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Borsalino Hats: Only the Best!

August 1st, 2013 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Hats in the News, Men's Hats

We sell many different types of hats from multiple different brands. Each brand has their own style and methods to making their hats, but one brand stands out: Borsalino. Borsalino hats are men’s hats that are of the highest quality because they are made by hand. When you look to buy a hat, what do you look for? Comfort, style, and durability come to mind. You want your hat to look nice, feel nice, and last as long as possible. Some hats look nice, but are uncomfortable in sizing, shape, and overall material. Others feel nice but lack that extra fashion sense. The only way you can achieve all 3 is through the method used to make the hat. That’s where Borsalino dominates!

Borsalino Hats - Manufacturing Process

Borsalino hats are made by hand over a course of 7 weeks. In these 7 weeks, they go through a long process filled with machines and hand-working specialists. It’s the hand-work that makes them stand out in front all the rest. In order to ensure their hats are high-quality, they inspect them at every step of the process for quality. Borsalino hats are made from rabbit fur and are inspected as soon as the hood is made. If the quality does not meet their standards, it is discarded permanently and re-done from scratch.

Borsalino Hats Varieties

We sell Borsalino hats of many different varieties and styles. There is a hat for every occasion, vacation, or just for a night on the town. Find the one that matches your personality and occasion! Here are some examples:

The Borsalino Antony hat is a hand-made straw, fedora-style hat. The brim can be snapped up or down depending on how formal you want to appear. The quality and overall build of the hat will give you a nice surprise when you’re wearing it!

The Borsalino Compania II is another fedora-styled hat that is made exclusive Hats in the Belfry. This exclusive hat has a soft fur felt material that is smooth to the touch and is naturally water-resistant. Because it can be rolled up, it is easy to put in your travel bag or any other location for easy storage until you’re ready to wear it.

This Borsalino hat, known as the Borsalino Avventuriero, is our Panama straw safari hat. It’s perfect for traveling in the hot sun and is supposed to change color slightly when in the sun due to the hand-woven Panama straw.

The Borsalino Bruno is a casual blend of cashmere and wool giving it a nice, fresh, clean look. This classic newsboy cap has a single snap front peak and a smooth satin interior lining. This lining, along with the grosgrain sweatband give you a nice comfortable hat that is covered is stitched to the detail all around.

Finally we have the Borsalino Matri, which is a blend of wool and linen materials. Its subtle denim design across the top and 3-point back will give you a true high-quality Ivy cap fashion style, without the bold colorful plaid designs. This hat is currently on sale for $25 off (Web purchases only)!

More Borsalino Products

For more Borsalino products visit our Men’s Borsalino Hats page. We have more of these high-quality, hand-made hats as well as scarves.

If you want to learn more about Borsalino’s process and company, visit their Hand Made page.

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7 Famous Movie Hats

July 17th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News

Hollywood puts out thousands of movies each year, each with different plots, characters, and settings. Some movies take off without a hitch and make millions of dollars on the opening night! These famous movies often have characters that wear some stylish hats that really make their character who they are. Some of these hats are so iconic that you can buy their famous hats online and in stores! Instead of listing all of the hats, we’ll cover 10 of these famous hats that you may recognize.indiana-jones-5512

  1. Indiana Jones – Indiana Jones, the epitome of adventure, wears the famous fedora. He wears his hat through all of his adventures, whether he’s in high-speed car chases, swinging across seemingly-endless chasms, or in an intense gun fight. Without his famous fedora hat, he’s just another adventurer.
  2. Walter White – Walter White, the main character from AMC’s Breaking Bad, is found with his pork pie hat. Throughout the series, Walter grows to be more of a drug kingpin, where he gains more confidence and power. When he grabs his hat you know he has a plan and he means business. When he wears his hat it is meant to symbolize him as his alias “Heisenberg”, and represents the fear he strikes in others, the confidence he gains, and the intimidation he uses to his advantage.
  3. John T. Chance – John Wayne plays the Westerner Sheriff Chance, who keeps the peace in Presidio County in the movie Rio Bravo. Wayne plays this iconic character who wears an old fashioned cowboy hat. Chance represented pure masculinity, and his hat was right along with him. His hat never left his head throughout the movie, and many other John Wayne movies to follow. Chance kept his calm voice, while still beating people to the ground.
  4. Dr. Seuss – Dr. Seuss was an iconic figure in the children’s book industry and was impossible to picture without his red and white hat. Seuss’ books used a unique poetic meter that attracted a lot of publicity and attention to his books, while of course giving us a good laugh in the process. Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat is arguably his most famous work and could never be depicted without the famous hat. The hat was part of the reason it was so humorous.
  5. Ellen “The Lady” – Sharon Stone plays as Ellen “The Lady” in The Quick and the Dead. Throughout this movie Ellen was a dangerous gunslinger with some of the quickest draws you’ll ever see. She wears her own cowboy hat which stays with her throughout the movie until she gets revenge on Herod. This hat stands as a perfect symbol for women’s strength and courage…men aren’t the only people who get the famous hats here!
  6. Willy Wonka – Willy Wonka is one of the most popular movies from the 70’s, with a fairly recent 2005 remake. In every scene Wonka wore a purple top hat that was always easy to spot and kept the other characters attention at all times. Even though he was a bit strange, he kept a leadership position throughout the movie.
  7. Dumbledore – Dumbledore was one of the key characters from the Harry Potter series. He was always wearing his tassel hat, a common wizardry hat. Dumbledore was idolized as a powerful wizard that would fight the dangers of the world with the help of his accomplices.

