Thursday, May 15, 2014


Are hats in?

Every Spring as I open the box of clothing that I have't seen since August, the so-called Summer Collection by which I mean two skirts, one voluminous and one pencil (I swear by the gods, grit and determination and mineral oil, I will fit into), some t-shirts and a hat.

It's a fedora-style made of straw and dyed blue and with a blue and white grosgrain band. It's adorable! It's just the ticket for pulling together a thing that elusive thing called An Outfit! Outfits are for other people.

My clothes are more of a to-cover-the-nakedness dimly lit crack-of-dawn grab. You can do better than this, my mother encourages me, always pulled together by button-downs and pearls. How about a bracelet? A collared shirt in a color that brightens the exhausted motherhood wan of your skin? How about that adorable hat? she says, nudging me toward it like the calm kindly horse who runs alongside a jittery thoroughbred.  (I had to throw in that horse racing metaphor because, here in Baltimore, its Preakness week. And I was down on the Pimlico rail yesterday. It is my May religion.)

My mother's a fashion plate who doesn't give a fig if hats are in. They're in for her. She makes a point of being seen in the shade of the summer wearing a large straw sunhat with a emphatic bow black bow.