There is no doubt that this is my most unusual hat — well, if it can be called that. It’s more like a head covering, or very nearly a bonnet. But for all its vintage glory, I had some apprehension as I walked out the door and into my day — Would people mistake me for the Sun-Maid Girl? The Muppets’ Swedish Chef? Or simply a fashion-forward New Yorker?
Photos by Ashley Wu
While I still have some lingering bashfulness of strutting my stuff in this headwear — as it sometimes randomly takes flight in the swirling wind of the Avenues, and literally, it billows in full sail — The antique silk piece has won my heart strings, and landed a good number of Big Apple compliments, too.
Because this Lower East Side-vintage-shop find is so outlandishly old (somewhere between the 1900s and 1920s), I really needed to build the rest of the outfit in contemporary lines while matching its romantic softness. Here is the result:
How much for “Sun-Maid Girl or Swedish Ched”?
(-$75 gifted silk hat = $22.97)
$0 Khaki Skirt (Hand-Me-Down)
$0 XOXO Black and Tuxedo Lace Shirt (Hand-Me-Down)
$2.00 Pearl Necklaces (Chester Co., PA, Thrift Store)
$3.97 Black Lace Trouser Socks (Paramus, NJ, Century 21)
$5.00 Crochet & Wood Bead Bracelet (Target)
$5.00 Black Tank Top (Gap Clearance)
$10 Black Patten Leather Wedges (Hudson Co., NJ, Mom & Pop Shop)
$75.00 Antique Silk Headpiece (David Owens Vintage Clothing)
(So) What’s the Take-Away?
Even outlandish antiques retain fashion value!
Vintage treasures bring a world of adventure — first there is the hunt … and then that leads to the journey of fitting it into your life (similar in concept to: Build it and they will come), which sometimes means embracing a look that never crossed your mind … but the beautiful thing is that you never know where it might take you — toward the crossroads of epic memories and romances, across the street to a dainty tea shop, or quite possibly it might mean stopping to smell the roses!
With so many wondrous possibilities that stepping out into new fashion unknowns can bring, how can you not want to try your hand at being “thrifty, vintage, chic”?
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