A really good hat

POSTED 04 July 2012

One of my friends was telling me a story of his Grandmother, a Mrs Angel. She sounds like a lady not to be crossed!

The story took place in the 1950’s in rural Devon where there was a church hall meeting of Women’s Institute ladies from the surrounding rural parishes. As the afternoon progressed talk turned to hats, what was fashionable, what colours suited who, new fabrics and finishes and finally quality and price. By this time Mrs Angel and a cluster of ladies had made their way from their tea table to the back of the hall and a table where all the hats had been placed. My friend’s grandmother picked up a hat.

‘Now that’, she said ‘…….that is a cheap hat’.

The ladies nodded in agreement it was clear for all to see that this millinery disaster was economy made manifest. However by Mrs Angels side there was a lady who wasn’t nodding. She plucked the hat from my friend’s grandmother, rammed it on her head and stormed out of the church hall with a face like thunder.

There are a couple of lessons to learn from this story which clearly made such an impression on poor outspoken Mrs Angel that it has been passed down through family history for future generations to ponder the folly. One of course is that at social occasions pointing and screaming ‘that is a cheap hat’ is probably asking for trouble, but the other lesson is about quality. Sometimes I see people wearing ill-fitting hats in colours that just don’t work with an outfit. It’s sad, for often the same outlay they could have bought millinery that is truly exceptional.

So that is the main message I took from Mrs Angels story of over fifty years ago. It’s always worth investing in quality millinery as it will look exceptional, feel fabulous to wear and your investment will be clear to everyone who sees your stylish titfer.


Ps: And for all my overseas readers, titfer is cockney rhyming slang for hat. Titfer tat = hat! And the photo is of Margaret St Newton WI outing in the 1950’s. Isn’t it wonderful!