Monday, 7 April 2008

Why don't people wear hats anymore..?

My grandmother was a modiste. Yesterday mom came over and gave me an old hat magazine that used to belong to my grandmother. Why, oh why, is today's society so busy with being practical and efficient instead of appreciating true beauty?

Sadly, only a few of my grandmother's hats have survived within the family. My mom has a couple, I have one:

Old hats are wonderful, not to mention the boxes they came with. Minni gave me these three:

After going through the glamorous pages of the hat magazine, I felt like dressing up Bacall & Hayworth style:

The blouse is thrifted Pola, the trousers Acne (-70% from the Beamhill sale last year), shoes thrifted.


Sarah said...

my grandmother is a big fan of hats, and she has the ability to pull it of. But I'll have to agree with you. More people should wear hats or rather... make clothing into something funnier, instead of listening so much to all the trends etc. well, anyway, your blog is sweet.

Ranna said...

I was watching movies from the 1950's last weekend and thought about that same thing!
All the women were wearing hats and matching gloves. It really made me feel a bit bad about my hats/gloves-situation. This spring I shall try to thrift myself a couple of pillbox hats and some short leather gloves to be worn with matching dresses.

P.S. That outfit rocks so darn hard!
I actually gasped out loud when I saw the blouse. :)

Unicorns Have Whiskers said...

My grandma was a hat person as well. A lot of old ladies are.. I've been wearing a hat every day recently and I'm racking up quite a collection. (Hats not being so popular, I can find great hats for 3-4 euros.) I have noticed that people look at me a lot when I'm wearing a hat. Also at my grandad's funeral on saturday I wore a hat and got many compliments. And a woman said that she doesn't have the courage to wear a hat. What, people, it's a hat! Just a hat.

Anonymous said...

Wow, your grandmother's hat looks so lovely on you.....I bet she would be so proud, to see you wearing it, and wearing it so beautifully. Isn't it amazing, the power an object can acquire, given the right provenance, and lineage? I bet your grandmother's hat is one of your most cherished possessions! :) I'm very happy to hear that you have such a love for older fashion...Bacall, *sigh*, such a beauty (and Audrey Hepburn, and Rita Hayworth...such lovely, amazing people!)...when you see an old black and white photo, everyone--even clerks and day workers--always seem to look so classy, and well dressed....and everyone--EVERYONE!!!--had hats on! Amazing. I loved the black and white fashion photos you posted...the pictures look so timelessly lovely, and the fashions so..current, almost. And I think if these pictures had been printed in the magazine in color, that they would not have had, or maintained rather, that ageless sense of class, the almost ethereal beauty that they possess in the black and white they presented in. (And hat boxes are indeed fancy, and important a person must have felt, walking out of a store 60 years ago, one hand holding, and swinging loosely, the ribbon affixed around the box, to keep it every black and white movie from that era, I think it must have been a rule that in at least one scene, a hat box is present, holding its unknown, and fashionable, secrets! :)
And I hope you will forgive one last have such an amazing grasp of English! Do you know, I had to look up the word 'modiste', to see exactly what it was that your grandmother was, for her career (I am always happy to learn new words, so thank you! :). And you have mentioned at least a passing acquaintance with Russian and Italian...and Finnish then, must be your primary language? You seem wonderfully fluent, to me, in English...I'm from the US, and so many here are like me, struggling along with just the one language. May I ask how many languages you know?
Finally (and sorry again for such a long comment! Please let me know if I am writing too much! :), I you by chance have any pictures of your Grandmother, and Grandfather all decked out in their Sunday best, from back when they were young, and ready to take on the world? It would be amazing to see pictures are such a treasure, really. Have a wonderful Teusday, and be well, Chris R.

Vasiliisa said...

What bugs me is that people tend to underdress... My grandma would wear a hat and gloves when she went to town, because that was a special occasion... Nowadays people won't accept parties, opera visits etc. as special occasions. It is a tad hard for me to grasp, I don't seek for excuses to dress casually, rather the opposite :)

Unfortunately most vintage hats, just like vintage shoes, are too small for me. Parts of me are huge...

Glorious Hats said...

HA! I must truly be an "old lady" because I wear hats every day. On our farm it is work hats, when going to town it is anything from a beret to a brimmed to a fancy hat.

There are actually a growing number of people wearing hats lately, at least it seems so to me. And more people making hats both on a professional level and the sort of hobbiest who sells a few, such as myself. Both sorts are on and the hats are moving. Also more blogs by people making and people showing hats they wear or own.

