I’m a hat person. I love hats. One might even venture to say I adore hats. Particularly vintage hats, of which I have several. For years at antique fairs I was drawn to every stall and vendor which sold old hats. Sometimes when I’d try them on, my friend Mary and I would attract a crowd of ladies who also loved hats. I still remember trying that burgundy one with the huge bow at the Perth Antique Fair in the eighties when the elderly lady with a cane who was watching me said that I had to buy it. So I did. I always do what I’m told. Ha.
So I love to own hats. Even though I don’t wear them as much as I should. Because here’s the thing about wearing hats when one has thick short hair. You might look okay in the hat, but you do NOT look okay once said hat is removed. Because my hair is think and short, it generally stays where it’s placed. Or where it’s squashed beyond repair by hats. So my hat must remain on my head from the time I leave the house until I return. Which can be problematic.
Some people manage this fine. My friend Margaret, who has a silky bob, looks great in a hat. She wears them regularly, removes them, fluffs her hair expertly, and after lunch replaces the hat deftly without the aid of a mirror. That’s a skill, you know. But the fact that I cannot manage that skill is moot. Because if I wear a hat, I simply do not take it off until I’m back home.
In the past couple of years I promised myself that I would try to wear my vintage hats more often. I wore this lovely, quirky, green hat to the Vintage Clothing Show in 2017. I thought I looked particularly fetching. But when I picked up my friend she said she thought I kind of looked as if I had a mushroom on my head. Sigh. Some people just have no appreciation for vintage hats.
Winter hats have always been a particular anathema to me. Nothing squashes hair better than a woollen winter hat. In fact, I think that Canadians wearing toques must have invented the concept of “hat head.” I steered well clear of toques or any form of winter hat for decades. Except when partaking of winter activities like skiing or skating, of course. Until last year. Last year I bought a soft cream woolly hat with a pompom and loved it so much I wore it all winter.
Of course woolly hats, and beanies, were in style again. And because I’m retired, I didn’t have to wear my hat into work and contend with hat head all day. I wore it below to lighten up a too dark outfit. My plan was to leave the hat on when I arrived wherever I was going because the hat went with the outfit underneath my coat. I even wore this hat into the spring during the long weeks of lockdown. Because, when worn on the back of my head, my woolly hat worked a treat covering up those dreaded covid roots. Not that I was in danger of anyone seeing them. Well, except for you guys.
The other day when Hubby and I went for our Christmas tree, I wore this very old woolly hat, below, made for me by my friend Janet to match my handmade sweater… way back in 1981. I guess that makes it a vintage hat now. Ha. I also wore my new Ugg Adirondack boots for their first real outing. I am not sure what Hubby said to make me laugh here. He’s always making me laugh.
Later I announced to Hubby that I was sure I had a picture of me in my blue sweater with my niece Rebecca, my sister Connie’s daughter, wearing my matching blue hat. And I dug around until I found it. Christmas 1981, the Christmas Janet made my hat. Isn’t Beki sweet? Those big brown eyes. I could just squeeze her. Chocolatey hands and face and all.
So, I seem to be coming around to the idea that wearing winter hats can be a good thing. The decades of being colder than necessary because I didn’t want to mess my hair seem to be over. But if I’m going to wear hats out in public, I will need to rethink what goes with my new hair and what doesn’t. My cream woolly hat, as much as I love it, does not look as good on white hair as it did on blonde. I bought this heathered grey hat with the creamy pompom while I was Christmas shopping recently. The colour goes perfectly with my grey Vince sweater.
I wore my new hat and sweater with my white down jacket to my physio appointment today. And the good news is, once I removed my hat, I simply ran my fingers through my hair and it looked presentable again. That’s partly because my hair is softer and silkier since I let my colour grow out. And partly because of the looser, brushed back style which my hair seems to like. My hair naturally grows back off my face. Brushing my bangs forward, a look I wore for years, was only achieved with the aid of a straightening iron and lots of product. One day I’ll try a bangs brushed forward style again, or maybe even go shorter, but I’m enjoying this new look at the moment.
But, you know, to make my winter hat wardrobe complete, I think I need another new hat. A beret. I was inspired by all the beret wearers on our Paris weekend. My brown vintage beret does me no favours now that I’m white-haired. So I need a new beret in a cool colour: maybe cerise, or black, or a cool burgundy. My friend Linsey told me one day while we walked the trail that she has five berets. Five! She was wearing a fuschia beret that day, the exact colour of her fuschia down jacket. It looked lovely on her. I tell you my friends, I need to up my game when it comes to walking gear. Especially if walking is pretty much the only place I’ll be wearing outfits that anyone but Hubby will see.
I was investigating a website recommended by a reader a while ago. All about colours. I cannot remember the site or the exact recommendation made by the writer. I’ve been reading about colour for a couple of years now, and frankly it’s all become a bit of a blur, except for the odd bits that I found I could apply to myself and my style. But one article did make me realize why dark outfits look sort of unfinished on me now that my hair is so light. Unfinished and imbalanced. Like furnishing a room with all dark on one side and all white on the other, if you get my point.
So I think if I am going to wear dark colours, I might try wearing something on the top of my head to kind of cap off my look. Pun intended. Like a dark beret, in a cool colour. Perhaps the hat will help offset the stark contrast between a dark jacket or sweater and my super light hair. I am going to give it a try anyway. Nothing ventured and all that.
I’ll think of it as just another stage in my new hair journey. And a good excuse to go beret shopping.
Here are some of the woolly hats and berets I was looking at today. I love that burgundy number. Looks a bit like my green vintage hat. And the navy Cos beret is definitely a contender.
So, my friends, I am a hat person. At least a person who loves to own hats. And I guess you could say that I am striving to be a person who wears hats more frequently. We’ll see how I get on with that.
What about you? Are you a hat person or non-hat person?
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