Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Monday
Sep102018

The Tale of the Jaw-Dropping Hat

A while back I was browsing in a vintage bazaar in Melbourne, whiling away some time pleasantly on a Sunday afternoon, when I spotted an amazing vintage hat locked away in a cabinet. Fortunately a member of the floor staff was zealously guarding that room against my possible depredations, so I was able to ask for some assistance.

“Is it possible to try on a hat from the cabinet?” I asked. It was, but the hats in that cabinet were very expensive, I was pompously informed. I haughtily raised my chin and sent the woman scurrying for a key. A man stayed behind on guard. 

It took some doing for the hat to be extracted from the cabinet. If it, and the room, were any more stuffed, they would explode spontaneously. Tenderly it was handed to me and I examined it at my leisure. It was a 1950s hat encrusted with pansies and had a little branch of them climbing into the air. It was extraordinary, and I had never seen anything like it. The price was also extraordinary: $450!! You must be joking. I am a very experienced hat shopper, and while it was very unusual, it was not worth that price, I instantly decided.

It was extraordinary, and I had never seen anything like it. The price was also extraordinary: $450!!

Nevertheless, I tried it on and asked the hovering attendant if she could please take my photo. She immediately acceded, agreeing that I had to ask my friends’ opinions before I bought it. (I laughed inwardly. All my friends, I was sure, would slap my face to bring me to my senses if I so much as considered purchasing this overpriced hat. I mean, a Schiaparelli maybe, but some random New York label? No.)

I returned the hat unregretfully, and determined that I would find AN EVEN BETTER HAT at a REASONABLE PRICE and then I would swan into the bazaar wearing it and watch those attendants’ jaws hit the floor.

And, dear Snapettes, I HAVE FOUND THE HAT, only remains for me to do my swanning.

I purchased this jaw-dropping yellow straw 1940s number from The Golden Age of Vintage, a Los Angeles-based seller that I found on Instagram. (Actually she found me, because she was interested in purchasing one of my own hats, which sadly for her was not for sale.) I ended up buying not one, but three hats from her, and a pair of golden Lilly Daché 40s gloves that I stupidly did not wear in this photo as they match perfectly. The sum total for all this, including postage, was far, far less than the price of the original hat. WINNING.

This hat outscores the previous hat on every count: it’s 1940s, which is my favourite era for hats …

But I digress. This hat outscores the previous hat on every count: it’s 1940s, which is my favourite era for hats; it’s yellow; it also has pansies that climb off on a tangent – on a strap that clasps the chin, which I have never before seen; it has a veil made of dark green patterned netting. It does not have a label, but it does not need one, DOES IT?

I REST MY CASE.

I am going to go lie down now, and you can have another look at the hat, from the front angle this time.

Photos: Today

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