Costume Help: Head Attire

I’ve already created a web page with links to get help with your costume. Whether you are just wearing a simple period look for the evening or you want to dress like an authentic flapper girl. A lot of the links cover all the bases. Periodically I will post about some recent finds that I’ll be adding to the list of vendors.

The one thing that I will give Baz Lurhmann's version of The Great Gatsby, was the costumes were amazing, I mean JAW DROPPING AMAZING. I have replayed so many scenes just to see the details of Costume Designer  Catherine Martin's work. I've also been gone online to find  vendors who can help guests put together great looks like that in the movie. I found two designers who make wonderful headpieces. The first vendor is VintageHeadresses.com. These pieces are the real deal. Seriously right out of the Gatsby movie it self. The craftsmanship is amazing and yes the pricing is certainly the cost of a iPod ($150-$250), well worth the overall look.

If you wanted something more affordable, check out SterlingForever.com A lot of their pieces are not large and grand but still fitting of the 20s period look. Don’t worry if headpieces aren’t your style, the 30’s is your best bet. In the 30’s hats were more the looks but ladies in the 30’s had long pushed away from frilly-ness of the 20’s.

For the Gents, head attire is a little easier. Big in the 20’s was the Straw Boater hat, which is seen in so many films from that era as well as set in that era. I did find a great boater over Brooks Brother’s for a pretty nice price. While across the Atlantic, the aristocrats of England and France kept to the tradition of with the Bowler and the Fedora. The Bowler rage in America started in the 20’s thanks in part to Charlie Chaplin’s character The Tramp making it all the rage with his series of films from 1914 till 1931. City Lights was the last movie the Tramp wore the bowler. Chaplin forgo the hat in his last two films. I’ve always taken a liking to Evelyn Waugh’s green bowler fad in novel Vile Bodies.

The Fedora is one of my favorite hats from the period. This hat has certainly withstood the test of time. It dates back to 1891 and is still worn today, although sadly the favorite head attire these days across the globe is the baseball cap. I am guilty of this atrocity. The references for the Fedora are limitless, it even has travelled across the gender divide many times over the past 120+ years. The hat was designed as a less formal version of the Homburg which was designed by King Edward VII in the 1880’s. The homburg never really withstood the test of time. Too pompous. 

The Fedora’s style graced the world into modern times because of it’s simplicity and popular culture cultivated the simple hat into literature and film. Think Sam Spade or Indiana Jones. (Yes, I just dropped another great costume idea onto the Personality List, have to see if Clem wants to scoop up that awesome costume.) Oh, if you don’t know who Sam Spade is, shame on you!!!! One of the best websites to snatch your Fedora is actually zappos.com or check out stetson.com, they have been making fedora’s for over 100 years now.

Last but not least, there is the News Boy Cap. This hat also came to life in the 1800’s. The cap originally was designed for Newboy’s and young boys who went to work at an early age. By the 1900’s the cap moved into the wardrobes of older men. As the decades progressed the cap became synonyms in sports cultures, especially golf. Sadly today the newsboy cap has lost it’s luster. Although for some reason, wikipedia seems to think it’s still all the rage. Zappos has a great selection of newsboy hats.

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