Tag Archives: Fort Worth

A Hat in the Right Direction

13 Jun

I bought this cool little sports-like car after my divorce. It wasn’t the nicest, or the coolest, but it had a sunroof. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the little things. One Easter weekend, I decided to take myself and my sunroof down to Galveston for the weekend. Yes, it is sad that when you’ve lived in and out of Houston as much as I have, you consider Galveston an acceptable beach. On my way down to “the coast”, third coast if you speak “gangsta”, the sun was shining and the weather was amazing. You get few days in Texas when the weather is amazing. This was one of those days. Sunroof open, speeding down 45, I thought I was the coolest person ever. Little did I realize that the wonderful sun was giving my wonderful scalp a sunburn. Not my whole scalp, mind you. Just the part. I had a nice red line marking the spot where I had neglected to remember, even in spring weather, the sun will burn you. Had I took the time to wear a hat, this never would’ve happened. Hi, my name is Wendy, and I was hat-ignornant.

We’ve all been guilty of it. It happens to the best of us. We leave the house without a
hat and head out, literally, into the gleaming sun. Up north, we never left without a hat in the winter. That would’ve been dumb. But in the summer we all suffer from hat-ignorance. You know when that cute girl comes wondering in your local shop or restaurant and everyone turns and looks at her as she walks by. It’s not because she’s a celebrity, or even necessarily that cute. It’s because we notice something going on north of her forehead. What is that? Oh my gosh, she is wearing a HAT!!! Do people even DO that anymore? I have often been guilty of rolling my eyes after hearing the statement, ‘I wish hats would come back in style,’ or my favorite, ‘People just don’t wear hats anymore’. I’m sorry my hat-ignorant friend, people do wear hats. People like me. People like my mother, who is told when she does wear her hat, she gives “hat-itude”. Trust me, my mother doesn’t need a hat to give you attitude. Needless to say people DO wear hats, and you are not cool if you don’t wear one occassionally. There, I said it. If you don’t wear a hat every once in awhile when the weather, or an outfit calls for it, you are NOT cool. Or you’re not in style, either way, go buy a hat.

I am currently nursing my summer fedoras through reconstructive therapy. My movers decided it was appropriate to shove two straw fedoras into a small box, and crunch them down to make space for, oh I don’t know, toilet paper. If you are in need of movers, I can officially tell you who NOT to call. Normally I would be donning my two favorite fedoras with just about everything I wear. I try to match them to my outfits or throw one on when I know I’ll be outside for a while, or I don’t feel like washing my hair. I give them one more week of reshaping therapy before they will make their appearance again. One problem I have with hats is that my head is too big. Kalen can sympathize with me. There are few vintage hats that fit my massive head. It’s massive ’cause my brain is so full of sarcasm. Needless to say when I find a vintage hat that fits, I buy it. Most of my vintage hats are winter hats, while my fedoras I had to opt for local shops to find my head gear. I fell in love with this all feather hat just over a year ago. It was one of those pieces that sat on your head, more like something from the 20’s than an actual hat. Whoever bought this hat, if you are reading this, can we time share??!?! It never really fit on my huge head, but I’d like visitation rights. We had many great talks together, and I miss it desperately.

I have an obsession with shoes and purses, but I cheat on my high heels sometimes with hats. They are a little more comfortable for the feet anyway. I don’t care who you are: young or old, tall or small, big head (like me) or small head, like so many of you I am jealous of, a hat looks good on everyone. It not only protects your head from the scorching sun, the cold,wintery day, it also makes a fashion statement. And that statement is, I’m seriously too cool for you to be seen with me, hence the hat.

