FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Chicago Millinery History: Vintage Hats at Randolph St Market August 26, 2012

My daughter was right. She told me I would love the hats at the Randolph St. Market in Chicago. This event was not news to me, but this year was the year not to miss this fun.

Held monthly for a weekend, there is an outdoor part with lots of distractions, and probably a few good hats, if one can handle the 90+degree Chicago temperatures.

NOT for me.  I was on a mission anyway to see a certain vintage seller, who I had met in Feb. in Elgin, thinking I would get there the next month to see what other treasures she had. Kimberly Oliva of Estate Chicago on Etsy brought along a hat we had convod about thru her shop. At this event she is able to set up a wonderful selection of vintage goodies, of accessories, jewels, and assorted temptations. She does know her hats.

Along the way a Michigan seller had the best offerings for me, and a desirable hat went home for my viewing pleasure. Vintage Allure is a stop I would make again at this Market, and would love to visit in MI as well. Time will tell, but she tells of more Chicago hats in her treasure trove, sparking my imagination greatly.

On the far right is a Chanda straw hat with fruit that was as pretty on the inside as the outside:

Some pretty clothing with hats interspersed almost diverted my attention:

But finally focused on the back wall there are a couple of hat boxes:

Too excited to even think about taking a picture, I asked the seller about the hat way up high. Teresa Postema graciously pulled down a mannequin from a top shelf all covered in pearls, and a small pearl accented hat.  Some readers may be able to imagine the maker, as he was highly regarded in Chicago, with the initials of BBG. This is the hat that went home with me:

Moving into the main room, along with Kimberly Oliva we find Zelda’s Attic:

She too had a delightful Chanda hat:

Back to back with Zelda was a new seller of exquisite handbags, Kevin G. Notice these are handbags, not purses:

Scattered among the handbags are a few choice hats.

This wide brim straw was stunning:


The daisy straw tilt and the pink rose tilt are almost lost with the beauty of the other items:

The best hat was the Betty Coed:

There are still plenty of terrific hats left for anyone visiting the Randolph St. Market 8/26/12, or even in Sept.


Millinery History Baltimore, MD-someday August 25, 2012

Filed under: hat,millinery,Uncategorized — froufrou4youyou @ 11:16 pm
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In August a trip to Baltimore included a day of millinery monitoring. What is current today is history tomorrow.

Originally it seemed like it would be a good idea to observe hat wearing of Baltimore in the Inner Harbor shopping area and compare it to the hat wearing of Chicago  Michigan Ave mall area as well. Time is going along and getting to the comparison part of this in Chicago is still pending, but here is the Baltimore report:

First up was what the Claire’s shop was carrying in the Gallery at Harborplace mall, followed by Laila Rowe, with delightful sales staff as well as merchandise. Across the street at Pratt St Pavilion is Crystal Cove. But the icing on the cake is at Hats in the Belfry, as seen in the next photos:

Inside the door of Hats in the Belfry and to the left is what could be considered the women’s hat section. A visit to this shop two years ago seemed to have this category of hats in 2/3 of the store, and now it might be 1/3 of the content.

Autumn can not be far off when seeing this delightful straw. So many more hats are at other  locations of this “chain” of five stores, and online as well, that there must be a hat for every head in Baltimore, if only folks took a look.

Looking around one finds many fedoras in stock, which has become a trend for both men and women.

Lots of other options for men are available in displays that invite one to explore for style and fit.

One must not forget caps, and a generous selection commands attention as well. One of the best parts of the visit to the shop was chatting with a fine young gentleman who one just knows can find the right hat for the right head. Customer service is a given in this establishment.

Tourists abound in this mall, which builds on the wonderful local reputation of seafood. The entire back wall of T shirt display is topped with ubiquitous crab hat.

Yet some tourist souvenir  shops have realized that there is more to tourist fashion than crab hats, and are also stocking the fedora along with the T shirts that are worn once and stuck in a drawer. We can only hope the hats have a better fate.

That covers the retail portion of this “report.” What were on the heads of women? Glad to say no crab hats, very few baseball hats, some fedoras, with only a couple of wide brim straws to be seen. Clearly the fedora is winning the race. Overall,  many gals where out in the sun with no hat at all, a pity for all concerned. Hats in the Belfry should be able to convince them they have the right hat, sun or not. They just need to walk into one of their shops for this essential accessory.

The information gathered for this hat history exercise was conducted on August 1, 2012.