Monday, January 16, 2012
Libby's hat rack made of antlers
Hats for Inspiration
We often speak of “wearing many hats” when referring to different jobs we do in our lives. Writers certainly wear many hats because they compose, edit, report, work the PR, and sometimes publish works. But I also like to wear hats literally.
In my childhood, all women wore hats, and a few men still wore them too. While girdles, gloves, petticoats and other things aren’t missed, I do miss hats. I particularly love those 1940 styled fedoras for both men and women. Maybe it is the cloak and dagger of mystery they carry, but then I also adore a great felt cowboy hat. Hum, I like the straw ones too, especially if they are tinged with a tea-colored sweatband suggesting roping and racing!
For a long time I had a hat rack hanging in my hall with antique hats on them. One of my favorites was a 1930 riding hat with sequins. I also loved a flat crowned hat trimmed in grosgrain ribbon. A 1940’s beaded clutch and some old gloves were hanging among the hats. I never looked at the display without wondering who wore these items and where the hats had been in their lifetimes.
My grandfather was a wearer of hats. At Christmas he always donned a black derby. Oh, he was a dashing figure with his bold ties and hat during the holidays. Earlier in the fall he had lived daily in khaki and neon orange quail hunting clothes so his holiday attire was definitely an improvement. During the summer, his choices were pointed toed cowboy boots, a straw wide brim, and a bolo or string tie.
Oh, I do miss hats as fashion! But then again, maybe I should wear a hat at my desk when I am writing. Maybe instead of just wearing my “writing hat”, I should truly dress for the occasion. Could a fedora inspire me to write of a steam train through Europe, would a beret induce me to create a story where the character fights in the French Resistance? Would (hubby’s) great-grandmother’s fuchsia colored felt with peek-a-boo veil pulled down to the nose take me to 1930’s Arkansas? Then again, wearing my felt cowboy hat might let me hear the squeak of leather when the saddle horn was grabbed by a feisty female outlaw. Oh, think of the possibilities hats create!
Excuse me, I must visit my stack of hat boxes.