My best friend, Michelle, (who gave me the dress in The First Hat) was getting married, and I knew I wanted a hat for the occasion.
She’d asked me to sing during the ceremony. “We like this song, ‘The Wedding Song’? Have you heard of it?”
“Everyone’s heard of it,” I replied, relieved that she hadn’t asked for something more obscure and difficult. Having never sung a solo at a wedding before, I was glad to sing a song I already knew. Hopefully familiarity would keep my voice from quavering.
Michelle had a beautiful outdoor venue for the ceremony, so a hat would be very appropriate. And one day, as I was walking through an art fair, I saw this blue hat. I especially liked its small brim, which wouldn’t block my vision or get in my way during singing. I really liked the blue color, as well. I was sure I could easily match it.
Well, I couldn’t. It turned out the hat was a warm grayish blue that didn’t match any of the summery, flowery frocks I’d pictured. I finally settled on a print coat dress of navy with light blue accents, not a typical dress for a garden wedding. Here we are, after the ceremony:
I put off writing this post because when I started this blog, Michelle and I hadn’t talked for a couple of years. Even when we’d lived nearby, it was hard to get together. She worked full time and had two kids. Since I worked evenings, our schedules didn't mesh well for phone calls, and we'd usually have to try several times before reaching each other.
Because of her kids, going out was difficult for her and coming to my house was just as hard. So if we got together, it had to be dinner at her place. I felt bad never being able to host.
And of course, our lives were different. She had children and I didn’t. She had a high-powered job and I worked part time. We didn’t work in the same field or pursue the same hobbies. However, a friend you've had since grade school is not like another friend. You've known each other so long that history has a gravitational pull that helps hold you together. But that pull can weaken.
After I moved four years ago, she’d called me a few times, and once we’d gotten together when I visited the Bay Area, but it was hard keeping in contact. She’s not on social media. She had a home email but wasn’t in the habit of checking it often. I didn't have a smart phone and didn't text.
One day when I was feeling sad and lonely after the move, I wrote her a note saying I didn’t think we should keep up the friendship if we had so little contact.
Of course, when I was over my depressed mood, I regretted my note. I treasured our contact, even if it wasn't constant. I wrote her a couple of emails to the old email address I had, but I wasn’t sure she’d even gotten them. I sent Christmas cards. I could have called her, but I hesitated. I wasn’t sure she’d want a call from me, since I’d been the one to sever the friendship.
When I wrote about her in the first hat blog entry, I emailed her to tell her about it. As usual, I wasn’t sure if my mail had reached her--the address was over four years old, and she had never seemed to check it much.
Months passed. When I was preparing to write about the Black Cloche with Red Flowers, I searched through my stash of old pictures fruitlessly for the shot of me at the ship’s wheel. Then my husband got out his box of pictures. While looking through them, he came across some I’d taken of Michelle and her sister and mother at her bridal shower. (I didn’t have a camera at that time and had borrowed his.) We had double prints. I gathered the extras of the shower pictures and sent them to her.
She called me to thank me, and we talked for the first time in a few years, catching up. Being reconnected felt wonderful, a burden lifted, a tie restored. I'd missed Michelle, her warmth, generosity, and humor. When the pandemic struck, we texted each other to make sure our families were OK. And then, when I wanted to write this post, I texted her, asking if she was OK with me using the wedding picture. She said yes, adding how cute we looked. I think we look cute because we look so happy.
So, it’s a good thing I waited to wear this hat, so I could give the story a happy ending. Michelle holds a special place in my heart. With no one else outside my family do I have such a shared history: gathering in our grade school club that met under a pine tree, drinking lemonade in her tree house, calling before seventh grade started to discuss what outfit to wear, passing notes on the high school choir tour bus ride, listening to each other’s early heartbreaks, serving her my horrible first attempt to grill fish in my first apartment, introducing boyfriends, being in each other’s weddings. Being there for each other through so much of life. I’m glad I didn’t lose Michelle, whose friendship means so much to me.
Of all the art fair hats I’ve bought, only the milliner of this one, Delores Pride, put her phone number in it. I haven’t called it—that was her phone number in the 90s, but it shows that this is a pre-internet hat. Now a hatmaker would likely put in a URL, or even a Twitter or Instagram handle.
I don’t know whether she still sews hats or not, but this is an especially well-made hat. The bow is on a pin for decorative flexibility, but she’s tacked it down to stay in place. So you can remove it if you like, but as long as it’s on the hat, it’s staying put and not curling or shifting.
