Late for a show one day in New York, I hurried into a cab, exclaiming, "Could you please take me to the Plaza Hotel as quickly as possible?"
"Lady, with that hat, I'd take you anywhere!" the cabbie grinned.In her 1968 book I Haven't a Thing to Wear Judith Keith writes ecstatically about hats making the difference between drab and stunning.
A hat lends an indefinable magnetism that draws people. The lady looks elegant, distinctive, individual, important, regal, chic, well-groomed and very very special.
I look absolutely horrible in them; always did. Any kind. I have a round face and straight hair and glasses. I don't worry about my hair, or how the hat fits. I don't worry about standing out. All the excuses Keith attacks don't apply to me. I just look lousy in a hat.
|Dad and I (in a hat) Easter 1958.|
So here is Keith's advice on HOW TO CHOOSE A HAT.
- Have your hair set the way it will be when you are wearing the hat.
- Make sure the design is scaled for your frame, balancing your overall proportions as well as complimenting your face.
- Chose colors that are kind and set a mood.
- DO NOT BUY A HAT until you check it out in a three way mirror.
Meet the Hats
- Small brims and tall-crowned hats look best on little women, lengthening their silhouette.
- Berets and flat crowns add elan to long hair. They shorten a long face, but don't look well on short hair or pulled back dos.
- Soft brims and profile hats look best on women who wear glasses.
- Turbans are for those with perfect features. Stuff it to keep it high and full. (A good place to stash an extra pair of nylons in case you get a snag). A widow's peak looks exceptionally good in a turban.
- Pill boxes and up turned brims are for lovely hairlines and happy faces.
- Round, bubble types and bowlers are best for long and slender faces.
- Chin straps and helmet type hats are for youthful faces and figures.
- Flowered hats seldom look elegant.
- Big floppy straw hats look beautiful on most women.
- Black hats are best in fur, velvet, and shiny straws. It drains color from the face and is harder to look young wearing one.
- White felt is a basic hat that can be worn year round.
- Rain hats in vinyl or leather can be spiffed up with a tie or link chain.
- Hats sometimes look better worn backwards.
|things you can do with a simple sailor type hat|
Women on the run can use a scarf in glamorous ways; don't wear it babushka style.
I guess I never learned about not wearing a babushka.
|Me around age six|
|Me at age 20; I wore the babushka backwards.|
When I was a girl we wore hats for church.
|My family at Easter in early 1960s. Grandma in a fur pill box hat.|
I have a floral headband. Mom in a pill box with flowers. And little brother a cute boy's hat. Dad didn't wear hats. Ever.
|Mom and Dad's wedding in late 1940s; Mom and Aunt Nancy in fancy hats.|
|Me about age six at Frontier Land in New York State|
|My role model, cousin Linda, sporting her cowboy hat. I am in the babushka.|
Somehow the Northern girl pulled it off but not me.
And yet, after reading this advice perhaps I will still find the elusive hat meant just...for...me...