally appropriate must-have."
Recently, I've spotted Instagrammers, editors, and dozens of dupes channeling this look across the internet. And while bucket hats are nothing new—I think we're all hip to that style resurgence by now—there's something especially whimsical, fun, and add-to-cart worthy about this Emma Brewin specialty.
Let's get into it. Ahead, we're breaking down this winter must-have's undeniable appeal.
About the Brand
Launched in 2014, Emma Brewin's eponymous brand has staying power. According to the designer, the company started with "a clear vision to make pieces that last a lifetime in both quality and design," a standard to which they've held themselves ever since. Whether it's materials (the brand sources all fabrics and packaging in the U.K.) or design process (each piece is designed and handmade, from start to finish, in the brand's Kent-based studio), Emma and her small team put plenty of love and craftsmanship into each of their millinery creations.
This brings us to the Blossom: Brewin first debuted her fuzzy take on the bucket hat in 2016, but the faux fur style has taken on a second life ever since Rihanna stepped out in the pink "Blossom" version last summer. "In the week leading up to the hat being released, Rihanna wore it twice, which had a huge impact on the excitement surrounding the launch," says Brewin.
"I really just want to create happiness, and I feel the Blossom certainly does that," she adds. "It's delicious, the most perfect pink. All of my customers have their own love story between them and their hat, it's very special—and the reason why I do what I do."
It's not exactly an unsolvable riddle. Rihanna is one of the few stars with automatic step-out to sell-out power, so it's no surprise the fluffy Blossom has taken off the way it has. But, it's worth noting that Brewin has produced this particular style since 2016 (and Rihanna wore a green Brewin creation in years prior). Perhaps, the stars are finally aligning for this piece. Take it from Lauren Valenti, Vogue's senior beauty editor, who was one of the stylish wearers that popped up on my insta feed. “Of course, an endorsement from Rihanna is among fashion’s highest honors, but the appeal of an Emma Brewin hat goes so far beyond being trendy or having reached It status," she explains.
The enduring, timeless appeal of bucket hats undoubtedly plays a part. Originally a mid-century workwear style built for—you guessed it—keeping the sun off one's face, the bucket became a fashion mainstay in the decades following led by hip hop legends like LL Cool J and Jay-Z. Since then, the style has come back periodically, reaching critical mass on runways and lookbooks in the past five years thanks to Gen Z.
However, my money's on the hat's cheeky charm for catapulting Brewin's signature style to fame. With colorful, '00s style codes (pink faux fur was a mainstay in that era) and maximalism dominating Instagram and Depop feeds everywhere, the public might just finally be ready for a statement-making bucket hat that comes in a variety of candy-coated colors. Plus, the quality and plush feel of Brewin's faux fur hats make them a luxe accessory ideal for cold weather.
"From its special craftsmanship to the way its lushness makes you feel when you wear it (cozy and fanciful all at once!), it’s a forever accessory you never want to let go of. It’s also a total conversation piece, which just makes life more fun," says Valenti. After all, who doesn't need a joyful fashion pick-me-up during the somber, dark days of high winter?
How to Style It
Despite its maximalist appeal, this hat is surprisingly wearable—it's just about mixing and matching colors and textures. Emma Brewin offers the Bucket in shades ranging from pistachio to black, so you can opt for a neutral if that's more you're speed.
It goes without saying, but there's no right way to style this piece. But, if you're looking for some inspiration, check out the outfits ahead.
Why not channel everyone's favorite bad girl? Recreate her look with a pair of checkered sunnies, a matching pink top—and the Blossom bucket, of course.
Slip into something cozy. A crewneck sweatshirt layered with a turtleneck brings a bit of polish to an otherwise low-key style. Paired with a furry hat, there's no way winter wind is cramping your style.
Sometimes, it's about bringing the chaos. The fluffy bucket hat is a statement, to begin with, so why not double down with a funky matching set. We love this '70s-inspired print from Tyler McGillivary.