I have a confession. I’m a major hat person. Like, I’m probably one of the few Americans who watched the Royal Wedding three million years ago (wait–was that only three years ago?) and actually swooned over all the crazy fascinators. I just don’t get what isn’t amazing about having a fuzzy, fluffy bright pink ball on your head? Honestly, people.
But then… There’s vintage hats. And suddenly we’re talking about a whole new class of amazingness. Those berets, cloches, and fascinators? Yep. They really do it for me. And the more I browsed Pinterest, the more I longed to be that girl who could look absolutely stunning in a grey wool beret while walking down the aisles of Walmart. Or who could throw a straw boater on her head one sunny afternoon and go boating down the river with her girlfriends.
The more hats I saw, the more I really wanted “that kind of girl” to be me.
My ultimate moment of envy and weakness came when I stumbled across the swoon-worthy shop Poppycock Vintage. And I laid eyes on this little number.
Um… Yes. Hot pink? Check. Bow-like topping? Yes. Fluffy pink netting? Oh yes. I was long gone. I really, really wanted a hot pink, bow-like little hat with fluffy hot pink netting. But I knew I could never pull it off.
Because I am a reader (and because I was now strangely obsessed with this new shop), I started going through the archives and drooling over all the completely un-wearable hats. Green felt fedoras. Pink wool berets with big felt flowers. Black fascinators and argyle bucket hats. Basically, my dream closet right at my fingertips.
Curious about the woman who owned this wonderland of vintage toppers, I clicked on the “about page” and started reading about the shop. “Get ahead? Get a hat!” the absolutely adorable (and very red-headed) Ashley Webb wrote. “I’ve had more people than I can count contact me to say that they love hats and want to wear them, but they ‘just can’t pull off hats.’ Nonsense! It’s all about finding the right hat.”
I felt a little sinking hand raising in the pit of my stomach. Ummm… That was me. That was me who said that. Sorry.
“These days,” Ashley’s write-up continued, ”Most people have the mindset that wearing a hat is reserved only for old ladies at church or for an event like the derby. They’re viewed as flamboyant pieces, worn only for special occasions. But who says all hats are flamboyant? Who says you can’t wear a hat to go shopping, or to school, or on a night out? If you put that hat on, and you look amazing, who cares what the social norm is?”
And then came the words that completely rocked my world and changed my perspective on life, liberty, and justice (or maybe just hats).
“It’s never inappropriate to be fabulous!”
And bam. That did it for me. I went out and bought a hat. And then another. And then a couple more. And all of the sudden, I was wearing vintage hats. (Want proof? Check this out. Oh, and this. And this) And yes, I’m sure it’s strange to some people. I’ve been given more than one strange look at the grocery store. But you know what I finally realized?
I can go my whole life worrying about what other people think about me, or I can just be fabulous and get it over with.
So I’m a hat person. Big deal. I also like bright colors. And shoes with bows. And coral lipstick. And you know what? I’m pretty content with that. I enjoy wearing vintage dresses to Walmart and orange suede heels to parties and brooches in the shape of lizards. I enjoy being myself, and I think that if everyone just enjoyed life a little bit more, they might find themselves to be a little bit more fabulous too.