Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Hat Tradition

Were you born in the days when it was proper to always wear a hat when you went out? My mother had a few hats, but I don't remember her wearing them very often. It was becoming stylish, in her early 20's, to go without. But my Grandmother always wore a hat when she went out. Her name was Katherina and she was a proper lady. A farm wife, I only knew her as a widow who lived in a little house next door to my aunt and uncle. Grandma was ill and unable to walk, so a part of her 'wardrobe' was her overstuffed chair or wheelchair, at least as far as my child-eyes registered. But, when she felt well enough, she enjoyed going to church with the family. Her attire was so extremely old-fashioned to me, and therefore very interesting. Add to that fact her tendency to forget to speak in English to her little granddaughters who knew no German, and she made for a most wonderful Grandma! Her church attire was always thick stockings, a flowing dress of some sort (sometimes of rayon, other times of cotton), a sweater (always a sweater), and solid, black, 0ld-fashioned shoes (they reminded me of the shoes of the fine ladies of the 1800's --- I always wondered where my aunt even found them to purchase for Grandma). This ensemble was always completed with a hankie tucked into her sweater sleeve and a wonderful hat! I'm sure they weren't extravagant, but to my child-eyes, any hat worn to church was la-tea-dah! Velveteen, hat pins, netting, and a flower or two. Grandma's hat usually covered her black hair that was tucked into a bun and hairnet at the back of her neck. Grandma never changed --- the memories remain constant and sweet. Because of Grandma's influence, sister and I enjoyed the pretty Easter hats that our mother would buy for us each spring. Such memories --- and all because of a hat.

Photo: Elm Street Antiques

18 comments:

  1. This was such a nice read. Your grandmother sounds as if she were one proud Lady who knew how to dress properly for going out. German ladies usually do and, I'm told, that they still dress up more than many other people groups. How fun that she kept you and your sis in Easter bonnets, too!

    (Oh golly! I can't answer your question because you didn't include "all of the above" and I can't possibly narrow it down to just one. My blog reading is as eclectic as my own blog.)

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  2. Thank you for sharing your story. Those were the days I will always cherish. Everything was so different then.
    I wish I at least lived near New York so I could go to the Easter parade.
    I really like your new blog look. Very pretty.
    I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Easter!

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story. Those were the days I will always cherish. Everything was so different then.
    I wish I at least lived near New York so I could go to the Easter parade.
    I really like your new blog look. Very pretty.
    I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Easter!

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  4. I never remember my mother wearing a hat, scarves yet, hat no. I do remember my grandmother having at least one little pill box hat that she would sometimes wear to church, probably Sunday mornings. She is a very classy lady, love my grandma!
    Valerie

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  5. Loved this story. I just posted earlier today on decorum (more on treating others well). I had an aunt that wore frilly dresses to weddings and always had her hair fixed and I thought she was amazing. I enjoy being a girl. ; )

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  6. There is an elderly black woman in our church who always wears a hat. She looks so nice.

    Don't you love watching the old movies and seeing them in hats and gloves when they go out?

    I know my mom and older sisters owned white gloves.

    I need to watch Three Coins in a Fountain again. They were so beautifully dressed. :)

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  7. Thank you for sparking that memory for me today. Gee, I miss my mom. Aunt Donna says she still misses Grandma (her mom), too. I have so many wonderful memories! My mom wore hats for special occasions - weddings, funerals, fancy parties, concerts, etc. I always had a new hat and new white gloves and spring shoes as a part of my Easter outfit, which she sewed for me until I was big enough to sew for myself. I still have the hat Momma wore for my wedding - in it's little box from Macy's. Thanks, again. You gave me some happy tears today.

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  8. Oh, what wonderful word pictures!

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  9. Hello LaTeaDah! I enjoyed reading about your grandmother. My paternal grandmother was born and raised in San Francisco and never went downtown without a hat, or gloves for that matter! She was a true lady, too. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful memory.

    I recall the success of last year's Gracious Hospital-i-Tea Blogathon and have come back from time to time to visit. I see you've made some changes and a survey is underway. I did the same over at The Tea Room and am pleased with the new focus of my site. I'll be sure to come back to see the outcome!

    Happy Spring!
    ~Arleen

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  10. What a great story! I loved reading it. I am so glad you have those wonderful heartfelt memories of your Grandmother.....

    Sadly mine never wore hats. HA!

    I wish they had. But I do remember one of my Grandmother's very cool pocket books......they weren't stylish then....but they are now. Wish I had them now.
    Thanks for sharing one of your "life stories."
    Joyce

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  11. I love hats. I have few vintage hats. My grandmother and mother often worn hat to church or any speical occasions before I was born.
    Today is my first day to read your blog. I have not read another blogs since December. I am catching up the lost time.

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  12. I was born in the early 1960s and remember wearing a hat on Easter Sunday. I also remember my mom weating hats. Sadly, by the late 60s there are no more memories; I guess hats were out of style by then. I LOVE hats and gloves and wish they were back in style today.

    Thanks for your memories of your grandmother. Oh, and I love your blog's new look! Very pretty!

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  13. I have a few hats but somehow I tend to forget about wearing them. They add a nice finishing touch to an outfit though. Thank you for sharing this lovely post.

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  14. What a lovely story about your grandmother. My grandmother lived in San Francisco and wore those black shoes, a coat, and hat. She carried a very large, heavy purse that had all kinds of things tucked inside. I think even gloves were tucked inside.

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  15. What a sweet story about your grandmother. You have some precious memories. I remember when ladies used to dress up for church. My Grandmother used to always carry a hankie in the sleeve of her sweater too. I had forgotten about that! Thank you for sharing such a lovely story.

    I also like your new blog look...the header is beautiful.

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  16. I enjoyed reading the story about your grandmother, hats, etc.

    Did you change your blog a second time, I remember commenting on a pretty change, but now it looks different again! Maybe it's my eyes!!
    Love it!

    Katherine

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  17. What a sweet story, you are quite blessed to have such a grandma. She sounds like my mothers grandmother. Clarice

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  18. I enjoyed reading about your memories of your grandmother. I remember lots of ladies in church wearing hats when I was growing up. My mother did but not frequently. I think they were more for special occasions.

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