Friday, March 21, 2014

In Your Easter Bonnet...5 Things I've Learned About Wearing Vintage Hats

I realize the title to this post is more than a little cliche, but I'm using it, because I think it's almost impossible for me to type a post about wearing hats in the spring and summer this close to Easter without the phrase "Easter bonnet" somewhere in it.

I have done a little better about wearing my vintage hats this fall and winter, but the few sunny days we've had have me itching to purchase and wear all the straw and flowery concoctions that are vintage hats for spring and summer, and I have purchased my Easter hat and cannot wait to wear it, that is if I can finish my dress and the kids outfits in time. Yes, I put too much on myself at times, I know, but it will be so cute if I can get them all done.
I have to admit I have a harder time making myself wear hats in the warmer weather for a couple of reasons. First, it's just so hot and humid where we live in the summer that the thought of much on my head sounds horrifying. Secondly, I don't go very many places fancy enough to wear the cute little cocktail hats. Thirdly, it's a little more daunting, because when it's cold out you do at least assume everyone just thinks you're keeping your head warm, and you don't stand out as much as others wear hats in winter, too.

I do wear sun hats, and have for quite some time as I am extremely pale and have very sensitive skin and am paranoid about lots of chemicals found in most sun screens. That being said, there's only so many places or occasions to wear a giant sun hat, and you look silly wearing them indoors.

So, this year I am going to endeavor to wear more hats in the spring and summer, even if it's just on Sundays, and I think I've figured out a few things about myself and hats by wearing them more this year.

1. Not all hats are suited to me. It was a depressing revelation to make, but there it is. Everyone has a different shaped face and hairstyles and basic clothing style. All of which can affect whether or not a hat suits you. For example, if you wear a lot of late 1930s clothing, you probably won't look right in a 1960s bucket hat. Also if your face is round and full for example you don't want to wear a hat that exaggerates that. It sounds like common sense, but just like most of us had to find what style of clothing does or doesn't work for your body or your shades of makeup, you have to find what shapes of hats work for your face.

2. Some hats are harder for everyone to wear. The more exotic and avant garde a hat style is, the harder it is to wear it, but don't let that put you off, because with some experimentation you can sometimes make it work. And sometimes it's just a matter of wearing the appropriate hat with the right outfit to the right place. For example, if I'm going to the grocery store I don't want to wear a cocktail hat. Many smaller hats and fascinators were meant to be worn to evening occasions and they will look more appropriate worn that way. Also, be a little courteous, no big hats in the theatre or at church or basically anywhere that they might impede someone's view.

3. I have to feel comfortable both in how the hat looks with what I'm wearing, where I'm going, and whether or not I feel like it's falling off all the time. No matter how beautiful the hat if I can't wear it with confidence, I'm better off not wearing it, and securing them to your head is essential for most vintage hats. Oh, and angles can change everything about how you feel about a hat, so switch it up.

4. The one thing that holds me back from wearing hats more is my own fear of what others will think or say, but once you wear a few vintage hats whether with vintage clothes or mixed with modern, you'll find more people are complimentary than laughing at you.

5. It's just plain fun to wear hats! They're fun to buy, look at, and feel, and so much fun to add to an outfit. I definitely want to wear them more often.

So, what could hold me back from wearing hats this summer? I'm pregnant, and I'm wondering what having a big belly will do to my proportions while wearing hats.

What tips do you have for wearing vintage hats? Do you think being pregnant could change how I look in hats or what hats will look good on someone? 


  1. Splendid points and realizations one and all, honey! So true, not all hats suit all folks (even if you're blessed with a highly symmetrical face and killer looks). Personally, cloche hats are the vintage style that looks the least flattering on me. I've tried on dozens (at least) over the years and not a single one did me any favours (I'm convinced their must be one out there that will, so the hunt will continue). Thankfully, the decades (40s and 50s) that I most often dress from rarely involved cloche styles, so this isn't actually a very big deal for me, but it is a bit irksome all the same, in case I ever feel pulled towards donning more 20s/early 30s looks.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Love all of your awesome hats here!

    *PSS* Thank you very much for sharing about the fact that you and your DH didn't have a honeymoon either. I wonder, in this day and age in North America, what percentage of couples (especially those for whom the marriage is their first) do and don't end up going on honeymoons?

    1. Thank you very much! I really admire your mad skills to seemingly effortlessly get away with the most beautiful hats. I'm working on figuring this whole thing out, and am looking forward to sporting some cute hats this spring and summer. And I love the thought of cloche hats, but have never really tried one mostly because I don't feel like the clothing of the 20s and early 30s is as flattering on my body.
      The main reasons we didn't have an extravagant honeymoon had a lot to do with little money (we were 21&22) and my husband had just gotten his first real job after graduating college, so he couldn't take a lot of time off. Of course now there's no way a big trip is happening very easily what with the kids, but we know one day they'll move out on their own and we can have a honeymoon every day, lol. I wish we had made time for travel before we had kids, but we were both very obsessed with our careers at the time, and barely had time for one another. Thankfully we're at a different place in our marriage now, but kids on a honeymoon is no fun, lol. We are hoping to take a babymoon sometime this summer before the baby is born just to get away a night or two.