Vintage Hat Shopping

This weekend was a shopping weekend! We have lots of lovely antique stores in our area, and I’ve found that some of them carry vintage apparel. Bless Pennsylvania and its many, many antique stores- we were very lucky!

1940’s Halo Hat

First up is this 1940’s halo-style hat. I can’t stress enough how enormous this thing is and I love it! It’s in remarkable condition because it’s made of a kind of plastic woven material. I thought this would look fabulous with a spring or summer dress.

1940’s KMF Wool Hat

This is a really close-fitting wool hat. It didn’t look like much on the rack, but after trying it on I thought that it was really sharp. It has a very business-y vibe that I thought could work with a day dress.

1950’s Pillbox Hat

What could be better than a little black hat? The velvet ribbon needs a some love, but otherwise this hat is also in great condition! The detailing is very glamorous, but also low-key. I think this would look amazing with an all-black outfit; maybe something with a spider theme?

1940’s Maroon Wool Felt Hat

This hat is something my mom fell in love with right away. We jokingly started calling it the millionaire’s wife hat because it has so much of a presence. This is the hat that we’re going to base her outfit on for this year’s Mid-Atlantic Air Museum WWII Weekend!

1940’s French Hat

This is a very close-fitting velvet hat that is so beautiful. It has two little petals that form a heart shape over my face and I love it! It also has a feather at the top, which is rather hard to see. I’m planning to pair this one with a mustard yellow dress that I have planned!

1950’s Red Shell Hat

This hat is also made of a velvet material with little floral-y bauble details. I haven’t done much with 1950’s vintage yet so I’m excited to make something to pair with this! Red is a very bold color and I haven’t done anything as striking before.

1930’s Black Horsehair Hat

This one was such a fabulous find. I knew I wanted a black horsehair hat to go with my butterfly dress, but I never thought I’d find something so lovely! It’s in pretty good shape, considering the age. The structure is still there (if in need of a little care). I think I’m definitely going to replace the ribbon, but I’m going to try to get it as close to the shape it currently has as I can.

BONUS: 1960’s/1970’s Dress:

This dress was a totally unexpected find! I saw it in the back of a closet of one of the antique stores we went to and I fell in love with it. I wasn’t sure if it would fit me or not so it was a risky buy. However, when I got home it fit just fine. If only it were warmer than single digits right now!

1930’s Butterfly Dress

This dress started as all good things do- with a clearance haul!


One of my local Joann’s moved locations last year and I bought many yards of beautiful fabric without a plan (which usually means they sit in my closet). However, I really have a thing for insects in fashion and I thought this would make an excellent fall dress.

Having decided this, I looked around for a pattern that would showcase the print well and also fit the 1930’s. I thought it would be passable as a 1930’s print- not really authentic, but it would fit in with other floral chiffons of the decade.


I ended up choosing a McCalls 7023 Reproduction pattern from LadyMarlowePatterns on Etsy.

I love the graceful skirts of the 30’s, especially those angled seams at the back.


However, starting this project I quickly realized that I was going to be VERY tight on fabric. I cut out the most essential pieces first, prioritizing the skirt portions. I was able to get 90% of the dress out of my original chiffon and the rest of the wrap portion came out of the rust colored fabric that I had gotten as well.


When I’m sewing there’s a period that I refer to as the “ugly phase”. Usually this is when I’m unhappy with how a project is going and it usually hits in the 80-90% finished phase. This particular dress spent a LOT of time in the ugly phase. So much so that I actually put it down for about a month. Once I’d had a sufficient break, I returned to it and decided that the rust portion was really not working. It had far too stiff a drape and it looked almost 1980’s with the way the wrap stuck off of my shoulders.

So I scrapped the wrap completely and made some sleeves and a belt out of the scraps I had. I also added some cute little pom poms to the front out of the remaining material. Now I love it!


I got the idea for the changes by browsing some vintage 30’s dresses on etsy. I found one that I felt I could replicate with the fabric I had left. (I believe it also had chiffon rosettes on the front)

I’m very happy with how this dress turned out and I have a lot of motivation to find myself a hat that I can wear with this ensemble!

I may also put together a tutorial for styling long hair into a 1930’s style. I struggled to find one for myself so I had to improvise!