See, my friend B has lovely, sleek hair that holds curls and waves in a way that makes me more than a little jealous. Lamenting how my sad, flat, baby-fine hair makes it tricky to go work out and then go somewhere—yes, I am a sweater (no, I don't mean a knit top/jumper; I am merely a lover of sweaters)—because I can't just wash-and-go. Well, I could, but it's largely inadvisable. (Rather like that next-to-last sentence. I've been told I write like I talk; it's a feature.)
Trust me on this. The amount of work it takes just to keep my tresses from pulling a Marcia is kind of astounding.
B cocked her head to the side, blue eyes beaming at me as if I'd lost the rest of what passes for my mind, and delivered a mild reprimand wrapped in advice: "You have the Hat Gene, sistah. USE IT!"
Oh. Well all righty then.
With that, I embraced being A Hat Person.
And while I don't know a lot about hats (despite being IRL friends with an amazingly talented milliner), I know what I like. It makes me a little sad that in America, we aren't collectively Hat People. We seem to save them for special occasions—Easter Sunday, church... as if hats are only worthy of our Sunday best—apart from the occasional gimme cap or cowboy hat (yes, real people wear them in Texas; 30 years here and I'm still getting used to it).
Beyond that, hats seem to be relegated to costumes. They're almost an instant way to get out of the 21st century. Granted, movies have done a lot to reinforce this.
Fedora = gangster movie
Bowler = silent film
Tricorne = pirate flick
And so on and so forth. They're iconic looks, no doubt. I won't go so far as to say the hat makes the movie, but it certainly gives a sense of another time and place.
Unless you're British.
Seriously. They are some hat wearing people.
Go ahead; try not to think about the Middleton girls at Will & Kate's royal wedding when you hear the word "hat."
Those chapeaus** alone practically made the word synonymous with the British people in the eyes of the rest of the known world.
(Or maybe I'm just making stuff up; there is precedent, after all.)
But I might be onto something here. Certain hats are due equal billing with the movie star. What's Indy without his fedora? Some dude with a whip. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)
How about a Harry Potter flick without the Sorting Hat? (British!) Or Holmes without his deerstalker? (Again, British!) And yes, fellow Cumberbitches, I can say that because I'm talking movies here, and not brilliant BBC series. (Is there a plural form of "series?")
I'm definitely for more hats in everyday life. And if that makes everyday life seem a bit like a movie (unless it's by Fellini or David Lynch or... you get where I'm going with this, right?), well, what's the harm? You might make others feel less fabulous, but that's OK. There's this great milliner who does custom work, you see...
Here's where I prove that I take my own advice:
And now I'm sad that I don't have any pics of me wearing a Dream Hats creation. Time for a pin-up photo shoot, as I have this adorable fascinator with skulls on it...
* I'm impressed with myself for breaking my usual habit of referencing 80s tunes in my subject line. Though now I'm hearing "Safety Dance" in my head... and with that, I've still managed to invoke the habit. (If you don't get the blatant and rather clumsy hat reference here, don't tell me; I don't wanna know.)
** "Chapeau. It's French. For 'hat.'" True words spoken by a friend to a patron at the local Renaissance festival. This man in Musketeer garb apparently became bumfuzzled, you see, when my friend said, "Nice chapeau." Nope, I'm not making this up.
P.S. Thanks to my friend Bill over at Whims of Fairness for answering my blog topic request! Only I prolly shouldn't have linked to his work, as he's rather brilliant. I'm more sporadically, accidentally brilliant (if you look at it in the right light, tilt your head, squint, and hold your tongue just so).