In celebration of National Hat Day, we asked resident hat enthusiast Hannah to show us some of the terrific toppers from her fabled hat collection. Hannah began collecting hats in college, after a fateful trip to an estate sale where she bought her first vintage hat. “Hats are so imaginative! The vintage ones, at least,” says Hannah. “It’s affordable art, really — not to mention they’re great for covering my hair when it’s gone nuts.”
This first hat on the left was a garage sale find during her last trip to Los Angeles, says Hannah. “I think it’s technically supposed to be worn squished down,” she says of the 1950s satin hat, “but I like to make it balloon-y for maximum fun!”
On the right is her first vintage hat. Hannah picked up this fur-and-leather confection at an estate sale in Montour Falls, New York. “Initially, I wasn’t going to buy this, but I put it on for fun and my mom said I had to. It looked that good, she claimed.”
“I wore this rhinestone Adolfo II pillbox hat to my first-ever ModCloth holiday party!” Hannah says of the hat on the left. “I wear this ’60s hat with any outfit I’m looking to class up, whether it’s a a white button-down tucked into high-waisted black trousers or a sleek pencil dress.”
While Hannah ranks her rhinestone Adolfo II as her favorite, in close second is the purple winged wonder pictured on the right, which Hannah picked up in Pittsburgh.
This beaded Iroquois hat was a thrift store find in the Pittsburgh suburbs. “I don’t wear it,” says Hannah, explaining its mid-to-late 1800s origin and delicate cloth and glass bead construction. “The hat is really fragile, and I’d be too scared of ripping it or losing more beads. Instead, I use it as a decor piece for my room.”
“This velvet and mink hat is a newbie to my collection,” says Hannah, who nabbed it from during a recent trip to the Bay Area’s Alemany Flea Market. “So, it has yet to go out and make stories!”
This last hat, which Hannah describes as “black feathery madness” was found in Pittsburgh. The 1940s hat is a dome of multicolored feathers and stiff mesh, and requires careful consideration when wearing. “Since this hat is so crazy, I try to keep the clothing simple when I wear it — a simple monochrome A-line dress and T-straps,” says Hannah.
Inspired to start your own hat collection now? Hannah has a tip for all you aspiring chapeau collectors! “Try them all on!” she advises. “Though a hat may look unassuming on the rack, it may turn out to be something that really complements your face. Alternately, one that may look really great off the head may look ridiculous once on.”
Do you own any fantastic hats?