No tags :(

Share it

Don’t even bother with this post––unless you really like hats. Today is mostly wordless except for captions for pictures from Thursday’s Hats Off event at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. There’s a lot to love about May in Indianapolis: the start of golf season, the 500 Mini Marathon, the Indianapolis 500 and the Broad Ripple Arts Fair, just to name a few. After attending my first Hats Off event with my forever friend Julie H., I have another great May tradition to add to the list.

If you’ve visited before, you know that Julie H. is, in my estimation, a living guide of how to be a lady. We’ve known each other since we were just a few years out of college. I couldn’t wait to see what she would choose for Hats Off. Here she is, channeling early Coco Chanel. Check out some of Chanel’s early designs here  and  here and you’ll see just what I mean.

Julie with another friend, Barbara Riordan, a costumer designer whose work is on display regularly in theatre productions around Indianapolis. Her designs have also been shown in Project IMA, an annual fashion show that’s always a heart-pounding event. Barbara and I give each other moral support every time we see each other at a local fashion event. Believe it or not, it takes a certain amount of courage to keep showing up for fashion, refusing to step aside just because we’re “middle-aged.” Here she is in her own designs––hat and all. I love the super hero fabric.

ChinaThe china from lunch. Photo by 505 Photo Studio

Green wrap
Sola Adelowo made her own hat the morning of the event. Uh huh. Really. Stunning. Her grandmother was a fabric merchant and she wanted to do something that honored her Nigerian heritage. Honestly, I think we’re going to be friends very soon because a) she reached out to help me properly identify her and say hi, and b) she is an image consultant and certified Myers-Brigg Personality Type Practitioner. (I’ve taken the Myers-Brigg exam five times with the same result. There must be something to it. I can’t wait to learn more about Sola’s work.)

The two women on the left are best friends. “We know each others’ secrets going all the way back to college days,” one of them said. The pink hat was one of the winners in the Hatitude category (I think). Photo by 505 Photo Studio

Aced by the competition505
Here’s Jody DeFord, the woman who aced me out in the Hatastique category, a best of show category for the best all-around ensemble. Stiff competition, don’t you agree? I was a runner up in that category. Yikes! Photo by 505 Photo Studio

Group winners
See me on the far right end, shrinking in embarrassment? I cannot stand to be the center of attention—not that I actually was, but still. A common, but erroneous appraisal of my “total vintage look” — that the whole thing was from the 1950s. Only the hat was from that era. The dress is a vintage Leslie Fay from the 1970s. I won a box of chocolates from The Best Chocolate in Town, which I originally intended to save for a trip Julie and I are making this summer. At the moment, there’s only one left. Sorry about that, Julie. (Please cut me some slack. There were only five––maybe six–– chocolates in the box!) Photo by 505 Photo Studio

Our table
Our table at the luncheon. I sat by a former English teacher who volunteers at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and we found lots to talk about. Photo by 505 Photo Studio

Out of Africa
How very different we are in our abilities to carry off a hat. Michael Cunningham, author of Crowns said his mother would never loan her hat to anyone, because if the borrower looked better in it than she did….well…. Love this Out of Africa––Meryl Streep winner! Clever, wasn’t she?

Michael Cunningham, the author of Crowns, with friend Madison Hanulak, a local stylist and blogger at Preppy Guide to Life. Check out a profile I did a few weeks ago about her. This photo and several others noted in this post were taken by her fiance Tyler Hromadka. Photo by 505 Photo Studio

two guys
Guys were well represented. You have to give the one on the right props. He made the hat himself! He won the Out of Africa–Robert Redford category.

Clearly, this is a man who is very comfortable with himself!

Okay, hats weren’t the only thing of interest. I love these shoes, but it’s the nude fishnet hose that really attracted my attention. What a wonderful alternative for ladies who just can’t/won’t follow the bare leg trend. Ultra sheer hose are also finding favor among many fashion bloggers I follow.

In the center, Petra Slinkard, Curatorial Associate of Textile/Fashion Arts and European Painting and Sculpture—a genuinely nice person who always makes me feel warm and welcome. To me, one of the local Grand Poobahs of fashion. Photo by 505 Photo Studio

White Hat
The design of this hat is very similar to my own—a little broader. I love the way it shows the sweetness of this woman’s spirit. Notice how her shoes exactly match her dress? This woman is a stickler for details, I’d say.

Other hats I loved:

Spider hat The spider hat.
Fascinator Handmade by this hat contest judge.
Pink Winner Another handmade hat. This woman was also a winner.

After all this hat inspiration, I walked away bewildered by why I don’t wear a hat more often. Someone suggested that once women began spending lots of money on their hair––cutting, coloring and the like, we didn’t have the heart to cover our heads anymore.

I vowed that I would be more bold, wearing them whenever I could––and then promptly passed on a great and wholly-acceptable opportunity to wear one to a wedding this past weekend. When I started having hard chills during the reception and had to leave early, I was glad that I hadn’t called that extra attention to myself. And really, isn’t that what it comes down to: we don’t wear them now because they are so rare that we must prepare ourselves for the attention they bring?

What about you? Are you prepared to wear a hat? For the month of May, I’m inviting everyone to post pictures of themselves in hats on our Facebook page. (You must be a Facebook friend before you can post.) If you can, include a hat tip that will help the rest of us feel more brave about wearing them. I’m asking my friend Julie to choose her favorite hat and I have a special vintage gift for her pick.

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.