I never wear hats. I always want to, but I don’t. I admire men and women who wear nice ones–ahh, such panache. Whenever I put one on, I feel loud…then self-conscious. One of my best friends is getting married this year, and for her bridal shower, she asked her guests to don hats for a lovely Sunday lunch. While I did have a subtly nagging sense of dread that I wouldn’t look quite right, those thoughts were crowded out by the pleasant idea of seeing my best friends in hats.
Perhaps in order to pay homage to the high pressure all-nighters of my school days, I procrastinated with my headpiece assignment. After hitting a few stores unsuccessfully, and feeling slightly panicked with less than 48 hours left until the shower, I texted my besties for advice on stores, materials, and styles. All responded immediately (because they are the greatest friends in the world) with ideas and reassurances. 24 hours before the party, I headed to Burlington Coat Factory where I found a slew of hats. Some reminded me too much of a church service. Some were too warm for outdoor Florida weather. Some looked nice hanging on the hat rack, but absolutely ridiculous on my head. I took a few different hats to a fitting room along with some dresses. After frantically changing in and out of ten different outfits and hearing pieces of bizarre conversations from fitting rooms next door, I went back to the hat rack, eyes fully peeled. My eye settled on a fun green one with a flower; I swear it hadn’t been there before. I grabbed it and ran back to the clothing racks and found a springtime-is-here halter dress covered in a violet, blue, and green flowery pattern. I walked to the fitting room, confident that this combination would be the answer to my silent prayer.
Come Sunday, I arrived at the shower, turned off the car and sat there staring at the hat on the passenger seat, all at once in love with it, yet loathe to put it on. A few moments later, I walked onto a patio filled with behatted ladies, each one all the more lovely and unique thanks to those expressive accessories adorning their heads. There were all kinds–there were straw hats and fascinators, there were ones made of linen and of raffia, some had feathers galore. Each woman’s hat was a compliment to her personality and style. While all of us experienced certain obstacles when searching for and choosing our hats, we all agreed that we’d like to wear them more often. My friend’s shower was wonderful, and I won’t forget that I wore my first real hat for her.
Thank you, dear Olivia, for sending me pictures #6, 7, and 11!