Before and After: Hat Edition

the artyologist image of vintage hats to fix

Hats are by far the easiest way to introduce a vintage look to an outfit, for as much as people wear dresses these days, hats are few and far between. Millinery is always something I have been interested in, but not very good at as I am attempting to self teach myself the art. There is a lot of information online for sure, but it is always tricky to start something when you have no idea what you are doing- just a vague idea of what you want the finished product to look like!

Here are the three hats I mentioned a while back, that I picked up at an antique mall for a good price. The two black ones are modern, and the feathered hat is a vintage one from the 1960’s. I love the feathered hat just as it is, but the black caps, especially the one with the brooch and netting, are actually rather boring once put on. My thought when I got these, was that I could make them over and embellish them with a bit of vintage flair, without having to make the hat itself from scratch. As Lydia in Pride and Prejudice says, “Look here, I have bought this bonnet. I do not think it is very pretty; but I thought I might as well buy it as not. I shall pull it to pieces as soon as I get home, and see if I can make it up any better.”

So what are my plans for the hats?

the artyologist image of feathered hat before broken feathers

The pheasant hat was easy since I liked it as is, minus the broken feathers. I pulled them out and added a few turquoise feathers, once of which I twisted into a loop, and the tiny spotted feather. Much improved. Although now I still have to wait several months to wear it. At least I have something to look forward to!

the artyologist image of vintage 1960's feathered hat after in front of wallpaper

the artyologist image of vintage 1960's feathered hat detail

As for the other two, about a month ago I came across this beautiful mint coloured felt hat by master milliner Philip Treacy. (Phillip Treacy has made many of the hats we see the Royal’s wearing). I absolutely fell in love with the giant pompom flower, and immediately started wondering how I could make something like this. When I came across the black hat, I had my answer. I haven’t started construction on it yet, but will attempt something of the kind. I also really love the red hat, so if the flower doesn’t work out, I could always make a ginormous bow. If something in life needs embellishing, a bow should do the trick!

philip treacy fw15 collection

(Photos from Philip Treacy)

I am thinking that I will also make a large bow to fit on the other black hat. It needs some oomph too, as the velvet bow is a little understated. There is a hole under the velvet bow, where I think someone ripped some kind of embellishment off, so I need to keep that in mind whatever I decide to do. If all else fails and I can’t figure out how to attach a bow, I could always go with this.


(Photo from Philip Treacy)

Just kidding! As crazy as this hat is, it is AMAZING, but I don’t think I would ever be brave enough to wear a hat like this unless I was attending Royal Ascot or something. It’s fun to dream though!