Thursday, April 26, 2018

HATS OFF to HATS / Fashion Friday

Recently I read an article about  CHURCH HATS & it reminded me of my younger years.  When I was a little girl my mother sewed most of my clothes, and each year I looked forward to the Easter dress she would make for me.  But….my favorite thing about Easter was that I usually got a HAT to go with my new dress😊  Hats for church aren’t so popular these days (at least in my neck of the woods), but when I was growing up all the ladies in my church wore a hat almost every Sunday.  I remember one lady who wore the biggest hats, to the chagrin of anyone sitting behind her….and she somehow always sat in front of me! I also remember my mother wearing small hats with a veil that covered just the top half of her face.  I always wanted one of those, but Mama said I was too young for a veil.

The article got me to thinking about HATS & so (being the life-long learner I try to be) I did a little research.  It’s not really known how long hats have been in existence, but they probably began as a way to protect a person’s head & face from the elements.  Wearing hats became mandatory for women in the Middle Ages when they were required to wear one when attending church.  During the Edwardian Age in the early 1900s, hats became a fashion accessory, rather than a necessity. Most were rather small & sat on top of a pile of hair.            

From 1910 until WWI hats grew in size and were adorned with feathers & flowers.

When the war began hats again decreased in size.  It was considered unpatriotic to think too much about how you looked or that you had spent a lot of money on a hat!  And in the 1920s the cloche, a close-fitting hat, became popular.  I am the very proud owner of one of these that belonged to my Aunt Katy who died when she was quite young.  

Through the decades hats changed with the times and the styles.  During WWII they were even taxed at 33% as a luxury item!  Then the 1960s showed a real decline in the wearing of hats for any occasion.  Of course, none of us will forget the beautiful Jackie Kennedy with her pillbox hat during this time.

Although hats are not popular in all sections of society, one area where they are still very popular is with African American women and their beautiful CHURCH HATS.  During the days of slavery, Sunday was the one day black women could shed their drab working clothes & show their individuality & creativity by wearing hats adorned with ribbons, flowers, or other decorations.  They also saw their hats as a way to honor Bible scripture dealing with the belief that women should cover their heads when in church.  One article I read said that these ladies designed their hats to “catch God’s eye” in hopes He would answer their prayers. (bglh article said it was their way to honor God.  “The harder women worked to create the perfect hat, the harder they were working to show God just how seriously they took their Sunday church service.  After all, if you're going to worship God the right way, you need to look your most elegant!”  (  This tradition of wearing beautiful CHURCH HATS continues today as a cherished part of African American women’s culture, at least here in the South…and I am totally envious.  Such creations; such beauty!

A few years back a beautiful book entitled CROWNS: PORTRAITS OF BLACK WOMEN IN CHURCH HATS was written by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry.  

It has wonderful photographs and also some of the “rules” for the wearing of your CHURCH HAT.  I’m not sure all women abide by these rules, but they are interesting and fun to think about….

 “Don’t wear a CHURCH HAT that’s darker than your shoes.  Even if Mother Nature sends you six inches of snow for Easter and it feels like anything but Spring, this rule still applies!”

“Don’t wear a CHURCH HAT that’s wider than your shoulders.”

“Never let your feathers get ruffled.  If your feathers get bent or broken, it can be seen as disrespectful.”

“While the hat should be the focal point, it must not compete with the matching outfit, jewelry or accessories, such as pocketbooks and gloves.”

“Don't borrow CHURCH HATS.  If you want the respect and honor that these hats were built on, make sure yours comes from your very own closet.”

“Always have the right attitude.  Never forget the history behind these hats.  Wear your CHURCH HAT with pride and walk with your head held high.” 
It’s what Deirdre Guion calls "hattitude…there’s a little more strut in your carriage when you wear a nice hat. There’s something special about you."

Of course, another American tradition that dates from 1875 & calls for a hat is the KENTUCKY DERBY.  If I understand correctly, it’s a real fashion faux pas if you don’t wear a hat to this annual event.

I probably will never attend the Kentucky Derby, but if CHURCH HATS ever come back in style, maybe I’ll wear one of these….
I bought this at an antique store years that veil!

This belonged to my mother-in-law; I'm wearing it backwards!  Looks cuter that way:)

But definitely NOT one like this....

There are a lot of things from the “old days” that I don’t miss, but I would love to see CHURCH HATS  come back into vogue….even if the lady in front of me wears one that is so big I have to peak around her to see the preacher😊

The lovely pictures are courtesy of Pinterest & the internet.

Sunday, April 22, 2018


This post will probably not interest anyone (other than maybe family or a close friend)….so be forewarned!  When I started back writing my blog, I decided I wanted to use it at least partly as a journal so that one day my grandkids, as well as myself, could look back and see the memories we have made.  Therefore, this post will catch up my “journal” with some things that have been going on in our lives here in our neck of the woods.

*Mr. Chatter (my traveling-salesman husband) RETIRED at the end of 2017.  I was somewhat concerned about how I would adjust to his being home every night; after all, there were only a few nights per month when I didn’t have to cook and when I got to have control of the remote!  But we have adjusted!            

*Back in January we actually had a little tiny bit of SNOW!  That is a rare occurrence in our part of the country.

*Also in January we had a nice weekend visit with our niece, her husband, and little baby.  He is absolutely the happiest baby I’ve ever seen…smiles all the time!

