In fact, I bloody love them. Knitted, crocheted, felt, fabric, straw...
I thought I would give some of mine an outing.
These are some of the knitted ones.
And some of the crocheted ones.
Hats to match jumpers I've knitted, a favorite vintage dress, a knitted scarf, gloves, or my winter coat.
The vast majority are berets. That was no surprise to me, but the colours are. I thought I had more red, but there is a distinct lack of it. So many muted colours, some brights, and a lot of black crocheted hats. I've broken my no-black rule!
The first beret I designed was back in 2002 for Cast Off, the first guerilla knitting group to spring up in London, the brainchild of Rachael Matthews of Prick Your Finger. It was made in mohair, and I called it my Raspberry Beret as I had just launched an 80s club night with my then boyfriend called Prom Night. I went through a phase of knitting nothing but mohair berets in crazy colours - and I still wear them.
I can't find that ruby red one now, and you can just see the Raspberry Beret on the right, worn with another of my knitting (and crochet) obsessions - bows.
What is it about hats? Why don't we wear them every day now?
The Shellac Sisters always wear hats, usually supplied by the wonderful milliner Jane Fryers. The hat I'm wearing below also doubles as a weapon - I nearly took out a few eyes last time I wore it!
More Jane Fryers creations in velvet. (That's her on the far right).
It's part of the whole vintage package. You can't go full-on vintage without a hat. They finish an outfit, pull it all together.
A hat can do so much for you, it can reflect your mood. It cheers me up no end to put on a brightly coloured beret and a slick of red lipstick. Hats take me off into a fantasy world, along with 30s dance bands.
Put on a big slouchy beanie and you can hide from the world. Or pull a man's baseball cap down low and no one will recognise you. I've done that a few times. Essential for bad hair days. They can be immensely practical, but also utterly ridiculous.
Is that a beard?
In an aside, I've been meaning to get this pic up of Rosalind Russell in The Women, one of my all time favorite movies. Glamorous, and knitting. Role model? You bet!
Oh Carmen. She did kind of pull it off though. The bigger the personality, the bigger the hat.
I think that is the key. Confidence. Or just having no shame. You have to be the kind of person who thinks it's a great idea to knit a matching raspberry beret for your baby. (And a Pineapple Dance Studio style sweatshirt with matching legwarmers). Poor B.
Men and women wore hats every day until the 1960s, and some older people never stopped wearing them. My grandmother never went to mass without her hat on, and my grandfather was never seen out in public without his trilby. Most people only wear them in Winter now, just to keep warm. Sensible, but so dull. Especially if you look at the average Joe on the street. A dark coloured machine-made beanie. Yawn.
So, what is it about hats? Do you love them or loathe them?