Sometimes, an outfit comes together only after the perfect accessory is found. In the case of today, this hat was needed. After a while you may get tired of me singing Lotty Dotty Vintage’s praise, but this is another dress from her amazing collection and it is one of my favorites. It was one of the first purchases I made from her a few months ago after my own wardrobe purge left me with a way to revamp my aesthetic towards true vintage.
I wore it once, and then felt as though my accessories could not quite do it justice. It needed something special; something to elevate the outfit and solidify the vintage era.
And then, I saw this hat.
It was part of a vintage lot on eBay, and was paired with another vintage hat in a similar style but pastel blue and adorned with flowers, both going for $15 with free shipping. Even if it had only been just this one hat, I would have gotten it right away. As soon as I saw this head-topper, I knew: this was what the dress had been waiting for.
Upon arrival, I showed my friend Skye and she immediately likened the hat to the iconic New Look photo. While I am no vintage Dior model, it did inspire me to edit these photos similar to the color scheme of many vintage photoshoots. De-saturated yellows, very blue greens, reds toned very true, a little bit matte. I’m still perfecting my vintage-photo-look editing, but I loved the way these turned out.
Facing My Fears
This outfit caused me to face some fashion fears. Years ago, merely wearing dresses daily made me feel so self-conscious. I thought that people would laugh at me for trying to be “fancy,” or question why I wore whatever I wore, or think I was putting on a facade. But after committing to dresses and then later, vintage, I’ve found that nobody really cares. Or, if they do comment, it’s to admire what I’m wearing.
Still, there are things on my list that I love, yet feel quite nervous to wear in public. Highly visible vintage hats is at the top of that list.
Very few people wear hats where I live. Or if they do, they’re baseball caps emblazoned with sports teams, beanies topped with pompoms, or very mildly vintage-looking cloches. True vintage style hats, that are made to really be seen, are few and far between. Any sort of statement-making hat is rare. One can get away with vintage dresses and skirts, but a hat is bound to take an outfit from “vintage inspired” to “is she in a reenactment?”
So wearing this hat to grocery shop, as silly as it might seem, was out of my comfort zone. And sure, I got a few curious stares. One woman in particular tracked my movement for a fully intense minute or two as I walked past where she stood waiting by a shelf, and her face was impassive.
But most people smiled, or busied themselves talking to Evie, and one woman all out gushed over my hat and my outfit, calling me “so fashionable” and complimenting Evie as well on her sartorial choice of kitty ears.
As frivolous as it may seem to be worried over the appearance of a hat, my sartorial choices go a bit deeper than the outward.
What I wear is a reflection of how I feel. And though a hat is much less of a statement of my life than the make of a garment may be, it still emits a vibe. And until I wore this hat today, braving the judgement of complete strangers to add yet another layer to my vintage housewife aura, I wasn’t quite sure how committed to this vibe I was.
As it turns out, I’m quite okay with whatever it is wearing highly visible vintage hats says about me. It is not a particularly brave thing to wear, nor is it groundbreaking, nor shocking, but it is still a choice that sets me apart. I am someone who loves vintage. I am a mother who believes in wearing nice things sometimes for no other reason than… it makes me happy. I am someone who hopes to spread this kind of “bravery” to other women. To everyone who comes up to me and says they wish they could wear what I wear, to every mother who feels like she’s in that era of life where nothing is her own, to every woman who wants to lose weight.
Wear what makes you happy and makes you feel like YOU. In the grand scheme of things, there are a lot more important things that what you wore, but who knows. Someday you might look back one day and wish you had worn more hats.
So just do it.