In search of a Hat

Not just any old headgear intended to prevent warmth escaping from the top of one’s head—no, this was a search for a Hat suitable for two elegant weddings to be held in November and December.

Edie Hats II started at Edie Hats on Granville Island.This is a great shop, with soft lighting, a retro ambience and some delicious little cocktail-style confections of feathers and netting as well as dramatic large-brimmed items trimmed with velvet ribbon. I was drawn to many of these, though there was nothing in quite the right colours for the outfit I’d bought. Edit Hats IIThe Donatella was stunning, though, if I’d only been planning a journey on the Orient Express.

On to Roxann’s in Fort Langley. Maybe I was a little early for the fall/winter styles and the store was still crowded with tourists. The same with Crown and Jewels in Newport Village, Port Moody.

Edie 3Finally, I did a web search, which turned up Eleanor Mack in West Vancouver, established in 1948. I made a couple of attempts before I found the store open (their opening hours are not best suited to people who work Monday to Friday). But I loved the hats visible through the window and I loved the words Full Millinery Service inscribed on it. So I went back, equipped with the outfit I was planning to wear and put myself in the hands of Lynne, the daughter of Eleanor, the founder.

There is something of the no-nonsense Englishwoman about Lynne. She also knows her business. As soon as I told her the hat was to wear to a couple of weddings, she wanted to know where they’d be held and at what time of day. She hung up my outfit, sat me down in front of a mirror, and chose three or four hats for me to try. The garden party one wasn’t me. The little cocktail explosion-of-feathers was gorgeous but too much. The grey one (I think she said it was a Spanish sailor style) was just right. She considered it for a moment and then went into the back room and brought back a feather. “I think it needs this,” she said. At this point, I was willing to put myself completely in her hands. I hardly hesitated when she told me the price.

“Now, can I do anything else for you?” she asked. Maybe a hatbox for travelling, I thought. “Oh no,” she said. She stuffed the Hat with tissue paper and put it in a bag. “When you get on the plane, just give it to an attendant,” she said. “They’ll take care of it for you. Hatboxes are too big; they won’t fit in the overhead compartment.” I have great faith in Lynne, so I am sure it will all work out.

Spanish SailorMy friend Q took the photographs of the chosen Hat when I went back to pick it up. Falling quickly under Lynne’s spell (although she blamed me), she also bought a hat while we were there. I feel a new stage of my shopping life beginning.

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4 thoughts on “In search of a Hat

  1. Hey collective: I hear you have a weakness for an anchor yourself.

    Hmmm, a soccer-watching hat: I think another shopping expedition is indicated!

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