This is one of my favourite times of year for charity shop rummaging. And it’s all down to hats.
Charity shops are a rich source of cool hats and you can usually pick them up for less than a fiver. Which means you can grab a whole winter’s worth for a very small sum, saving yourself a fortune on sartorially satisfying headgear.
Hats come in many sizes and I spent years being frustrated, often finding beautiful ones only to find they were too big. My head’s quite small so I was chuffed to bits when I eventually realised that you can put a couple of small stitches inside of the rim to make the opening smaller. Excellent!
My best find this year is a lovely green tweedy hat with a brown ribbon and bow. I added three silk flowers, which came with ready-made clips on the back (although it’s easy enough to sew the flowers on. I loved it so much I wore it for our wedding a couple of weeks ago, taking two of the flowers off afterwards for everyday wear.
Here’s a list of stuff you can fix to charity shop hats and create something uniquely funky:
- pearl, crystal, glass and plastic beads – you can also sew beads to a length of velvet ribbon for a spectacularly pretty effect
- upholstery and curtain trims
- ready-made embroidered and sequinned patches, some of which are iron-on
- silk flowers, berries and leaves
- lengths of fabric, rope, chain, plaited string, felt, wool, embroidery silks, suede or leather
- feathers and faux fur
- animal skulls (weird but fab – see Eaton Nott’s strange, weird and wonderful Brighton shop for inspiration!)
- vintage and modern costume jewellery – earrings, necklaces, brooches
- badges: enamel and metal, old and new
- stick-on ‘jewels’
I keep a notebook by the bed in case a bright idea wakes me up. It happens all the time. Last night’s was about shoes. This morning I clipped a couple of silk flowers to my new shoes and I love the effect. Here they are.