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.