Why did the hats have to go?!

stephane-gabart-photographyLast week, as we celebrated Pentecost (not me, you guys know that although I respect everyone’s beliefs, I don’t care much for organized religion), it reminded me of how special that day used to be in my hometown of Libourne. You see, although Libourne is quite a small town with its 30 000 souls, we used to pride ourselves with a small but very active race track. Of all the races, the one everyone used to attend was the one that took place every year on Pentecost day. The drivers would parade throughout town and give the best show once back on the track. People would dress up and the ladies would have a new hat made that they could show off.stephane-gabart-photographystephane-gabart-photographystephane-gabart-photography

Oh how I wish we still wore hats! What is more chic than a lady in a hat? Seriously! Why did the hats have to go???

The little boy below is my dad. He is now 85 years old :0)stephane-gabart-photographystephane-gabart-photography

Oh sure, high society ladies (and sometimes gentlemen) still wear them, but it’s only for fashion week or for very special occasions… In the old days, everyone wore them all the time. I can sincerely say that I don’t remember my grandmother ever leaving the house without a hat on. I even had a Stetson made just for her when I lived in the States. I sent it to her for her 95th birthday. She loved that hat!stephane-gabart-photography

Most of the pictures here are of her. In the last one, she is 101 years old. She passed in 2009. I inherited her townhouse and even though I’ve been using her old dressing room for myself, all of her hats are still there on a dedicated shelf…stephane-gabart-photography

Anyway, someone pleaaaase bring the hat fashion back!! We need more elegance in our lives!! We need more small town horse races too for that matter…stephane-gabart-photography

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Lovely post Stephane and I couldn’t agree more, we do need more elegance in our lives because it would mean we’d all have to slow down a little and take more time over things! Love your collection of old photos – your grandmother must have been amazing! And I think this theme looks great for your blog too – definitely very stylish! Sending best wishes – Jane.

  2. Wonderful, warm post!

    I still wear hats! and also gloves (neoprene gloves as well as leather 🙂

  3. jmnowak says:

    I agree with you..those chic ways of dressing and style has gone, for everyday ventures down the street. Although some of us, like me, can’t wear hats as they don’t suit. My late mother was very chic and stylish, like the ladies in your photos, and she loved hats and looked great in them. But, then, she was a beautiful woman. Me, plain Jane, unsuitable head for hats, ‘tho I do have one pull-down suede hat I wear on cold Winter days, and my mother’s old navy beret. The last photo of your grandmother…she certainly retained her style and youth.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I don’t look good in hats either. They make me look 20 years older every time I try…

  4. M says:

    Nice post. I love hats myself and have so many!! I wear them all the time; summer, winter… as well as gloves. Although I receive compliments every time I wear them, which is quite frequently, I don’t understand why other do not. I, too, wish the trend would return.

  5. gypsygurl64 says:

    Lovely! I’ve often wondered that myself. I think that with all the advancements we’ve made we left behind the idea of dressing up.

  6. ggspalter says:

    Love this. My grandmother is 99 and wore hats and gloves to most occasions. It is a wonderful elegance that I miss as well.

  7. vkhanson says:

    I too miss the hats. Still wear them on rare occasions. Thanks for the blog!

  8. I am very fashionable Stéphane if baseball caps are considered hats, lol. I hate messing with my hair so shove it under a baseball cap except maybe twice a week when I’m in the office (although I have been known to go to the office with a baseball cap from time to time). I must have about 15 baseball caps in all different colors, because you know I DO have to color-coordinate with my outfits. 😉 I do love those old photographs of people wearing hats. You need to share your mom’s hat collection with us! I adore that last photo of your grandmother, too. xo

  9. I spent a few days exploring Portland with a friend who lives 5 hours south. We started at the Saturday Market (n Sunday—still called the Saturday market anyway) and I got my hand henna’d and she bought a hat. She ended up wearing it almost all teh time because once on, it “smashed” her hairdo, so she looked “better “with it.

  10. Nadia says:

    Your grandmother must have been an amazing women. She looked way younger than her age. It was a beautiful time. I do wish people dressed up a bit more these days. Something has been lost, I think.

  11. Steve says:

    Look a little harder in some of those old closets with the hats…maybe there’s a Leica Ur (the first Leica, 1914) lying around somewhere! You never know. That’s the perennial garage sale fantasy…an old pristine Alfa covered up in the garage (for $500), or a mint condition Leica. The stuff that dreams are made of. 🙂

  12. Oh, Stephane, what a joy to find all those hats! I have a number of hats, some a bit casual, some very chic. I love to wear them, mostly to church, and I always get lots of compliments when I do. My dad wore a hat to church for many years, although he doesn’t anymore. My grandfather and grandmother wore hats to church as well. One woman from our former church gave me two of her hats because she wasn’t wearing them and thought they looked so good on me. What an honor!

    Love the shots you included. I’m down to only about six weeks until my trip to France. I’m so excited!


  13. Angeline M says:

    I have to agree on the hats. Your grandmother was a beautiful woman; is that her in the photo after the last horse/buggy race photo? (The fourth photo down).

  14. judilyn says:

    You’ve hit on a hot spot for us! We love looking at old photos and films where most of the people in them were slim and dressed to the teeth, no matter the venue. I’m as guilty as anyone these days at going out in casual clothes, but I vividly remember my growing up years (50’s) in The South, where we “ladies” wore hats and gloves just to take the bus to downtown Miami! I can remember having a wardrobe of hats, and I was just a kid, and we were not very well off – it was a stretch to have more than one – but I babysat for the funds to indulge! One even wore gloves to a job interview in the 60’s! Ah – memories!! Thanks for invoking them!!! ;->

    Virtual hugs,


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