2.25.2009

Hats are for wearing.


Nov 1944 McCall's, originally uploaded by myvintagevogue.

When people who collect hats come into the shop I work at, wearing a sweatshirt and tennis shoes, I have the urge to grab all the really great ones and hide them in the back until they leave. Because I know that the hats they buy will only be hidden away in a hatbox, or set on display to collect dust. A woman who came in today was especially irksome in her collectors attitude, wanting a discount on a $12.00 40s feathered hat because she insisted it was dirty and she would have to pay to get it cleaned. It was not dirty, and $12.00 was most definitely low enough for such a gem, so I declined. She still got it but didn't want a bag for it, she wanted a hatbox, since her giant dog in her truck would trample all over it. I told her we sell them, but maybe she could just wear it home and that way no harm would come to it. She looks at me disgusted and says "I can't wear it until it gets cleaned."

Ugh.

This is the exact reason I get so selfish about my hats. I won an amazing 30s hat on ebay the other day (with an actual bird on it!) and was so set in winning it because I just know that chances are, no one is going to actually wear the hat as much as I will. I love hats. They frame the face. They make a statement. They are the finishing touch on an outfit. Unlike todays accessories most women swoon over, like bags and shoes, hats are much more affordable because no one wears them anymore. There is not much of a demand, and while I have seen some over the top styles go for a lot on ebay, really I can find a wonderful hat for under $20 and without it my outfit is not nearly as exiting. The one I got the other day I only paid $30.00 for, and seriously, its way more fabulous than any designer bag out there.

I urge you to try out a hat. Start small if you want. A little black pillbox, or fascinator. Soon enough you may find yourself spotting hats everywhere, and seeing just how inexpensive they are. And if you come into the shop where I work, I will greet you with a smile because you will look fabulous in your darling little hat :)

22 comments:

DiamondMind said...

I love hats too. I wear them all the time. I was known as the "hat girl" way back in high school. My grandma always wore a hat on Sundays and both my granddads wore them. Both my granddads are gone now but I have pictures of them looking very stylish in their hats. I love fedoras, and I have one that belonged to my Granddaddy John and I always think of him when I wear it.

Atomic Mama said...

kinda spendy, but I saw this today and thought of you..
http://www.rubylane.com/shops/lilacvintage/item/111222

Solanah said...

Thats so pretty!

Hexotica said...

I'm curious to know how many hats you have and what is your favorite? Maybe you can blog about it sometime? I make my own hats but would love to start collecting vintage hats. They are great for windy days here.

Casey said...

It's too bad people can have a bad attitude about something so gorgeous as an old hat! ;) I rather adore hats, and have a small little collection going. One of my "resolutions" for this year style-wise is to wear hats more often, as I haven't done it a lot. But I do love how they look--so unique! :)

Out of curiosity: I was wondering if that cleaning book you posted about recently has anything on how to clean vintage hats? Particularly straw hats? I've got a few that need some cleaning, and am slightly unsure of how to go about it! :p

Q's Daydream said...

Girl I love you and your hats! My hair is still to short to look cute in a vintage hat though...and my head is too big to fit in them..haha :o)

Trixie said...

Oh I feel the same way! About hats and clothes actually. When people are crowing about their "collections" I get a little upset. What's the point of having something just to have it? I'll never understand. That's why I sell stuff I never wear so it can get some use. Thanks for the post :)

boylerpf said...

I love hats! I always get made fun of up here in the sticks when I done something other than a stocking cap...like a fur cloche. We have a whole room where the walls are decorated with hats...just pull one down and you're good to go! The bird hat is outrageous!

Solanah said...

Thanks for the great comments everyone!

Casey, great question, I didn't even think of that!

It has directions for straw hats, felt hats and veils, so I'll post all of those.

Hexotica I will surely blog about it sometime, I've been meaning to clean out my collection so I can trade in the hats I don't wear for ones I do. Also the Portland Antique Expo is coming up next week, so I'm sure I'll find a few grand hats there :)

XOXO

LadyRed said...

