My mother loved hats! She always had a hat to go with any special outfit, or maybe it was the hat that made any outfit special. I remember one outfit in particular – an olive green skirt and top with matching shoes that she accented with a leopard stole. Of course she also had a pillbox-style olive hat that completed the outfit. It was the special touch that she added last before going out.
In addition to hats, she always wore gloves – white cotton gloves, black suede gloves, red leather gloves of all different lengths. Some stopped at the wrist, while others reached father up the arm or sometimes to the elbow. I remember watching her one Christmas Eve as she painstakingly sewed colorful star-shaped sequins onto a pair of long black cotton gloves before going to church for midnight Mass.
Both of my parents were part-time professional musicians who played violin in the city’s symphony orchestra. One of my fondest memories is watching my mother get dressed on concert nights. She had beautiful silver hair that she always had styled on the afternoon of the night of the concert. It contrasted sharply with, but at the same time complemented, her long black dress. I would sit on the edge of the bed and watch as she applied her make-up and jewelry, and by the time we had to leave for the concert she was truly a vision.
My mother, the fashionista. Fond memories, indeed. I’ll be wearing a hat this week in her honor.