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hi·a·tus [hahy-ey-tuhs]
–noun, plural -tus·es, -tus.

1. a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.
2. a missing part; gap or lacuna: Scholars attempted to account for the hiatus in the medieval manuscript.
3. any gap or opening.

For the next season I’ll most likely keep ‘summer hours’; fewer posts while I attempt to make hay while the sun shines (sort of literally). In the meantime please enjoy this belated pattern in honor of Memorial Day and Fleet Week, the twice-yearly opportunity to scream ‘HEYYYYY SAIIILOOOR!’ on a crowded street without seeming like a complete nutjob.

Described as a ‘beach ensemble’, this 1934 outfit from Minerva manages to combine all the ridiculous fashions of the last few seasons: hats worn in inappropriate settings, rompers, ‘retro’-mania, too-short and too-long skirts, giant tassels, and to top it off, a giant pom-pom.

Actually the skirt’s not so bad, an appropriate tea-length nowhere near the silliness of this season’s ‘maxi’ length. Ladies, if you find a need to hold up the bottom of your outfit to avoid constantly tripping over it, it no longer meets the basic requirements of safety and has tipped over to the frippery of fashion. Then again, stripper heels (aka ‘platform heels’) are suddenly everywhere so we’ll probably see a lengthening of skirts and heightening of heels until we’re back in Italian Renaissance chopine territory. My, this section’s become an outlet for bitching cattily about fashion!

Honestly folks, wear whatever you want. If studying clothing throughout history has taught me anything it’s that every form of dangerous, ridiculous excess and exaggeration has been and will be tried, and this year’s model is no better or worse than what came 100 years before (except for maybe foot-binding, let’s not do that again).


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Ah, Easter. That delightfully confusing time when parents gloss over the potential question of what a giant rabbit and ovomania have to do with Jesus by plying their children with sweet, sweet sugar. Until the hippie revolution, Easter was also a time of Great Hats, with a venerable tradition of ridiculous haberdashery in the Easter Bonnet, a frivolous bit of headgear that welcomed in Spring with lighthearted silliness. Excellent examples can be seen below, tossing aside the dour seriousness of winter with increasingly goofy bonnets almost completely abstracted from the concept of ‘hat’ save for their placement upon the head:


(click to play)

In this tradition, here is a delightful pagoda hat, with or without tassels, sure to perch perkily upon your head with Deco charm:

Not coincidentally it sort of vaguely resembles DEVO’s famous engery dome, itself based upon a 1930s light fixture.

(yes it was an excuse to post this image.)
Happy Easter!

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Now I too know the heady swirl of God-like power the New York Times’ fashion section must feel when, sitting around their gold-and-mother-of-pearl-inlaid table sipping fine brandies, they pull a whim from the ether and foist it upon the world not just as reality, but necessity. Oh, how they must laugh thinking of the poor peon sent forth to photograph whatever random absurdity they declare ‘trend’, giggling as they bar them from reentry until 6-10 photos from the millions of New Yorkers out and about on a daily basis are captured reflecting their warped view.


Celebrities are wearing them!

They’re all over the runways!

They’ve infiltrated popular culture!

They’re on Etsy!


Lucky for poor you, I have not one but several be-pommed hats to work up quickly.

(This picture is infinitely more funny if you look at each individual girls’ expression and imagine her saying “Bitch, please.”)

Bitch, PLEASE.

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The 50s were a time as terrifying as they were optimistic. Science promised to unlock so many secrets of the human mind and universe around us, but that very same technology also threatened to blow us to smithereens and possibly put us in contact with dangerous alien life, who might also blow us to smithereens.

This strange dichotomy is discussed at length in ‘Death Makes A Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween‘ and ‘The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror‘, both by the entertaining David J. Skal. He explains this is the culture that’s responsible for both ‘Leave It To Beaver’ and Vampira, along with a plethora of robots good and evil.

I’m not quite sure how that relates to this week’s free pattern, but the tam’s ‘wings’ remind me of the fins on a Chrysler, a bold stylistic move loudly proclaiming ‘look at meeeee! I’m MODERN!’ and certainly something that took a large amount of confidence and optimism to perch upon one’s neatly coiffed hair.

The woman’s floating face also reminds me of ‘Cosmic Slop’, the film narrated by George Clinton’s flaming, disembodied head, but that is an entirely different tangent about why your parents should not leave movie night selections up to the former acid head in their group of friends.

The pattern comes from Beehive’s ‘Hats and Accessories’, a book chockablock with silly haberdashery. As can be seen my copy’s in fairly worn condition; I try and scan the most fragile books soonest to avoid manhandling them further.

Wing it here.

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Another Free Pattern Friday, another silly chapeau to add to the collection. Well, it’s not really that they’re ‘silly’, it’s just that we as a society have moved towards hatlessness, for good or ill. Unfortunately I can’t recall the B noir movie it’s from, but hats were once so integral to daily life that when a foiled robber ran out of a store, police cars were advised to be on the lookout for a ‘man without hat, repeat, man without hat‘.


Head coverings are staging a comeback, and I’ll gladly do my part to stop making it look like young ladies beat up grandpas and stole a souvenir. Enjoy!

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