The style is cute, too, sort of an adorned, slightly casual pillbox. So why haven’t I worn it for years?
The fabric. I loved it when I chose it, but to me, this hat’s fabric has not dated well. The tapestry look has not been in style for a while. If you don’t believe me, type “tapestry vest” into Etsy and see what wonders from the eighties and nineties come up. Also, though when I bought this hat, I thought of it as purple, in reality it has just as much beige as purple. Beige is the color (if you can call beige a color) that looks the worst on me.
I would probably still wear it often if I had simply chosen a different fabric.
I had a plan for wearing this hat…I was going to go wine tasting. The pattern is of grapes and leaves:
I thought it would be a nice fall hat, but I didn’t get to it this fall. No problem, I thought. I’ll wait till spring when the vines leaf out again. Of course, I didn’t count on every wine tasting room being closed.
So, instead of tasting, we drove out to a local winery for curbside pickup. They kindly let us walk around the grounds. If you have a favorite local business to support (be it winery, restaurant, auto shop, etc.) now is the time!
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I miss my friends. I see some virtually through zoom, text others, phone others, but it’s not the same. I miss seeing them at rehearsals and the gym and church. So, in the early days of the shelter in place order, I began to dream of throwing a party.
I had long planned that when I finished The Hat Project, I would have a gathering. I’d invite a bunch of people and ask everyone to wear a hat. For those who didn’t turn up in a hat, I’d provide some of mine to wear (My husband suggested that I let the guests take the hats home as party favors, but I simply laughed at that idea).
As is true of so many plans these days, I had to give up on the party…for now. But I find it comforting to start dreaming about what such a party would look like. It’s an act of hope. I’m not sure when a party will be possible (especially since some of my friends are in high risk categories), but I live in the hope that the days of parties will return. When that time comes, I can wear the Black Ring Hat and sequined tunic somewhere other than the backyard.
The first thing I did was order hat-shaped cookie cutters from an online cookie cutter store. I wasn’t sure whether a company like that would still be working, but a week after I placed it, I received a box from Missouri, full of cookie cutters: bowler, top hat, stocking cap, cowboy hat, and more. They came in various sizes, so I’m not sure I can use them all at the same time, but I’m looking forward to trying them out. Of course, I’ll have to wait until I have people to share them with…and until I can buy flour again.
Next, I started to fantasize about the music I would play: all songs about hats, that mention hats, or that have hats in the title. Maybe even a song by Men Without Hats or Foghat. Some occurred to me right away, like Lyle Lovett's "Don't Touch My Hat" and Prince's "Raspberry Beret." I started combing online lists of hat songs, and discovered many that I had never heard of. It was fun to play them. Some were kind of novelty numbers, such as Rhett & Link’s goofy but great “Nilla Wafer Top Hat Time.”
Of course, some of them weren’t appropriate for a party—for example, “Some Questions about Hats” by Slapp Happy, which was a bit avant garde. Though I liked the lyrics:
Can a hat aspire to higher things?
Can one dismiss hats as simple things?
Scant, evanescent things?
the song itself might not promote a party atmosphere:
And some were popular songs by more modern groups, like “Purple Hat” by Sofi Tukker. I'd never heard of this group, mostly because I have't listened to popular music for a long time:
I found hat songs I’d never heard by The Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, Jim Croce, Cyndi Lauper, The Kinks, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno and many others.
I might also include songs that mention hats, such as the standard “Tangerine” which describes the titular woman as having “mascaraed eyes and chapeau by Dache,” referring to Lilly Dache, the legendary milliner.
I have a list of thirty songs with the word hat or a type of hat in the title (Steely Dan’s “The Fez”) and another handful that mention hats prominently in the lyrics (The Temptations' “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”).
Will all these songs go together in a party situation? I don’t know. The Andrews Sisters next to Beck next to Bob Marley next to Merle Haggard? But it’s fun to dream about.
Next, I have my eye on a hat-shaped chip and dip set.
Got any other hat party ideas or songs to suggest?
When I turned forty, we gave a big party—Malaysian food, every novelty light string (chili peppers, bees, flamingos, Hawaiian shirts) draped around the house, my favorite chocolate orange almond cake. On the invitation, I specified no gifts, but my friend Sheila turned up with a hat box. In it was this hat—a beautiful creation in a nice, neutral straw that goes well with a colorful dress.