When you think of your favorite movie character, it’s difficult to picture them in any other way than what they played in that movie. In many cases, such as those listed above, they are automatically associated with a particular hat as well. Hats are for keeping up an appearance, dressing up, and sometimes to give confidence; however, this is not how we view them on most people. You may never see someone without a particular hat on, which eventually makes the hat a part of them. In Hollywood, hats are used not just as an article of clothing, but also a part of the person. The choice of hats is crucial in building characters and the setting of a movie or scene. Need more proof? Try picturing your favorite hat-wearer in your favorite scene, but this time without a hat! It’s not easy.

Hats In The Belfry offers most of the hats listed above, if not something very close to it. Browse our hat selection and see if you can find your favorite movie hat!

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The Fedora: A Fashion Statement

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Every generation has its own unique sense of style, and in recent years, there hasn’t been a larger fashion statement then fedoras. These simple hats have made quite a stir in the fashion industry. We, the consumers, see celebrities wearing fedoras all the time, and this once thought formal masculine head wear has been transformed into a very unique item of any wardrobe.

Fedora hats were born in the late 1800’s, as a fashion accessory to depict the upper class. The fedoras popularity soared as it was prominently featured throughout 1940’s cinema as it adorned the heads of movie’s most famous detectives and gangsters. The fedora is still continuing to grow in popularity as a greater variety of styles are introduced, allowing for a plethora of options for selecting that perfect outfit.

The fedora represents the sheer elegance of class, style, and sophistication, and as the fedora became a unisex fashion, men and women can enjoy it at the same time. Whether you are looking for a light summer hat, a dress hat, or a casual hat, there are several tips that both men and women should take into consideration before selecting and wearing a fedora.

  • Plan out when you’ll wear it. Fedoras used to be strictly formal head wear for men, but recent style trends dictate that both men and women can wear them with formal or casual attire. The same fedora may work for both looks, but if you intend to use it for multiple outfits, keep that in mind when you go shopping. Also, decide whether you will wear the fedora as a summer hat or a more formal dress hat – or you can just get one for every occasion!
  • Pick a color and material. The setting and clothes you wear determine the type of fedora most appropriate.
  • For daytime and summer settings, a straw fedora would be the best option because it is a lighter material and allows the breeze through.
  • For evening or colder settings, a dark felt or twill fedora would best suit your needs.
  • If you plan on wearing your fedora with a suit, make sure you match the color of the hat to the color of the suit. If you tend to wear black or gray suits, choose a black or gray fedora. Similarly, if you wear brown suits, stick with a brown fedora.
  • Choose a proper fit. The hat should fit snugly, but not so snugly that it leaves a red mark on your skin. Remember, a properly fitted hat should rest approximately a finger’s width above your eyebrows and ears.
  • Keep the back brim of your fedora tilted up. The front brim can either be tilted up or left straight.

If you are looking for something to freshen up your wardrobe, a fedora hat might be just the thing for you, and here at Hats in the Belfry, we offer many varieties of fedoras for men and women.

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Panama Hats For Dummies

January 14th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News, Men's Hats, Spring & Summer Hats

When is a Panama hat a Panama hat?

