There is this hat that has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. Now I love hats and always have. I think it’s absolutely atrocious that hats for women and men have gone out of style per say. Nothing says jaunty like a decent fedora on a man. Stable and yet, mysterious, all at the same time. Forget baseball caps – they just make everyone look bad.
I inherited a bunch of hats from my great grandmother and grandmother, and then I had the good fortune in the early eighties to discover one of the last great milliner’s shops for women on Queen Street West in Parkdale.
It was a dark day for me when she finally retired and sold off her stock. Why she retired was beyond me. I mean, if I had her energy and natural good taste I would consider it my duty to humanity to keep going - even if I was 85.
Between the children and my upstairs neighbors repeated flooding out my flat my collection of hats has been left tattered beyond repair. I am still weeping inside over the Jackie Kennedy original pill box hats I had. Go try and find a decent pill box hat. It’s like searching for the King Arthur’s Holy Grail or that saying in the bible, ‘go yea out into the streets and byways of Jerusalem and see if yea can find a man’ or in this case pill box hat. There was a time when I wouldn’t buy a coat if I couldn’t find a decent hat to go with it. Mostly, I have only fall or winter hats now as it has been years since I found decent summer hats.
This brings me to my present quandary. I lost two hats which I bought to go with my dark green and brown trimmed polar fleece coat. One was in the matching green, and the other, in dark metallic rust which really picked up the coat. Now I don’t have a single hat to match it.
A few weeks ago I spied this great hat in the Bay. The only problem was it was $100 dollars. It’s not that I can’t come up with $100 dollars but I just can’t justify buying a soft fabric hat for $100 when I have three children who have yet to finish school. I mean it is only a hat and it’s not like it’s a dual purpose hat which would go with any of my other coats, plus the coat itself is on its last legs. I can still wear it this year and maybe next at the most. Then what would I do with it? And for $100 I can buy a fair amount of books, music, games, clothes which would last longer than one season or two.
Last night the Last Amazon and I were in a rush to get to the ballet so we ventured into the subway. It was while we were riding the subway that I spied my hat on this perfectly hideous woman. Talk about a crime against a perfectly good hat. Why she even ventured out in public in that get-up is beyond me. If you are going to be self-indulgent for a hat, at the very least one needs to ensure that it matches one’s coat.