I met up with Tova and she spread a small selection of her hats before me. It was wonderful. Wonderful, and a little insane considering there are something like 100 hats in her one-bedroom apartment. Before arriving at Tova's, I told her I liked pillbox hats, headband hats, tilt hats and little whimsies, which is what she pulled from her insane stash for me.
Part of the reason Tova's stash is so big is she just came back from a huge sale at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She picked up some turn of the century treats as this. This is the biggest hat I've ever seen. It swallows my head because there's room inside for a Gibson girl bun.
Tova has only recently been selling hats on Etsy but she's been collecting vintage hats for three years. Though she doesn't collect vintage clothes or buy repro, she loves to just "pop on" a hat to add something extra to an outfit, which I love. Tova has plenty of books about vintage fashion and hats but she's really not concerned with recreating a specific look, which is really a different approach from a lot of the collectors I know, and that's pretty nifty in and of itself.
On to the hats!
I'm not a big hat person myself because I find them intimidating. I think with my short hair (which is in an awkward growing out stage but honestly, I'm doing my best) gets lost under a lot of hats, leaving me bald. That's why the little halo hats, half-hats and whimsies of the 40s and 50s work for me. But Tova says anyone can wear hats; "there's no such thing as a person that doesn't look good in hats," she said. She recommends paying attention to the shape of hat that works for your face shape, but of course, the key to wearing a hat is confidence.
Check out Tova's shop Flatiron Vintage! It's amazing.