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June 28, 2010

The 4H blog:

Hank, Harley, Heather, Hats Because there are too few things you can count on in this world, TLC promises you that Mondays will always feature an author whose name begins with the letter “H.” Why? Because we can. And some Mondays, you’ll get us all.

To quote the great Stephen Sondheim,  “Does anyone still wear a hat?”

Harley: Yes. I wear a baseball cap religiously when jogging, because it keeps my iPod headphones in place. Also, religion-wise, I’m partial to a nice yarmulke (aka kippah). And chapel veils. Not much of a burqa girl, though. 

31379_1413834621730_1108480596_31226422_5337481_n  Heather: Yes, I love them. However, I tend to like hats that go with winter wear, like Russian-style faux fur things. Love a Fedora. A top hat, yes! I also have a thing for jackets and knee-high boots, and I live in Florida, so . . . somehow, I wind up buying another straw hat every time I head to the Keys, because I can't seem to remember those suckers. Or my sunglasses, which, one would think, were somehow attached to my body since it's a rare day when we see no sun. I did a "Mad Hatter" party at the Romantic Times convention this year, using a hat I’d bought a decade ago--Alice's tea party is done on tiny ceramics on the brim of the hat. Love it.

Hank: No. I look TERRIBLE in hats. I mean, you can’t believe it. TERRIBLE. One of my goals, for literally years, is to be able to pull my hair back in a pony tail, and slap on a baseball cap and sunglasses and look adorable. Instead, I look like my ears are poking way out, and my neck is horrible (with apologies to Nora Ephron) and it’s just a fashion disaster. Plus, I have a huge head, huge, and hats don’t even fit. You should see. When I try one on, I  look like a watermelon wearing a hat. A watermelon with ears.

Are there any major hat wearers among your ancestors?

Heather: My Granny! Every Sunday for church, one of those little pill box hats with veils. Yesterday, my son Derek and I went through some things left in storage, and we found her purple pillbox hat. She brought my mom over from Ireland as a kid, and I'm pretty sure she made her wear a hat on the ship that brought them to Ellis Island.

Hank:  Probably everyone in my family looked terrible in hats. From time immemorial. In the steppes, when it was a million below zero and they were bringing in the—what did they bring in in Russia? Wheat? Herring? Beets?—my family probably didn’t wear hats. Which is probably why their ears got big. Cossacks1  

Harley: My people (Kozaks) are Cossacks, which is a tough hat to pull off. On the distaff side, shortly after my maternal grandmother died, my sister dreamed she appeared in the living room wearing one of those cold-weather farmer hats with ear flaps. I guess for Grandma Gussie, heaven was Norway in winter.

Most famous hat?

Heather: The Mad Hatter’s, of course.

Images  Hank:  Oh, Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. At Ascot.

Harley: Jackie Kennedy's pillbox hat always screams "assassination." And for the boys (although I think I too might look fetching in it), Winston Churchill's.


 Hats you aspire to wear one day, but just haven't had the opportunity and/or courage to?

Hank in dumb hat  Hank: Any, I mean, any! I do have a kind of fun big fur hat, which I love. Kind of Lara in Dr. Zhivago. Sigh. And it kind of looks, marginally okay.(Probably the Russian ancestors thing.) But once I put it on, of course, I’m done, because I can’t take it off because my hair is totally smashed.  

VampireHunterD_0001 Heather: The hat I want goes with the outfit I want--and the long sleek thing body to go with it. Of course, this character was drawn, so I could always get my face in the hat drawn into a picture. It's Vampire Hunter D. He looks amazingly cool in that hat. I want a hat like that!

Harley: a bridal veil.

Happy Monday! 


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Harley, I'm with you. I didn't wear a veil the first time around so I'd like a second chance.

Heather: I always liked Vampire Hunter D's look, too. The hat is very cool.

Of course, one of the most famous hats around is Indiana Jones fedora.

Me, I don't wear hats all that often. On the other hand, I do own over 300 bandanas that I wear headband style like Willie Nelson does.

The last group of men to look good in a hat was the “Rat Pack”, especially Frank.

The most famous hat = Donald Trump. That can’t possibly be hair.

I have one baseball hat for really bad hair days when I need to run to the store for something.

2 summer hats, one panama straw that is going into its 20 summer and another one called a Packable. It an survive anything and goes in the washing machine as well. Sun hats are a total necessity since I lost a lot of hair before I got diagnosed with a thyroid disease, now my poor noggin burns really easily.