I have a vintage hat that I love. The only reason I haven't worn it is because it is a very particular shade of green. Actually I want to sew a dress and make an entire outfit for the hat to do it justice!

Karin said...

I agreeee, I work in a vintage shop and run another one online. I can sell the most magnificent hats to customers at the real life store and they will tell me they will use it for a dressing up party and then never again :( At the vintage store, at least I can imagine they get worn every day by a classy excentric transvestite or something!
I love your blog by the way! <3 /Karin in Sweden

Kitten said...

How funny I should read this today, as I made my first ever fascinator earlier this week :) I'd love to wear hats more often, but find it hard to find any in this small town and most of all, I'm not quite sure when to wear one. I can't wait for spring and when it gets warm enough to wear something that doesn't need to cover your ears...

Do you make your own hats btw?

Solanah said...

Hello Kitten :)

I've never made a fascinator before, but just love the way they look. I've re-decorated hats before (Taken hopeless ones and re covered the frames). I'm excited for spring too, thats when the fun hats come off the shelves :)

Amanda #1 said...

I love hats, but I need to know: how do you wear them? I'm Catholic, so wearing them to church, I understand. You just keep it on. But other places? Like work....can I wear a hat to work? Do I wear it all day, or just to and from work? And how do you keep a hat on/prevent it from blowing away?

I love hats, but the practicalities prevent me from wearing them often!

Lauren said...

good post! Gosh she wanted a discount when the hat was 12 dollahs? what on earth! I have one hat that I love, it was my great grandmothes red pillbox hat(i think!). It's givenchy...at least it says "adaptation of Hubert Di Givenchy" so i hope that doesn't mean it's fake! Anyways I really like it but it does not look good on me. I need to start with a small hat, like you said.

Bridget said...

Any ideas on creative ways to display your hats? I have so many, and I don't want to keep them in hatboxes anymore...they deserve a bit of love! I do wear them out occasionally, but I feel they'd see the light of day a bit more if I could see them all on the wall.

Solanah said...

Hello Bridget!

It's nice to meet you, I do have a lot of hats on display on a couple of these convenient little holders.

http://modepass.com/viewPhoto.php?fileID=14709&albumID=954

Sorry about the fuzzy photo. I've found them at thrift stores, but also see them at home stores as well.

Another way is on a shelf on decorative heads or wire stands. I actually have a few that must keep shape (Such as ones with veils) perched on large vases and hung on dresser mirrors and such. Hats all around the house are really quite a wonderful decoration. Of course you could also just hammer a nail or hook in your wall and hang as many hats as you wish!

I hope that helps!

Bridget said...

Hmmm--that could work! I really like the idea of vintage doorknobs for my scarves and such, so it'd be lovely to incorporate all of these things I love into a wall of pretty and colorful things :)

Solanah said...

I'm so sorry Amanda, I neglected to answer your questions!

A ladies hat is something that is kept on all day, as it is a part of her outfit. Unlike a mans hat, which is usually removed when going indoors. I work at a vintage store, so its very easy to wear a hat to work, and while I'm not aware of your own circumstances, I think a hat to the office, or especially if you work in a social setting such as retail would be very appropriate.
On windy days it is advisable to wear a simple topper or cloche. Something that does not have a brim, or elaborate decoration. To keep it on your head throughout the day just use a hatpin, and simply poke it though the back or side of the hat, pick up some hair with it and poke it back out. Some hats can even be secured with bobby pins.

Hats are nice for anywhere, out to breakfast, lunch and dinner, going shopping, looking stylish while walking the dog :)

I'm hoping to do a hat post soon going into more detail about wearing hats, but I hope that can help you out!

Amanda #1 said...

Solanah, thank you for the advice!

Linnéa said...

THANK YOU! I just discovered your blog through this post and god, you're an inspiration to me.

Molly @ A Bit O' Shine said...

My friend and I used to have what we called "Adventures In Hats" and we'd plan to go somewhere and dress ourselves up and wear hats. It was great fun and we got a lot of comments.