*In Feb. Granddaughter M’s class did a WAX MUSEUM  presentation.  She was COCO CHANEL!  I helped her with part of her costume & she did a fabulous job.  This was right up her creative alley!😊
*Grandson R was on the middle school soccer team.
*In March we attended our annual WILD CHICKEN FESTIVAL.  It brings many people to our little town, and this year the weather for it was perfect.  Granddaughter M always likes to do this activity…she loves to tumble!

*Also that same week we attended an Aaron Tippin concert; we weren’t impressed.  I like some of his music but he talked more than he sang!  I didn’t spend that much money on a ticket for a music concert to hear someone talk!

*Granddaughter M had cheerleader tryouts and made it once again for both the football team and for competitive cheer.  I prayed all week!

*But the most important thing in March was that we celebrated Grandson R’s 15th birthday!  It seems almost impossible that the past 15 years have gone by this quickly! 

 Of course, he got his Learner's License and is enjoying “Driving Miss Cheri” every chance I give him!

*The month of March brought a LOT of wind….it came in like a lion and went out like a….lion!!!  What happened to that lamb???  We have continued to have lots of wind in April as well but it hasn’t kept us from working in the yards and doing our yearly spring planting.  Neither of us are great at gardening but we sure work at it hard!

*During Spring Holidays we took the kids to 
amusement park.  Sure glad I wore comfortable shoes that day!

So that’s what’s been going on in your little part of the world.  Time spent with family making memories is the best part of life!

Monday, April 16, 2018

CHECK This Out

I love me some gingham check…always have.  It’s one of those patterns that seems to pop up every spring and this year is no exception.  In fact, I think gingham is really “in” for 2018…or at least I sure have seen a lot of it in the stores and online.   And that makes me HAPPY HAPPY!  I really prefer winter clothes…love my sweaters, leggings, & boots…but I could probably wear gingham every day of spring & summer and be happy.

I did a little research and found out some interesting things about this type of fabric.  It seems that it was actually a “striped” fabric that originated in India and was eventually exported to England in the 17th century and later to colonial America.  The word “gingham” was first used in England in 1615, but it actually came from the Malaysian word genggang meaning ‘striped’.  (That’s probably more information than you wanted to know!)

Gingham is a woven cotton or linen cloth that has been described as “inexpensive to produce, easy to wash, durable and simple in design.”  It was interesting to learn that gingham actually has no right or wrong side due to something about the “warp” and the “weft” going against each other.  (Those of you into fabric may understand that but I don’t.)

Gingham is a lightweight, durable fabric that makes it perfect for our hot southern weather.  It has been known to be incorporated into simple kitchen aprons as well as Hollywood movies.  Remember Dorothy in THE WIZARD OF OZ?  Those red slippers were the perfect accessory for that blue gingham dress😊 

 For decades movie stars have sported gingham across the big screen….
Katherine Hepburn

Marilyn Monroe

And even the designer Ralph Lauren has used the simple gingham check in many of his preppy male fashions.  
My husband has this shirt & looks so handsome in it:) 

It was even sung about in a 1944 song My Heart’s Wrapped Up in Gingham.  (I bet that’s a catchy tune!) 

Of course, you can find the checked loveliness not only in clothes, but in shoes, purses, and household items from tablecloths to lamp shades.  If it’s gingham, I like it!

I was able to take off and do a little shopping one day this past week and some gingham found its way into my shopping bag.  I thought I would share my special finds with you. 

I bought these pants at Goody’s but you can find them now at TJMaxx (where they are a little cheaper less expensive).  I love pompoms too!  I just couldn’t resist these.
(Here is a link, but if you want them you better hurry…things online at TJM don’t always stay around for long.)

I got this top by Tommy Hilfiger at TJMaxx .  I don’t like to wear sleeveless too much these days but it will be cool in the hot July weather (and I plan to start using weights to help slim up my “batwings”!)  I couldn’t find this on line but I'm sure you could find something similar.      (I love TJMaxx...their prices are so reasonable...and no, I'm not being compensated by them.)

And these shoes!!!  I love ADORE shoes...add gingham to them, well my heart just flutters.  These are black & white & I got them at Belk…and they were on SALE!!!!  What more could I ask for?

I didn’t see these on line but here is another pair from Belk that may be even cuter!

I actually got these navy & white gingham ones a couple months ago at Stein Mart. 


In case you are as crazy about those cute little checks as I am, here are some other things I found online and REALLY like…

Here are more gingham check shoes from Talbots that I love, BUT….1.  they are much more expensive than the ones I already bought   and   2.  I probably don’t need anymore gingham shoes (although that fact has never stopped me when it comes to shoes!!!)

These are also from Talbot’s…loving the green!  (on sale right now)

                    If the shoe fits, buy it in every color!

I also like these a lot....cute and comfortable!  (Talbots)

And these  orange gingham loafers from TJMaxx also look comfortable and are reasonably priced.

Shorts from TJMaxx in black & white

A crossbody bag….again from TJMaxx
(Black & white is probably my favorite gingham combo…maybe that’s why I like crossword puzzles so much!)

 This is a cute scarf from Talbot's but I wouldn’t buy it because….1.  it’s too hot here in the summer to wrap your neck in a scarf   and   2.  it costs much more than I would pay for a scarf (yes, I’m cheap frugal).

 A cute cold-shoulder top from Belk

And this skirt (also from Belk) is sooo cute…although I don’t think it would look good on me

(I’m not compensated by Belk or TJMaxx…they are just the only two stores nearby!)

Yep!  I love me some gingham check, but some things can be taken a little too far!

How do you feel about gingham checks?