Rod - there is a guy in my neighbourhood who makes Trumps hair look wonderful. This guy dyes it black, it is shoulder lenght, poofed up on top and combed over nearly ear to ear. I have to not look at him or I will laugh in his face.

Hank, I have the opposite problem as you, I have a tiny head, makes finding adult sized hats difficult. My mom said we were all easy to give birth to because we all have pea-sized heads . . .

Gaylin, a tiny head? We're so funny, aren't we? OH, well, together we're normal.

One of my first jobs was at GC Murphy's Five and Dime--did you have those? And for while, beforet hey moved me to candy, I was in the hat department. Millinery. SO funny! And it was when people (grown-ups, not anyone my 16 year old age) wore--well, what did they call them? They were like--wide gauge netting, shaped with starch or something, had flowers or other decorations. See-through hats.

Even thinking about that now, I wonder--really? So out-dated, its almost like an impossible memory.

I'm getting ready to fly back to Bosotn from Washington DC. ALA was wondeful, and Nancy was the STAR!

See you in a few hours...yikes, it's early!

I also have a huge head and look stupid in hats, and I hate when my hair gets smashed. But I get terrrrrrible sunburns, so I really need a hat now and then. So I'm on a constant quest for good hats. (Getting one to fit my big head is the biggest challenge.) When I wore a hat to my daughter's outdoor commencement, the woman in charge of seating dignitaries assumed I was somebody important and ushered me (and my husband and future s-i-l) to the front row. We sat beside the college VP. Me in my big garden party hat.

One trick is to not look like you're wearing a costume. People avoid you if you look like you're dressed for Halloween. And fit: You need a hat that's as wide as your shoulders, and with a crown tall enough so that your eyes are located halfway between your chin and the top of the hat. Very important.

This is such an educational blog. First lip paint and now Nancy's formula for choosing hats. I just went and put on the one straw sun hat that I like and guess what? It fits that formula.

What? Wide as your shoulders, and...what? Eyes located between...what? For all these years, I've been wondering--I'm serious here--why some hats work and others don't.

Well, hmm. Nancy, hat guru. Off to measure stuff.

Oh, I love hats! But Nancy, my shoulders are like a linebacker's, and my head is like a walnut, so I can't imagine a hat to fit my ridiculous body even exists. In addition to my insane proportions, I also have rather thin hair, so a hat is necessary in the sun, otherwise my scalp burns like mad. A peeling scalp is no fun. Ouch.

After my dad died, my mom told us to take some things we wanted. So I took a few of his hats. For a long time, they still smelled just like him. When I was feeling melancholy I would go stick my face in one of his hats and get a nose full of his old man, greasy sweat. I got my nut-size nut from him, so all the hats fit me. I have his Stetson, his bowler, and his safari hat. Love 'em.

Amy. I'm crying. No kidding, that makes me tear up.

My mom always talked about my dad's Homburg. I didn't know him, but it's in all the photos. So my imaginary father is always wearing a Homburg. (No wonder I thought "Winston Churchill" for famous hat.)

When I think of Homburgs, it's always Audrey Hepburn on the ship's deck in Sabrina, and Bogart has just sent the steward to her bearing his hat, so she can turn up the brim for him and make him look French.

Hank, you made me laugh so hard with "wheat? beets? herring?" I needed that this morning, thank you!

Hate hats. Look like a dork. Admire those who can pull them off.

I'm with you, I had the same goal to wear a baseball cap w/a ponytail and it's a disaster! lol I've finally given up on it. I can't tell you how many hats I've bought, hoping that this hat is the one. Now I just need to throw them out because I've never worn a single one of them in public, just in front of a mirror in my house. :-(

I love hats, and I think everyone can wear them, you just need to be willing to try on a lot of them until you find the one that suits you. I'm looking at you, Hank, honey. That fur hat is cute on you! There has to be another that does, as well, but for different weather! My favorites:

Lace chapel veil we used to wear to church. Everyone looked like a Spanish lady.

Pirate hat. One year for Halloween I was a dashing Jill Sparrow.

Big straw sunhat--which is what you should try, Amy. It will balance out those shoulders.

My Citadel ball cap! Baby blue, and always gets people to ask if my "son" went there. Everyone is surprised to learn my daughter did.

I'm about to be rejoined with my Stetson cowgirl hat, after a year. Love Western hats, they are so amazing. And there is literally one for every single human being, you just have to find that particular one. Out West everyone wears them, and nobody looks goofy in them, so it has to be true.

