When my mother was young, it was inappropriate for a lady to travel into the city of San Francisco without wearing gloves and a hat. It may seem odd for a modern woman raised in the riot grrrl grunge 90s to be nostalgic for such a time, but I am. While patriarchal dictation of women’s fashion and proscribed gender presentation get a giant BOOOOOOOOOO, ladies who want to be ladies wearing hats gets a giant YUSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!
Remember Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca?
There is No. Way. this moment would be this moment if she were not wearing this hat. The fact that she has to look out from under its brim increases the longing factor 10 fold. Hats ad mystery. And mystery is romance.
Unfortunately Ingrid Bergman’s mastery of dewey-eyes-and-delicately-parted-lips cannot be purchased, but you can buy a hat. You really should. Because mystery and romance are just about as wonderful as any experiences this world has to offer, and all you need to get them is a goddamn hat.
Like this elegant cloche from local San Francisco milliner, Behida Dolic. This hat says winter carriage ride in Central Park with hot spiced cocoa and a hotter carriage-mate to me. Behida’s hats are inspired by architecture and nature and are all hand draped.
This hat is 2 parts classy 1 part whimsy. I love the balance of the rectangular arrow shape and the curved brim, and the way the point of the arrow draws the eye exactly where it should, to the lovely face of the lady wearing it. Sadly, the model’s expression is 0 parts whimsy. Which is hard to understand, since this hat and that bold, richly hued, 70s plaid blazer deserve a mischievous smirk.
With this hat Dolic has gone a step beyond reproducing the 20s cloche and made it modern. You wouldn’t have seen this hat in the 20s, you know? The colors remind me of a blue bird or a coral reef. The red felt follows the curve of the head exactly as it should. And it looks like a superhero helmet in a really amazing way. Like if you need Dorothy Parker to verbally eviscerate someone she comes to your rescue wearing this.
This SICK, hip, fun fedora is by DeAnna Gibbons, another local milliner, who, incidentally was Beha Dolic’s teacher and mentor. Eat your heart out Gwen Stefani!! Ok, actually I like a lot of L.A.M.B. stuff, but I don’t like Gwen Stefani, so hooray for there being somwhere else to buy expensive, well-made, items with an urban feel featuring high-contrast colors and over-blown checked tweed.
For the Gents! I like how this hat is bold in color, and the contrast in texture between the trim and the hat. It’s the kind of hat that goes with everything even though you wouldn’t expect it too because it is so bright and unique.
The hat below is from Goorin Brothers, a family millinery that has been in San Francisco since 1949 but was founded in Pittsburgh PA in 1895. These dudes make some really nice hats. Their ladies hats are definitely basically gents hats with ladylike colorways or trims, but that’s kind of what makes them special. Check out the lining of this hat! A hat with a lining like that is made for tipping. Imagine me in this hat. Imagine you are sitting across the lounge, at the bar nursing your ginger and rye and I lift my hat just a little and the gold lining flashes. You totally want to talk to me now, because you know I am serious about my shit. My mystery and romance shit.
And you know where to go to get hats in San Francisco. You’re welcome.