Monday, June 13, 2011

Milling about Millenery

Did you know there isn't a hat shop between here and Portland?  I realize that hats aren't as in fashion as they were in the middle of last century, but I didn't think they'd fallen that far to the wayside.  Baseball caps can be found just about everywhere still, but they are only for men.  I did see some unfortunate looking sun hats at a few stores intended for women, but unless one is actually on the beach avoiding the sun, I can't see that as a good look.

There was a time when women had to wear hats.  It's impossible to think about the history of hats without looking to religion as a major reason for women wearing hats.  They didn't just keep the wearer's head warm, after all.  A woman showed her humility before God by wearing a hat.  A woman without a hat or head-covering was thought to be haughty and brazen.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating women begin wearing hats once and for all.  I just find it sad that I can't find a hat even if I want to these days.  My grandma told me that her mother always wore hats and routinely changed out the decorations on the band.  It was a less expensive way to wear the same hat multiple times and still be fresh.  When women weren't wearing hats, they still wore bonnets, elaborate hair pieces (like fascinators), handkerchiefs, or at least a snood.

I'm also quite surprised at how hard it is to find hatmaking supplies.  Hat forms can cost hundreds of dollars.  Even Russian netting, useful for brides everywhere, is nearly impossible to find in a store.  Where are women buying hats these days?  How much is a reasonable price for a hat?  What styles of hats are currently popular?  Nobody knows anymore.  There are no hat shops.  And it makes me sad.

If anyone needs a good idea for a local business in Corvallis or the mid-valley, look no further!

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