My iconic hat would be the riding helmet Elizabeth Taylor wore in National Velvet. Or any of the whackadoo bonnets they wear to the Royal Ascot race day in present time (as opposed to the delectable creation Harley posted above, worn by the inestimable Ms. Hepburn):


Yes, Amy--a wide-brimmed hat for broad shoulders, or else one with a brim that tips down and creates a line *to* the point of your shoulders. I think good hats require tall crowns (like cowboy hats) but cheap hats tend not to sit up tall enough on your head.

Here's a good hat info site:
http://apple.clickandbuild.com/cnb/shop/louiseoliver?merchantPageID=11&op=merchantPage-merchantPageDisplay (My own favorite hat is like the red one at the bottom, only mine is peach-colored. I bought it---and this should not surprise anyone---in Louisville in April.)

And: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1265240/How--Choose-perfect-hat.html

The Brits really do hats right.

Nancy, I love red hats! And every British woman has a wedding hat, because you absolutely do not attend a wedding over there without one. It's just not done. I like that idea, and mourn our oh-so-casual society that no longer requires hats.

I love hats, but I hate hat-head. Ugh! And my hair just wont fluff afterwards. *sigh*

Due to my dark hair, I always have a sun-hat of some kind during the summer. Currently, a soft white basebally style. Also found a cute white stylish straw hat to wear at the transplant games...got it at Walmart.

Next week, I do plan on wearing a tiara to work, though. Since I am the one who remembers birthdays and work anniversaries, this may be needed so that I don't have to send out birthday greetings to myself. LOL!!!

Darling Daughter #2 went thru a hat phase when she was in 3rd or 4th grade -- she was adorable and they looked great on her. Me, not so much. I did have a great one that was Columbia brand, but it got squished beyond all recognition during the off season, so it had to be retired.

There is a mystery writer based in Minnesota -- Monica Ferris (pen name) -- who is known for her collection/obsession with hats. Check out http://monica-ferris.com/ and click on HATS.

I also like these H contributors better than the ones I've been dealing with -- hail, heat, and humidity.

Cleaning out the storage, we also came across my dad's Mahi Shrine hat. The fez, with his affiliation. He'd been a Mason forever, and finally went into the Shrine, not long before his death. I was so happy to find it, and a few of the kids have seen it now and tried it on. They all say, wow! Okay, now I know where we got our enormous heads! It's really difficult to have a big head--literally.

OMG, Karen, what a hoot that site is. Joan Collins totally had to stuff the crown of that hat--it is too big for her, but with the right amount and density of crown-filler, she almost made it work.

I love hats but never wear them, except the baseball cap for morning walks/runs and Saturday farmers' market (no vanity there). I have my grandmother's genuine (and gorgeous) Panama hat that she bought in 1924 or so when she was a newly-eloped-to-Venezuela bride--it is the most amazing hat, superb quality, and I've never worn it out of the house, because it is still so perfect. Sadly, I just open the hatbox once in a while and admire it, then close it again to protect the dear thing.
My straw cowgirl hat with a pink-plaid ribbon, that I really did wear when riding a beloved horse in barrel races in the camp rodeos, has mostly fallen apart. The last time I wore it (just before it started crumbling) about five years ago, my friends and their friends just stared at me and made me promise to take it off before we got to a small rodeo in SoCal.
My sister and I have traded a black felt ten-gallon hat (probably less than ten, but who's counting?) back and forth over time--she has it right now--it's a stunning example of cowboy hat. I always thought I'd find a man for it, but that has proven as difficult to do as finding the opportunity to wear a bridal veil for real, so far.
Harley, keep trying on veils. We'll find the right veils and the right men, soon.

Omigosh, Laraine, is there no end to your coolness? Barrel racers are fearless! I'll be attending a rodeo on the Fourth (for the fourth year in a row), and the gals are my favorite part, by far.

When I was in Ecuador in April I was so tempted to get a real Panama hat (which are made there, and not in Panama). But I had already stretched my souvenir budget too far, so I had to come home without one. One of the other women on the tour, though, got the most gorgeous apricot-colored Panama, it was thoroughly stunning.

The old Kippot joke: "Orthodox Jews wear hats on all occasions. Conservative Jews on some occasions. So, an Orthodox Jew can become a Conservative Jew at the drop of a hat." Hey its Monday morning.

