“I LOVE hats, but I just can’t wear them, they never look good on me.” I spent most of my life saying that. And I hear that exact same line nearly every time someone comes in my shop. A random, universal belief that has been implanted in our collective heads.
I could get into the whole history of hats and when and why they have come and gone from the forefront of fashion but there are plenty of other blog posts and articles out there on that kind of stuff, written by people more knowledgeable than me on the history of hats and fashion. I’m going to skip all that stuff, you can look that up on your own if you are really interested.
What I want to tell you today is that the collective belief that we all seem to carry around about hats not looking good on us is a total lie!!! Complete. Utter. Hogwash.
Sweet Ginger Vintage never set out to be vintage hat central. It just kind of happened. One of the first buying opportunities I had when I decided to open this shop just so happened to be through a private party who was selling off a large collection of vintage hats. In my first real inventory purchase for the store I ended up with over 70 vintage hats in a wide variety of styles.
I LOVE hats. I love looking at them, holding them, seeing other people wearing them, making them, I love everything about them. They remind me of my grandma, who, when she put on her Sunday hat, owned the room. But previous to this I had never actually owned/worn more than a baseball cap. I learned basic millinery techniques in college but that was for costume design for theater purposes. Theatrical hat making is just that, theatrical.
So here I am surrounded by all of these beautiful, vintage hats. And every sale I go to I find more hats and bring them home for the store. But I’m afraid to wear them because hats just don’t look good on me. This is something that I know to be an absolute truth about myself.
But I can’t help but play a little bit of dress up, the hats are lonely after all. Maybe I can find just one hat that I can get away with wearing. I have over 200 hats by this point, I should be able to find at least one that looks semi decent.
My epiphany came on a cold spring day. I was wearing a vintage grandpa cardigan to stay warm and thinking about my own grandpa while I was arranging a display of my men’s hats. Holding this particular gray fedora, I thought about how much my grandpa loved a sharp looking hat. So I tried it on, to remind me of Grandpa and the sparkle in his eye when he was wearing his sharp looking hat and feeling sassy. And suddenly I saw the same sparkle in my own eyes.
For a while that was the only hat I wore. It fit, for one thing. Vintage hats are not adjustable like baseball caps so it does take a little more effort to find just the right one.
Turbans and wraps/scarves are technically hats of a sort, head coverings at least. I had come across a great pattern for a quintessential 1940s curler cover, dusting cap so I decided to make it up. Well, once it is made up it needs to be tried on. Now I am NOT a bow person. No way, no how, not ever. Until I put on this dust cap. And I totally loved having a giant bow on top of my head. I don’t know why, or how, or what for. It just happened. And I liked how I looked and felt wearing it.
After that all bets were off. I started trying on all of my hats.
Here’s what I learned. I don’t look bad in hats. I just wasn’t used to seeing myself in hats. I had no definition of myself in a hat and I was very uncomfortable, at first, with expanding my own definition of myself and my personal style or lack there of.
Now I wear hats every chance I get. They are SO MUCH FUN!!! Why had I not been having this much fun with my fashion choices before this?! Now I will plan a whole outfit around the hat I want to wear.
People always comment on my hats but sadly it is usually followed by the “I love hats but I don’t look good in hats.” quote. Stop believing the lie people and step out of your comfort zone! It is so much fun over here and there are so many hats yet to be tried!
Here are just a few of the different styles I have tried over the past few months. I take an annoying amount of selfies these days, or maybe it would be more accurate to say “hatties”. I am really trying to see how each new hat shows my personality in a different light.
Your turn. Go out and find yourselves some fabulous hats and snap some hatties of you wearing them. Share them on Instagram and tag me in them! You can follow me on Instagram at https://instagram.com/sweetgingervintage or check out my Etsy shop here https://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetGingerVintage
Go forth and try on ALL the hats!! If you can’t find any great hats out there COME TO MY SHOP in Mayville, WI.