The story of Panama straw hats dates back all the way to President Theodore
Roosevelt’s trip to Panama at the turn of the 20th century, or at least that is
how they were named. It is because of his visit that these hats were named
“Panama” hats, although the bodies are actually woven from Ecuador. Regardless
of where the hat originated, or where the name came from (there
is a ton of history about the Panama hat online
), the word Panama is perhaps
one of the most popular used phrases in our shops and online today.
We consistently have customers coming in and asking specifically for a “panama
hat”. The term Panama is often used to describe what could be any generic straw
hat on the shelves. We always try to inform and educate the customer on what
exactly a Panama hat is. This fall we actually saw a cheaply made felt hat that
was named “Felt Panama Hat” on the Banana Republic website. While we are a fan
of the brand and love the clothes, this simply isn’t what the hat is. Our hunch
is that the vast majority of their customers will inevitably think they are
buying a Panama hat from them though.

These are some of the things we have learned throughout our 35 years in retail
about Panama hats. We hope this helps you find the right Panama.

1. A Panama isn’t just a straw hat. It is specific to Ecuador, and has a very
specific weave to it. There is a grading system to Panama hats, but it is very
subjective. People will say just about anything to make you think it is a fine
Panama (even if it isn’t). Disregard the grading system and look for quality of
weave instead.

2. Most Panama hats have an official seal of Ecuador burned into the interior of the
body, but this can be very hard to read if the body has been bleached or dyed
after the mark was made. It is possible to be a Panama and not see the mark on
the inside of the hat, although we have never seen this mark on a hat that isn’t
a Panama.

Official Panama Seal

3. Panama hats have a very distinctive weave pattern. This weave pattern starts
at the top of the crown and then weaves outward in a circular pattern. The
better quality Panamas have thinner fibers and a tighter weave patterns. This
takes longer to produce, but also gives the hat a softer more pliable feel. Some
of the highest quality Panama hats often feel like cloth.

Panama Circular Weave

4. Panamas can come in just about every color, pattern and shape. The one thing to note about the material is that it is very organic and natural in appearance and generally smooth. Other straws and summer hats are made from paper, hemp, coconut, seagrass, raffia and synthetic materials. These other hats can still be very high quality weaves and expensive, but that still doesn’t make them a Panama. Panama is made from the Toquilla straw plant.

Dyed and Vented Panama

5. Panama hats are wooven in Ecuador, but can be blocked and finished just
about anywhere. This is also the case for other materials like Harris Tweed.
Just because it states that the hat was made in the U.S.A. or Italy doesn’t mean
it isn’t a Panama. It just means that the straws bodies were shipped to other
countries for the production and finishing.

Panama Hat Made in the U.S.A.

6. In many cases we have seen that Panama hats finished in countries outside
of Ecuador are of better quality. Why? Because these manufacturers in outside
countries are simply better hat makers and have better quality control
standards. The artists and craftspeople that weave these Panama fibers usually
don’t have anything to do with making the actual hats.

7. Yes, there is such a thing as a Montecristi hat, but be very careful
before buying one and ask as many questions as possible before buying it.
Montecristi hats are made from a specific region in Ecuador, but more
importantly they are the finest quality Panamas available. These hats have very
fine fibers and are woven super tight. In some cases it can take one of these
expert weavers up to a year to make the Montecristi body. That’s a lot of time!

8. Panamas don’t last forever. They are in fact organic material that will
dry out and crack over the long run. Some people can get years out of a Panama
hat if they know how to handle it. Don’t grab or pick the hat up by the crown or
the pinch (top of the hat). Almost all cracking comes from this. Instead pick
the hat up and hold the hat by the brim. Not pinching the crown will ensure you
get the maximum life out of the hat.

Panama Cracked Crown

9. Expect to pay more for a good Panama hat. Each hat is a one of a kind. We
have heard that 1 out of every 2 Montecristi’s woven are scrapped before
becoming a fine quality hat. This is because they are just so hard to weave. The
length of time it takes to weave a Panama compounded with the relatively small
amount of people weaving them makes it a very specialty item. In Panama as with
everything, you get what you pay for.

10. The amount of Panama bodies available in the market today is much less
than there were ten years ago. This is a highly trained skill that just isn’t
being taught to the younger generations. While there are younger weavers, the
amount of them are shrinking and the seasoned weavers are getting old and
retiring. Panama’s (particularly the finer ones) will likely continue to become
harder and harder to find over the decades.

