Masterpiece Monday: Vintage Hats


“That’s the thing about hats. They’re extravagant and full of humour and allow for a sense of costume, but in a lighthearted way.”

– Stephen Jones

Hats: An Anthology


I find great beauty and inspiration in vintage hats, and to fill my well this weekend I went to hear a woman speak at our local historical society about the history of hats and share her collection.

The presenter’s name was LaRee Johnson, and she is the author of Ladies Vintage Accessories, a book that I actually have in my collection of vintage clothing books (but actually stored right now in the garage!)  Her presentation was titled, “Hats Ala Mode: the history of hats, bonnets and headwear,” and she spoke at the Museum of the Oregon Territory in Oregon City.  She shared gorgeous wide-brims, cloches, hand-stitched bonnets from a woman traveling on the Oregon Trail, Sixties flowery creations, an umbrella hat…you name it!  They were all one of a kind and each a masterpiece with all of their feather trimmings, beading, tiny stitchery, and clever shaping.

Basically, hats make people happy.  They make the wearer feel special and unique.  I wish more people wore them.  Millinery and the art of wearing hats is becoming a lost art form.  Ms. Johnson spoke of many women who say that they are not “hat people,” or that hats don’t look good on them.  She says that they just haven’t found the right hat, and I have to agree!  And yes, even men look awesome in hats.  (There are more hats for men than baseball caps!)

So dust off those hats you have stored away, or go out and buy one this spring, and let’s help in keeping the art of hats alive.


(Also, while googling around, I found this museum that I have to check out in Portland called, among other things, The Hat Museum!  More on this place later!)


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