1940’s Hat Restyle

posted in: Craftiness, Thrifted Treasures | 4

I’ve been waiting to show you this project for a long time and I finally got my hair to work out long enough (thanks to a sideways clipped bang extension) to take a decent photo of my finished hat (above) so that I could complete the post. I’m not entirely sure what you would call this style of hat exactly. I know that it resembles a “halo hat”, but a true halo hat has a band almost like a huge beret, so that’s not it. I’m going to go with “1940’s large brim hat”. I became inspired to try this out when I was at the thrift store a couple of weeks ago and saw a hat partially sticking out from under one of the racks. It was covered in dust and looked like it had been kicked all around the store before it ran and hid under some hanging sweaters.

With only part of it showing, it looked a lot like one of the 1940’s large brim hats that I see in old movies or in photos from that era like those in the images above. It also reminded me of the turquoise and black velvet version of one of these hats that I bought several years ago which you can gaze upon below. I have a small collection of hats, but only one brown one, and that’s a pill box. I thought a brown hat in this style (because the hat I saw was brown felt) would be a perfect addition to the pile. When I picked it up and saw that it was $2.50, its fate was sealed and into the cart it went.

The biggest mystery of a hat to me is how they shape the form. I can decorate a hat 20 ways to Sunday, but the actual construction secrets have always eluded me. Being able to start with an already constructed base and transforming it into what I want ended up being so easy that anyone can do it! The hat I used here was a J. Lo style floppy wool hat.

Below is a gallery with photos of the restyling process that are accompanied by instructions, which will help you form the basic “frame” of the hat. What you do to customize the hat is up to you and really, the sky is the limit. I covered mine with brown velvet (which was the leftover hem from an old pair of IKEA drapes) and made a band with a side scrunch (which was a leftover strip of wool from and old suit that I tore apart many moons ago.) I would estimate that the entire thing cost me under $4, and that was just because of the spray adhesive I used when covering it.

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4 Responses

  1. Brilliant! I’ve been eying some of these floppy hats at the “trendy” stores at the mall, and musing that I probably could remake one into that 40s wide brim felt hat I’ve always wanted! ;) Now I know how! hehe. Though I like your idea of using a thrift store hat the best… will have to keep my eyes peeled. ;) Thanks for sharing this!
    Casey recently posted..weekly inspirationMy Profile

    • You should be seeing some of them around because they have been consistantly popular for the last several summers, although I’ve never seen anyone wearing them in person. They always have loads of them at Target, which means they will end up at a thrift store soon, with as much merchandise as Target donates to Salvo’s and GW. I actually also have a dark red one that I purchased at Thrift Store USA in Norfolk (my favorite Norfolk thrift store) for about $4 I just keep that one around in case I ever decide to go out side one day, LOL. Both of my hats were new with tags from Target originally.

  2. Wow, this is a great tutorial! Thank you for taking pictures of your process. Now to find a floppy hat at the thrift store!

    • Glad you liked it! I’m sorry the photos aren’t better, but I am not a great photographer to start with, and the rental house we live in gets very little natural light for some reason.

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