Holiday headwear: an attempt at elegance

Another Monday, another working week – but I’m afraid my mind is already travelling to exotic locations. I’m off on a very short trip to Laos (yes, AGAIN!) and Burma (or is it Myanmar?) next week, so my thoughts are constantly turning to what to take with me. I should have “packing for stinking hot and humid developing countries” down to a fine art by now, but I so enjoyed dreaming up my wardrobe theme for Bali that I’ve let myself think about this coming trip a little bit more than necessary too. I really know shamefully little about Burma except that Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the strongest, most elegant women in the world – so this time “elegance” is my style theme. Not sure how obvious that will be when my hair’s plastered to my red, sweaty face, but I have to start somewhere!

The broad-brimmed hats in this couture collection by Ulyana Sergeenko have been on my mind ever since I saw them, not only because they are the very picture of elegance while offering excellent sun protection, but because I was sure I could make something similar. A few weeks ago I found this hat in an op shop for $15 (a bit pricey, but I couldn’t resist)…

… and decided to give DIY couture millinery a go (professional milliners may want to stop reading here!!).

First step was to remove the hatband with an unpicker:

Then I unpicked a bit of the stitching on either side of the crown (I stitched over either side of the gaps I’d created so that the entire hat doesn’t unravel from my meddling):

I threaded a scarf through the gaps and voila!

Here’s what it looks like on. Kind of elegant, don’t you think? (The “antique” and “vignette” effects in iPhoto help a bit!)

Here it is without the filter. I’ve tied the scarf in a bow under my chin but you could of course just leave the ends dangling.

The whole process only took about half an hour – the hardest thing about this DIY is finding the hat! You could possibly use a sombrero from a $2 shop because they have lovely big brims, but you’d have to take off the pointy crown. Still, if you haven’t got your hat for the Melbourne Cup organised yet, this might work!

It’s easy to match this hat to your outfit because you can change the scarf – hot pink silk for the racetrack, leopard print chiffon to add a wild touch to a tame frock and (knowing me) batik printed cotton with just about everything else, perhaps?