Hats

Happy anniversary Will and Kate. It’s been one year since my friends and I watched the wedding, and one of the (usually) sharpest among us, upon hearing that the maid of honour Philippa was about the enter, asked where Kate’s sister Pippa was.

Oh, I’ll take any chance to relive that.

Anyway…

Male readers may want to relive the sight of Pippa’s bottom as it sashayed into the Cathedral, but to mark this one year celebration, I am going to address another hot topic of the royal nuptials: Beatrice and Eugenie. Or the hats. Oh, those hats.

I’ve often wondered how men feel about hats, probably because I often wonder how I feel about them. In theory, they’re great. They have a practical benefit and a stylistic flair; this is especially key in the cold and damp weather that comes with London living.

Speaking of cold weather, I think men love knit beanies. I gather this when girls put them on before leaving the pub on a winter’s night and men just smile stupidly (the more stupid the smile, the more he fancies her). I also think certain fedoras, trilbies, whatever they’re called, are a sexy solution to bad weather – and as a recent trip to Vegas proved, a decent dance prop.

But extreme hats? I think we can all appreciate the artistry, but honestly… Beatrice and Eugenie were a subject of conversation, but who wants to be spoken about like that?! Also, can we for a minute discuss the fascinator? This may be the best named accessory on earth for the sheer fact that it is so fascinating, and by that I mean it sort of makes women look like those primordial deep water fish that have light bulbs and other fishing rod type ‘bait’ hanging off their heads. Do men understand what we’re trying to achieve with these things? Do we?

The thing is, the more extreme our choices, the more aware we are of them, and of ourselves, and about other people’s potential perceptions. Sometimes this feeling is welcomed; other times, it’s downright uncomfortable.

I give you two anecdotes.

Once I tried on a drapey, buxomy Vivienne Westwood situation at Liberty. When I left the dressing room, the wise salesperson said that while the outfit was ‘different,’ I emerged with my head held high so he recommended it without hesitation. My confidence, and its preservation, were the deciding factors.

Secondly, I studied art history at uni with a much beloved feminist professor. We were discussing the Cabanel painting of the Birth of Venus in contrast to another of its time, Manet’s Olympia. My professor taught us that what made Olympia so modern and (at the time) shocking was the eye contact and mental engagement of the subject, whereas Cabanel painted his model with her mental organ pinned down by her hand. In a weird way, I’m tying this back to hats. Your brain, probably the most sexy body part you’ve got, is inside that head of yours, so cap it off with something worthy of what’s going on in there. Don’t pin it down with ridculous cheap looking details. Go for quality. Go for something that makes you feel confident and then sashay into a room like Pippa down the aisle.

Or Philippa as the case may be.

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  1. #1 by jennamilly on May 1, 2012 - 1:26 pm

    But please tell us, Soho, do you have a “tete a chapeaux”…?

  2. #2 by Misterchappers on May 1, 2012 - 8:29 pm

    We need say no more…

  3. #4 by Baberaham Lincoln on May 2, 2012 - 1:40 pm

    What’s that device called where, instead of referring to the thing itself, one refers to something associated with or adjacent to it? Is it synecdoche? Metonymy? Anyway, whatever it’s called, I suspect that men – poetic souls that they are – are doing that. Because however fond they are of hats, their primary interest is in head.

    • #5 by sohospeaks on May 2, 2012 - 1:56 pm

      good God I love your comments…

      • #6 by Baberaham Lincoln on May 2, 2012 - 9:32 pm

        Replace “comments” with “blog” and the feeling is entirely mutual. But thank you. (A wise woman once told me you should always say thanks for a compliment. I could tell she was wise ‘cos she also showed me this awesome trick with a bottle of beer and some bendy straws.)

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