The princesses have taken to wearing my pizza hats. The only problem is that they resize the velcro to fit their heads and I still need to wear them.

My quick page on Kippot: http://theportmans.name/index.php/Alan/Kippot.html?Itemid=0

Since my forehead seems to be growing, I wear a hat more and more. They all tend to be free baseball caps. Microsoft Visio, Novell, Saturn, Right Choice Helpdesk software and some network wiring company from Kansas City. There seems to be a trend here.

On a completely different subject. Last night saw a part of a L&O CI with a mob boss talking about getting into the assisted suicide business. Sounds like an interesting plot line.

An old-fashioned milliner in Los Angeles:
Louise is British, crisp and clear and a true perfectionist. Odds are, many of the celebs in L.A. who sport hats have gotten them from Louise.

In addition to the cowboy/girl hats, I had some 'crushable' fedoras for hiking and camping . . . thought they were so cool, until a friend asked me to wear one in a short film he was making . . . and I realized that I was a total clown in them. I just looked crazy, or drunk, or something. My remaining crushable fedoras hang out on the bedpost these days, as I can't generally bring myself to wear them unless I've got to be out in the garden in midday sun.

If there was speed-dating in my younger days I would have been buzzed off the planet. Luckily, I met my husband in summer. I wore a two-piece swimsuit and no hat.
Winter came and out came the heavy coat down to my calves, suede boots, and a fur hat. There was not one piece of skin showing except for my cheeks and slightly protruding teeth. Any resemblance to a beaver was a lie, I tell you. I was just petite and bundled.
My husband would guide me through the door on the way to work. He would watch for me later in the day as I toddled down in my outwear waiting to be tipped over like the weevil doll toy. Not once did he laugh out loud.
He might have cringed if he saw me wearing the bandeau type of hat to church. Young girls were about to declare their freedom from Sunday hats and would wear the least covering that they could find.
Now I wear a cute semi-style baseball cap with ties in the back when I spend hours outside.

Karen, I guess it comes down to where your passion is: I totally trusted my horse, and found the challenge of riding the barrels to be so exciting, it would never have occurred to me to think 'fearless'. But, could you get me to do bungee-jumping or sky-diving? Not for a million dollars!

With basal cell and now allergy to sun, hats are a health choice, not a fashion choice, and Solumbra makes SPF30 but lightweight hats. My first sun hat from them was somewhat cute, but now I have to wear the one with "crossover drape" to cover the neck -- I call it my French Foreign Legion hat. I may try to create my own with baseball had and no scratchy velcro.

I only have 2 hats now. My beige Stetson & Cardinals ball cap. I want a fedora!!

This makes me want to go out and try on more hats!
I have one other hat that I use when on vacation and go to a water park. It is nylon with a foam brim, I look like a total dork in it but it is water proof and keeps scalp safe from getting burnt, when I go down the water slides I take it off and stuff it down the top of my bathing suit - because I am so classy!

Years ago I had a friend who always wore a pink fedora to go out partying and she had a big head and the hat was too small but she loved it so much no one had the heart to tell her how awful she looked.

My dad wore navy blue fisherman's caps with the brim for a few years before he died, handsome guy, he totally pulled it off.

What a great topic!
Y'all have made me laugh out loud (Hank - you are so crazy), and you've made me get a little teary.
I love it here!
and I love hats.
We haven't been to a wedding in forever, but that's when I treat myself to new hat.
In between weddings, any ol' hat will do. Yesterday we went to a neighborhood party and I wore a hat I bought at a recent Willie Nelson concert.
It's a pink baseball hat and on the front are words, in very small letters, from a song Willie and Toby Keith do - "Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses."

Okay, fedoras for everyone! And cowboy hats! Yes!

Question: is there anyone who looks really spectacular in a bike helmet? Am I the only one to find their shape vaguely . . . sinister?

No, Harley, I agree. Bike helmets appear like not so little insects on the run. Hank, have you ever tried a beret? Not good for too much, but might be very chic on you, and, Nancy, you have explained why you would look great in hats. I wear hats well, but I am often too hurried to remember them. I also live in a beach town in northern California, so practical wins the day. Sun, and cool wind rule. What a fun blog!

I look terrible in hats. But now that I'm walking semi-regularly and it's summer, I wear one anyway. It looks real klassy with the hiking boots and cropped pants with my white-white thick calves.

What I really want are cowboy boots. I dunno why. I just do.

Omg, it all makes sense now! I should have known Heather got her hat fetish from somewhere. Grandmother makes total sense.

