Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Temptation Tuesday – Hats

We don't think SuperRomance star Abby Gaines is trying to cover anything up on this trip to The Pink Heart Society...but then, her latest book is about surprises... You be the judge!

There is nothing so stand-out, so elegant and, in this casual era, so gutsy, as wearing a hat. I’m not including ball caps in this comment, as to my mind, those don’t count as hats. I’m talking about dressy hats, the kind Julia Roberts looks fabulous in.

I’ve loved hats since my teenage days – when I graduated college, my best friend and I planned to open a hat store. We found premises, ordered sample stock from England (home of fabulous hats) and were all ready to sign on the dotted line...when we chickened out. We both had parents who were supportive of our scheme, but the two sets of parents disagreed over a couple of major factors about how we should run the business, and since they had much greater knowledge than we did, and we were each loyal to our own parents, it was hard for us to decide who was right. The fact we didn’t have any money to provide a financial cushion was a big factor, too. These days, knowing a whole lot more than I did back then, I’m quite relieved we didn’t end up in our hat shop.

But my love affair with hats continued, and so did my BFF’s. The hats we’d ordered from England arrived, so we sold a few to friends and divided the rest up between us. Soon after that, I interviewed with IBM for its graduate trainee program...and I wore a hat to my interview! I still think that’s what got me the job, since beyond being able to speak French and Japanese I knew nothing much about anything. I then proceeded to wear hats (and lace gloves!) to work with alarming regularity. No doubt many people found this bizarre, but I did snag the attention of the wonderful man I ended up marrying. No doubt about it, those hats found me my true love!

These days, I must admit, I tend to buy and own hats more than I wear them. Traveling always gives me a great excuse to buy millinery (lovely word!) – luckily, my hubby has a sentimental attachment to the concept of me and hats, so he doesn’t quibble too much when I insist on a new purchase. My favorite winter hat was bought in Whistler, Canada, and is both casual and dressy. My latest acquisition was made in Sydney, Australia –a wide-brimmed hat made of water hyacinth (or something similar) – it can look very dressy, or nearly casual, and the great thing I screw it into a tiny ball to go in my suitcase, then I just spray water over it to restore its elegant shape.

So, to my mind, hats aren’t just the prerogative of the stars of my favorite classic movies—they’re all about contemporary glamour, too. I haven’t yet featured a hat-wearing heroine in one of my books, but maybe that’s something I should think about. Any other hat lovers out there? Or any favorite movies where hats made a real contribution to the feel of the movie?

I’ll give away a copy of my new book, Her Surprise Hero, to one commenter.


Her Surprise Hero(Harlequin Superromance, Jan 2010)

With scandal hot on her heels, acting attorney-general Cynthia Merritt has to get as far out of Atlanta—as fast as she can. Except now she’s sentenced to obscurity in Stonewall Hollow for as long as it takes to get her game back. And everyone in the small town acts like Ethan Granger’s the law, not her! Sure, Ethan’s outreach program for troubled teens is admirable. But she’s not about to sentence the rancher’s own son to Ethan’s care. She won’t bend the rules, not even for this sexy single dad.

23 comments:

  1. Hi, Abby! I also love hats! I have a collection of hats from generations of my family, plus some of my own. I have a wonderful, elegant top hat which belonged to my great-grandfather. The ladies in my family wore hats and gloves up through the fifties and early sixties. Remember those great shirtwaist dresses with the ultra-full skirts and beautiful fabrics? Of course, Jackie Kennedy set many fashion trends, including popularizing the "pill box" style hat. Scarlett O'Hara was a beautiful sight in her hats, even the one that matched the green velvet "drapes" dress! My favorite hats of all are those worn by my Western men, my cowboys : )

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  2. I love hats. I think it's because my grandmothers and mother always wore hats if they were dressing up for church. I have some of their hats. I also own quite a few cowboy hats but that's because I'm from Calgary and I attend the Stampede every year. I love buying a new hat on holidays and wearing it home.

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  3. I don't look good in hats unfortunately but Mom used to wear them. I remember her making one to wear for her Mother's funeral(my grandmother). Glad those hats/gloves got you your love. I think I was the only one at my Grad from high school that wore long gloves or any gloves at all.

    yourstrulee(at)sasktel(dot)net

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  4. Nice to see some more hat-lovers out there!

    Virginia, those shirtwaist dresses look so gorgeous! I don't have the curves either side of my waist to do that style justice, sadly...

    Kaelee, we definitely can't overlook cowboy hats for men or women (or course the guy on my new cover just happens to be wearing one of those...)

