Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hats of Winter!

Below freezing temperatures in New York City continue to pose a huge challenge to appear fashionable while avoiding frostbite!  We took a trip down memory lane to bring you photos from previous years of our attempts to meet -- and conquer -- the challenge.  You be the judge of that!

In February 2013, we tried on black and white sunglasses in Sunset Boulevard's booth at a vintage show, while wearing black and white hats, Jean in an Ignatius fleece and Valerie in a white felt hat from Strawberry, reconfigured from an Afghani-style hat. The added felt pyramid pin in the center is by Danielle Gori-Montanelli.

We rang in 2012 in front of the tree in Rockefeller Center in red and black hats, Jean in a black turban by Maria del Greco to which she added a black and white bakelite domino pin.  Valerie's red wool hat is by Parkhurst.

In November 2011, we went to the holiday market in Union Square in grey and black hats, Valerie in another Afghani-style hat and Danielle Gori-Montanelli's felt pin (pull that hat up a bit, Valerie!) and Jean in an Amy Downs black turban to which she added a square vintage bakelite pin made of black and off-white cubes.

A December 2012 champagne toast on the balcony with then-manager David Calle at Ralph Lauren on Madison Avenue was deliciously glamourous but chilly! Valerie wore a black and white polka dot fake fur hat by Brigitte NYC while Jean wore her black Maria del Greco hat with a different bakelite pin with black balls carved to show white underneath.

We were definitely working a black and white thing at the Pier Show in November 2013.  Jean is wearing an Amy Downs black felted wool conical hat with a shark tooth design down one side. Valerie is wearing a vintage Schiaparelli, with a small black felt arrow at the back.  (Schiap imbued everything with her great surrealist sense of humor.)

At FIT's Daphne Guinness show in November 2011, Jean wore a mustard yellow knit turban from Urban Outfitters.

At the Black Dress show at Pratt Gallery in March 2014, Jean wore a grey and white Tibetan felt conical hat...

…and Valerie wore a military style vintage black felt hat.

At the Philadelphia Museum's Collab exhibit in March 2012, Jean opted for her vintage black Stetson bowler with a an oval black and white felt pin by Danielle Gori-Montanelli.

It was quite chilly on the plaza at Lincoln Center at last February's Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week.  Jean wore a black wool circular-stitched Ignatius hat.  Valerie added a huge black feather spray that had lost its original hat to a conical black feather hat.

In December 2012, we posed just down the street from the Metropolitan Museum in our colorful felt helmets by Carol Markel.

For the National Hat Day party thrown by Off-Broadway Boutique last January, Valerie took a black felt bag with a blue spiral, turned it upside down and wore it as a hat, while Jean wore a vintage black felt Maeve Carr for Donna Karan hat.

One of our favorite haunts for vintage hats and clothing is the Manhattan Vintage Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Back in October 2011, Jean wore an Amy Downs turban and Valerie wore a black wool beret with a three dimensional spiral felted into it.

Last January, Jean was having fun at the expense of the lion sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She stuck her Museum proof-of-admission sticker to a vintage cicada pin attached to her Maria del Greco hat.

Valerie in the lobby of the Asia Society after we attended a lecture by Korean designer and artist Chunghie Lee in March 2013, wearing a vintage shearling hat with a label stating that it was made by a toy company.

We took the train to Cold Spring, New York in November 2012 to celebrate Jean's birthday and prowl the rows of vintage shops on its main street. Jean opted for her red, white and black Ignatius. Valerie found a hilarious vintage pressed felt beehive hat to go with her vintage coat and gloves.

Here we are at a party at Marmalade Vintage on Spring Street in February 2012.  Jean wore her Ignatius fleece hat, and Valerie wore a vintage Schiaparelli bucket hat in velour and velvet.

Jean wore her Ignatius hat with stem to photographer Rose Hartman's December 2011 book signing at Rizzoli.

Valerie calls this shearling hat, seen here on Bond Street in January 2012, her life saver.

At an Asia Society event, we met the self-proclaimed Emperor of the Italian Circus.  As we went through our photos to pull together this cold-weather headgear post, certain patterns emerged. It became very obvious that Jean opts to cover her ears as much as possible in cold weather and goes to the same select few very warm hats.  Valerie on the other hand, only needs to cover the top of her head.  (And some only need to cover their ears, so ear muffs work for them.  But not for us!)

Valerie's funnel hat (wide open at the top) probably dates to 1940, but the polka dot ribbon, added to contrast with the striped dress and jacket, dates to 2014.   That's Warren of Another Man's Treasure, who wears his hat to show off his fabulous hair.

Jean wore a black and white felt helmet with vintage bakelite and plastic buttons by Carol Markel for our recent Fashion Decode photo shoot.

Valerie is wearing a yet-to-be-seen-in-public black and white fleece hat from Ignatius, whose long tail she wrapped around the crown (as suggested by the maker) to make a turban.

For a recent Sunday brunch just before the temperatures tumbled so precipitously, Jean wore a leopard print Ignatius cocktail hat with plastic claws.  Valerie's hat is unlabeled, but is most likely an '80s copy of a '50s hat.

At the l.a. Eyeworks sale last year, Jean wore a black taffeta and net origami hat from Amy Downs (so named because it folds flat in a suitcase!). Valerie wore another life-saver hat - vintage Persian lamb. We're both wearing l.a.Eyeworks glasses.

And ending on a note of millinary solidarity, at The march 2014 Manhattan Vintage Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion with our friend Xtine, Valerie wore the same funnel hat as pictured earlier, this time with a large red pin swapped out for the polka dot ribbon. Jean wore a black and beige knit Amy Downs turban.

Here's to "giving good hat" (to borrow and rephrase an expression from our friend Judith, The Style Crone)!


  1. You two have the largest collection of funky, fabulous hats of anyone I've ever met (aside from the Style Crone, of course), and you definitely know what shapes suit you. I need to have my ears covered if I'm wearing a hat in the winter, so most of the hats pictured wouldn't work for me (except maybe that big furry one if I pulled it down a little). Kudos to you for rocking your dynamic personal style no matter what the weather.

  2. Wonderful! the colorful felt helmets are divine. I just re-watched Advanced Style today ( a rainy day that called for a sunny film) and enjoyed seeing you two!

  3. Yes! It is true! You give good hat! What an absolutely fabulous post. I have been spellbound by your winter hat review.

  4. Wow!!! Lovely hats. You always give a fabulous blog. Black is beauty and as it is my favourite colour last winter my husband purchased beautiful fur hat online through for me. I hope it will help other.