Friday, January 27, 2012
I am a hat lady. I wear them. A lot. I love straw hats in the summer but I especially love winter hats. I would not have been caught dead in a hat nearly all my life. Then I went to a funeral and met a woman in a simple lilac jacket, a nice pair of black trousers, stilettos, and a straw hat. She looked like a little china doll and she was of a certain age too. I was enchanted by the hat and asked her about it. "It was my mother's from the 1930's", she said. She looked great. With a fussier outfit, she would have morphed from a chic woman in a hat to a blowsy hippie-type. The key is keeping the clothes simple - the streamlined jacket, the silk camisole underneath, and the shiny black stilettos allowed for the small straw hat with the slightest bit of netting and a silk flower. I was sold on hats at that funeral.
I began buying any hat that reminded me of hers. But when summer was over and winter came, I looked for warm stylish hats. In Newport, I found a terrific hat shop and there, I learned about felted fur hats, which are the ultimate in a structured winter hat. The hats are usually rabbit fur which are felted and blocked on wooden molds. It takes quite a long time to felt and shape a fur hat. The shop had hundreds of them, all in lively colors like teal, magenta, and purple. By the time the shop closed five years after I first found it, I had amassed a cranberry cloche with a thick self tie around the brim, a black bowler with a thin grossgrain ribbon, and a warm chocolate brown with a silk flower.
I try to wear a hat on the bitter cold days we have here in New England. This year I'm wearing a lot of knit hats with matching scarves and I cannot believe the warmth they afford me. Now I feel cold and exposed without one of my hats on. To keep it chic, I remember the simplicity of the woman at the funeral - too many colors, patterns, and fabric and a woman risks being thought of as a pagan or cat person (nothing wrong with either but that's not me).
Meg Ryan says in "You've Got Mail" that she saw a butterfly get off the subway where she imagined it was "going to Bloomingdale's to buy a hat which will be a mistake as all hats are". Well, I don't believe that...not all hats are mistakes and I'm sure that butterfly is wearing a chic fedora right now. Instead, I offer you this sweet and romantic hat quote that suits better:
" A hat is to be stylish in, to glow under, to flirt beneath, to make all others seem jealous over, and to make all men feel masculine about. A piece of magic is a hat." (Martha Sliter)
........Dear Readers, my blog seems to get a lot of traffic but few comments. Is anyone enjoying my corner or are you all just flying by?