Thursday, 30 May 2013

Vogue Men's Hat V8869

Hello People,

The internets have run hot over whether the USA (and the rest of the west) have been turning into a legion of badly dressed slobs. It is an interesting debate. Certainly, in general, we have all become far less formal in our dress. We don't need to accessorize and very few social occasions require a strict dress code. Even if they do many people live by the principle of "I don't dress to your  expectations".
It seems that for many, track pants and T- shirts have become the norm. Unless you can afford designer or high end, or are a fashionista...

I am not about to tell someone on the street what they should wear but I just don't get why someone would choose to look shapeless in saggy pants, ugg boots or any other clothing that just doesn't flatter the wearer.  I am glad the pyjamas-as-day wear never really caught on here. (The horror!)

It sad not to bother. Doesn't everyone feel better when they dress up a bit to look nice? I recognize that there is Non Expression as a Form of Expression but that's just so tired people. I don't get it. How can you not love a bit of colour, a bit of variety? I love seeing something different on the street. I love goth and grunge and saris and peruvian bowler hats. I don't even have anything against trackies and a hoodie as long as it looks like a little bit of thought has gone into the process. 

I'd hate to see a time where all the different nations and forms of dress slid into homogenization and we became a world of grey track suits or Star Trek unitards..

Maybe the middle road of nicely made but still fairly affordable clothes is disappearing. I make most of my clothes by choice and because of my lack of height but maybe this is why more and more people here in Australia are buying clothes over the internet. It is way cheaper to buy nice things - if you can't make them. 

Thank goodness for well dressed sewists and for the ability to choose our own style and our own sizing while still taking what we want from what is current. Maybe we are starting to straddle the schism between the haves and the have nots? I see current fashion in the shops - Zara and Top shop are now here in Sydney - that have great ideas poorly made and poorly executed and they are not cheap, compared to the UK because they ship them half way around the globe, yet the young things are snapping them up big time.

Do you know how I measure wether a dress I have made really works? When I can accessorize it nicely and walk into the price-tag-of-four-figures designer shops in the centre of Sydney and get greeted with 'Can I help you Madam'.  Yes it does happen .. occasionally on a good day. I look. I pretend price is no object. I chat to sales girls. I get ideas ... and I run. But I digress.

I am commenting on all this because I recently made a hat, and this made me do some research into why people do not routinely wear hats any more. There was a time when you just were not dressed without a hat and gloves.

A few factors mentioned were:
President Kennedy refusing to wear the traditional top hat at his inauguration.
Post World War II urbanization.
The main culprit - the motor car. Not only was it hard to wear a hat with a high brim in Henry Ford's new Ford motor car, the car itself provided protection against the elements for an ever increasing number of people.

I suspect that as life became faster people wanted to break free and do things in a new way. The hat spoke of things past and of authority. The hat got left behind. But now it has come full circle and they are, to quote British milliner Philip Treacy "worn by rebels". Link to an article about this famous hat maker here

So, my fellow rebels, who dress quirky, dress vintage, dress arty or just like to dress, here is an avenue to explore. The Hat. No longer commonly worn unless for protection against the cold or the sun, they can be great fun.

I have made hats before, scrub caps for work, round floppy brimmed velvet hats for my daughter in the late 80's. I wore a large brimmed felt hat in my own flower power days of the seventies. Alas I have no photos to share.
Large hats and men's hats suit me. Cowboy, fedora, bowler. I have a largish head when it comes to circumference. Head circumferences and shapes vary greatly as I found when I used to sell scrubs, sometimes made to order. No two heads are the same! Any way I was excited to see this hat pattern in a recent Vogue release. Link to pattern site.


V8869


I made it up from the legs of the denim jeans left over from my daughter's bag project. I will be moving away from denim for my next project.

I ended up with a cute fedora


But it ended up too small for my head, even though I made it to my head circumference measurement. Maybe it was due to the heavy duty interfacing or something that happens during construction but the finished product ended up too small for me.



I couldn't even make it look dark and mysterious.


I hear you snickering! I can take it!

The hat may end up worn by my daughter's Boyfriend, a good looking fellow with a (sob) smaller head circumference than mine.

On a serious note, I know know the brim has to be tight to make the back flip up and I have to go a bit larger on all pieces. It would be great in cream twill for summer. The Hat, like The Terminator, Will Be Back.

Do you love hats? Do you ever wear them? Any other thoughts on the great sloppiness debate? I'd be interested to know.

Happy Sewing,
Val.

26 comments:

  1. Valerie, you do look great in a hat, even if it is a tad too small!!! Definitely work out the fit issues so its comfortable to wear because this is fabulous on you :)

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    1. Thank you! I sort of had it pulled down tight. I was having brain strain!

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  2. What a fabulous read. I wear hats - but usually in summer! Big, broad-brimmed ones, ones that I have to take off when I walk inside because it doesn't feel right. I also have a felt cloche hat for winter, and this post has reminded me it's time to dust it off and bring it out now the temperature has plummeted.
    You know, I couldn't agree more with you on all the points above. But I can't help feeling that I have SO many more options available to me now I can sew - I can have beautiful things and have them fit me well, and the process of obtaining them (sewing) is now enjoyable rather than a relently slog though many many shops to find maybe one thing I like, fits me and in a colour that flatters. And I absolutely adore walking into high end shops for inspiration and to see who's using polyester and who's using silk for lining. And investigating techniques used in their construction too. And then I run!
    I actually felt a surge of excitement when I saw that hat pattern in Vogue's latest release too... and it's turned out wonderfully, if not for being too small :( Were the instructions any good? I may have to try this out for myself...

