It's a season of hats in New York City, this and every spring in the last few years (since the street fedora became trendy with the hipster set), but this spring, I notice it more for some reason. Perhaps it's because I've got the camera out and am snapping all the hats I see.
The small fedoras have the most urban appearance to me, but the larger brim hats do a better job at sun protection...and they're just so much more varied, colorful, individual and clearly seasonal.
I have two favorite milliners (love that word, just brings you right back to "Hello, Dolly," "My Fair Lady," Ascot and the Kentucky Derby, doesn't it?). Luckily, New York has a few very good shops. The best have the hat designers on premises, happy and proud to fit the customer with just the right design in just the right size. I love the tiny boutiques of Lisa Shaub and Barbara Feinman. Both shops are downtown (Nolita and the East Village, respectively) and both are owned and run by their amazing designers, who have helped me select mes chapeaux for every season. As a matter of fact, when I was in Barbara Feinman earlier this spring, two tall blonds had just purchased about half the store for the Kentucky Derby; it was such fun watching them try on all those huge hats I'd love to buy but would think I'd never have any possible reason to wear. But I do love hat shopping, maybe even more than hat wearing (they always seem to look so much better on everyone else)!