Cheering up winter hats

I’m pretty sure I don’t suit hats. I have countless photos of me – particularly sa child when I was obviously so delighted with my hat (usually a cowboy hat) and thought I looked so cool, whereas in fact even for a child I looked ridiculous. Then there was the time when the family were going to a wedding and I was living away from home and I bought an outfit and a hat, and I was so disappointed when I arrived and my dad joked i looked like a cowboy (even though a dozen years previously in my actual cowboy hat I would have loved to have been told that.) I’m sure my mum would have said something kind and complimentary, not so sure about my sister – you know what sisters are like, and she was very fashionable and trendy – as we would have said at the time.

Just recently, out with friends visiting Coleridge’s cottage in Nether Stowey, we found a dressing up box for children, and I immediately put on a pirate hat – and do you know, it actually suited me! And now I looked cool (well, after a fashion) however I don’t think I am going to get one, I think that would be just too far down the eccentric writer line. However, if I did have a hat, and I needed to spruce it up, lovely Ruth Drew has some advice:

Cheering up winter hats – A felt hat’s better for the inevitable good brushing, and better still, if you hold it in the steam from a boiling kettle. Treat the crown first, turning the hat slowly in the steam. Then give it a second brushing – with the nap, of course, and with a smoothing sweep. Now do the brim in the same way, first steaming, then brushing. The trick here is to avoid getting the felt too wet, If you over-steam and make it sodden, there may be trouble with shrinkage.

It sounds easier than it probably is, and I bet I would have trouble with shrinkage!

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