Myself, the Hat Lady

hat lady

Everything old is new again. A cliché, but still true. One trend that I am very happy to see new again is the wearing of hats. I have two accessories that I’m completely crazy for: hats and rings. I simply adore hats. All shapes, all styles, all occasions. My personal hat collection is still relatively new. I’ve started with the basics – a fedora, a wide-brim, a trilby, a few baseball and cadet caps, etc. in primarily neutral colors. I expect my collection will continue to grow over the years and will eventually include a greater variety of styles and colors. I guess you could call me the hat lady.

I’ve always loved hats. One thing that held me back for a long time was lack of confidence. Unsure if I could pull hats off or what types would work for my face shape or hairstyle, it took me a while to actually take the plunge and buy my first hat. And even once I had a few, it took me a while to feel comfortable wearing them – I was very self-conscious for a while. My first hat was a brown felt fedora. Which is actually an excellent choice for a first hat. But I just got lucky there – starting out, I knew next to nothing about different hat styles. I’ve picked up a little bit of knowledge here and there but I still feel incredibly ignorant on the topic. Another great choice for a first hat is the trilby, which is similar to a fedora but with a smaller brim that’s turned up in the back and turned down in the front. Trilby hats look good on just about anyone.

My personal pet peeve when it comes to shopping for hats, especially online, is the inconsistency and downright inaccuracy of the descriptions. I’m not gonna lie, most of my hats have come from Amazon – you can’t beat their prices or selection. But I’ve seen hats that had both “porkpie” and “floppy sun hat” in their names. And there are even hats listed as fedoras when they are in fact straw mushroom hats. We seem to have lost our knowledge of hat styles and etiquette when hats fell out of everyday use. This is both good and bad, I think. The knowledge isn’t really lost – it’s still there, we just have to look harder for it. But also, since we’re no longer locked into the “do’s and don’ts” of proper hat-wearing, we can kinda make up our own rules as we go. Thank God for Pinterest.

In short, I love both wearing and learning about hats. And while I have many interests, this one is particularly special to me. It’s important, I feel, to have things that are special to us, whether it be certain activities or topics of study or actual things. These things are what makes each one of us different and what helps us find our own sense of identity. For me, being a hat lady is a very important part of my identity.

Finding My Sense of Style

As a kid, I was something of a tomboy. I have never been a girly girl. And for a lot of years, I couldn’t be bothered to think about trivial things like clothes or makeup. If it fit and allowed free movement, I wore it. And the only attention my face got was keeping it clean. But over the course of these past 2 or 3 years, I have finally gotten in touch with my feminine side and found my own sense of style. I guess you could say that I’m a late bloomer. Better late than never, right?

The process I went through to find my sense of style has three primary components. One is I figured out who I am. This is probably the biggest key to finding your own style. You have to know who you are to be able to express yourself eloquently through style. If you don’t know yourself, you end up following the latest trends. There’s nothing wrong with trends – unless they don’t fit with who you are. I found myself primarily through writing. Journaling, short stories, observations on the world around me – I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. But it’s only in the last few years that my writing has uncovered the essence of me. I would encourage you to write your thoughts down. Keep a journal and just write. Thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears, ideas, whatever is on your mind – just put it down on paper. It doesn’t have to make sense and you never have to show anyone else. In fact, it’s better if you don’t – I find that I am more honest in my private journal than anywhere else.

Another part of finding my sense of style is Pinterest. I admit I am a Pinterest addict. I have several boards dealing with style and fashion and clothes among many other topics. The biggest pitfall of using Pinterest to find a style is pinning anything and everything that you think is pretty. That is no help whatsoever. To get the most out of your style board(s) you have to pin only those outfits that are what you would actually wear. Outfits that suit your personality and body type. No matter how gorgeous, if an outfit doesn’t suit you, you will not be comfortable and confident in it. And comfort and confidence are the biggest part of looking good. Once you have a few (or few hundred) style pins, look for commonalities. For instance, one thing that kept appearing in the outfits I was pinning was a black and white striped long-sleeve tunic. Once I noticed that, I realized that I didn’t have any striped shirts. So I went out and bought one. And guess what? It is one of my favorite tops. I can make so many cute outfits with it.

The last part of me finding my own style was to actually go shopping. I took someone whose opinion and advice I trust (my dad) and we made a day of it. I tried on dozens of shirts, pants, skirts, and dresses. We found the things I was comfortable in and that he thought looked good and that would work in a variety of outfits and situations. And where those criteria met is where I found the clothes that are just perfect for me. And if you give it a shot, I think that it will work for you too. You’ll be amazed how rocking the right outfit can make you feel.