My husband is wonderful. From the beginning of The Hat Project, he has taken all the photos with great patience and creativity. He came up with the mirror pose in The Black Hat with Pearls, the doorway shot in The White Bonus Ring Hat, and the railway background for The Blue Straw Hat with Sequins.
He has also been a very good sport about the hat accumulation as I’ve shoehorned additional boxes into our guest room closet.
This Christmas, he gave me:
The hat book gave me a much greater appreciation of the work that goes into a handmade hat. I am not planning to start blocking my own felt, but I do want to be able to clean and fix some of my older hats. With the recent Goodwill lot that included The Camel Cloche I got a couple of hats that need some love and restoration.
I gave him some links to hats that interested me, including this orange beret. At this point, I am mostly looking for types of hats I don’t already own. Though I love little black hats, I have a lot of them. However, because I didn’t have any orange hats (the closest was The Bubble Hat, which has an orange ribbon) I was attracted by this one. I also liked its materials. I have another Woven Ribbon Hat, but it uses natural fibers and has quite a different vibe. Cello straw (the artificial straw used in one of my grandma’s hats) can be very shiny and artificial looking, as it is here. But it was the sixties. Plastic was stylish! And thanks to its classic shape, this vintage beret still feels stylish today, as I discovered when I wore it to the farmer’s market.
Some other hat types I’m on the lookout for: I’d like a vintage hat with a lot of artificial flowers. I had my eye out for a turban-style hat, but I recently bought one. I’d like another green hat. As they say in the fine print, this is not a complete list. I figure I’ll know a hat I want when I see it. Hats, after all, are about love. You never quite know what you’re going to fall for.
Fortunately, when I fell for my husband, I fell for someone great.
Ann Hillesland writes fiction and nonfiction and collects hats. In this blog she vows to wear (not just model, but wear out of the house) every one of her hats, blogging about their histories and their meanings for her.