This event brings lots of hats to the general Chicago area, in Elgin, IL each February. As exciting as that is, the good news is that they return to Elgin in Sept.
Waiting in line on Friday behind a velvet rope the conversations around us were a fun way to get to hear how devoted folks were to vintage, and hats in particular. Several spoke of their spreadsheets documenting their collection of hundreds. On Fri the admission fee is lowered for those attending in vintage attire. That is like watching a vintage show in motion as these guys and gals explore the newest old goodies to be had.
The best display of hats, and stocking the best selection of antique hats must go to the booth just inside the door. I believe my hat buddy, Iris, who loves this shopping extravaganza as much as I do, bought three from this booth.
Here are photos from many booths of glorious hats.
Wish I could remember which booth this was, so nicely arranged.
Iris bought a Saks hat with an Iris from a grand fellow, Joe from New Orleans, with the booth Eojnola. Joe is also a milliner, and someone it would be fun to know. The bird hat above was just one of dozens we left behind.
I loved this hat, but so did a gal I saw the next morning wearing it. What fun when you can put your purchase right on your head.
Carries, Fabulous to Funky, from Campaign, IL had feather fans, which caught my eye initially, but sadly she had not brought along her stock of feathers, tho there were plenty of wonderful feather hats.
Across from Carrie’s was the one place I bought a hat the next day. I always ask for Chicago hats, especially Bes Ben or Raymond Hudd, although there were no Hudd hats anywhere we could find this year,
The seller was Karen Renfrow of D. Brett Benson, Inc of Chicago, exhibiting routinely at Broadway Antique Market booth 763 at 6130 N. Broadway in Chicago. There was a Bes Ben, which was so distracting I forgot to take photos of her booth! A little green leaf hat with tiny fruit and berries. Hard call, but I waited till she brought in another on Sat AM, a red moonstone. That red hat just added the needed pop of color to my display for my presentation on Chicago Hats at noon. IF you check with Karen she may still have that green leaf BesBen yet.
Downstairs were so many more treasured sellers of hats, and much better lighting:
Iris is just torn between this black felt Bes Ben with pearl bead edging from Jenstyle chic vintage ( firstname.lastname@example.org) This treasure was still there when we left on Sat, so maybe it is still available. It was so hard to leave it behind.
But then I fell in love at the next booth, Musser’s Atomic Antiques from Rockford. Here I am taking a photo of the display wearing my biggest hat, if you can find me below, in the mirror:
Not sure now just where these were from!
Happy shopper, Iris as she entertains the idea of a hat from Woodland Farms of TX.
Just above is the tip of the iceberg of beauty in hats from Woodland Farms Vintage of Dallas Tx. This group takes up two booths for the most exquisite collection of fashion. Here are SOME of their treasures:
There are great photos, but perhaps bigger is better:
Alas it was time to move on to other sellers:
Susie’s from Schaumberg, IL had hat boxes of flowers, and they were a great temptation.
Swell Stuff from Evanston had hats, and trims.
Fun was had with the presentation on Chicago Hats. What a great opportunity to meet some fine folks, and share some tidbits about Gage, Fisk, Edson Keith, Hats by Sue, Mildred Reed, Shelia, the Perfect Hat, Luci Puci and Lemington, Bes Ben, Raymond Hudd and more.
Coming to Elgin Sept 27 and 28? Hope to see you there. I may even wear my BIG gold felt hat with feathers. Will you be wearing a hat? Hope so!