A few months into The Hat Project, I started thinking about what the last hat should be. I emphatically did not want to leave the worst till the last, ending with a whimper. Then I got an idea. Since I started with the first hat I ever bought, I would end with the last hat I bought.
I decided around the time I bought the Blue and Purple Hat with the Blue Feather. Maybe that would be it. Not long after, I bought The Hat that Got Away (Twice!). OK, I thought. That’s the one—the last hat. I figured if I didn’t buy any more, I’d be happy with that choice. It’s a great hat—probably one of the standout vintage hats I own.
And that was it for a while.
Then, when I was visiting my in-laws in August, I saw this hat at a local antique store. And (always a consideration for me) it was on sale. I didn’t have anything like it in my collection. As you may have noticed, I love small black hats. But this hat’s wild mix of colors and prints was unique for me. Still, it had a few minor condition issues and was a little tight.
I hemmed and hawed.
My husband, who was with me, encouraged me. “You’ll never regret buying that hat,” he said.
And he was right.
In fact, I’ve never regretted buying any of the hats I own. Some of them are uncomfortable. Some of them are no longer to my taste. But I enjoyed wearing them nonetheless.
And so, we come to the last of the hats I set out to wear for The Hat Project. I have worn and documented the sixty-some hats I own, telling some tales of my life along the way. My husband deserves a huge round of applause for taking over 5000 photos, from which I drew the ones featured in the blog. I’m grateful to every one of you who read these blog posts and shared the journey with me.
This won’t be the last post, though; it's just the end of the weekly posts featuring a new hat. I have a couple of additional posts in mind already, though don't expect them weekly. In the future, when we can have parties again, I DO want to have the hat party I wrote about. And, of course, a collector never really stops collecting. Though this hat is the last hat for now, I’m sure I’ll buy more hats down the road. Only something very special, I tell myself. Of course hats, like children or flowers, are all special.
Also, I’ve been very tempted to bid for some large lots of vintage hats at the online Goodwill. You can’t really see the hats or their condition, so it’s a gamble, but I would enjoy discovering what mysteries one of those lots hold. Life is, after all, an adventure. Why not wear a stylish hat while you journey?
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.