    Robyn, your mom made her own hat? That sounds like real skill required!
    Abby

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  5. Abby --
    I like hats but do not think I look that good in them.
    My husband adores hats as well. So I indulge him. One of his Christmas presents from me was a Panama pork pie hat from Locke & Co.

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  6. Abby - I want to see pics of you wearing some of these hats! :-)

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  7. Just bought a gorgeous grey radley hat with the little trademark scottie dog on it - I love it! - thank goodness for the hideous weathe rin Scotland right now which gives me an excuse to wear it.
    It does mean however that the black, brown, white and red hats have had to be pushed to the back of the cupboard....

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  8. I love hats too but never have the guts to wear them. I recently was given a leopard print trilby for my birthday. I love it but haven't got the guts to wear it yet... I always worry about hat hair!

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  9. Hi Abby,
    I never liked hats and I suspect this was from being forced to wear ugly winter ones as a child but now that I'm older they make sense as they keep you warm in the winter and stop sunburn in the summer.

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  10. "With hat in hand", I submit to you that I have rarely, if ever, worn a hat. Perhaps as a child I had a bonnet? Not even at "a drop of the hat" have I considered wearing one. I "take my hat off to you" for bucking the trends and indeed wearing those in your vast collection, though. You obviously were not "talking through your hat" when you blogged about your love affair with hats. You're not "keeping it under your hat," but instead are broadcasting it to all of us. Thank you!
    BTW, the only movie I can recall at the moment is Titanic. Lots of hats, all symbolic of that time in history.

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  11. What a fun post, Abby :-)! I love hats, too. Though I don't own any, I enjoy seeing them on other people :-). A hat is such an interesting, creative statement, all on its own.

    Like Donna, I want to see some pictures of you wearing your hats :-).

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  12. Michelle, I agree, Panama hats are truly stylish on a guy. My hubby has two - one's not a genuine Panama, more a casual version. But he looks very distinguished in the real thing!

    Susan, you got me curious so I just went and checked out Radley hats online. They are cute! Just the thing for winter, and I love that Scottie logo/badge.
    Abby

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  13. Biddy, hat hair is the biggest downside of wearing a hat, no doubt about it. I must admit, I'm more likely to wear a hat on a day when my hair isn't looking great anyway (because of course it can also cover up a multitude of sins!). I dare you to wear that leopard-skin trilby!

    Maureen, I hope you find a hat that works for you one day (without bringing back bad memories!)
    Abby

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  14. Laney, well done! I never would have thought there were that many 'hat phrases' out there! :)

    Donna and Terry, sorry, but pics of me in a hat are unlikely to be forthcoming (mostly cos I wouldn't know how on earth to post one!).
    Abby

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  15. I don't look good in hats so I only wear them to keep the sun off or cold out. I have seen some gorgeous hats though.

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  16. I love hats but they do take some guts to wear. I have a cool military sun cap from a writing bootcamp i did and I love it. On a recent holiday I bought a sunhat (white with small blue and brown shells near the band) as my souvenir - am finding it harder to wear at home though.
    =)

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  17. Chey, maybe you just need to try on more hats to find the perfect one for you!

    Becca, it's harder to wear a hat at home, I agree. But I've decided it's the best way to save my skin from wrinkles etc, which suddenly makes it much easier to do...
    Abby

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  18. I'm a hat junkie. Though I only have a few. But I never go out without a hat. My most frequently worn hat is a colourful little crocheted job. I've had it twelve years and wear it summer and winter. Everywhere I go, people exclaim 'I love your hat!' Seriously. People in cars beep at me and point to my rainbow-coloured hat. I get recognised at ridiculous distances in it. When I don't wear it, my neighbour stops me and asks who I am. (He's such a joker.)

    It's not sexy, but it is cool. I wouldn't be without my hat.

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  19. PS. My profile pic was taken prior to the rainbow hat purchase, by the way. Yes, once I was hatless.

    Hard to believe now. I even wear it in bed in cold weather. But then, I am an eccentric.

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  20. Hi Jane, you hat sounds great! I think people do respond positively to a cute hat...
    Abby

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  21. OMGosh, I'm late to a wonderful post about hats! :) I have about eighty plus hats (very reasonable considering my hubby has 300 ties *g*) but my favourite is the John Cabot hat - purchased on the Cabot Trail, of course.

    Thanks for the fun post! :)

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  22. Hi, sorry to come back so late about the prize winner! The winner is susanwilson44 - Susan, I see you have a blog of your own, so I'll contact you there!
    thanks
    Abby

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