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Being Beautiful: What do Minnie Pearl and Princess Diana have in common?


David Creel



Easter bonnets might very well be a Southern thing, but they're a Southern thing I adore. My friend Lyn and her mother once punctuated the holiday by crafting their own hats, and yesterday I pulled out some old photos of my sweet mama donning funny hats in years gone by. Hats have been the defining staple of so many iconic moments, from Jackie Kennedy's unforgettable pillbox to Audrey Hepburn's legendary wide-brimmed hat in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." And then, well, there's always Minnie Pearl, price tag and all. 


Of course, we can't forget Julia Roberts in her "Pretty Woman" scenes, Madonna's western attire phase, and Princess Diana's crowning glory days, all engrained in our recollections of famous hat moments. Lady Gaga has made hats newsworthy again, and movies like "The Great Gatsby" have made them classic again. It was Frank Sinatra who said, "Cock your hat. Angles are attitudes." 


A hat evokes a bit of theater, an air of mystery in an otherwise mundane day, so I say "hats off" to those women who decorate themselves with such confidence, bravado and glamour. They are truly Southern ladies.  


Hats have long been a tradition for ladies who luncheon and little girls of all ages on Easter Sunday. Etiquette and formality have played a role in millinery and hat selection, and at the turn of the 20th century, women changed their hats depending on their activity -- informal day wear, church, sporting event, wedding. Ladies of high social standing often had to change several times a day.  


In the 1980s, hats became especially popular again for weddings, worship and special occasions after Princess Diana reintroduced them to add sophistication to her youthful persona.  


A hat draws attention to the face, the very reason many modern brides are embellishing their wedding ensemble with retro, vintage inspired hats. Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice made the news with their hats at the latest British royal wedding, and who can forget that giant bird in Carrie Bradshaw's couture "Sex and the City" wedding coiffure? 


I think hats are a lovely antidote for the blues. They are a bit extravagant and full of whimsy while still maintaining their elegance. I am reminded of this famous song lyric by Dorothy Fields: "Grab your coat, and get your hat, leave your worry on the doorstep, just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street." Whether it's for Easter, a walk on the beach, or an ordinary day of shopping like when Mama and I giggled as she modeled that big pink hat, the right hat will make it unforgettable.


Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at [email protected]


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