They belonged to people who wanted others to look at them. I didn’t want to be that person, the one wearing a hat.
Until, that is, I wanted to be the one wearing a hat.
I was watching Baby Face for the third time in a forty-eight hour period when I found myself distracted by Barbara Stanwyck’s wardrobe. Before I knew it, a pre-code 1933 film starring my favorite Hollywood heartthrob became inspo for the foreseeable future.
Here’s why: Stanwyck’s character is flawed. Truly flawed. Vulnerable. Desperate. Does terrible things. But she’s smart. She’s ambitious. She raises her voice. She looks divine in her clothes, and she wears a hat. Granted, that was then — the thirties — and hats, like iPhones today, were just a thing you carried with you. But I’d never abandon my iPhone. Or call it obnoxious, so I guess I realized that hats aren’t as bad as I thought they were. What’s actually pretty bad is disavowing things for the sake of having an opinion. Which is something I’d like to do less.
I owe hats an apology.
See, the beauty of style is that it boosts that inner-thing that makes you, you. I think they call that self-expression. Stanwyck’s character, hopeless and hurting, going through a personal crisis, chose to wear a sundress and a hat. And what a message to send! “I’m going to be ok.” I like that.
This summer, I probably won’t be emphasizing which swimsuit I wear on the sand, but rather, the hat to go with it. The hat that covers the thing I cherish most (my brain!) and the choices I’m allowed to make, revoke, make again.
Hats aren’t like other accessories. There’s a nonchalance about them. They say, “If you think this is effort, you’re mistaken.” And that’s great.
Need more summer accessories? Carry a bottle of wine from our Summer Wine Guide (wine’s an accessory)! Or why not try a scarf? Or some shades of our pickings? With said accessories, you’ll obviously need an ensemble. And a swimsuit to wear under said ensemble. And a beach read to go with that. Paperbacks or E-books?