2.01.2012

How to wear a hatpin

Wearing a hatpin is very basic. You simply pin it through the back band or lower crown of the hat, picking up a lock of hair as you pin it through. Here's a little tutorial:

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For fine hair, a pin can slip a little. To prevent this, try crossing bobby pins at the back of your head, and pin through that AND your hair. Pins also work well if your hair is braided at the back. 

Pins work well in felt hats, and some fabric covered hats. Be cautious when pinning through straw, as some of the older straw hats can be brittle, and can't handle a pin. 

Of course wearing a wide brimmed hat on a breezy day is no good even with a hatpin. Pins don't secure a hat for high winds and dancing like a madman. They simply keep a hat from sliding off your head during normal movement. 

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Here's an unusual wide brimmed, asymmetrical hat. Usually if something has a brim, and is asymmetrical, it has a base closer to the head for a better foundation. This is the case with this 1950s hat, and the brown 1930s hat below. With this hat I placed a hatpin on the side, under the brim and on the base. On the other side, just for good measure and because the area is hidden, I slipped a bobby pin.
 
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This is also an asymmetrical brimmed hat with a base, but I placed a pin at the side, base of the crown.

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On 1940s tilt hats, there's usually a band, or base at the back for support. These are perfect for slipping hidden bobby pins, and often don't need a hatpin.

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Another little side tilt hat, but this time a hatpin goes on the top side. 
 
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This one does sit on the back of the head, which usually just needs a pin in the back, but since it's a bonnet style with a brim at the front, an extra pin at the top is extra secure just in case there's a teeny breeze. 
  
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Pillbox styles usually require a pin at the front or back, whichever is more comfortable. If you use a pin at the front, it's a great opportunity to use a fancy one! 
 
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If you tilt it to the side, the pin goes on the top side. 

 {Hats from my own collection, not for sale. Brown 1930s hat from Poppycock Vintage. Others from Urban Eccentric Vintage

 Also see: History of Hatpins

28 comments:

L'Innommable said...

thank you very much, wonderful :D

Dakota said...

Oh, did you/someone make that mannequin head by hand? It's so adorable!!

Stephanie Lynn said...

Thanks! This is such a useful post. Plus I love getting to see more of your hats.

VintageDanielle said...

I always did wonder, thanks for the helpful post!

Emma Robertson said...

This is so helpful! Plus all the hats look so cute.

xo,
Em

MistressCatgirl said...

This is really neat. I always wondered how hatpins were used.

Mrs. Williams said...

Very nice post! Although I'm so uncoordinated, hatpins still scare me a bit. :-}

Miss Tallulah Porkchop said...

Seriously, I have always wondered. Thank you for clearing it up. You have some extremely handy posts. Most of the time I have to wait for my mother-in-law to visit so I can pick her brain about how to wear some vintage item.

joellestlaurent said...

Oh lovely! I really enjoy reading you, and my attention was caught yesterday when you talked about hatpins (i'm just starting to look into vintage fashion for inspiration for my own sewing) but i was too shy to ask how hatpins are actually used...

Lynn Brooks said...

thanks for the post, this is so timely. a lot of my hats slip off, and I had been wondering about hat pins and how to use them.

I want your green 1940s tilt hat.

Debi said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH! Such a great post!!

Irac said...

Oooh great post! I learnt so much! Until now I actually though that hat pins were just to make the hat pretty. Silly me! Thank you! :)

Sarah said...

I live in Chicago and while hat pins are romantic and delightfully old-fashioned, they don't always do the trick with the wind. My solution:

Go to the bridal section at Michaels and pick up some veil combs. Break em in half. Sew elastic loops into the lining of the hat (works for pillbox, pancake hats, many other styles). Loop in the combs and wear so they gather hair upward and you're done!

Charlotte said...

So jealous of all your lovely hats - especially the green 1940s one, swoon!

xx Charlotte
Tuppence Ha'penny

Purrfect Kat said...

Again, thank you so much! it is so helpful to discover all this!!

http://purrfectkat.blogspot.com/
http://www.etsy.com/shop/PURRFECTKATVINTAGE

Boo Boo Kitty said...

what a great post...

did you make the mannequin? as ive just made one myself... if any of your readers are interested in making one for themselves, do have a look at my blog post :)

http://blog.boobookittycouture.com/2012/02/meet-my-new-model-molly.html

jewlover2 said...

What a lovely useful post!

Elan said...

I love my hats and this post makes it 100 times easier to wear them now without worrying about the embarrassment of my hat blowing away and revealing horrible hat hair. AWESOME!!!

Dolly the Bird said...

Gosh, what a great post! Although I've known some hatpin basics for years, there were some hats that I just could never figure out the positioning for....and you've cleared it up! Thanks ever so!

Pippy O' Hara said...

I love this post :)))))

Vintagehadhead said...

I love all your hats <3

So beautiful .....

casey said...

Brilliant guide, Solanah! :) You truly are the Queen of Hat-Wearing. Now I know how to properly pin just about every hat I have. ;)

Frances said...

Lovely guide! I was out shopping shortly after I read this and saw a lady with a beautiful tan hat with a large feather held on with a pearl hatpin. Perhaps I will try hat-wearing now!

Patricia Lynn said...

Thank you so much!

Adin B said...

I have a vintage hat that has a pin like that and didn't know that it actually is useful in wearing the hat to keep it in place. Love all the hats, by the way. Thanks!

Adin B

Lisette said...

I have a few hatpins, but the pin part of them always seems rather thick to be sticking through a felt hat...I'm afraid of leaving a hole! I even had one where the pin was two pieces of wire twisted around each other ending in a point. Should I expect them to leave a hole? Or are these best left to non-felted hats?

Xtabay Vintage said...

Thank you Solanah for posting this! I try to explain hat pins to people everyday at work when shoppers complain that the hats are all too small and will fall off their heads!
I am going to print this up and have it available for ladies to read at Xtabay.

Thanks!

Lynn Brooks said...

Ms. Solanah,

Your green tilt hat is now safe from any attempts on my part to steal it from you. I have been obsessed with owning a tilt hat ever since I first saw yours on an earlier post. I scour my local shops regularly and have not been able to find one. Internet searches turn up hats way out of my price range. I thought about a hat daily, it has driven me nuts.
so last week i was in denver and one of the ladies on the trip was also a vintage lover so we had the hotel recomend a vintage shop (if your ever in denver, Boss Vintage on broadway is awesome). We walked in and there was a whole entire wall of hats, and just sitting there was a fabulous black tilt hat that fit my head to perfection and was a budget friendly $30. I adopted her and named her Solanah.
Obsession fulfilled.
Now I need a flamenco dress and hat pins. My hubby says your a bad influence on me,lol.