January 15th: Happy Hat Day

From the Web: National Hat Day is set aside to wear and enjoy a hat of your choice and style. Isn’t it great that hats come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and styles? There’s one to fit every size head and personality. Often, hats are used to make a statement, or to promote a cause or a product. Oh yeah… hats have logical uses, too. Some hats (Aka helmets), offer safety protection. Some hats keep your head warm, or the sun out of your eyes….how boring.

National* Hat Day is not intended to just keep your noggin warm. It’s a chance to make a statement and to display you favorite headgear. We suggest you wear a number of different hats over the course of the day.

Did you know? More body heat is lost from your head than other parts of the body. So, wearing a hat goes a long way towards staying warm on a cold winter’s day (or night).

*(There is no evidence to suggest that this is truly a “National” day, which requires an act of Congress.)


This piece of information above and an article in yesterday’s Inquirer prompted me to post my new essay on hats:

Women in Hats

On the cover of this month’s AARP Magazine is a delightful photo of Diane Keaton, looking very much like Annie Hall, only older, with her crinkled shirt, skimpy jacket and crumpled jeans, wearing a wonderful hat, one of her trademarks. Ditto for Bella Abzug, whom I never saw photographed without a hat. Actually, Carmen Miranda, that Latina fireball of early movies found on Turner Classic Movies, wore the most outrageous hats. Perhaps her most famous hat was the one made with fruit piled on top of her head. In fact, when I want to see many great hats, I turn to TCM for some flicks from the 30s and 40s, where both men and women wore hats. You weren’t a lady or gentlemen without a hat!

Bella Abzug, feminist and hat lover!

I confess that I love hats, fancy chapeaus from old movies and also hats like the one Diane Keaton is wearing on this month’s cocver of AARP. Just as the special issue on Gray Matter in the Philadelphia Inquirer (2/13/16) focused on hair as being a defining characteristic of many women, so, too, for me, hats are a defining characteristic and more than an accessory.  Because I have short, baby fine hair, my hats are a necessity in both winter and summer. In cold weather I wear knitted hats that I create in colorful combinations to cover my ears and head (See photo.) And in summer I wear caps or straw hats to protect me from the summer’s strong rays. (Hats also protect my facial skin, which is important in preventing skin cancer.)

With baseball caps being worn by everyone, not just athletes, hats and caps have become a popular clothing item. Our friend Irv buys a cap whenever he visits a new city, adding it to his cap collection. I cherish the hats that I wear, hanging them across the wall of our walk-in closet and on the back of the door. I like to look at them when I am not wearing them. I have many hats of different colors and shapes, especially knitted hats that I make each year for myself to match coats and jackets.                    

I do keep one that I love in a hatbox because it is made of feathers and is very perishable. (See photo) I purchased it in a thrift shop in State College, where I used to live. The label says Lit Brothers, which is a store, coincidentally, that used to be in Philadelphia. It reminds me of something Audrey Hepburn might wear as Holly Golightly in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

In the special issue of “Gray Matter,” editor of Style and Soul, Cathy Rubin, writes about how her own hair, full and curly, “has always been her thing.” She also interviewed Talia Levi, a single mother of three shown in 17 photos of gradually allowing her hair to turn to silver, after years of coloring it.  She says she followed her heart with this decision.

I think hair, for many women, is a defining characteristic that is very important to their mental well being. In both Cathy Rubin’s and Talia Levi’s cases, their hair is vital to how they feel about themselves. And what hats I buy and wear are very important to me, because I feel my hair has very little “personality” of its own. My hats become an extension of my own wispy hair.

So whether or not you wear hats, you can celebrate this day by complimenting someone who does.

Happy Hat Day!

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