Friday, July 10, 2009

The Beret

The Kokin Discus Beret

Every Halloween I wanted to be dressed up as a Beatnik. A black pair of tights, a long white shirt from my father, barefoot or soft black ballet slippers, a cigarette in a holder, long hair and.....the black beret!

A little history on the beret.

Where did it come from? The beret can be traced back to ancient Greece, the Fren ch seemed to have claimed it as their own, and versions can be found in Scotland. No one re ally seems to know for sure, but it has been around for a mighty long time. The word 'beret' is derived from the latin "birretum", which means "cap". A beret is a floppy cap.

Artists have worn them, (The Monet Beret)

Bonnie wore one - (The Faye Beret)

"Tania" wore one (Hi Patty H,)

The military has worn them,

Mr. Guevara wore one (The Che Beret) -

The entire Beat Generation adopted them

and women have worn them as a fashion statement throughout history

For something so simple in shape, a flat circular piece of wool felt or cotton, it is much adored by those that wear hats. Simplicity and versatility, hip and elegant, professional and relaxed.

The beret will be here for a long time to come.

P.s. When I finally grew up, the Beatniks had all but disappeared... but I was lucky... I caught their tail-end (and the wonderful aftermath) in New York and San Francisco ... thank you Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, City Lights Bookstore, and all you beat-era poets/songsters and free-thinkers!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Trilby and its Popularity

Ahhhh, the Trilby! We've all seen it. I own a Trilby... a plain black Trilby that belonged to my son. I love the shape and the attitude. It is still being worn today after starting out its illustrious career in the late 1800's.

For me, it always makes me think of the 50's & early '60's (that's the 1950's and the early 1960's).
Visions of Sean Connery
or Frank Sinatra .

All men wore hats then and the type of hat they wore said alot about the kind of guy they were. Obviously they were very cool.

The Trilby is felt hat, with a narrow brim with a crown that has a deep indent. It has been a fashion statement for men and women for a very long time. George Du Maurier wrote a novel called "Trilby" in 1894 which became a play a year later. The Hat is named after the main character, and became famous because the actress playing the part of "Trilby" wore one .

The Trilby is similiar to the Fedora (yes...there will be a post about the Fedora!), but the main difference is that the brim of the Trilby is alot shorter.
Now tell me these hats are not cool, debonair and sauve!!!! (Even though there is a Fedora thrown in there.

But... just like anything else, not everyone should be wearing one :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Cloche and its Charm

You see a Cloche Hat.. you think 1920's and flappers. The women of the 1920's were changing quickly and coming into their own by leaving the stringent Victorian era and all their 'taboos' behind them. Freedom for women sparkled on the horizon.

The Cloche had it's heyday in the 1920's but it evolved from an early time. The Cloche was seen as 'fashionable' from the very early 1900's to as late as the mid 1930's. The word cloche is French for 'bell' and that was what these hats look like. A fitted crown with a slight bell shape. They were worn low on the forehead almost covering the eyes and they covered the ears. They were usually made of felt, but were also seen in lovely fabrics as well as the more everyday knit and crochet versions.

Fashion was as important as ever and with the new found freedom, hemlines were shorter, more skin was shown and women started to cut off their hair. The Cloche was the perfect accessory for these shorter styles. As to whether the hat shape preceded the hairstyles of the times or vice versa, it is unsure, but they lived happily together throughout the 1920's. Some of my favorite 20's images, as seen on the covers of the Saturday Evening Post and Vogue Magazine, portray women of wealth with a regal, haughty look to them. The Cloche had a lot to do with that. The Cloche affected the body posture of its wearer. It was worn so low over the eyes, that a certain angle had to be obtained in order to see, talk or walk. One had to hold the head high, chin up and look down one's nose!

Angelino Jolie in "The Changling" wore some great Cloche hats. That woman can pull off any style, but the Cloche suits her so well.

and of course, on a scale of 1 to 10, the infamous Josephine and Daphne get a 10!!!

Factoid: The Cloche hats that flappers wore had secret meanings.... the codes were:
  • A firm knot trim indicated the wearer was married and unavailable.
  • A arrow shaped ribbon indicated a single girl that was already in love with someone.
  • A flashy bow meant single and looking for love.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pork Pie Hats

I think Pork Pie Hats are sexy. Sexy on a man, sexy on a woman. There is just something about the attitude that goes a long with the Pork Pie. I also think that I hate saying "Pork Pie". Sounds kind of slippery, greasy, not quite edible, but I will deal with it.

Pork Pies have been around since the mid-19th century. It is a round hat with a turned-up brim and a flat crown. Both men and women have worn versions of the Pork Pie. Women wore tiny Pork Pies, tipped forward over the forehead because of elaborate hairdos. Men sometimes wore them with ribbons flowing down the back. It gets it's name from its resemblance to a 'pork pie'.

Songs have been written about the Pork Pie
(thank you Charlie Mingus)'s a version of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat by Jeff Beck
(Listen to this while you read the rest... it is very very good)

Buster Keaton would not have been Buster Keaton without his Pork Pie Hat....(and he made his very own hats too!)

Two more reasons why it is so good that Pork Pie Hats are still around today :)

This blog post is brought to you by the Just Hats Market at 1000 Markets.


Hats have been around for a long time.

Some of the earliest hats were depicted in tomb paintings found at Thebes and they have been constructed from sheep’s wool, straw, cardboard, grass, horsehair, velvet, tulle, animal hides and adorned with feathers and furs, flowers and ribbons, jewels and paper.

There has never been a time where hats were not present, in some form. They have been status symbols and fashion statements. Hailed as useful headwear to keep the sun out of one's eyes or to keep the top of one's head warm or touted as the ultimate in chic attire.

Hats have always served some purpose. Whether that purpose is practical or wildly extravagant, doesn’t really matter. Hats are here to stay!

So please come join us at 1000 Markets. Take a look around. You will find the casual and utilitarian, the traditional and flamboyant. The two things they will all have in common is that you can wear them on your head and that they are well-made with attention to detail.