Perhaps I should start with a quote from Mrs Cuppleditch herself.
This made me giggle! However I do think she is making an important point about hats. Sometimes what you adore is not what suits you and in the case of a hat this can make or break your look. I think it is very helpful to have a good hat trying on session with a friend, maybe in a department store (where there is a large selection of styles), so that you can see what suits you and get advice before shopping for lovely vintage hats. Do take a friend who isn't afraid to tell you when you look fabulous, but also, when you look a bugger (as my granny would say). I find my sister is particularly good at this.
Mrs Cuppleditch bought many of her hats from a Louth shop called The Hat Box.
This is such a lovely advert and if the shop was still there I would definitely be paying it a visit. The final sentence says it is 'situated in the shadow of the spire'. This refers to the spire of the church St. James which has the tallest church spire in England, fact fans! Here it is:
Here is some of The Hat Box's packaging. I think the fonts are gorgeous. Imagine buying your brand new hat and walking out of the shop with it wrapped wonderfully!
The hat on the left is a semi turban pill box in cream fur, tipped with natural ginger fur. It has a brown satin lining.
I think that this would make a fabulous wedding hat. It is a turban in cream rayon nylon decorated with two roses.
This beautiful hat is a half brim with dusky pink feathers.
Mrs Cuppleditch was quite a fan of fur hats and there are some beautiful looking ones in her collection.
This beret is made of buckram, pleated at the crown and covered with three brown velvet tubes. It has three mink tails as decoration and has a maroon taffeta lining.
This chocolate brown velvet hat would be so cosy in winter. It has nine strings coming off the crown, each ending in a tuft of mink. There is an extra tuft on the crown covering where the strings join.
A skull cap in coffee brown and rust fur with twelve mink tails around the crown. The centre of the hat has two velvet loops. The lining is salmon pink taffeta.
I really like this turban/scarf hat. It is made from purple fabric with a cream geometric pattern on it. I think the pleating is so pretty and I like the bow on the back. It is lined in cream fabric.
I have included two views of this hat as I think it's construction is really interesting. I like the variations in colour alongside the pleats, it looks so pretty.
This is another turban style hat in colours ranging from purples to rusts.
Here are three views of this hat, it is another that I really like. It is a pleated beret in cream/mushroom nylon with a ribbon inset. It is by Mitzi Boutique. I like the pleating in the fabric and the cascade at the back.
I like the massive raspberry bow on this.
Another swimming cap type hat. A back of head pull on with turquoise and white flowers, covered in netting.
A navy beret with large cream flowers.
A beret in French navy dense weave satin/rayon with polka dot veiling. This is pretty and subtle, it is lovely.
A beret in deep grape felt with a brown leather trim in two pieces, edged in mink. I think that this is a gorgeous hat, simple and very effective.
A coral pink pill box with all over flowers and netting. Swimming caps strike again!
I love this one. A beret with soft smoky blue feathers and undyed pheasant feathers. It cost £13.95 in the 1970's, so quite expensive.
The tassel makes this look like a sleeping cap to me! It is a maroon velvet beret.
A pill box in maroon cotton velvet with maroon feathers.
Quite a strange creation! A pill box in daffodil yellow net with fabric flowers.
This is a turban like hat in a coral pink with lots of pleats and some netting. This is the last one of Mrs Cuppleditch's hats that I took a photograph of. I think I got nearly all of them, I just missed a few that were awkward to get a good shot of. I am quite amazed that this is just one woman's hat collection but I am pleased that Mrs Cuppleditch was so partial to a hat and was so careful to keep them all and keep them in such good condition.
The museum also had some hats on display in the exhibition that were from the same era and on loan from members of the general public.
What a statement hat! It is like wearing a large halo.
The most exciting part for me was this next very special hat.
This is my mum's cream straw hat which she wore on her wedding day in 1973. The trend at the time was for a hat with a veil and Mum bought her hat from Marshall and Snelgrove in Oxford Street, London. She made her own dress which can be seen in this next picture.
Mum also lent the museum the hat that her mum wore on that day. It was bought from one of two shops, one of which was The Hat Box in Louth. You can see it in the picture below. Somehow I didn't manage to take a picture of it at the exhibition, an omission I am really annoyed about!
It was fabulous to see Mum's and Grandma's hats there, to see a piece of our family history fit in with a fashion narrative of the 1970's.