This hat and The White on White Hat were my two go-to hats for Easter for years (except last year, when I went with The Birthday Cake Hat). I've included a picture of me wearing it on Easter 2016.
That 40th birthday party was the first time we had given a really big party in our house: the kind where there aren’t enough seats for everyone to sit down at once and so many people are talking you can't hear the music. A friend remarked that she was seeing people she hadn’t seen since our wedding—the last big gathering we’d had. (Side note—my fortieth birthday outfit included the turquoise and green shoes I’m wearing in The Madame X Hat’s full body picture).
Though it was a much smaller gathering, until we left the Bay Area, my husband and I also hosted an annual Easter party. Sometimes we only had family; other times we had friends as well—anywhere from six to sixteen people. We always had an egg hunt. One of my brothers was the Easter Bunny, dying the eggs, arriving early to hide them, and providing the silly bunny-themed prizes. Many years I was the youngest participant. Not long ago, visiting some friends’ house, I noticed they still had the bunny cotton ball dispenser (you remove the cotton tail) they’d won years ago. Some other favorites—bowling for bunnies, where the pins were bunny shaped, a bunny that pooped jellybeans, and my pastel pink Koosh ball, which I took to work and was tossing with a coworker when the big Loma Prieta earthquake struck.
It seemed quite lonely this year with no church and just my husband and me for Easter. Though we no longer live so near our extended families, usually we can entice a family member or two to come. But we tried to make the occasion special, even under quarantine conditions. We listened to our church’s recorded service at the usual time, then Zoomed in for virtual coffee hour. I wore my hat there. We had a special dinner: salmon risotto and asparagus, followed by nectarine cobbler. We used our wedding china and had some roses picked from our yard on the table.
Because this hat always reminds me of good times, of family and friends, it seemed a good hat to wear this year. I wore it in memory of gatherings past, and in hope for gatherings in the future that are once again in person, instead of virtual.
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been sheltering at home for three weeks now. It’s not that I never leave the house; I try to go for a walk every day. As extra motivation, I’ve started posting pictures from my walks on social media (to see them, check my Instagram account). And I’m fortunate that my husband is such good company, since he’s the only person I see.
Besides my walks, I’ve run a few errands in the last three weeks: to shop at the farmer’s market, to pick up takeout, to pump gas, to walk in the river park across town. Probably more places than I should go, but I’ve been trying to balance safety with getting food. I also wanted to spend a little money at the struggling restaurants in my town. Since we have a tourist-based economy, they are really hurting. Even if everyone in town bought takeout at their normal rate, it still wouldn’t be enough to support all of them, but of course, most people are eating in. Many of the restaurants are closed; I hope they reopen after the order is lifted. I’ve also bought some gift cards to support local retailers that had to shut. It seems so little I can do.
Because my work is always online, I haven’t had much of a shift in that area, but everything else has changed. Sitting in a restaurant and eating with a friend seems like such a luxury. Going to the theater, watching a concert, singing in a group, all seem distant recollections, like remembering the days before people wore bicycle helmets or cars had air bags. Movies showing people meeting in crowded restaurants, taking a standing-room only bus, flying on planes—they make my pulse race in panic as if they were horror movies. It’s hard for me to remember that I did all of those things less than a month ago.
Usually disasters bring communities together. After the Loma Prieta earthquake, I met all my apartment neighbors, including a man holding a scared chihuahua, as we congregated around a pool half-emptied by the earth's shaking. Now, though, the nature of the disaster separates us, and while after the earthquake everyone gathred to help each other, now the best way to help others is by staying home. It goes against our basic human need for connection.
However, my virtual social life is picking up. I’ve been able to go to virtual writers’ group meeting, virtual church coffee hour, and virtual meetup with my chorus members (no singing). Today’s hat is one I’ve worn for the Project before, The Sweaty Palms Hat. I wore this hat to virtual coffee hour this week.
We adapt. Before all this started, I only had about eight hats to go for The Hat Project. I had a rough schedule, arranging hats around the hat I wanted to wear on Easter and the last hat of the hat project. Now, I'm moving forward more slowly, and under different conditions than when I started this project, but I’m still moving forward. Sunday is Easter, the best hat holiday of the year. Though I can’t attend church in person or host a family dinner, I will still be wearing a hat.
As soon as I saw this hat, I thought, “This looks like a hat Boy George would wear.” It has that eighties vibe to me, though looking at the pictures of Boy George, I would say this hat is smaller through the brim and crown than his.
