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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Friday — April 9, 2004

Weekend Living

A sonnet to your bonnet

Express Staff Writer

Hats are hot, hats are practical and hats are fun. With those attributes it’s hard to imagine leaving the house without one atop your pate anymore. Yes, even our headgear can go retro. After all, once upon a time hats were de rigueur and neither man nor woman would venture outside without one.

Miranda BeVier, left, and Criss Fallowfield don Easter bonnets, from Déjà vu in Ketchum. Express photo by Dana DuGan

But free flowing hair, an outdoorsy life style and a more permissive attitude vanquished the mighty millinery industry. Once worn by men to show deference, and women to convey emotion of various sorts (racy, coquettish, strong), decorative hats are back in style.

Since Easter is one of those delightful excuses to wear a chapeau, it’s time to open the closets and shake the dust off the old bonnets. And there’s something for everyone, from the very young to teens and adults.

When many of us think of Easter bonnets (with all the frills upon it), we naturally conjure up the 1948 movie "The Easter Parade." In this classic song and dance flick—also starring a tap dancing maniac Ann Miller—Judy Garland prances up Fifth Avenue making silly faces, while Fred Astaire follows behind her flummoxed as to why she is getting so much attention.

That parade has always been a wonderful springtime celebration of strolling in Easter finery. Outfits these days range from elegant to outrageous. Participants wear ensembles that are accented with everything from flowers, fruit and live animals to Civil War period costumes and the most au currant high fashions.

As they meander along, women in adorned hats render them a garden in motion.

A fetching Charlotte Currie models a teen friendly hat in her mother’s store, Room+Board.

Here in the Wood River Valley, we are more accustomed to the baseball cap, the knit skull cap, ski hat or Stetson. But fear not traditionalists and wacky head gear maniacs. There is hope.

There are of course, some rules of thumb to consider.

There is an old rule of no hats at dinner, but this applies only to men. Hats are appropriate when dining out, since women’s hats are considered accessories and therefore not expected to be removed.

For those extra sunny days, exposure to the sun can cause an increase in skin cancer and cataracts. Large brimmed hats protect your face and eyes.

Hats are good for hiding under, but bonnets will make you stand out these days. A women needing to make her mark will find wearing one of these confections makes her more memorable.

Even those who fear they cannot wear hats—their hair is too short, their face too round, their head too small—should try again. There are many styles to choose from these days, from cloche, pillbox and beret to the skimmer, toque and tam

Be careful of wind.

As for colors, sweet pastels suit Easter, but general spring styles call for a range of colors such as pink, fuchsia, strawberry, various shades of yellow, stripes, polka dots and greens that come in every variation from soft mint to Kelly green.

Easter parades and Easter bonnets need not be relegated to New York. Imagine ladies, their consorts and families moving as one from each of the churches, adorned in their finest, and meeting at Memory Park in Ketchum. Looking like a moving garden.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.