Sunday, August 16, 2009
Whatever Happened To Hats ?
Whatever happened to hats? Suddenly they have disappeared ,exited offstage.One day, a long time ago,Max The Hatter ,the haberdasher on Broadway in Bayonne,closed the glass door of his shop,turned the key for the last time and tipped his hat 'Farewell'.Who foresaw the day when hat boxes would be tossed to the curb after spring cleaning or sent to the Salvation Army's second hand store ? Was the obituary notice of Hedda Hopper the catalyst that stirred the rebellion and set us free? Even nurses shoved their caps to the back of the bottom drawer.They looked so nice in their starched whites and caps. Patients still whine to me about how nice nurses used to look and appeared so much more professional.It's true, they did ,but nursing caps did not add weight to their brain matter or make them a better nurse.If your hair was as straight and thin as mine, the bobby pins would slip free and the cap would flip over and land in a bedpan.But I miss hats, especially on Sundays and special occasions.Women always had their heads covered in church.Some wore a veil.Others a hat.It didn't matter if you were Catholic or Protestant, you wore a hat or something on your head.It's said that the bonneted women from the Salvation Army were always greeted with respect .There was something about the bonnet.Did it give the appearance of innocence? I don't know.
Remember the scenes from "My Fair Lady", "Gone With The Wind","Easter Parade" ,"Mrs Miniver-with Greer Garson,and countless other films from the late 1930's -'50's ? Edith Head and Adrian were the giants of fashion design.The blockheads of today's runways can't hold a candle to them. Go back to kindergarten,fools! Hats added the finishing touch to a beautiful dress and added beauty to the lines of a womans' face .A little veil at the hat's brim to the bridge of the nose made the eyes of a pretty woman even more beautiful.There was a women's hat shop near Broadway National Bank in Bayonne.Hats were piled high in the store's front window. There were hats piled everywhere you walked .Hats on counters,hats by your knees,"Watch where you're stepping!".Hats everywhere you moved your elbows.I don't know how the shop owner ever found anything in that place.It was the store my mother would take me to after buying my Easter dress."Let's find a match!".It added to the fun.
A hat will keep you warm in frigid weather wheareas an uncovered head will waste away body heat as it exits the scalp like a chimney.The Danes say "There is no bad weather-just bad clothes".Maybe hats will make a comeback someday.I hope they do.