I have some pretty great hats. My only problem is that once I put one on, it has to stay on, because of the hat hair issue.

Audrey Hepburn's hat for the Ascot Gavotte is the definitive hat, I agree.

Oh god, just read Nancy's "wide as your shoulders" comment.

Well, that explains my boat-sized brims for my linebacker shoulders.

But it's true, the wider the brim, the better it looks on me.

Alex, you do not have linebacker shoulders. I have linebacker shoulders. And perhaps Amy, although I have not actually seen Amy's, but I believe she can be trusted to tell the truth.

In any case, I have seen you wear a flamingo on your head with great style, so I think you have more hat flexibility than you give yourself credit for.

OMG, a flamingo? At the pub where I watched the USA world cup match Saturday, there was a group that took over two tables--the men took the back table, and the women took the one in front if it, wearing very fetching red, white, and blue tiaras! They all seemed to have a wonderful time, except when Ghana won.
Holly, cowboy boots are the best, and go really well with cowboy hats. I can't wear heels for more than an hour or two without ankle and back fatigue, but I can wear 2"-heeled cowboy boots all day long without even thinking about it. Wish I could say the same for wearing any hat at all . . . I take them off almost as frequently as toddlers do, only I don't throw the hat on the floor.

I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but a hat that looks really good on just about anybody is ........ a pith helmet.

Try one. I bet you look good in it. If you want to add a veil, you look very Out of Africa, which can be fetching. Just saying.

Nancy thinks we're falling for this. That Nancy, not this Nancy. Hey! We could have a Nancy Day! We'll ask Nancy Thayer, and who else?

Sorry, off topic!

I'll stuff a hat in it.

Harley, the possibilities: a pith helmet and a veil, a jungle wedding. Now, to find Tarzan. And all because of Nancy (M).

For the Nancy day, what about Nancie the gun tart?

I knew we would have trouble figuring out which Nancy is which . . . which reminds me of the time I had six students named Jason in a class of 18 students. We made "Our Own Oddities" with that one, and I bought doughnuts for the class with my $5, proving to my students that writing does pay!

Now to go out and remove the frog from the mailbox. He hasn't figured out that he's a tree frog, apparently.

He's a mailbox frog, apparently. Wait--a frog in a mailbox?

There's got to be a joke: Frog walks in to a mailbox...

Laraine, sign me up for a Nancy(ie) Day.

I do wear a baseball hat at work, but not because I look good in one. I wear it to keep the unruly hair semi-tamed when the wind kicks up, otherwise I look like I stole Roseanne Roseannadanna's wig. When the wind is really whipping, Yahoo Serious, is looking for me to have a word about copying his look.

Nancie the Gun Tart! I'm so mortified to have left you off that I have to pull my fedora down over my face to hide my blush. Of course, doing that makes me feel like Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire, so now I'll tap dance off the stage.

He's out, and hiding under some leaves I scattered under the tree for him. (Yeah, I had a few leaves in a bag in the garage, in case another frog came in for the winter). He looked scared on the tree, and there are too many hungry birds around -- I think I scared a robin away just in time -- so I let him go back in the mailbox until closer to dark. I can understand the appeal of a small dark place, but a metal mailbox inside a brick enclosure at midday is basically an oven . . .

In this comic a frog lives in the mailbox in the winter, smoke coming from his little chimney (just the junk mail . . .) http://comics.com/spot_the_frog/

My daughter just read all these comments, and she tells me I do not have wide shoulders. Alas, Harley, trust me not. However, she says, "Hats are awesome." She has a Stetson of her own and an orange fishing hat, among many others.

The only hat that ever looked good on me was a deerstalker. Yeah, like Sherlock Holmes.

Amy, after my dad died unexpectedly, I kept one of his shirts that smelled like him.

Nancy, no harm done. I would make a trip, stumble and biff it type exit in my case so I admire your exit style.

I spent a lot of time in Texas and on farms in the north east. I am most partial to my old cowboy hat. It made me feel so cool! I used to hate hats because of the ones my parents made me wear to church on Sunday. While they sat at home. Hmmmmmm. I admitted to my mom not too long ago that I would take my younger brothers and sisters to the bakery and buy us each a cookie with the money for collection. Then we'd go to the park and swing for an hour. The hardest part was making up a sermon if they asked us. They never did!
So my cowboy hat was the first hat I ever loved. But I must say, Heather, you look marvelous in hats!!!

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