Howdy all! I was just down in my shop looking for hats for a gal who is styling a 1950s play and it got me to thinking....
Recently there has been a lot of interest in vintage hats. Especially little caplets, whimsies and pillboxes. I'm often asked... "what is the right way to wear these kinds of hats?" My answer is always the same....whichever way looks best. I'm not being flip when I say that. I really mean it. Although, traditionally, the back of a hat is denoted by the seam or fold in the ribbon inside the crown, you don't have to abide by that.
Hats should be tried on in a number of angles and directions. Tilted forward over the brow will give and entirely different look than worn at the back of the head. Don't hesitate to try a hat on backwards either. About the only rule you need to follow is to keep it comfortable. If you turn a full-crown hat sideways it's not going to feel right. That's because the head is oval not round, and so are hat openings. Smaller half-hats like whimsies, eggshells and caplets are an exeption. they can usually be turned in whatever direction or angle looks good. Veils were made to go over the face but you can tuck them under the crown or pull it up over the hat should you decide to wear it in a different direction.
Keeping the hat on your head is not as big a problem as you might think. Hat pins don't lend themselves to today's simple hairstyles but bobby pins always work great. My favorite trick however is to use a piece of thin millinery elastic. It's a cinch to do. Just cut a length of elastic and hand stitch it to the ribbon inside the crown... side to side. I make a knot at each end so it won't pull out of the stitching. The elastic should be long enough to fit snugly under the hair in back of your head. Even a heavy wide brimmed hat stays in place this way.
I thought it would be helpful to show you some of the looks du jour for hats in the 1950s. Above is a collage of fashion ads I put together from mid 1950s Vogue and Madamoiselle magazines. Note the different angles the hats were worn. I love the example in the upper right hand corner that uses a domed whimsy as a bun cover. Very clever!
As you can see hats were worn in a number of creative ways and each position gives it's own style. Women have always had fun with hats... let's continue the tradition!
Till our next blog. Take care and enjoy the summer!