Fabulous hats, and a trick, for tea


Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hatsBy Elle

Hat shopping ranks close to the top as a delightful distraction in my book, especially when life feels too fast-paced, which is almost always. So a couple of weekends ago, two of my friends, Sultana and Amy, and I spent a recent morning at my favorite millinery, Studio St. Marie in Rocky River, to find spring hats for a tea party.

We had the best time trying on all the latest creations along with some vintage beauties (folks of yore had smaller heads, and, without fail, those hats fit my tiny skull just right). We each found a hat or headpiece to take home, and soon we’ll be making plans for a tea party.

Speaking of which, I recently discovered that one can mix and match teabags when brewing tea. I have Starbucks to thank for this idea. I ordered a citrus mint tea the other day, and when the barista handed it over, I noticed two teabags floating inside: one of each flavor. Brilliant! So now I regularly toss a bag of citrus ginger and a bag of mint into hot water for an exceptional taste sensation. It doesn’t have to stop there. One can be creative with teas, trying new taste combos. Don’t thank me. Thank Starbucks.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

Loved this hat but didn’t think it looked quite springy enough.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

Sultana sporting a red/orange flair fascinator. Her name means “queen,” and she looks just like one!

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

I really loved this yellow vintage hat, but I just didn’t think I’d have occasion enough to wear it. And it’s so elegant — who wants to keep it in a box?

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

These floral bands are not only gorgeous but also affordable.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

Another that I loved but knew I’d not wear often enough.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

I thought Sultana looked fabulous in this spring fascinator.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

This magnificent spring hat was the winner for Amy. I think it perfectly frames her face and is definitely a stylish attention-getter.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

Beautiful hat but “meh” on me.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

Another charming hat option for Amy but not springy enough.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

This floral band was the winner for Sultana. I simply love the way she looks in it!

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

I was infatuated with this vintage hat, but I really don’t wear a lot of purple or other colors that I thought would complement it.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

This number, which screams spring, was a runner-up for Amy.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

I kept gravitating to this hat. It pained me to leave it at the shop!

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

Lee St. Marie, who owns the shop, has a great eye for knowing what looks best on a woman.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

In the end, I chose this hat. I love the daintiness and scalloped edges of the base, mixed with the sharpness of the feathers. It aptly reflects my personality: Gentle and kind, but don’t piss me off!

So now I wear my hat whenever the weather allows, which lately has been pretty often.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

I believe Lee St. Marie told me that the base of this hat is from England, the feathers from France and the braided roping from Italy. Truly an international creation!

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

Cardigan by Pura Vida.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

This shot of my hat makes me crave Weetabix.

Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats
Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design spring hats

Of all the hats, did you have a favorite? Let us know which it was!

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5 thoughts on “Fabulous hats, and a trick, for tea

  1. What fun! This post brings back wonderful memories of trying on hats with friends when I was a teen. It’s been way too long since I’ve done that. I love the idea of a tea party.

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