Advertisements
16 Jan

In honor of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo opening this weekend, we figured we’d give you a leg up, (hahahha, I crack myself up), on your “boot” knowledge. Boots are in high demand these days, although if you’ve lived in Texas as long as I have, I don’t believe they are ever NOT in demand. However, being one that likes to go against the grain, I didn’t actually own a pair of boots until I turned 27. The first pair I bought were Justins, brown and pink, of course. I had to get the helpful knowledge of the sales lady on how to know if they “fit” right. Something most people don’t know right off hand, a cowboy boot is supposed to be tight around the arch and loose in the heel. There is a certain sound to a perfect fit, and when you hear it you know it. It’s a softly forced “CLOP”, or at least that’s how I’d describe it. This sound is usually followed with an “ahhh” by the wearer.  Everytime I hear it in the store, I know that’s the one.

Boots have definitely changed over the years, and once again we can look back to our ancestors, the immigrants to America, for the styles we know and love today. It was the German and English immigrants in the 1800’s that were responsible for bringing over the European styles and adopting them into the making of the original cowboy boots. While now we wear them for style, they were first made for function. The heel of the boot was made to fit and help a rider stay in his or her stirrups. Most boots were made from a straight wooden form, forcing the wearer to break them in to his or her left and right foot. Cowboys were known for standing in water troughs and then letting the boots dry on their feet in order to attain the perfect fit. It wasn’t until 1815 that the unique Wellington-style boot was introduced, in that it produced a left foot and a right foot, and a piece by piece construction that is similar to today’s style. Boot makers like Hyer and Justin first got their start repairing boots for working cowboys.

Much like today, boots gained popularity through movies and movie stars donning the fancy footwear. During World War II though, boots wear made under certain restrictions that were placed on boot makers because of shortages and rations. Boots wear made in either brown or black, and couldn’t have more than 8-10 inch tops. This is where the name for shorter boots, “Pee -Wees”, came from originally. Basically, nothing fancy was allowed. Even Toebugs were outlawed. Now at this point you may be asking yourself, what is a toebug? And please, don’t Google. The internet is a scary place to wander. A Toebug, in cowboy boots terms is the stitching on the toe part of the boot as demonstrated by this picture here.

Thank you www.dimlights.com for the demonstration.

Back to the toebug situation: Leave it to a woman to never settle for bland. Enid Justin, founding owner of Nocona boots, was the first to challenge the law and say that stitching on the toe was essential to the boot for strength and flexibility, and therefore mandatory in functionality. Good job Enid. Stylish women everywhere salute you!


“Pee Wee” boots were also popular with the ladies in the 40’s because the boot showed more of the calf, and had a certain sex appeal to them. But it wasn’t until after World War II that the industry started making up for lost time with some of the most outrageous and fun styles in its history. This includes our fabulous pair made for the bicentennial in 1976 seen here.Fast Forward to the 1980’s and John Travolta in a little movie called “Urban Cowboy”. I dare say, this sparked a BOOM in the boot and western wear business. Again, leave it to the celebrities.
So back to John Travolta, and the time when he was a “sex symbol”. I know, hard to remember, but it happened. So between the time the movie came out and 1982, this boot BOOM soon faded to a BUST. Boot makers found themselves stuck with unsold “fashionable” boots. I think we’ve seen this first-hand, with what is known as “old-new stock”. Every once in awhile we come across a pair of vintage boots that have never been worn, and have been collecting dust in a warehouse somewhere until someone decides to sell them wholesale just to clean out their inventory. We like that. Someone’s loss is always someone else’s gain. We are the Queens of closet-cleaner-outers.

You may be asking yourself at this point, how does she know all of this?!?!  Working at  the store and for Kalen I’ve learned QUITE a lot more than I ever bargained for as far of boots go. The rest of my knowledge comes from a handsome little gem of a book called “Cowboy Boots: The Art & Sole” by Jennifer June…and of course my best friend Google. We have two great books in the store that even if you just peruse for the pictures, they are both quite amazing.

So that leads us to today and the epic question of pointy toe or round, high top or shorty, colorful or neutral, and leather or exotic skin. Whatever your preference, always remember, boots are not like heels ladies! You need to make sure above all, they fit, and they ARE comfortable. Vintage boots are always the best because someone else has done the work of breaking them in for you. And as any fashionista knows,breaking in shoes…hardest WORK EVER!