Fall Hat Month

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

So begins the poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph. It seems like the perfect poem for September’s Fall Hat Month. At least in the northern hemisphere, September is the month to put away the straw hats of summer and pull out the warmer ones for fall and winter. It’s time for crocheted hats, for felt hats, for Stetsons, and other such headgear.

But more than a reminder of the change of season, “Warning” inspired the founding of the Red Hat Society, “the place where there is fun after fifty.” In over 40,000 chapters of the group, women wear purple dresses and red hats to their outings. As someone well over 50, who loves the color purple and loves hats, I celebrate the idea.

In many books, hats play a major role. The earliest I remember is Caps for Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina, subtitled A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business. It’s now called a Reading Rainbow book, but I’m old enough to remember hearing it on Captain Kangaroo.

From Dr. Seuss, we have The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, about a boy with problems removing his hat before the king, and of course, Cat in the Hat. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, we meet the Mad Hatter. (Did you know that mercury used in the manufacture of felt hats in the Victorian era caused neurological damage, which is behind the phrase “mad as a hatter”?) What would Sherlock Holmes be without his deerstalker? And of course, in Harry Potter, students’ lives are shaped by which house the sorting hat puts them in.

So dust off your fall hats today, or even buy yourself (or make yourself) a new one and celebrate this great month.

Quotes about hats.

You take the lies out of him, and he’ll shrink to the size of your hat; you take the malice out of him, and he’ll disappear.–Mark Twain

Never try to wear a hat that has more character than you do.–Lance Morrow

Cock your hat – angles are attitudes.–Frank Sinatra

Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.–E. B. White

How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about.–Philip Treacy

I myself have 12 hats, and each one represents a different personality. Why just be yourself?–Margaret Atwood

I can wear a hat or take it off, but either way it`s a conversation piece.–Hedda Hopper

A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.–P. J. O’Rourke

The whole shadow of Man is only as big as his hat.–Elizabeth Bishop

I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Her hat is a creation that will never go out of style; it will just look ridiculous year after year.–Fred Allen

I have a hat. It is graceful and feminine and give me a certain dignity, as if I were attending a state funeral or something. Someday I may get up enough courage to wear it, instead of carrying it.–Erma Bombeck

I think that a woman wears so many hats, we have so many aspects to us that we’re not just one thing. We represent so much within us and that kind of comes across for me as a designer through mixing prints and colors.–Rachel Roy

If a woman rebels against high-heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a very smart hat–George Bernard Shaw

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Straw Hat Month

You might not think straw hats need an entire month to celebrate them, but it’s true. April is Straw Hat Month. We often think of straw hats as belonging to folks who work outside, from cowboys, to farmers to workers in rice paddies, though those aren’t the only places to find them. They are popular for such, however, being relatively cool because they are woven, yet they provide good protection from the sun. You may also see them in movies or TV shows of British government officials in some of their former colonies in warmer climates, or in the form of Mexican Sombreros. Some of those can be very colorfully decorated.

Straw hats have been around a long time. Click here for an example of field workers in straw hats from the Maciejowski Bible manuscript from 1250. That is just the oldest link on this delightful page organized for the Society for Creative Anachronism, for suggested straw hats for costumes for role-playing. One of my favorites this French peasant woman, from 1577. What a great hat!

Because straw hats appear in many cultures in the world, they have been made of many different kinds of materials. According to Days of the Year, “Some of the most common are wheat straw hats, most commonly found in the Italian Peninsula, rush straws, palm leaves … and of course rice straw and bamboo that are used in Asian Conical hats.”

April may strike you as an unlikely month for straw hats, because at least in my area of the country, it is not warm enough yet to wear them, but it is windy enough to blow that hat off your head. But this gives you time to find the perfect hat to wear for summer.

The graphic I have chosen is Sylvester McCoy in his trademark straw panama hat from Doctor Who.

Quotes about straw hats

Year’s end still in straw hat and sandals.–Matsuo Basho

At Dresden on the Elbe, that handsome city,
Where straw hats, verses, and cigars are made,
They’ve built (it well may make us feel afraid,)
A music club and music warehouse pretty.
Heinrich Heine

Always buy your straw hats in the Winter–Benjamin Graham

Australian schools have cool uniforms. I wish I had to wear a woven straw hat for maths.–Harry Styles

Buy straw hats in the wintertime. Summer will surely come.–Bernard Baruch

You know, for most of its life bluegrass has had this stigma of being all straw hats and hay bales and not necessarily the most sophisticated form of music. Yet you can’t help responding to its honesty. It’s music that finds its way deep into your soul because it’s strings vibrating against wood and nothing else.–Alison Krauss

The best way to garden is to put on a wide-brimmed straw hat and some old clothes. And with a hoe in one hand and a cold drink in the other, tell somebody else where to dig.–Texas Bix Bender

I turned on the pillow with a little moan, and at this juncture Jeeves entered with the vital oolong. I clutched at it like a drowning man at a straw hat.–P. G. Wodehouse

Hope is a straw hat hanging beside a window covered with frost.–Margaret George

The straw hat is the typical hat Cubans use. It’s cool and keeps the sun away from your face.–Desi Arnaz

The Italians always made good wine, but you had the impression they were friendly guys in straw hats running family vineyards with slaves or something so that the vino was never more than ten bucks a bottle.–Joe Bob Briggs

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Mad Hatter Day

Mad Hatter Day began in on October 6, 1986, among a group of computer folks in Boulder CO. The date was chosen for two reasons. First, it gives us a second day of silliness almost half a year from April 1. Secondly, in the famous John Tenniel illustrations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter has a sign in his hat that reads, “In this style 10/6.” As some have pointed out, in Britain, this would make the day June 10, but since the holiday originated in the U.S., the day to celebrate is October 6.

Think of today as a kinder, gentler April Fools. It’s not a day for playing tricks on others, but rather a day for doing something silly, or perhaps, looked at another way, it’s a day to do something sane. After all, what’s so sensible about wearing a small noose around your neck to look important or business-like, or wearing the shoes many women put on to look glamorous or serious? If nothing else, take the day at face value and wear a crazy hat. You can always take it off when you get to work. At any rate, break from the routine. Ask silly riddles or tell silly jokes. If you need ideas, check out 6 Stupid Yet Entertaining Games To Play In The Office Whilst Your Boss Isn’t Looking.  But whatever you do, have fun!

Mad Hatters Tea Party
Mad Hatters Tea Party500hats

Quotes from the Alice books.
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

“Have I gone mad?”
“I’m afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are.”

“Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
“No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “What’s the answer?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

No wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.

It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.

The time has come
The walrus said
To talk of many things:
Of shoes- and ships-
And sealing wax-
Of cabbages and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings.

Curiouser and curiouser!

And quotes about hats
A great hat speaks for itself.–Unknown

Whenever you wear your hat, your day will be special.–Margo Nickel

We’re out to prove a great hat can change your day.–Plaza Suite hats

The rush of power to the head is not as becoming as a new hat.–Helen Van Slyke

If a woman rebels against high heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a very smart hat.–George Bernard Shaw

Women who wear hats know who they are.–Unknown

I have a hat. It is graceful and feminine and has a wide brim with a red ribbon around the band. It gives me a certain dignity, as if I were attending a state funeral or something. People are generous in their compliments. Someday I may get up enough courage to wear it, instead of carrying it.–Erma Bombeck

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.