In Fashion: Hat It Up To Here

Posted at 5:00 AM Oct 16, 2009

By Kathleen Willcox

Isn't it simply marvelous when an accessory is utilitarian and gorgeous? In no other wearable object is this marriage of the two often incongruous lovers as splendidly harmonious as in the hat.

I used to hate hats; I thought they were tedious accouterments only to be strapped on when my mother or the teacher on the playground happened to be watching. As soon as their backs were turned, whatever ugly, woolen concoction that had been foisted on me would get balled up in my pocket and I'd carry on, nippy red ears and all.

Not until high school, when I was exploring my goth phase, did it occur to me that hats could be non-cheesy fashion statements (i.e. not corny Easter bonnets, straw hats for events at which horses and mint juleps were involved or the dreaded dirty prepster baseball cap so beloved by my cohorts). Really: Hats have the ability to transform a person's entire persona - just ask Samuel Beckett and Milan Kundera.

Below, a round-up of hats I've tossed in the ring for your delectation.

The cocktail-swigging flapper:

When I spotted this puppy languishing in a display case at Forever 21 (pictured above) I sprinted across the store, grabbed it and slapped it on my head. Then I did a really technically bad and excessively frazzled-looking Charleston! Then I realized I was acting like a maniac, turned bright red, shuffled to the check-out and bought it. It's deeeeeeeeeeeviiiiiiiine. I feel like Zelda Fitzgerald sans the dipsomania whenever I don the chic little cloche. $14.80.

The ski-toting outdoorsy adventurous:

While I would feel (and therefore look) like a complete fool in this Chestnut Shearling Aviator Hat, I have super-outdoorsy friends who are constantly packing up their camping gear, skis, snowboards, surfboards and heading out for some clean fresh air! This hat is perfect for them: extraordinarily warm and comfortable and pretty damn adorable to boot. And they'd look equally cute whipping around town as they would shushing down the slopes. UGG, $189.75.

The crafty DIY artiste:

This head-topper, made from vintage Cosby sweaters, is louche and slouchy without being sloppy. It's basically a fabulously hued 70's patterned knit beanie with an inch or two of rib-knit trim to pull it all together. Before slipping out to your glass-blowing class or your yoga retreat, slap this number on for a little warmth with a dash of sass and piquant perkiness that may just inspire you to take up yet another craft - knitting. $18 from Urban Outfitters.


Kiala said:

I bought this hat too! And another one at Target! Whee! I'm gonna go all Zelda Fitzgerald and set my house on fire!


Tara said:

190 bucks for a hat? I'd rather pay for an iPhone, snap it in half, and wear it on my head.

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