Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Vintage Muse Series Part 4: Hats Off Dolls! It’s My How-To Guide for All Things Vintage!

Hey Dolls this is an old post from the end of August that I forgot to post but since I'm back now here we are :)! Missed you Dolls

            It’s hard for many women to believe now-a-days that there was once a time when women once planed their outfits around wearing a hat, but it’s true. At one time the hat was considered  as important  an accessory as the handbag and the shoe is for many women today. However rain or shine, casual, cocktail, or formal- for women from the twenties through sixties (and even way before that) that hat was a staple accessory. For the stunning Dames of yesteryear (and lest not forget all her modern day reincarnations) the hat was that final touch to an already fabulous ensemble. However as the years passed , with them so have our sense of fashion and the rules that have gone along with them and the envogue hat sadly died. It’s safe to say that for most cultures, (England being a famous exception) hats took a severe backseat instead to be made and used for function and not fashion. Most people usually don’t even see women in hats anymore  with the exceptions of  protection from the weather, and theatrical customs’. There’s also the famous yet ridiculous Kentucky derby hats that thankfully only come around once a year though we all love to look at, or the few ladies that still wear their elaborate hats to Sunday morning church.  
               Here’s the thing once you get to the stage in your Vintage Journey where you’ve collected a substantial dress or whatever collection in which you are happy with; the natural thing is to begin to look for other wardrobe completers of the eras.  Yet one of the first items on the list when building or expanding your vintage wardrobe is hats however it seems a fear of the unknown and not knowing etiquette usually has us pushing them to the back of our check list. Or not knowing what to do with the hat we've purchased it just sits in the closet collecting dust.  
            The most important thing to know, before we go any further is that- there is indeed a hat for everyone…look Dolls if I can find a hat for my big head and still look mouthwatering fabulous so can you J.  In one sense purchasing a modern hat today is hard; your choices are extremely limited which is a major disadvantaged for two reasons…number one being in general you find yourself picking from various forms of either the baseball cap, the beanie, or etc… and number two when the rare dress-hat can be found it is in general inappropriate. Wearing a huge gaudy decorated hat is not only embarrassing it’s distracting for others around you and we don’t want that.  Therefore shopping vintage is your smartest choice, and you'd be surprised how many easily you can get a hold of not only vintage hats but great vintage reproduction hats. Since hats were such a staple of the culture back then its easy to find a hat for just about any need and incorporate it into not only a vintage wardrobe but a modern one as well.

           So here's my own sort of how-to guide on all things vintage hats:
First things first before you go shopping for a hat , fascinator, cocktail hat, halo hat, etc... you need to have at least a some knowledge of them. This way you can have an idea of what will look good on you. This picture is from a vintage etiquette school  but it shows the basic hat structures. Using the diagrams you insert you facial structure and that gives you an idea of what works for you.
  For example: Berets are very flattering on a square shaped face, while though nearly anyone can pull off a pillbox hat they are the most flattering on a round face.



                          My number two is a rule of etiquette that you Dolls may or may not know but here goes; unlike men women do not take off their hats. So you don't have to plan for that or be afraid of having that line across your forehead or flat hair. A woman's hat is considered apart of her outfit, not an addition. 


                            There's this misconception that hat's have to be matchy-matchy , go with your ensemble completely but that's not true. Don't be afraid to experiment and tap into your quirky side. They're a lot of fun vintage hats out there and your hat doesn't have to nessarly match your outfit    
                                               Its okay to have fun with your hats, but when you begin your journey into creating your collection, you will begin to distinguish the difference between a day hat, night, cocktail,  tea hat, evening, etc... While sometimes you may have a day where you just want to be fun in general it makes no sense either to the vanillas or us fellow Vintage Dolls for you to walk out of your house in a large black mushroom hat trimmed in chiffon, lilac's and pearls. As beautiful as you would look; you would also be inappropriate which would ruin the effect (as I have said more than once Dolls there is a time and a place-always). Again these rules aren't etched in stone for many (me included) you may see a hat, intended for one purpose but you'll find yourself wearing it for another. Just be open.
This half hat actually originally was a cocktail hat with a veil but I removed it and now it works as a day hat.
                                            Be inventive vintage hats weren't always traditional. Turbans, scarfs, and infinity scarfs make amazing hats. They are amazing vintage tutorials out there from World War 2 showing you how to tie different types of turbans, hats, and half hats with scarfs. Then to add your own special touch top it off with a flower, or that favorite vintage broach.    


                When your wearing a hat your hairstyle should be as simple as possible but at the same time compliment the hat that your wearing. Typically if you have medium to long length hair you would probably tucking and rolling your hair in the back or giving yourself a bun. If your hair is on the short to medium side then depending on the cut and the hat I would suggest either making the back as sleek as possible  or letting your pin curls fall naturally. The front should either be pulled back or in a style that adds to the hat not fight with it. Without the hat the hairstyle may look crazy (as you can see in my own picture) but with the hat on it all compliments.

               Hats have to be one of my favorite accessories they are not only versatile but unique. But more than that hats give you the chance to express yourself in a way that few others us. With a little bit of searching you can find a hat for every outfit and a few to brighten some days as well. And who doesn't appreciate that?...Fashionably Speaking…Joie Cuentista