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Fashion Report: Ralph Lauren Caps Off Glamour

October 20, 2008

By Cathy Rae Smith,
Founder of Culture Magazine

Though it is a delight to live in an era when women no longer suffer the rigors of corseting oneself within a whisper of fainting away, there still remains the timeless lure of glamour. Happily, Ralph Lauren’s fall collection blends the appeal of sumptuous fabrics and flattering line with stylish flair by topping each ensemble with le chapeau élégant. And may I just say, bravo, how refreshing!

Sure, I love cramming on a baseball cap when wishing to shield the face from sun while pulling a weed or two from my flower garden or to avoid rain while dashing off to an exercise class, but there comes a time to take the daring step up in one’s style statement and do the unexpected.

As a fashionista, it delights me to treasure hunt estate sales, resale shops, and boutiques discovered at home and while traveling. In so doing, an embarrassment of riches develops and, yes, among them dwell hats from vintage to contemporary. With a little creative mixing of the wardrobe pieces, one can really kick up the impact by topping off the look with just that right hat.

After all, think about the history of hats, from utilitarian shrouds in the era of the barbarian to the role of an emblem of status at the emergence of haute couture, much due to the creations of Madame Caroline Reboux. A well-known Parisian milliner and fashion designer during the late 19th to early 20th century, her hats crowned the fashionable heads of clients ranging from film star Marlene Dietrich to Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, (the American divorcee that the King of England abdicated his throne in order to marry).

Now I love variety and strongly endorse individuality and creativity. So my thought is to just think about creating your own personal style that incorporates the occasion for elegance from time to time. If your current lifestyle does not often offer chance to don the finery, then you create the opportunity, even if to assemble a gathering of girlfriends. It can be exhilarating!

  
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Discuss this article

Elaine October 20, 2008

Wearing hats as you have stated can be exhilarating! I just love to wear hats but find myself self conscious when I am the only one wearing one.

Gienie October 20, 2008

I can never find a hat that compliments my face. I would wear them all the time if I could find one that worked for me. How do you choose a hat?

Cathy Rae Smith November 4, 2008

Thanks for your comments ladies. When selecting a hat that suits you, extend your selection to include both contemporary and vintage hats. With a broad selection, it is a matter of sorting through and making the proper selection, hats that suit your coloring, face shape, and head size. If you have an eye for such things, trust your instincts. If you don’t, find someone that does and let their style sense guide the choice. You can reference the older films in which hats are worn to see a variety of women where each found a suitable fit. Once found, feel free to wear whatever you choose. I always find it is of no concern to be the best dressed at an affair. If you know your outfit is one of quality and good taste, you can just feel relaxed, comfortable and confident. Good taste is difficult to fault, regardless of whether you are among many or standing on your own. Enjoy the fun!

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