If you would like to find a few of us, do come to my blog for a visit and from there link to some others such as Jill's and Min's blogs.

As you can imagine, so enjoyed your post. You look fab in the hat, and the outfit is glam.

Hugs from a woman with hattitude, Jane

The Waves said...

sarah: yeah, my grandmothers both wore hats often. Because so few have survived, my grandmothers must have tossed them during their final years or something, thinking that no one would ever wear or appreciate them. Same goes with their shoes. My maternal grandmother had dozens of shoes that she threw away in the 1970s...

ranna: gloves, they are definitely on my list too! I saw two pairs of fantastic lace gloves at one of my local flea markets, but didn't have any money on me so I couldn't buy them. Next time I went, they were gone. I was so gutted!

unicorns have whiskers: it's weird that people think wearing a hat takes courage, but I guess that happens with everything that isn't "fashionable" or easily available in retail stores. Only old ladies (and myself) shop at Stockmann's hat department these days! (Although you are right, second hand hats are more fascinating and really cheap!) I love your hats, they have such a "cool factor" going on!

chris r.: I wonder if people just had more time in the old days, to keep up such perfect appearances? Judging from my family's photo album, my grandmother (the modiste) always looked impeccable, despite the fact that she wasn't wealthy, and that she had a job, and small children. It is ironic that these days, when appearance is supposedly everything, only very few put in the effort to look made up. And I don't, by any means, count myself as one of those people who do..! Next time I see my mom I will try to take a few shots of the family album and post a couple of pictures of my grandparents, and maybe even great-grandparents... On the language issue: I actually had to look up the word "modiste" myself, I just happened to know the word in Finnish and figured that there must be something more elegant out there than "hat maker". My English is getting weaker by the day actually... I used to be fluent because I studied in London for five years. I don't read in English as much as I used to, not to mention write. These days I don't speak it either because I no longer communicate with my American boyfriend. I hope that writing this blog keeps my English alive! And yes, Finnish is my first language. I have studied Swedish, French, Spanish and Hungarian, and in those languages I can read a newspaper article or have a very basic, superficial conversation... My Russian and Italian are bad, to the level where I have to guess every other word.

vasiliisa: oh I love going to the theatre or the opera just for the sake of getting dressed up, and it is such a shame that people come dressed in jeans and sneakers. Ugh! And I would buy more vintage hats too, but I have the same size problem as you.

Jane/glorious hats: oh I am so glad that someone wears a hat every day! And it is true that there are more peole out there who are getting some good use out of their hats. I will certainly check out your blog!

Anonymous said...

I apologize, Waves...I asked about your studies, and your languages knowledge, and then forgot to comment back, forgive me. First, with your thoughts on MY thoughts of why people looked so fancy in older photographs...I think you are right, and that time must certainly have made a difference in one's appearance. I think also many parts of the world were much more class-conscious than we are now...of course that people today still occupy differing stratas of various societies can never be denied, but I know from books and documnetaries that back in the 1920s and 30s, who you were was soo much more important than it is today (again for certain societies, not all). If you were too poor, you couldn't hope to date a richer person...if you were the wrong religion, interacting with certain groups in society was not allowable. And if you were the wrong color, well, nothing left you out in the cold more than being of the wrong ethnic persuasion. So to gain even the semblance of acceptance in the very regimented societies that existed back then, a person had to look, and speak...and dress a proper way (I've heard so many horror stories of, for example, Jewish or Italian women having to iron their hair, to avoid being ridiculed by the more light-skinned, and straight-haired, caucasians in my own country, the US). I'm sorry, I'm going on too long again...I think social stigmas still exist in many societies, sadly, but they just are a bit more below the surface than they used to be. In some ways we have made great progress, in others ways...not so much.
And if you will forgive the forwardness of a few compliments...I promise I am not pandering (I do not flatter lightly), and I am you have the expression, "brown nosing"? :) Well I am not doing that, either! First, I think you should have no worries about your English fading write beautifully! And the fact that you have a good knowledge of so many other languages is quite humbling to me...I know English, of course...I can read just the slightest bit of French...and my Pig Latin is modest, at the very best (eallyray, otnay oodgay, otnay oodgay). And with your intellectual interests, and your degrees programs, you seem like such a modern-day Renaiiasnace person, to me. You really are quite impressive, IMHO. Thank you again for responding to my questions, and I hope someday we will see pictures of your grand and great-grandparents!! Be well, sincerely, Chris R.