I can’t say I ever aspired to wear a turban. Oh, sure, as a girl I mocked up one for a Barbie doll using one of her sparkly halter dresses. But for me, turbans on white women maintained an old-lady vibe.
When I thought of turbans, I pictured Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.
Then I got The Beaded Slumber Cap and, wondering if it was a turban, started researching them. I came across some wonderful pictures of Elizabeth Taylor decked out in turbans. Here’s one that I didn’t use in the slumber cap post:
Another great turban wearer? Barbra Streisand. I remembered some of her turbans from her album covers (as a girl, I loved singing to my mother’s Streisand albums).
All of these women have a certain diva quality. And so I came to think of turbans, not as a sign of aging, but a sign of confidence. These are all women who can own whatever they wear.
Now more interested in the style, I started keeping an eye out for a vintage turban. When a small Goodwill lot of hats came up including this pink hat, I bid.
Of course, in an online Goodwill auction, you can’t examine the goods for condition issues. In fact, you can’t even be sure exactly what they look like since the photos are often poor and incomplete. Nevertheless, I bid on the hat lot (which also included The Camel Cloche), liking most of the hats and being especially interested in a couple of them, including this one.
When I got the hats, I discovered that this hat was more structured than it appeared in the pictures. Though draped like a turban, it has the underpinnings of a toque.
So maybe I can call it semi-diva. And maybe as I get older, I’m becoming a bit semi-diva myself.
This hat was made by Patrice, the company that also made the Hat I’ll Never Regret Buying. The bows make the two hats, maybe not sisters, but cousins. In fact, in style this hat is also similar to last year’s red velvet Valentine’s Day hat. So maybe it fits that this pink turban toque is my Valentine’s hat this year.
For years, I haven’t been interested in going out for a fancy dinner on Valentine’s Day. Too crowded. A pandemic Valentine’s will be right up my alley. Five years ago, still unpacking boxes after our recent move, tired and disoriented, my husband and I went out for pizza on Valentine’s Day. Maybe we’ll grab a pizza again this year and raise a glass to quarantining with someone you love.
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.