Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Where Did You Get That Wedding Hat?

I was looking forward to seeing the hats at the royal wedding last Friday and I wasn’t disappointed. If you missed the wedding, you can view a few hats in a slide show at the National Examiner.

I’ve always loved the British devotion to wedding hats. It signals that the occasion is really special. Unfortunately, you have to go back to the Jackie O. era and earlier to find many hats (other than at the beach) on American women. Occasionally, I spot a woman in stylish chapeau on the street or at a wedding. And now and then, a very sweet, highly creative millinery shop will open in one of the New York City’s trendy neighborhoods, only to fold a year or so later. Today, the closest we come to a truly hat-inspired event is the Kentucky Derby. Yesterday, I was wondering what sort of hats were available online. Not surprisingly, I found several hat sites with large collections. I've listed them below.

While most of my over 50 friends and I love the idea of hats, we never seem to wear them. About 20 years ago, my husband and I threw a black and white dance party (paying homage to Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball at the Plaza in 1966) for good friends who were recently engaged. I wore a black cocktail dress and black heart-shaped hat. That was the last time I wore a hat other than the floppy straw kind on the beach.

Still… I’d love to see American women embrace the British tradition of hats at weddings. We've embraced their tea, literature and music, why not their hats? Fedoras for women was a hot trend this winter. With the prediction of more menswear-inspired fashions for Fall 2011, I suspect the fedora trend may continue. (If you want some examples, check out the Fedora collages at Polyvore.) Maybe other hat styles will catch on, too.

Personally, I can’t picture myself in a fedora, but I am thinking I might try a few hats on before the wedding I'm going to in July. One thing I noticed about the royal wedding, a lot of the women--the Queen, HRH Camilla, Mrs. Middleton--wore beautiful fitted coats over matching dresses. I love the fitted coat for spring weddings. And the coats looked great with hats. Finding the right hat for a particular dress might be a little tricky. I’ll keep you posted.

There are many hat makers online, some with a large inventory of unique hats. Here’s where to find them:

Village Hat Shop

Hats in the Belfry has a page for Kentucky Derby hats

Maggie Mae