October 5, 2009

"Beautify America. Wear a Hat!"

I love hats. I always have. I remember my dear Aunt Jean always wore a hat. Day or night. In or out. Dancing or cooking. She wore a hat with her jet black bob, bright red lipstick, and Chanel number 5.

I adored putting on other ladies hats when I was a little girl. When I grew up it was fun to find a new hat and try to find creative ways to incorporate it into my wardrobe.

The loss of hat wearing ladies is just one of many signs of a gentler bygone era when men were brave and strong gentlemen and women were delicate ladies. I miss hats. I miss that age. And I was born after it ended.

I have quite a number of hats, that I enjoy wearing for different occasions. Sun hats mostly. Although, I do have my pink St. Louis Rams baseball cap for those days when I feel especially sporty. Yeah, I know not very often. Which is no reflection on that super cool hat or my devotion to the Rams. Just that I am not a particularly athletic sort of girl.

My daughters have a collection of vintage hats that they have acquired over the years from thrift stores, junk stores, consignment stores, antique shops and their favorite source, eBay. They are displayed in various spots all around the house and tucked into antique hat boxes.

There is something extra special about an antique hat. You can dream about where it came from. Who wore it before you? What did she look like? Where was she going? Who was that handsome man holding her hand? Or why was she crying?

A few years ago I came across this delightful book, entitled "Miss Fannie's Hat, by Jan Karon. It was the story of her grandmother, told through the history of her grandmother's hats. If you like grandma's, hats or Jan Karon check it out. You will be weeping at the end. If you just like a special story of how God can use even a hat to get His work done. Get it, too.

One year for Easter, instead of the standard baskets, I found antique hats on eBay and turned them upside down, filled them with some pretty grass and a few See's chocolates. The older girls had each sewn their own dresses for that Easter Sunday and I tried to match the hats to what they had made. They were able to wear them to our worship service that day.

While I was searching for the perfect hats, I came across one that Ellie is wearing in one of the pictures. The lovely lady who was selling it is very old now. She told me how she remembered eighty years before when her mother put that hat on her head before going to Easter service.

Even our boys have a few special hats that they like to pop on their head and prance around feeling grown up.

On one of our many very rainy summer days, we decided to pull them all out and take a few pictures. OK. It was more than a few. But we had so much fun. And as you will see when you get to the end, by the time we were done, the sun came out after many days of rain.

Grab a cup of coffee and curl up with me for a few minutes. Enjoy the laughter as we put hats on and chased Elisabeth around with the camera. Dream about the special ladies that wore these special accessories long ago. And enjoy some of the great quotes I found about hats.

Perhaps I will declare a hat day here soon. And all of us can dig in the back of our closet for one glamorous day.

"Whenever you wear your hat, your day will be special."

"Luxurious, flirty and at times a bit sexy. We're out to prove a great hat can change your day." (Plaza Suite hats)

"Women who wear hats intimidate me the most. It wasn't so bad when everyone wore a hat, but today, the style is limited only to the few, the proud...the tall. I think that's the key word here. Hats were never meant to be worn by women who can stand up under overhead bins on airplanes and not bash their heads in.

"The fashionable female hat is nothing, after all, but a caprice. Let those who pay for it--fifty dollars, more or less--grumble about the cost. We, as spectators, shall be satisfied if it prove an ornament." (Harper's Weekly, 1857)

"Throughout the years, I have mentally put together a profile of women who can wear hats. Generally, they are women of great confidence. When they visit someone in the hospital, they park their car in the tow away zone. It is always there when they return for it. Their hair is always long enough on the sides to pull back and secure without little pieces standing out over the ears like Howdy Doody. They love blueberries, and they never stain their teeth."

"Saying you don't look good in a hat is like saying you don't look good in shoes!"

"Wearing a hat versus not wearing a hat is the difference between looking adequate and looking your best." (Martha Sliter)

"I myself have 12 hats, and each one represents a different personality. Why just be yourself?"

"If a woman rebels against high heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a very smart hat." (George Bernard Shaw)

"So many hats and only one head!"

"Wearing a hat is like having a baby or a puppy; everyone stops to coo and talk about it."

"Breathes a woman with soul so dead that never to herself hath said, "I need another hat to adorn my head."

You've seen this one before. Do you recognize it?

"Women who love hats don't get jealous. It makes them happy to see a hat that looks good on someone else. Women who wear hats know who they are."

"There's just something special about a woman in a hat."

"Women wearing hats are at once sophisticated and whimsical....Their faces are younger and softer. They carry themselves differently, daintily, like deer. Their voices flutter a bit...even when they are talking about things like money and power and work, even when it's clear they're very much in charge of their lives."

"The human head is a constantly moving and turning pedestal...with the hat a sculpture. (Eia Millinery design)"

"With the right hat, nothing else matters." (LaPaloma Hats)

"Leave everyone wondering which is the more interesting piece of work...you or your hat."

"When my Mother first dressed me in a hat as if I were a Lady, I owned the title."

"Few women have ever been able to resist the temptation to try on a hat and discover in the mirror a person they never suspected was there. A hat alters the image we have of ourselves, and the image others see as well. For the hours we wear it, it brings out different dimension in our personality, much as a costume aids an actress in her role."
"The right hat may also enliven our imagination of the past....an old-fashioned cloche, a picture hat, or a toque trimmed with a pouf of polka-dotted veiling is just enough to make us feel as if we were living in another, romantic age."

Look! Erica, the Wachter's can jump, too!



  1. WOW...you do have quite a collection of hats there Kat! I think that is SO wonderful, and even though you were not born in that era, I am so glad that doesn't stop you from wearing them.

    Great pictures.

  2. & I thought I had alot of hats. LOve this post. I think everyone should own atleast one hat. They are so fun! Cute pictures and I love the last jumping one.

  3. Your young ladies are simply divine in their hats! (so are the gents)

  4. WOW! I guess you DO have a collection of hats! LOVE IT!

    Your children are just so awesome....you can see the joy in their eyes...you can sense the ability to celebrate life! And I know where they get that from! *wink


    ps. the only thing this post was missing was more photos of you!

  5. Adorable. I love all your hats. I wish I could wear hats. The truth is: My head is tooooo BIG. Yep, you got it...they never fit me.

    Hope you guys are having a blessed week.


    PS: I sent you an email the other day. Did you get it.

  6. Kat,

    WOW you have so so many hats! Please stop by my blog this morning to pick up your very special award.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  7. What a FUN topic for a blog post!! And the photos were simply delightful.

  8. Wow, chili girl, when you tackle a subject, you go way out! What gorgeous hats! Unfortunately I cannot wear a hat, I look totally hideous in hats.

    Stop by my blog today, I just launched the 'Big Butt Club' for us busy bloggers.


  9. I love all those hat pictures! So very adorable!

  10. I agree too! As Hope says : "bring back the day of the hat!"


  11. I loved this post!!! So many great hats and great quotes and I loved all the pictures. We're looking forward to y'all getting home from vacation. :)

  12. Kat,
    Love all of the hats! Great pictures! And I love the jump picture and the nudge of competition toward Erica! LOL
    Hope you are having a wonderful vacation. we got back last week and I have been posting pictures and our adventures ever since. Hope you tell us all about your fun times when you get back.

  13. Mi Bella Madre,