When the weather is frigid, and the snow just keeps on coming, and there’s at least six more weeks of winter, if we’re lucky. Well, a girl has to do something to survive. Psychologically speaking.
I’m sick to death of my sweaters, most of them anyway, and my ski wear. I’m in need of some major fashion diversion, but it would be too cruel to start dreaming of spring already. So, as I pedal my exercise bike on days when it’s too cold to ski, or it’s freezing rain and entirely too miserable to go out, I’ve been dreaming of hats.
And perusing my Pinterest board dedicated to hats. Vintage hats, high fashion hats straight from the catwalk, edgy urban hats, dressy ladylike hats, casual berets, lovely cloches, cool fedoras. Whatever. All headgear welcome. Except for toques. No toques allowed. I see enough of those already.
All week I’ve been thinking about hats, and reading about hats, and looking at hats. Gorgeous 1920s style cloches, like the one Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey is wearing, above. She looks divine, doesn’t she? This whole outfit is so chic, I wish I could just magic it off the page and into my closet.
And this hat , above, worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1957 film Funny Face. I wish I could wear a hat as well as Audrey did. Now, would this hat be called a bucket hat, do you think? Lampshade, maybe? Ha. I love it whatever it’s called.
Then there’s this creamy, Chanel newsboy hat from Karl Lagerfeld’s 2017-18 “Métiers d’art Paris-Hamburg” show. You can watch a video of the show here, if you’re interested. I adore this hat. We call it a cabbie hat where I come from.
Leather berets at the Dior Fall-Winter 2017- 2018 show source
And while I’m not necessarily a fan of the leather beret, which reminds me too much of Marlon Brando, I am a fan of the beret in general. And based on this shot from the Fall-Winter 2017-18 Dior show, the beret is back. That makes me happy because I own a couple of berets. Including this vintage one, below, which I’ve shown on the blog before.
And I own a newsboy/cabbie hat as well. I bought this orange hat in Fredericton during the winter of 1983 when I was back in New Brunswick for a year supply teaching. I remember that winter as long, and somewhat discouraging, and this bright hat, with the matching scarf and mittens, picked up my spirits no end, and made me feel fierce. And trust me if you’re a newbie supply teacher on winter playground duty, you need to be fierce. Because… ah… snowball fights. So you see, hats were making me happy even way back then.
This beautiful summery confection worn by my friend Rosie at her daughter Jessica’s wedding in France last year makes me happy just looking at it. Rosie showed me this photo last fall, the morning we had coffee when I was in Stratford. I love Rosie’s soft grey dress with the cream shawl. So chic. And that hat is perfection. Jessica looks adorable too, don’t you think?
Photo courtesy of Rosemary Cook
Thinking of hats in general, ones I covet, and ones I already own, sends me digging into the stash of hats in my spare room. Some of which I’ve never shown on the blog before. Mostly because I never, ever wear them. So the other day when the snow stopped, and the sun shone, and the blue sky beckoned, I ventured out in this lovely creation. I bought this little bowler hat in a wonderful shop called Oddacity Designs in Bear River, Nova Scotia, many moons ago. It’s a bowler style, black felt covered in khaki and black pattered satin, with a black tulle hat band and a fetching little tulle bow on the side.
I dream of wearing this hat with a deep forest green, fifties-style woollen skirt suit, with a short fitted jacket, a full midi-skirt, and black knee high boots. And since I don’t own anything remotely like that, I had to make do with my Lafayette 148 jacket, my black Vince leggings, and this double-faced green, turquoise, and soft brown animal print scarf.
It was a gorgeous afternoon when I took these shots, but sadly, not conducive to getting a great picture of my hat. The front lawn with the frozen river in the background would have been nice, but it was knee deep in snow. Our little street was awash in rock salt underfoot, and a surprisingly large number of very unscenic wires overhead. Who knew all these impediments existed before one started blogging?
Still if it’s scenic I want, it doesn’t get much more scenic than the little town of Bear River where I bought my hat. I happened upon it one day when Hubby and I were travelling in Nova Scotia in the nineties. Early one morning, I dropped Hubby off at the golf course in Digby, and on the advice of a friendly man at the tourist bureau, I set off to explore Bear River a few miles inland.
The town might have been built just for me. I browsed a used book store, an antique shop, an art gallery, and then stumbled upon a wonderfully quirky shop called Oddacity Designs, which sold amazing hats. With the encouragement of the owner, and two very enthusiastic customers, I tried on a ton of hats and bought two. Then I decamped for lunch to the cafe built on stilts out over the tidal river. Salmon cakes, iced tea, and a long quiet read… as the tide came in and the restaurant seemed to suddenly be afloat. Amazing. I’d lived away from the east coast so long I’d forgotten all about the Fundy tides. What a wonderful day that was.
You can see Bear River for yourself in this little video made by Bear River resident Tim Wilson. Watch this and tell me you don’t want to move there. Or at least visit for a month or two.
Now, I don’t know if it was all that dreaming and talking about hats, or if it was thinking of that lovely little town, but oddly enough, I feel much better about facing six more weeks of winter.
Ha. Six weeks if we’re lucky. Verrry, very lucky.
What have you been up to my fine friends? Do you dream of hats… or something to help wile away the winter? Unless it’s summer where you are. Sigh.
High Heels in the Wilderness is for women like me. Women who love clothes. And books. Who dream of travelling to amazing places. Who want to explore their own lives, and their own potential, now that they aren't twenty (or even forty) anymore.