Posts Tagged ‘fur hat’


I’ve been feeling for some time now, over these past couple of Really Cold Winters, so like the 1970s winters of my childhood, that I need a winter hat.

I used to wear hats, usually toboggans, all winter – well, for one thing, my mother pretty much insisted on it.  By the time I was in high school, though, I was a) worried about my hair and b) not very cold without a hat.  Our winters had become much less cold, as well.  So I eschewed hats.  I went through a (ridiculous) Earmuff Phase in college, during which I think I had three pairs of them – a white faux-fur pair, a maroon pair to match my knit gloves, and a fuzzy teal pair.   But earmuffs don’t keep your actual head warm, either.  I’m not even discussing their fashion, um, wrongness.

In my late 20s, I did sometimes want a covering for my head that wouldn’t ruin my hair, and bought one of those hood-scarf thingies to wear with my good long wool coat.  But it’s acrylic knit, and it’s pilly and decrepit now, and, to be honest, cheesy.  I expressed displeasure.

So Bookworm crocheted me one out of some bulky blue-and-green marled yarn, as a Christmas present.  It’s super warm, and the color makes my eyes look pretty.  It also makes me look like one of the dwarves from The Hobbit, which is not an especially good look if you are short and plump, as I am.

And then, last week, there was a picture all over Yahoo! of Queen Elizabeth II leaving St. Mary’s Church in Sandringham after Christmas services, wearing a fur hat.  Immediately, I wanted one.

A fur hat! I exclaimed to myself, and considered the possibilities.  It wouldn’t squash my hair.  It would be warm.  It wouldn’t look like a toboggan hat, or a beret – which always seems to give me the effect of a toad looking out from under a toadstool – or a Mad Bomber hat.  And hats are stylishly quirky these days; not everyone wears them.  I am not stylish, but I am happy as a lark being quirky, so there you go.  I am also well aware that Queen Eliz is not known for being fashionable, and emulating her attire is an iffy proposition.  I just don’t care: I like that hat.

So I went to eBay.  They have tons of women’s vintage winter hats, did you know?  Crocheted, knit, felt, fur, faux fur, wool, velvet, with veils, with feathers… the contents of Great-Aunt Mildred’s closets are displayed for all to see there on eBay, stuff made in a time when they knew what they were doing: hand-stitched linings, smooth seams, everything built to last.

I thought faux fur or wool at first, unsure that I really wanted to wear real fur and definitely not up for confrontation with paint-flinging animal rights activists.  But I live in Hunting Central.  People who spend their weekends in tree stands or duck blinds tend not to be affronted by other people wearing fur.  And I certainly wouldn’t buy a new fur item, but the idea of wearing such an item made before I was born doesn’t bother me.  Contradictory?  Maybe.  What are we supposed to do with all those old fur coats, give them proper burial?  Burn them?  I’m all for banning the continued manufacture and import of fur; unlike leather, fur is not a byproduct of food.  I do feel that with vintage fur, throwing it away would be even more of a insult to the animals that were killed to provide it.

And so I bought a vintage fur hat for $20, a third of which cost was shipping – a bargain, if you ask me, a rescue of somebody’s past, and maybe even a rescue of mine: I have a photo of my grandmother wearing just such a hat, sometime in the 1960s, with a green tweed suit and ecru gloves.  The hat hasn’t arrived yet.  But yesterday, The CEO asked me what I’d like as a birthday gift, and I told him.  “A vintage fur hat.  Oh, and a small bottle of Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois, whenever the website opens up again.”

He looked at me, nonplussed.  “A fur hat? Where am I going to get such a thing?”  Then he blinked.  “Where are you going to wear such a thing?”

“Oh,” I said.  “I think I’ll manage.”

Feel free to share your stand on fur, but please keep it civil so I don’t have to shut down comments.

Image of Queen Elizabeth in fur hat from Huffington Post.  There’s no official confirmation that her hat and cuffs were real fur, though they certainly look like it to me.  Accompanying the Queen was her daughter-in-law Camilla, who was also wearing a fur hat.  Camilla’s hat, which seems to be mink, was apparently made from a coat belonging to her grandmother.  The Huffington Post article contains a poll on attitudes toward fur; at the moment, the poll seems to be running like this:

FINE:  38%        OFFENSIVE: 45%        LESS OFFENSIVE if vtg/repurposed: 17%

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