Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The hat.

Since we've been discussing hats in the comments, I'll throw out a few thoughts.

I think it was a fashion accessory as much as anything. Grab a purse, clap a hat on your head. As Roxie pointed out, it also gave women a way to deal with hair they only washed every week or so. But even after women bobbed their hair in the twenties and started washing it more, they wore hats. I think it was all about looking good. We ditched hats at about the same time we ditched bras, in the sixties/seventies. I think that movement was all about dumping unneeded clothing; we ditched gloves then, too. I think it's possible we got carried away and ditched some clothing that, while not necessary, was really pretty and nice and flattering.

Remember how I do antique-style ribbon floral stuff? Over at Vintage Textile, they've got a hat from the 1910s (same era as yesterday's post) that is an amazing example of what a creative person can do with some organza, ribbon, pipe cleaners, wire, and a needle and thread. I saved all the available photos of it, for inspiration.






Maybe I'll start wearing a hat...

13 comments:

amy said...

I adore hats. In high school I used to shop for hats in vintage clothing stores (something that now, as a mama, makes my lice-fearing self a little dizzy). Now I'm most often in a baseball-style hat, but I think I have to resurrect some of my more fashionable hats.

That flowered one is superb.

Amy Lane said...

I'm so with you--that is PRETTY--and yeah. We shouldn't throw out pretty stuff just cause we're throwing out dumb stuff.

Caryn said...

I love hats but don't wear them anymore except to keep the sun off. Every spring it was my pleasure to make my official lawn mowing hat for that year. I would scout around for a suitable straw type hat and then buy embellishments for it. Ribbons, flowers, whatever inspired me. I hated lawn mowing but I really liked my lawn mowing hats. They weren't fashion but they were functional and fun.

MLJ1954 said...

great hat!

My daughters' school's alumni department does a fashion show every other year. They hire the local Goodwill which has a wonderful stash of really incredible vintage stuff. The last one had a wedding theme. Great, great, fun.

Rooie said...

I still remember the hat I tried on in England when I was there with my mom one summer. It was a wide-brimmed straw hat, in the very palest shade of pink and, tucked up under the brim on one side, were two pale pink silk roses with a few leaves. Gorgeous. So not me...but gorgeous.

Barbara said...

Caryn, I love your lawn mowing hat idea! I wear a straw hat when I mow as I am a very fair-skinned brunette with redhead ancestors. I'm already the talk of the neighbors, I need to fix me up a lawn mowing hat. I need it.

Roxie said...

I do adore hats! A hat communicates so much. And those "little milliners' that dandies used to dally with were girls who spent thier lives creating fantasies of ribbons, feathers and wire. Of course, many of the hats of the "teens" made great use of rare and endangered bird feathers or even entire birds. I'm just as glad we have passed this fad, though I am as enamored of a good ostrich plume as the next dame. they drop and re-grow them naturally.

Susan said...

I have had some outstanding hats. when I was younger (under 60..lol) I wore them at every chance. I wish my youngest would hurry up and get married so I can go buy a new hat.

Donna Lee said...

That is a pretty hat. I don't wear them except to keep the sun out of my eyes in the summer on the beach. But that one is so feminine and pretty.

I had white gloves as a girl. I wore them to church (with my hat) on sundays and to Girl Scout meetings with my uniform. They were a bitch to keep clean.

historicstitcher said...

I'll admit that I went through a major hat phase in highschool and college. I recently uncovered the hat boxes just stuffed with my collection. I never went to church without one, and have several straw ones for Easter and summertime yard work and such.

I don't remember when I stopped wearing them...but I know my college senior picture has me wearing one! Plumes and all. I remember the photographer was surprised when I showed up, then thrilled to the point of taking LOTS of shots!

Emily said...

My problem with hats is that my head is bigger than "one-size-fits-all". (It doesn't look particularly big until you see a hat perched on top.) Finding a pretty hat is torture! And I do think we should bring them back...except they would look a little strange with today's fashions...but never mind. Bring them back anyway.

Anonymous said...

my grandmother, ruth dufty murray, was a milliner before her marriage to my schoolmaster/grocery store owner grandfather, walter k. murray, in about 1898. i can just imagine her creating a hat much like that one.

though not well-to-do, my mom and her sibs all ate well and were dressed well (though often in clothing cut down from older relatives' discards).

by the time i would have been old enough to learn sewing from her, my grandmother had suffered too many little strokes.

thanks for a look at the sort of thing she might have done, that my mother might later have played dress-up with.

Olivia Paige said...

About the hair washing, hair that isn't used to being stripped of its natural oils on a constant basis generally still looks quite nice after a week without washing, so hiding dirty hair probably wasn't as big a priority as you might think.