Saturday, 4 October 2014

How to Buy a Hat

From Woman's Own, 3rd October 1914

The New Hat—When and How to Buy It

There are some women who can tell at a glance whether a hat is likely to suit them, and they have the happy knack of getting just what they require and never buying until they feel quite satisfied, while the great majority rush to purchase as soon as the new styles are shown, and are persuaded into buying something which is entirely unsuitable from every point of view—just for the novelty of having the "latest," which may never be worn by anyone else.

One of the most important points, though seemingly trivial, is that you should not have "just shampooed your hair " when setting out to hat-hunt. There is no more irritating thing in the world than to find the hat which looked so extremely well on your newly-washed "fluffed" hair in the shop, has an exactly opposite effect when brought home and worn again when your locks have resumed their natural smoothness.  Let two or three days elapse between your shampoo and your choice of a new hat; but let your hair be as nicely dressed as possible. If you are adopting a new style of hairdressing, do adopt it before, and not after, you try on the new hat.

Take time over your hat-buying.  Don't be rushed into buying something you inwardly feel is going to make you look a "perfect guy."  The woman who goes the whole length of a street to look at everything is wise, for it is everyone's duty to get the best value for money.  Having decided on the particular style, it is then easy to go where the best selection is offered, and a definite description can be given to the assistant as to what is required, thus saving your and the assistant's time. Every hat, remember, has to be worn in a certain way to look at its best. Ask for a hand mirror, and do not throw down a hat until you have viewed it at every angle and from the back and sides—it may be quite right full face, but others see it from another point which is equally as important.

Remember you are going to wear the hat, not your friend, nor the shop assistant, nor even the head of the department, who naturally insists that "Madame looks charming" in most of the shapes.

Never forget a hat, more than anything else, can give you the ''right" or the "wrong" feeling.  The "right" feeling, of course, is one of complete satisfaction with yourself.

[Producing a women's magazine in war-time must have been tricky, especially a fashion column.  But some writers did at least mention the war (or use some phrase such as 'at times like these').  This article is ignoring the war completely, and seems especially trivial now, since hats are no longer an essential part of a woman's outfit. I should be grateful that they aren't - clearly buying a hat was a difficult and error-prone business.]

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