As I've mentioned before on this blog I was first drawn to vintage style dressing because of my passion for hats. Since hats are a rarity today, but where worn nearly daily by women, and men, up until the early 1960s, hats are a natural segue way to vintage style. Over the years I've accumulated hats from 1920s-through the 50s and I wear one nearly every day, particularly during the summer months. I love both the look, and the practical sun protection, a wide brim hat provides. One mid century summer style I particularly like is the coolie hat. It first appeared in casual European and American women's fashions in the 1930s.
The hats are based on a conical Asian style worn on rice paddy fields.
Mid century designers must have seen the hats and appropriated them as a stylish, and practical, sun hat. The hats often had a very wide brim, making them an excellent choice for beach wear
and many had the useful feature of neckties, preventing the hat from blowing of the wearers head. This made them perfect for sporty summer activities.
I was particularly drawn to the neck time versions since my vintage hats are for ever blowing off my head (also I am in awe of the style of the girl in the bicycle photo above.)
I started searching for a vintage coolie hat, but my efforts where in vain. I simply couldn't find any hats in the simple neck tie style I wanted. So I decided to go the custom route and ask vintage style milliner and blogger, Tanith Rowan, to make me a hat. I told her I wanted something similar to the photo of the girl on the bicycle with a slightly wider brim and in neutral colors so I could wear it with a wide range of summer outfits. I couldn't be more pleased with the result:
The hat design is simple enough that it works with looks from a range of eras, it could be 30s, 40s, or 50s. It's just what I wanted and Im sure it will be making may appearances on my head this summer.
You can purchase Tanith's charming hats in her Etsy shop and she is very willing to make custom creations and has excellent customer service and communication. She is definitely one of the nicest Etsy sellers Ive dealt with.