Thursday, October 25, 2007

Going through Grandma's attic for vintage fashion finds is now old hat. But you may be going back upstairs -- this time, actually, for old hats.

The polished, put-together styles on the runways of such designers as Louis Vuitton, Proenza Schouler and Max Azria were shown with genteel hats, a look from the days when women eyed Look magazine for fashion inspiration and aspired to be ladies.

Even if this trend is not tabloid girl backlash, these toppers are a world away from bedhead under a baseball cap. From chunky berets and snug-fitting cloches, to Greta Garbo fedoras and oversize Sunday-best brims, these hats are inching their way back onto store shelves among the status handbags and shoes.

Marc Jacobs enlisted expert English milliner Stephen Jones to create hats for nearly all of the 56 looks for his much-talked-about fall line. The wide wool felt brims surround a grosgrain-trimmed knit crown in a variety of rich jewel tones.

Perhaps it's a shift back to a more grown-up style, perhaps it's the added UV-ray protection, but topping your fall wardrobe with a hat will certainly establish you as a trendsetter. Or perhaps a traditionalist? Consider either a feather in your cap.

-- Cory Ohlendorf

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