12 Magic Hat Tricks to Remember

When I was growing up in the 1960s, every Christmas my mom bought my dad a new Dobbs fedora. I remember the angled box it came in and the velvety smoothness of the fur-felted crown and brim.

Mom usually bought herself a new hat every Easter to add to her rotation of church chapeaus. I got a new hat for Easter, too, and shopping for it with mom was always a big deal. Mostly I remember my hats as white and frilly, organza and lace with ribbons trailing down the back.



Sadly, hats are the exception rather than the rule these days. But I couldn’t help thinking when I saw this photo: Gosh all those heads in a row look oh-so bare! Give those guys a hat–or two or three or four! Wouldn’t they look even MORE fun and boho to boot? And you could change them around to suit the seasons or your mood.

If you own and like to wear hats, or if you’ve inherited some, here are a few ideas about how to display them, along with some quotes that speak to the significance of the hat in our culture.


“I would I could stand on a busy corner, hat in hand, 
and beg people to throw me all their wasted hours.”
—Bernard Berenson
One Kings Lane 

I like the helter-skelter way in which these hats are displayed—as if they truly represented wasted hours piling up. There’s also an interesting mix of high low going on with the bookcases and birdcage up against the distinguished silhouette of those shield-back dining chairs.


“Cock your hat—angles are attitudes.” 

Frank Sinatra
Via Blood and Champagne

And this vignette, like ol’ blue eyes himself, has lots of attitude. The phrenology head is a great perch for the straw boater, and the entire cabinet has the look of a curiosity shop, thanks to all the “specimens.”


“People, when they buy a hat, they can’t explain why they want to buy it or why they want it, but they do. It’s like chocolate.”
—Philip Treacy
Keith Scott Morton

That explains the hats I’ve bought myself as an adult. I HAD to have them, even though I seldom—if ever—wore them. Chocolate. Yes. Now it all makes sense. The black bands on these hats work well with the black furniture and accents in the room. Each one has a slightly different texture and shape and looks as if someone only just dropped it on the bench a moment ago. See/read more about this Long Island home at Country Living.


“And all your future lies beneath your hat.” 

—John Oldham
Les Maisons de Zoe

There’s a reverence to that statement and to this photo, where all are wide-brimmed work hats but slightly different. I like the hanging method—one of thoese wire cables with clips. Wooden clothespins would work as well and look industrial.


“That is why, no matter how desperate the predicament is, I am always very much in earnest about clutching my cane, straightening my derby hat and fixing my tie, even though I have just landed on my head.” 

—Charlie Chaplin
Genevieve Garruppo

I can almost see Chaplin’s little tramp falling and his derby flying and landing on these antlers—another great way to display hats in your home. See/read more about this apartment home in New York’s East Village at Lonny.


“Who shall measure the hat and violence of the poet’s heart when caught and tangled in a woman’s body?”

—Virginia Woolf
Ingrid Rasmussen via The Interior Stylist

Lest all our hats be straw, consider the luscious fur beauty in this vignette styled by David Carter. I love that the head is “planted” in this urn, along with some equally ceramic vegetables and fruit. The soft fur hat looks as if it’s growing!


“Hats are radical; only people that wear hats understand that.” 

—Philip Treacy
Hello Lidy via Apartment Therapy

And the addition of hats to this vignette gives it a radical look. I like the starkness of the white pitcher and eucalyptus against the black wall and how the one hat that’s hanging bridges the change in wall color from black to white. Revolutionary!


“All I can hope to do is instill great morality in my son and trust him along the way. The music he listens to or how he chooses to wear his hair doesn’t define his moral compass, and if he wants to listen to country music and wear a cowboy hat too, that’s fine.” 

—Mark Hoppus
Via Trendatory

I love the mix of blue and chartreuse, as well as the high and low vibe. The elegantly sculptured and upholstered headboard contrasts with the antlers overhead and the rustic chair and bedside table. The hats are decidedly informal as well, but because a few of them are blue it kicks them up a notch and pulls the look together.


“Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.” 

—Henry David Thoreau
Stacey Brandford

But which one? Good things there’s a mirror to help me choose! See/read more about this summer cottage owned by interior designer and HGTV host Sarah Richardson on her website and at Country Living.


“Some sunshine is good for the soul, but I always make sure I wear a big hat.” 

—Miranda Kerr
The Style Files

Good advice any hostess would be smart to take to heart with this functional and beautiful display of broad-brimmed sun hats and Turkish fouta towels positioned on the way to the pool.


“Matching your hat to your shoe to your bag, or your necklace to your earrings, has a tendency to look dated. Mixing up your accessories adds interest to an outfit, and can make you look much more modern and polished.” 

—Stacy London
Via Hobby Turmix

No one wants all their hats to look alike either, even though you can only wear one at a time. This arrangement has a nice mix going on of different-shaped hats from faraway places. I like how they’re clustered on top of each other. It makes it look as if there’s a meeting inside and this is where everyone hung their hat on the way in. Earlybirds got the best perches, and latecomers got leftovers.


“To me, the ultimate act of magic is to create something from nothing: It’s like when the stage magician pulls the rabbit from the hat.” 

—Alan Moore
Julie Ranee/via Strictly Passion

An alternative Christmas tree made of hats is a timely idea, and a great way to “wrap up” this post. I like how the vintage cameras, typewriter, picnic baskets, crates and pail give the appearance of presents under the tree. But take the star and the two green trees away, and you have a great display for the rest of the year.

I couldn’t help but notice how each of these vignettes seemed to be a jumping-off point for a good story. What stories do your hats tell? Share in the comments, and be sure to follow my blog with Bloglovin

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