Monday, July 26, 2010

Mad Women and Their Hats

When my Goddaughter, Vicki, invited me to join her for tea in the City I was delighted, particularly when she said that it would be a “proper” tea, meaning Ladies are to wear hats. Hats have always held a special place in my heart. Having come of age during the 50s and 60s, I remember how essential they were to a well-dressed woman’s wardrobe.

My Mother, like most women of her generation, adored hats. In her youth she had modeled them and I never knew her to leave the house without one, whether she was on her way to work, a shopping trip with girlfriends or rushing out the door in a rustle of perfumed silk for an evening with my Father.

She firmly believed that there was nothing like a new hat to lift a woman’s spirits.

And so, on a Friday afternoon, I take the train to Philadelphia to have tea with my Goddaughter. I am wearing one of my favorite summer cloche hats in lightweight cotton – perfect for a hot summer’s day in the City.

As I walk through the streets of Philadelphia people stop, stare and smile. Some make comments. A lady stops her car and rolls down her window to yell, “Love your hat!” A little girl tugs on Mom’s skirt and asks, “Can I have a hat like that?”

In a sea of shorts, tee shirts and flip flops, a Lady in a hat stands out.

As I walk into the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel, I see my beautiful Goddaughter, Vicki, in a fuchsia picture hat, her Grandmother, Mrs. B., in a wide-brimmed straw with coral flowers, her Cousin Mackenzie, white flowers adorning her lustrous dark hair, and her Friend Catherine in a lemon yellow confection that would wow them at the Derby.

Have I stepped back into the elegant, gracious era of my youth?

The Swann Lounge is bzzz bzzzz bzzzzing over the Ladies with the Hats. How delicious! One gentleman asks to take our picture. When asked why we are all wearing hats, we simply smile mysteriously in response. An air of mystery must be maintained until a Lady removes her hat. It is nothing less than de rigueur.

So, the next time you get together with the special Ladies in your life, put on your best hats and take a walk through the City.

Hmmmm…..a great hat.....admiring glances.....summer in the City… who knows where all that can lead??

Ahhhh, the power of the perfect chapeau!!

How to Wear a Great Hat:

Kailee is modeling a beautiful chapeau from the Paris Spring Collection.

Note the jaunty angle and the artful insouciance with which Kailee wears it.

A great hat needs to be worn with confidence and a dash of panache.

Kailee will soon be available to answer all your millinery questions by BLOG. Stay tuned.


  1. Love the hats, all of the lovely women and that is one fashionista of a pooch!

  2. You should see Kailee accessorize!! She has unim"pooch"able fashion sense!

  3. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    So glad I found this one too! Have added it under my related links of today's post. LOVE your quote: 'In a sea of shorts, tee shirts and flip flops, a Lady in a hat stands out'.
    How lovely to attend such a proper tea with your Goddaughter, Vicki!
    I too remember so well how my Mom used to wear always a hat to Church. For her big family there was not much time to socialize much but I will forever treasure these images of her.
    Hugs to you,

    1. Dearest Mariette,

      I just love it when my post can evoke fond memories for my readers. You may remember my Goddaughter, Vicki, from my recent post "What I Wore on Derby Day." She was my "official" photographer; but, of course, she is much, much more to me. We do share a love of ladylike style and great hats.

      Special hugs, M-T


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