Mary Jane surrounded by vintage hats (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, c.1979)
I bemoan the loss of the hat as a vital summer fashion accessory. I know we still pull out warm, woollen things for autumn and winter, but spring and summer hats too often lay neglected, except for occasional, spectacle-style events (see Kentucky Derbies and Royal Weddings). I cannot say enough lovely things about modern milliners, but they are few and far between, and so many gorgeous vintage hats are still floating around in the world, waiting to be shown off. Aside from the beauty and whimsy of so many vintage hats, they also serve some important functions in a UV-saturated world: safeguarding the scalp from sun damage, shielding the face (broad-brimmed hats protect at the level of SPF 5), protecting delicate eyes from light damage, and keeping cool.