a hankering for hats

Gone are the days of obligatory head-covering for women in church. Obsessive adherence to the rule was often farcical and down-right comical. Ladies, have you found yourself at the doors of a church with no hat? No problem. A Kleenex pinned on your head will suffice!

I don’t miss the sexist symbolism of women needing to be covered, but I do miss the sheer exuberance of a stylish, chic hat. Simply putting on a hat meant that you were going someplace special. And it was a great answer to a bad hair day.

I also miss the somber gravity of black hats and veils at funerals. Being an easy crier (with the added bonus of ugly, swollen eyes), I would appreciate the simple privacy provided by lace or netting draped over the face.

The only time in my life that I wore a veil was for my First Communion and Confirmation. I was too young to wear the elegant lace Sunday veils that replaced hats for some women. As a bride, I wore simple flowers in my hair.

I had a few hats as a child, which I loved. I remember the tight elastic under my chin – and nasty brothers who thought it was funny to give it a snap!

I bought a proper hat as an adult only once, on a trip to London with my Mom. It was gorgeous, navy blue wool felt, with an asymmetrical crown and a substantial brim that suited my features. It kept my head warm against the chilly dampness of November in England. And, I felt positively smashing! Back in Canada, it never left my closet shelf.

2 thoughts on “a hankering for hats

  1. There must be a hangering “hat energy stream” flowing across the continent.
    It was only yesterday that my neighbor and I were discussing church attire. Ev grew up as a adaughter of a minister. At the present time she is shopping for a solid but confortable church. She commented on how casual the dress has become, especially here in Florida. Then, we started on the HATS…we talked about how many we had, what they looked like and how we stored them in hat boxes. The beauty of the conversation was we were both sharing stories of our young “church days” and how special Sundays were then. Being Catholic or attending the Church of God…hats and dress-up were part of our past as worshipping Christians.

    • A ‘ hat energy stream’ ….what fun! I so enjoyed writing this post for the same reason you enjoyed your conversation, Chris. It really was a walk down memory lane for me, too. Maybe we should start a trend, and give the ‘boys in the hats’ in our church some competition??? 🙂

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