Although there is no “official” word for hat collector, there has been some attempt to create one. Millinophilia, derived from hat maker, or milliner is one possibility and a second is capellophile, using the word capel which is latin for hat or headdress.
Whatever your term it, my growing collection of vintage and new hats is turning me into a mad hatter. In celebration of Easter bonnets, here are some of my frillier women’s hats. The hats come out to play often and are great for photo shoots where the wearers adopt some version of “hat face”. It’s a pose and expression brought on by the hat. Hat face is either a very serious face with an upturned chin in a regal pose or a silly smile.
Hat collecting turns out to be an affordable hobby with many only costing $20 or $30 and collecting works equally at home and on holidays to just about anywhere. There is also a good deal of nostalgia involved as I picture my mom choosing from among her hats stored away in flowery hat boxes.
I don’t even remember which hat was the first in the collection. They can be found at yard sales, auctions, antique and vintage stores and you will find them even when you aren’t looking.
Some of my hats were reasonable and others more expensive. The more flamboyant the more expensive. If you add in French hat maker labels like Agnes, Chanel, Yves St. Laurent and Christian Dior, the price goes up. The more feathers the more money sometimes reaching up to $300 or $400. If the hat comes in its original box, so much the better. The fun of collecting is amplified by the possibility of wearing the hat. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried a hat on, found it fetching, bought it and chickened out actually wearing it.
Cloche, high crown, tilts, doll hats, cocktail, pillbox, fedora, wide brim, beret, boater, Breton, cartwheel, turban, halo, peach basket, picture hat, sailor and slouch…so many hats for only one head.
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