Today there are no millineries in Thunder Bay, although there are a few individual crafters who make hats. Hat wearing declined dramatically in the 1960s as hats became seen as establishment: hair increasingly became the symbol of freedom. [note: of course, many of us still wear hats in the winter due to necessity. E.g. Sunday when I went for my morning walk, the temperature was -25C with windchill of -38C, and today I heard on the radio that Ignace, a small town north of us has -49C windchill! So a hat is a must in winter; here I am talking about women wearing hats all year round, spring, summer, fall and winter.]
Hats look best when hair is sweep off your face, tucked smoothly behind your ears -- in other words, controlled. Having not been of the generation of year round hat-wearing, I had to look up on the Internet how best to wear a hat. Kuinka hattua pidetään? I found out that there are a lot of "do's and don'ts" to their aesthetic. Pienet kasvot? If your face is small, wear a small hat. Leviät posket? If your face is wide, wear a wide brim. Wearing a pillbox with a tailored suit or a cocktail dress? Best worn with an updo.
“Give me a head of hair, HAIR! long beautiful hair,
shinin’, gleamin’ streamin’ flaxen waxen.
Give me down to there HAIR! shoulder length or longer,
here baby, there momma, everywhere, daddy, daddy,
Hair, hair hair hair hair….
Grow it! Show it! Long as I can grow it my hair….”
I remember there was a local production of the musical Hair here in Port Arthur; as I recall, it was staged at the Theatre at Lakehead University and the lobby was overflowing, jam-packed with hippie-child wannabes like me. I think I used fake I.D. to get in because you had to be of age to watch this show as in its original version it had swearing and nudity and references to drugs and other counterculture anti-establishment scaries.
For sure that night I wore my black-and-white striped hipster stove pipes with the black macramé belt I bought at Black Squirrel at Country Fair Plaza and my cropped pink bubble top.