PS – I have yet to find a Panama with a “Made in China” label in it. Not that
it will never happen, but the cost to transport the bodies to, and the quality
of hats being produced probably make it cost prohibitive. We’ll update this if
we ever do see a Panama hat blocked or finished in China.

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Fall Hats Are Here!

September 12th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Hats in the News

My favorite time of year has arrived, the season switch over. It is out with the straw and in with the tweed, houndstooth and wool. I just love when our new styles start rolling in and I can start planning my fall wardrobe around my most important accessory, my hat!

Expect innovative looks for the ladies this season, like the San Diego Winter Rose Houndstooth Fedora.  Keep it classic with the Betmar Margot Classic Wool Cloche with the heathered flower. Go casual with the Belfry Street Firenze knit Fisherman Cap.

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Men’s styles are classic shapes made with unique materials, like the Belfry Gerald Woolrich Tweed Fedora. If you are a porkpie lover, like I am, the Belfry Street Fosters Wool Porkpie in grey is a great look for fall. A transitional hat, the Belfry Street Bodie, is perfect to take you from summer to fall.

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This is a small sample of the fall styles coming to a Hats in the Belfry near you and online at www.hatsinthebelfry.com. -Shannon

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End of Summer Style

With summer winding down, many celebrities have been spotted sporting their summer hat styles at the beach, out shopping and enjoying some family time. And why shouldn’t they? With just a few weeks left until the back to school, fall holidays chaos begins, we should all be taking a cue and indulging in some final R&R before the hustle and bustle commences.

Katie Holmes took daughter Suri on a shopping trip in L.A. sporting a straw fedora similar to the Belfry Goon style on sale from $38.00 to $24.00

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Jennifer Anniston went on a Hawaiian getaway with beau Justin Theroux. Justin’s pub cap is the perfect style to wear summer to fall. Our Belfry Biltmore Cap just $25.00 down from $44.00 is a great style to get you through the next two seasons.

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Sandra Bullock enjoyed a movie with her little one. Her straw fedora is great to keep out the sun on these hot summer days. We suggest the Belfry Bogart light summer straw $25.00 down from $38.00.

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Brittany Spears took her family to Long Island beach this week. We like her straw hat, perfect for the beach…but we’re not too sure about the rest of the outfit. You can make the Belfry Natural Ocean hat on sale from $38.00 to $30.00, look much better with a regular beach bathing suit and cover up.

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There are still a few weeks of fun in the sun, so take advantage of the End of Season Sale at hatsinthebelfry.com and enjoy the end of summer with your loved ones!

(Photos from peoplemagazine.com)

-Shannon

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Street Style Around the World

Whenever I see a person on the street wearing a great hat, I stop and tell them so. I am sure many of you hat wearers experience this on a regular basis. But did you know that there is a whole crop of websites dedicated to stopping stylish people on the street? Well, there is! Just about every major city has a website dedicated to photographing people with great style. From Helsinki, Finland to Copenhagen, Denmark to Barcelona Spain and back to the U.S. stylish people are being photographed and featured wearing great hats.

Dam Style is a street photography blog from Amsterdam. We see very similar hat trends on the streets of the United States. Guys are wearing snap brim fedoras and gals are wearing cloche hats.

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In Barcelona, Spain expect to see the classic snap brim fedoras and big brims to block the sun. The website Spain Street Style is a great place to spot the super fashionable and the casual traveler.

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The Locals is a street style blog from Copenhagen, Denmark. They are in their summer months, but the high temperature is about 70 degrees, so expect warmer headwear. Knit hats in bright colors and floppy styles.

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The street style found on Hel-Looks in Helsinki, Finland can range from wild to wilder even though their hat trends are very similar to those in the States. Classic driving caps, snap brim fedoras and fascinators can be found on even the most unique fashionista.

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Back stateside, in San Francisco, the floppy style with great sun coverage can be found on one of the most photographed street stylistas who is pictured every season on the blog THESFStyle.

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New York based style blogs like The Sartorialist picture street stylers from New York, L.A., Paris, Milan and more. In L.A. we see mini bikinis and trendy fedoras. In New York, they keep on trend with the trendy floppy fedora but skips the bikinis.

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From this display of hat style all over the world, it is safe to say that hats as a fashion accessory are here to stay. It doesn’t matter where you live, if you are wearing a great hat, you have a serious chance of being stopped on the street. - Shannon

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Kentucky Derby Hats 2011

May 9th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News, Trend Watch

Today’s post is simply a collection of some of the hats worn at the Kentucky Derby this weekend. With hats like these, who needs much else?