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    1. Ooh a felt cloche. I am on the lookout for one of those and I am glad I am not the only high end snoop who skittles out of their stores hoe you do this hat..
      I have just put up a Pattern Review.

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  3. No no no you DID make it look dark and mysterious! Love your hat! I love hats. I REALLY love hats. My head works with specific shapes of hats, and for a long time my hair just reFUSED to cooperate without screaming "HAT HEAD!" the second the hat was removed, so I slowly got rid of many of my hats. But I'm back. Hats will rule my closet again!

    I won't even get in to the slobby dress thing here. The whole me made may is still swirling in my psyche, and dressing "up" a bit more is strong on my radar these days, so I think I'll be having my say soon. Thanks for a fun post :)

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    1. Thanks Jilly. The secret to surviving hat hair is to flatten it down first lol.

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  4. I wore hats all the time in the 80's and there were still ladies who wore them to lunch and fancy dinners but that was when you could find them in department stores or hat shops. All that has disappeared but I have mine stored in boxes for a revival...if it ever comes!Nowadays my hats are for gardening and walks...sun shielding mostly and baseball caps...you do look mysterious in your hat! Don't get me started on sloppiness in dress! I rant about baggy boxy and saggy clothes all the time on my blog!

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    1. Mrs Mole Hats are not even routinely worn to weddings here anymore..The only time Australians really let loose with the hats is to go to the races. I remember buying a picture hat for the races a few years ago and just walking home with this huge hat box tied with black ribbon made me feel like a movie star.
      p.s I enjoy your blog rants about brides that need their corsets let out 9" because they won't admit what size they are lol.

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  5. Interesting post. I lean towards thinking that people don't have many examples of well-dressed people in their social circles, so it's a downward spiral. Also that (as you said), "neat" clothing at reasonable prices is quite hard to find.

    Personally, I love hats - though have always struggled to find ones that suit. I have always/often worn fascinators and headpieces to various events and occasions (weddings, birthdays, etc)... people seem to think I'm being outrageous, but I see it as finishing my outfit! Much like choosing a lipstick.

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    1. May your outrageousness continue.

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  6. No snickering at all. I bought this hat with my husband and future son-in-law in mind. But I may get one first!

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  7. Thanks Gail. I think it would suit you!

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  8. Great hat! I struggle with hats as I, too, have a generously sized head. For hot summer holidays I always buy a new, wide-brimmed confection and wander around feeling like an enormous mushroom. How I would like to OWN a hat. Still looking for the perfect shape.
    On the sartorial note, here in mainland Europe, we still dress up for occasions (I even wore a fascinator to a certain royal garden party!!), but I feel we are hanging on to the concept by a fragile thread. I do think we should all be able to dress as we wish, but I also appreciate occasions where we can make a special effort or manifest a certain respect for the occasion (wedding, funeral,..) Oh yes, fence-sitting is my forte!)

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    1. Sheila I love wearing hats for special occasions too. BTW the best way to find out what hat suits you is to go to stores and try on lots of hats - men's women's and kids, sports caps, everything - take a friend, It's fun.
      We have a shop here called R. M. Williams that sells outback bush Australian style clothing and hats. A style that suits me is the Drover's hat but it makes me look like I need a horse and a flock of sheep ..

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    2. Slightly confused: why don't you have that horse and flock of sheep? I mean, you are in Australia, aren't you. Methinks it is high time you returned to us, for a reality check.

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    3. Haha. I don't know one end of a horse from another. p.s.Why haven't you blogged about your adventures?

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  9. I love your hat -- the denim is nice, but I think a cream version will be even snazzier! I don't wear hats because they flatten my precious bangs, but I love how they look, especially the wide brim versions. Love your perspectives on the sloppiness debate. I definitely have my less-than-pulled-together days, but I'll never be seen in gym clothes outside of the gym, which is unfortunately a very popular look around here.

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  10. This Fedora is lovely and I think you have made it so well. A pity that it is too small. Please try again as it really suits you. This year I started a Millinery course at the Mt Gravatt TAFE college in Brisbane. I need to wear hats as I quickly get headaches from the sun so I thought this course would be helpful. Well, it is the best thing I have done in ages. The teacher is wonderful and all 15 students are so keen and friendly. We have learnt so far to pattern make 10 different cloth hats, including a Fedora and how to fit to each and every head size. I can't recommend this course highly enough. We will move onto felt and straw hats next semester but to now have the skills to make a hat to match every sundress etc. is such a bonus.

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  11. I think your hat turned out great!

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    1. Thanks Sylvia and welcome to my blog!

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  12. This post is a great read - lots of points that I hadn't quite put my finger on before but found myself agreeing with them all. Dressing well definitely lifts the spirits. When I was in my worst sleep deprived state with toddlers and babies I would always make the effort to wear something nice and it did help me get through the day! The hat is adorable. I do think you should make yourself another one in your size, but what a great present for whoever gets this one.

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    1. Thank you Megan. I appreciate your comments, especially about my writing.

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  13. Popped over to say hello. I love hats, and as I am getting older, more braver at wearing them. I used to have a man's hat identical to yours but I lost it. Love the natural fading of the denim.

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  14. Can you use starch to get the back to flip up?

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