News Column

Stylish Hats to Surely Turn Heads This Spring

March 28, 2013

Jill Radsken, Boston Herald

You know you shouldn't wear white before Memorial Day, but there's a new rule on the list of Things That Are Just Not Done.

No spring hats before Easter.

"It's the toast-off for straw hats," said Jessen Fitzpatrick, co-owner of Salmagundi.

The Jamaica Plain hat shop has stocked "as much color as possible" this spring including bright blues, greens, coral and yellow. Salmagundi prices range from $78 to $300.

The "hatinator," a hat/fascinator combo, is also poised to be one of the season's most popular styles. "It's great for people with unusual-size heads," Fitzpatrick said.

The custom-made pillbox is enjoying a resurgence, he said, with more mature shoppers who gravitate toward the delicate detailing such as flowers and veiling.

"It's a nice look because it gives you a bit of drama, but you're not taking up a lot of space," he said.

But Shellie Donovan wants to turn heads when she wears her hats. "I hardly ever go out to dinner or a show without one," said the interior designer. "It makes a world of difference in your presentation."

This spring, she'll be sporting a new fascinator decorated with green feathers from local milliner Marie Galvin.

"I have hazel eyes, (but) when I put it on, it made my eyes look green," said Donovan, who lives in Winthrop.

Galvin, who owns Galvin--ized Headwear in the South End, said spring is her Christmas because Easter leads into Kentucky Derby season, when the milliner stitches dozens upon dozens of whimsical creations for the iconic May horse race.

"I encourage people to go all-out for color this time of year, especially around here. It looks like Jolly Ranchers," she said.

Galvin's hats run the gamut from a $95 simple style to a couture chapeau that can cost upward of $750. But more important than price is wearability. The pillbox, for example, is "not a great style for everyone's face," she said.

"It's a challenge for a lot of people to pull off. If your face is too long, then no," she said.

But one of her favorite styles of the moment is a big sculpted saucer that sits on one side of the wearer's head.

"You can only kiss one cheek. It's fierce," she said. "Everyone that puts it on starts to stand differently."

Which is what drew Donovan, who has accumulated nearly 20 hats, to what Galvin describes as a "magical accessory."

"It makes me feel like I belong in a Dr. Seuss book. They're so much fun," Donovan said.

Salmagundi, 765 Centre St., Jamaica Plain; salmagundi Galvin-ized Headwear, 450 Harrison Ave., South End; galvinized

Source: (c)2013 the Boston Herald.Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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