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Kate Gosselin in feather and a lacy black little number.

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Jordan Sparks.  I love the hat and love the outfit, but I’m not sure that I love the hat and the outfit together…

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Maria Menounos looking super cute in a flashy fascinator and a frilly dress.  Were Maria and Jordan at the same party?

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I love this fascinator on Vanessa Minnilo.  I just wish that she would have chosen a pop of color to go with her black ensemble.

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Paula Patton.  I love this look!  A beautiful big flash of a hat with a tight white mini dress that looks fantastic on her.

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Salt and Pepa don’t dissapoint in these over the top designs.

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Sometimes bigger isn’t better.  Let’s get serious here people.

Most of these pictures were posted on necolebitchie.com. Check out her site for even more shots from the Derby this weekend.

If you are interested in some of the more extreme hats from the Derby check out this site.

-Shannon

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Biltmore Hats are Back!

There is so much to be said about a hat that is made with a level of quality reminiscent of days when your hat was a required piece of attire to remain of a certain social stature. The saying “they don’t make them like they used to” does not apply when it comes to hats made under the Biltmore brand. They make them just like they used to. We at Hats in the Belfry are honored to have been a supporter of the Biltmore Hats even through their recent financial struggles and couldn’t be more pleased that THEY ARE BACK!

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Biltmore Hats was founded in 1917 and moved to Guelph, Canada in 1919. In the 1950’s they employed over 350 people producing hats with hand sewn details and a quality that made them one of the most popular brands of the time. Sadly, in recent years Biltmore fell on financial troubles and were in search of additional investors. Biltmore’s owner, Eric Lynes, was adamant that they were going to keep Biltmore producing from their facility in Guelph, they were not going to file for bankruptcy and they would continue to produce quality hats for their loyal customers.

The doors did close in 2010 and the twenty remaining employees were laid off.

“It was a dark period and there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. We kept believing we were going to open this place again and we weren’t going to be pushed around or file for bankruptcy.” said Lynes. And open again, they did. Seven months after closing, the American company Dorfman Pacific agreed to purchase the company, keep Lynes on to manage the business and keep production in Guelph. Sixteen employees that were laid off were back to work and the demand for iconic Biltmore hats was on the rise.

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It is an amazing thing to see a company stand their ground and just know in the bottom of their hearts that what they are creating is meaningful. This is such a great story of never giving up and working towards a future with the same ideals that made them successful in the past. Welcome back, Biltmore hats!

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“Biltmore is a legacy brand to us.  There are so few brands out there anymore that still make hats the same way they did 50 years ago.  Biltmore is one of them, and we are so happy to carry their line again“ -Ryan Seth owner of Hats in the Belfry and President of The Headwear Association.

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Royal Fascinators

April 26th, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Hats in the News, Trend Watch

With all the buzz around the Royal Wedding this week, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to write a Kate Middleton post. There are sure to be some impressive hats at the wedding this Friday, but will Kate wear one? She is being credited for bringing Fascinators back into popularity in the United Kingdom as well as the U.S. and has worn some incredible pieces over the last year. I don’t know if I completely agree that she was the sole reason that Fascinators are back, but I will concur that she has worn them well.

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In my opinion, Fascinators started coming back in style on the wedding circuit a few years ago. The bird cage veil has replaced the long delicate veil in many a modern wedding and the fascinator grew from the trend. Brides were looking for an alternative to the traditional wedding headwear. So the question remains, will Kate choose a Fascinator for her big day?

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Will she choose something abstract? Kate doesn’t play it safe when choosing her headwear. I absolutely love the straw abstract circular Fascinator with her purple suit and the black straw Fascinator with the wispy feathers. Put those two together and you get something similar to this Scala Isbel in lilac.

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Will she go over the top? This woven black circular Fascinator is almost reminiscent of a conical Asian hat you would find in the fields of Vietnam, but with an obvious twist. This is not a hat that can go unnoticed and neither is the famous feather Fascinator. This feather Fascinator, similar to Christine A. Moore’s Fascinator, was the piece that said to me, this girl knows what she is doing. She is not just playing with the idea of bringing stylish hats in to her wardrobe. She must just love hats.

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I won’t be completely surprised if she chooses no hat at all for the big wedding day, but I keep my fingers crossed that she will. Who knows, maybe she will choose a Fascinator similar to this stylish bride…

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-Shannon

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