The well dressed pate

The recent discourse on appropriate dress over at the Shoe Blog put me in a mind to contemplate hats. At my own wedding, I asked my mother and her ladywife to pick out some stylish headwear for the ceremony. I suppose they are lucky that I had not yet discovered the French wedding hat tradition, for I no doubt would have requested that they spend obscene amounts of money outfitting their heads.

According to photographer Bertrand Celce, who snapped the photo below, the wedding hat must be “original, classy, and elegant.”

Whoever invented this tradition was inspired, and a wedding without hats would not be a real wedding…or at least wouldn’t deserve that we try our best for the best of all days. Don’t forget that the groom and the bride often met at a previous wedding a few months before. And this particular hat on that particular face wasn’t neutral on that special day. Is there a better reason to care for the hats?

Is there a better reason to care for the hats?

To see more of these uber fantastic hats, many of which are architectural wonders that stimulate the mind as well as the eye, have a peek at this blog entry by Tom Sanford. I think that I shall have to find myself a gorgeous and eye-catching hat to wear at the next wedding I attend so I can begin spreading the wedding hat tradition among my friends and peers.

11 Responses to “The well dressed pate”

  1. Tizzy says:

    I told the future Mr. Tizzy we should get married in Britain so that people would wear hats… he didn’t think that was practical.

    It’s such a lost art. I mean, I’m glad that I don’t have to wear one to the market but I wish I got to wear them when I got dressed up.

  2. Kimocean says:

    Ooooh yes. I want to wear more hats. They add so much instant glamour and mystique. If I wasn’t a bridesmaid in the next wedding I was going to, I’d definitely be searching for a gorgeous hat!

  3. Twistie says:

    I love hats. If I’m not wearing one, my friends have trouble recognizing me.

    So Tizzy, if you want someone to wear a hat to your wedding, just send me an invite!

  4. LadySun says:

    You know, Sixteen Candles was on the other night, and in the wedding scene everyone was wearing all these crazy hats. And I didn’t think anything of it until I saw your post — I didn’t realize it was a tradition! Man, no one wore a hat to MY wedding… 😀

  5. Miss Elisabeth says:

    At my cousin-in-law and cousin’s wedding, I was the only one wearing a hat – just a simple, brown, wide brimmed, but elegant hat. It was a 100+ degree day, with an out door reception, and with an SLR around my neck, sunglasses were not an option. Boy, was I glad of that hat!

    I wish the tradition would come back as well . . . perhaps I’ll have to wrangle wedding guests into hats if I ever get married. 😀

  6. Annalucia says:

    Perhaps the tradition of hat-wearing would come back more strongly if the American milliners resumed making ladies’ hats in different sizes. At the moment there is the universal delusion among them that all women everywhere are possessed of heads which are twenty-two and one-half inches in diameter, and they will admit of no other. For those like the Annalucia who have larger heads, that means the unisex straw hat in the summer and the gentleman’s fedora in the winter – and while it gives the Annalucia the rather rakish look of the Carmen Sandiego, it is not really appropriate for the wedding attire.

    Yes, she has complained of this before, and the kind readers of the Manolo have sent her links to purveyors of ladies’ hats online. So far, however, she has not purchased any. Many of the styles are – how shall we say this? – somewhat outre, and often there is no price listed next to the picture – one must phone the seller to get the price quote, and the Annalucia does not like to do this, for fear of crying “Eeeeeek!” and hanging the phone up sharply.

    Ah well – perhaps she was meant to be the Carmen Sandiego after all…

  7. Annalucia says:

    Correction please! The Annalucia meant to say, heads which are twenty-two-and-one-half inches in CIRCUMFERENCE. The other, it is too horrible to contemplate. Profuse apologies.

  8. Ninjarina says:

    ITA Twistie – I actually keep some kind of foldable hat (usually a wide brim straw one) in my carry-on when I fly. When I get into the terminal, I plop it on and my friends can see where I am.

  9. Shamhat says:

    Check out Louise Green for fabulous wedding hats that will fit anyone well because of the built-in elastic headband.

    I’m not good with links but her fall line is out at and here I am with the groom last August

    They’re usually in the $200-300 range.

  10. Sara says:

    I’m helping a friend plan her upcoming winter wedding, and she was longing for people to wear hats. I mentioned my fine (but rarely worn) collection of vintage hats and am now required to wear one. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I worry that it might seem like an upstaging the bride sort of no-no.