In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it …

While I was out and about today, I tuned into a portion of a broadcast on NPR in which they were discussing the wearing of hats.  The commentator kept asking folks if they’d be wearing a hat to church on Sunday … an Easter hat if you will.  His guest said if you wanted to see serious hats, you should go to an African-American church where the women really dress up and wear fantastic hats.  She likened the view from the back of the church to that of a garden.  I agree with her assessment.  What mystifies me is where they buy those wonderful hats.  I never see them in any of the stores where I shop.

I like to wear hats and frequently do wear them to church on Sunday.  Years ago we had an elderly lady at church who always wore a hat.  You could count on her being there in an attractive hat every week.  Then she became a shut-in and I decided someone — namely, me — should keep her tradition going.  I don’t always wear a hat but more Sundays than not, you’ll find me in one of my hats.  I have a basic wardrobe of felt hats for winter and straw ones for summer.  But none of my hats are the wonderful creations you’d see at an African-American church.

Listening to that program made me think about what hat I’m going to wear Sunday.  I have some of my birthday money left.  Maybe I should go buy a new one?  But I don’t know what outfit I’m going to wear and the money won’t stretch to cover the purchase of both an outfit and a hat.  The weather is supposed to be on the chilly side and I’m not inclined to want to wear a spring outfit anyway if it means shivering.  So I think I’ll wear a newer black suit which is a transitional weight fabric and one of my nice black straw hats.  I just finished knitting a scarf in the geranium colorway of Patons SWS which will dress up the suit and be my “new clothes” for Easter.

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5 Responses to In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it …

  1. Joy says:

    I used to wear a hat every Sunday, but then it seemed kind of silly to wear it *to* church, then immediately take it off as soon as I got there in order to put on a choir robe … I miss hats!

  2. jill says:

    I made my own hat after taking a millinery class at our local community college. I get a lot of hats from ebay that are just lovely, and also have learned to google “millinery milliner” for every town I go to on vacation. Canada has a ton of excellent milliners, and I have also found milliners in most major cities. Handcrafted millinery is an expensive indulgence, but worth it!

    kudos for you for continuing the lady’s hat-in-church tradition.

  3. jill says:

    Oops, I forgot to add my URL in my comment…drop by and see the hat I made for this Easter.

  4. fillyjonk says:

    Yes, there still are specialty milliners in the U.S. They are often in the old established African American neighborhoods.

    There was a lady who belonged to my parents’ church who had been one of those milliners. I used to love to see how she dressed for church – it was never “trendy” but it was so stylish and beautiful. She had one red suit she used to wear a lot in the winter (with a matching felt hat) and another outfit that used a lot of royal purple. She was a sweet lady; she passed away a couple years ago and I still miss seeing her in church when I’m up visiting my folks.

    I have a few straw hats, some purchased from vintage shops, but I’m never quite brave enough to wear one. I do have a big broad-brimmed plain straw hat I wear to protect my complexion when I’m doing fieldwork.

  5. 5216char says:

    Thanks for your comment. I’ll have to get out the Yellow Pages and see if any milliners are listed. There used to be one shop in south St. Louis where you could have a hat made or you could buy one they had already created. Their hats were very pricey. I’m afraid they’ve gone out of business because the women who ran it were getting quite elderly. Oddly enough, the shop I’m most often able to find hats in is my local Wal-Mart. They have had some pretty ones this spring but in mostly basic colors like white or black.

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