Saturday, October 22, 2011

Etiquette and Funny Hats


What hat am I going to wear?! I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.
My daughter and I have received invitations to a bridal shower.  Invitations requesting that everyone arrive wearing a "funny hat" in the "spirit of Halloween" though I have found that "funny" is often determined by the eyes of the beholder.

Princess Beatrice with furry friend
My daughter is balking, and I am not exactly thrilled myself.  The outfit I planned to wear does not scream, "Hey!  A goofy looking  headdress would really complete this ensemble!" So my choices are to either buy said hat, or doctor one of my own hats to make it work.  

As I told my daughter, etiquette dictates that we at least make a sincere attempt to comply with the dress code request, even if it means feeling as though we look a bit odd.  We can always put the hats on prior to entering the home, then take them off after the bride-to-be, hostess and a few of the guests have seen us in the hats.  We do not have to let the hats ruin our day, nor ruin the bride-to-be's shower, as I have a hunch the funny hats were her idea in the first place. 

Demita Usher, my friend and frequent guest blogger, flew over to London for hat making classes a few years back, and I can see I will need her help.  I am considering a "Bergère hat" (French meaning "shepherdess"), as I have a few straw hats that might somehow be converted into the popular look.  Oh yes... and I am sure we can somehow make it look funny as well. 
Glenn Close in "Dangerous Liasons"... Scary!
Bergère hats were worn by the stylish throughout the 18th century.  Made of coiled straw, many featured a low crown, with a flat brim. The Bergère hat could be worn with the brim either turned down, or folded back. Wide ribbons were often attached to the sides.  Tied prettily into a bow under one's chin, the ribbons would keep many of the hats sitting upon heads securely. Flowers  and ostrich feathers adorned many brims of the hats, so I am thinking I can go "goofy" with whatever we add to mine. 

Keira Knightley portraying The Duchess of Devonshire
Though not ever as fashionable since their heyday, the very versatile hats have made brief comebacks, off and on for the past few hundred years, including the Edwardian Era. At that time, the hat was called a"Gainsborough hat" after Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, had her portrait done by the celebrated artist.
Thomas Gainsborough's portrait of Lady Georgiana 

And while I am on the subject of the Duchess of Devonshire, I can tell my followers and readers that the next guest blog will be about the Duchess herself, the movie "The Duchess" and how history often is "photo-shopped" to suit the mood of the times.  

So stay tuned! Oh yes... and wear a funny hat in the spirit of Halloween.

3 comments:

  1. This post is the cat's meow. We must now see a photo of you in the funny hat. Please post one after the shower.
    L.L.

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  2. Hats are fun! Funny hats? Hmmm. Sounds like some of those fascinators we saw during the Royal's big doin's and festivities a while back. Then again, we here in the south love hats. I do hope the bride to be has a wonderful shower and your daughter wears a real stunner.

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