My friend Bonnie gave the hat to me, along with other hats including the White Crushed Velvet, Rhinestone, and Feather Hat when she moved. She had removed the hat's black band, intending to make it over. However, she never did so, and when she handed it off to me, it was plain.
I started wearing it with a sparkly pin on it. Here I am at a concert before Christmas, accessorizing it with a poinsettia pin.
I’ve also accessorized it with the fall-colored feather broach that I’m wearing with the Black Hat with Scarf. But I chose the yellow flower because I felt the multicolored jacket deserved something more pop art.
About the multicolored jacket: when I met my friend Karen for lunch before Christmas, she described going to thrift stores with her daughter, who likes to buy colorful vintage eighties clothes. We both laughed. Then we each confessed that we still owned an eighties jacket, massive shoulder pads and all, that we loved too much to let go. Hers was custom made by a seamstress from a fabric Karen selected. The jacket sounded very tasteful, except for the mile-high shoulder pads.
I, on the other hand, kept the wildest of my eighties jackets, black silk with neon hands. I probably bought it at Ross Dress for Less, where I bought most of my clothes then. Those of you who know me from that time period might recognize this jacket, because I loved it and wore it all the time, to work, to bars, out dancing. I always felt there was something Yellow Submarine-ish about it: the psychedelic colors, the hands! Of course, maybe I was just thinking of that nightmare-inducing flying glove from the movie.
I thought this eighties-looking hat was the perfect opportunity to bust out the eighties jacket. When I put on the jacket, I was awed anew at the sheer size of the shoulder pads.
For this blog, one of my goals from the start was to wear every hat out in public, not just while I took some pictures. The pandemic makes that a challenge, since occasions when I’m in public are rare now. I don’t want to get all dressed up to go to the grocery store or to pump gas. However, I’ve worn this hat in public on many other occasions, so I felt comfortable fudging that goal.
What I haven’t worn in pubic for decades is this jacket. I was relieved to just take a few pictures standing alongside the road instead of mingling. When our neighbor drove by, I was embarrassed, thinking that wearing an eighties jacket is OK if you’re young and cute (like Karen’s daughter), but if you’re my age, you just look like you don’t realize it went out of style.
On the other hand, maybe you just have to OWN IT!
Two weeks ago I was on a plane to the Seattle airport. My mother lives in that area, and I had planned a trip to help her with some tasks. At that time, the COVID-19 virus had had its biggest impact in that area. However, the California county where I live had not yet reported any cases, and the danger seemed minimal. We’d pass through the airport before traveling on to where my mom lives, which also had no cases then. I’d wipe down everything in my airplane seat area. I’d use hand sanitizer. I’d try not to touch my face.
I’d seen some social media posts depicting Seattle as a ghost town, so I was surprised my plane was nearly full. I was even more surprised that the bus I took from the airport was packed—standing room only. One or two people were wearing masks, including a woman across the bus aisle, who sported a cloth navy blue model (I wondered how she cared for it. Did she wash it every night?) The woman in the seat in front of me was eating a corn dog from a bag and occasionally coughing. With every cough, my neck stiffened.
I realized traveling in the time of coronavirus was a much worse idea than I’d though back in my unaffected home county. And I began to seriously worry that I might catch it and infect someone (especially my mother).
As my husband and stayed with my mom, the news got more and more alarming. Flights to Europe cancelled. No gatherings over 250, then 50, then 10. March Madness to be played before empty seats, then cancelled. I began to worry the airport might be closed or my return flight might be cancelled. I was in Washington under a week, but events unfolded so quickly it seemed like each day was five days.
Things that used to seem normal began to seem abnormal. People hugging friends. Standing in line near another person. A hotel serve-yourself breakfast buffet where people touched the same utensils to get food.
Things that used to seem weird began to seem normal. People wearing face masks. Waitresses sporting blue surgical gloves. Neighbors standing ten feet apart to talk.
The flight back had 27 people on it. Three people in first class, one in business. Here’s a look back down the plane before our takeoff.
I’ve never seen a flight so empty.
Because I’d been in Seattle, I stayed home when I returned, in case I’d caught the disease. Soon, however, the county, then the whole state was sheltering at home. So far, I feel fine (and so does my mother).
