A well-dressed woman’s outfit used to be incomplete without a hat, but the art of the chapeau has become a lost one of late. As a hat lover myself, I’d love to see it return, so today’s post is a Q&A with fashion blogger and hat-wearer extraordinaire Judith of the Style Crone.
When did you start wearing hats?
I started wearing hats in the mid ’70s. I had a friend who owned a vintage shop and I began wearing vintage hats when I would go out and at times to work. I also started going to estate sales, thrift shops, and yard sales and found many a chapeau that I loved.
My devotion to this accessory escalated when I launched a hat shop in the ’80s with a partner who also loved hats. We both worked part time as nurses during the time of this venture to support ourselves and our business. We closed the business after four years, but my love for this fascinating accessory continued, and is with me to this day.
How many do you own?
I have a hat room, which contains my collection. I’ve never counted them, maybe because I would be astounded by the number. I’ve decided to downsize, but it’s difficult. When I try on a hat that I think I might release, it surprises me once again with its beauty. It’s difficult to let go of something that attracted me for some reason in the first place. I wear a hat daily and it’s fun to have an abundance of choices.
What’s your favorite hat and why?
I don’t have a favorite hat. I love them all for different reasons. I have hats that are worn more frequently because they accompany me to the grocery store, errands, or appointments. But that doesn’t mean that they are more cherished than hats that may be worn for special occasions.
Do you have any suggestions for a woman looking to purchase her first hat? Are some shapes more flattering than others?
I would say that starting with a beret or a fedora, because they’re easy to wear and more frequently seen on others. Consignment stores or thrift shops offer choices with low prices.
If you wear a hat, you may get compliments and you have to be ready for that. You might be noticed more frequently or get a better seat at a restaurant.
It takes practice at first to find a hat that suits you, but if you put it on your head and walk, you may surprise yourself with how much fun it is to try something new and interesting. It’s not permanent, so experiment and have fun with it.
But be careful, as it may become an important accessory and you could fall in love, like me. Then you will find yourself veering off into all kinds of shapes and types of headwear, because it can change your look in a second and then you will never have a boring day.
I’m not academic in my hat wearing. If I love it, I wear it. There are rules and suggestions about face shape and hat shape, but I don’t follow them. I know that these suggestions can be found on the internet, but I’m having fun with spontaneity and don’t follow trends.
I wear what I want and what feels good; I look in the mirror, play with placement, and out the door I go. [Note: What great advice for all style in general!]
How do you incorporate a hat into an outfit?
Usually I start with the hat and go from there. It depends on the activity or the occasion that the day includes. Sometimes I change hats several times a day depending on what’s happening. It all depends on color, mood, occasion, or maybe I want to start with a pair of shoes or a jacket for a change.
It’s all about having fun, self expression, dressing for myself and enjoying life. If someone doesn’t like it they don’t usually approach or engage me. But if someone doesn’t like my hat, I probably don’t want to spend time with them anyway. It’s part of who I am!
Thank you to Judith for today’s Q&A! I suddenly feel the need to go hat shopping …
- Fab mamas: Do you wear hats? What are your favorites and why?