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Home On Trying And Failing To Find The Perfect Fall Hat
You know fall has truly begun when you see women walking down the street in various permutations of the felt hat. Unlike the straw hat in summer, which functions to shade you from rays, or the woolen winter toque with its earnest objective to warm you, the felt hat occupies a brief seasonal window, when we try to comfort ourselves over the loss of summer with bold sartorial experimentation.

There have been numerous times in my life where I tried to rock the felt hat, but this year, I think I'll hang up my efforts. I've bought, worn twice, and discarded a small fortune in experimental hats. It's taken me years to realize that while a snappy chapeau can look good as I strike pose in the store mirror, statement hats demand too much poise to sustain for an entire day. (How does Pharrell do it?)

But oh, how I've tried. Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally convinced me that a wide-brimmed felt hat would be delightful with a tweed blazer and gold hoop earrings. "Cosby Show" fashionista Lisa Bonet emboldened me to attempt the triple threat of overalls, a fedora and John Lennon glasses. I will never forget that moment when I exited the subway in the abovementioned ensemble to encounter a local panhandler who asked me if I was "strung out."

A girl crush on Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink stoked an interest in vintage eclectic style - hello retro cloche with whimsical flower! A recent resurgence in '70s fashion momentarily convinced me to experiment with the floppy chapeau. I tried it for two days, once at the playground, expecting to embody effortless femme insousciance of, say, Faye Dunaway, but could not shake off the awkward (it could have something to do with pushing a swings, forgetting I was wearing it, and having it kicked off as I did an under-the swing dip). To my credit, I never attempted Bridget Fonda's pork pie hat in Singles.

To maximize the fall felt hat, you have to absolutely own your personal brand of style. There can't be wavering moments of window-reflection adjustment. You can't be the kind of person who trips on curbs or lets toast crumbs rest on her sweater all morning. Otherwise you are a different type of hat lady altogether the eccentric aunt with "funky style" for a woman her age. And I am not ready to be that person (yet).

For all the woman strutting down the street on this crisp, sunny day with an expertly-knotted scarf and the autumnal hat du jour: You own it. I'd doff my hat to you (if only I sported one).

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post #1542
bio: adina

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