Sheltering at home means I can still go outside to walk or for necessary activities, such as getting food or medicine. What it doesn’t mean is going to places where wearing a black velvet pillbox is at all appropriate. So I’m not sure what I’ll do—whether The Hat Project will go on hiatus or if I’ll finish going through my hats, possibly more slowly. Like everyone else right now, I’m taking it day by day.
I hope you, my readers, are doing OK. Please take care of yourselves.
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I was out of work.
For the first time in my professional life, I had quit one job without having another job lined up. As I wrote in The Black Cloche with Red Flowers, the company I worked for had been acquired, and given the option to work for the new company or take a severance package, I took the package. About a year prior, I'd been through a horrible acquisition, and I wasn't ready to repeat the process. I told myself that the job market was hot--I already had a few leads. I told myself that the severance would give me a cushion, see me through the rest of November and the holidays, and I'd easily get a job in the new year.
Then, the first day I woke up without a job, I panicked. The hours stretched before me, empty. After almost ten years of full-time employment, I didn't know what to do with myself. I worried, too, that I'd never get a job again.
I called up my older brother, who had been laid off in the past and found a new job. He talked me down. It would all work out. I'd find another job, he reassured me. I'd get used to not working.
He was right. I did get used to not working, and it didn't take me long. I spent the next two or three days lounging in bed reading. Just reading for days, the biggest luxury I could imagine. Though my then boyfriend (now husband) had also taken a severance package, he had accepted a month's temporary assignment as part of the transition. While I'd envisioned us spending some time together, I was also happy to read. I did some writing. I baked Christmas cookies, something I usually had no time for. The days passed quickly but quietly. I had some job nibbles, but no offers.
One day I went to a holiday craft boutique at Stanford. I was looking for Christmas gifts, but as sometimes happens to me, I found a hat instead. Brightly colored, made of soft velvet and satin, this hat attracted me on sight. But I dithered. Jobless, I knew I shouldn't spend the money.
"I love the hat, but I'm unemployed," I told the hat maker.
"Change you hat, change your luck," she answered.
I bought the hat. And by the new year, I had a job offer.
I can't honestly say my luck turned from bad to good, because I was lucky to be able to take a little time off, and I was lucky to get a job offer. But I was relieved.
A company called Netscape hired me. They were the first company to sell a popular web browser that allowed people to access the Internet in a user-friendly way. Most people at that time (me included), did not have access to the Internet at home. Many people didn't even own computers. And of course, smartphones were nonexistent. It's hard for me to envision that world now. Netscape employees would go to company meetings where the CEO would tell us the Internet was like the telephone. We just needed to get enough people on it and it would take off. More businesses would start having a web presence. At that time, relatively few businesses sold products over the web. Amazon was in its infancy and only sold books.
Netscape was a wild ride. A lot of people worked crazy hours there (they had a room full of futons if you pulled an all-nighter). But I managed to keep my perspective. For one thing, I couldn't work constantly because I wanted to spend time with my boyfriend.
At the last party for shipping a product at our old company, we'd danced together to a reggae band on a rooftop in downtown San Jose. Now that we were dating, we went to hear that band, Inka Inka, in a small club in San Jose. I wore this hat to the club and danced with him to the band again.
I had a beautiful hat, an exciting job, and a great boyfriend. I had extraordinary luck.
I don't drink coffee. I don't LIKE coffee.
I'm a tea drinker.
Since I no longer drink caffeine, I start every morning with what my husband calls my "placebo tea," an aromatic cup of decaf Earl Grey. Why would anyone want bitter coffee?
Some of my earliest tea memories are of drinking instant chamomile tea (it came in dissolvable squares!) on rainy days, listening to John Denver albums. Or my mother would make fresh mint tea from the peppermint she grew in patio pots. In high school I'd occasionally drink tea from a fancy bone china cup and feel like a grown-up lady.
By the time I went to college in Berkeley, my new go-to tea was jasmine, the more flowery the better. Despite the plethora of available coffee houses, at first I only drank tea at home. Because coffee houses always seemed so sophisticated to me, I don't think I set foot in one my whole freshman year at college. That's where the real intellectuals went, I was sure. The city dwellers. Not the suburbanites like me who grew up on a steady diet of Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch. In those pre-Starbucks days, I didn't know of one coffee house in my hometown.
