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!
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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.