Eventually, though, I made friends with a bunch of other English majors and aspiring writers who loved coffee houses. My friends and I would go to cafes and discuss how much we hated or loved James Joyce. Most of my black-clad writer friends would have coffee, but I'd have Jasmine or Earl Gray, and hopefully a slab of shortbread. I think longingly of those cafes, each with its own personality. The Cafe Roma with its globe lights and sorority sisters ordering lattes. The Cafe Intermezzo, where every time I came in, a man was sitting at the same table, reading Proust. The Caffe Med (short for Caffe Mediterraneum) the old beatnik and free speech hangout that my manual-typewriter-loving poet friend haunted. Dustin Hoffman sat in the Caffe Med in The Graduate. Sadly, from a quick Google search, it seems none of these cafes are open anymore. It's like finding out that old friends have died.
Even now, when I have lots of pages of writing to edit, I go to a local independent coffee house where I can order a pot of loose tea and a scone or slice of coffee cake. Tea drinking in a cafe now means the love of ideas, of literature, of writing and striving to do my best work as an artist. I've staked a claim to the intellectual coffee house.
Tea shops, as opposed to coffee houses, have a whole different vibe. As a rule, few men venture inside these shops' flowery interiors, where ladies go to have exquisite petite fours and tiny lemon tarts. Whereas my college writing friends and I met in coffee houses to discuss literary giants, going to tea with a woman friend is a more personal experience. Meeting a friend for tea means a good conversation about the important emotional issues in life: significant others, children, pets, aging parents, health issues. For as much as it's important to discuss art, it's equally important to discuss life. And, though as a young woman I hesitated to go into a coffee house, I've always felt I could go to a tea shop. Put on a nice dress and prepare to scoop on the clotted cream. Though it takes intellectual confidence and knowledge to complain about John Updike, all it takes to converse in a tea shop is a heart for life, and I've always had that.
Recently, I met my friend Kate at a local tea shop. Kate also loves hats and has a collection large enough to outfit an entire Gilbert and Sullivan production in period finery. Since she's an actress and singer, she often provides her own hats for roles, as Eulalie Mackcknie Shinn in Music Man, as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest.
Kate and I made a pact to wear hats and meet for tea (and yes, that is a Princess Di plate in the background).
The white hat I'm wearing was a gift from another friend, Bonnie, who gave me the green and purple hats as well as chose my Forties JewelTones Hat.
This hat is beautifully detailed. It has large and small rhinestones surrounded by intricate feather curlicues.
Over the years it's acquired some condition issues. I think the glue the milliner used yellowed over time, and the long feather looks a little sparse. But, I'm not free from condition issues myself, and this hat is a decade older than I am. It's a comfortable hat to wear. In particular, it has no veil, so nothing interfered with my consumption of tea treats!
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My friend Karen has an Etsy store where she sells vintage items, so she's always going to thrift stores and estate sales. Sometime before Christmas she let me know that she had a hat for me, which she described as "unusual." I felt a mix of anticipation and worry. I've seen some truly odd hats over the years, but I told myself Karen wouldn't get me anything horrible.
When I met her around Christmastime, she gave me two hats: the Dreamy, Romantic Hat from her personal collection and this mod bubble hat. Unusual is a good word for it. When I started this project, I might have shrunk from wearing it. But my main thought when I tried it on was "What a wonderful, unique sixties hat!" I was undeterred by my husband saying it looked like I was wearing spaghetti on my head.
Bubble hats are similar to pillboxes, but with a rounder shape. Here's Doris Day wearing a bubble hat in Lover Come Back, her 1961 movie with Rock Hudson:
Seeing this picture, my husband said she looked like she had Jiffy Pop on her head. (BTW, I got this image from a great post about her movie hats in the blog Between Naps on the Porch. This hat is not the wildest!).
You can see this bubble hat's shape is cousin to other large sixties pillboxes, such as My Grandmother's Navy Pillbox. All these hats were designed to perch on the head, so as not to crush the lovely bouffant hairdo.
Here's a closer look at the hat:
This hat has something both mod and boho about it, as if it's looking forward to the coming hippie years. Someone at church asked me if it was macrame, but it's just woven, stiffened (or artificial) jute (?) with an orange ribbon accent and a brown border so close to my hair color that it's hard to see in these pictures.
I own hardly any orange clothing, yet I managed to find a tunic that I felt fit this hat's mod sensibility. Here's an outfit shot, which also gives you a different view of the hat's shape:
Seeing the picture of Doris Day, maybe I shouldn't have worn the hat so far back. I think it was lower when I initially put it on, but the hat was so tall I kept knocking it askew as I got in and out of the car. Cars must have had more headroom when ladies wore hats!
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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.