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2011: The Year of the Hat

Sara Lingafelter
Sara Lingafelter
3 min read

Dear Jane,

You were the first thing I saw, when I walked onto the show floor at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.  I spotted you straight away, across the aisle, as I headed toward my first appointment of the show with Ambler Mountain Works.

It was love at first sight.

I was lucky enough to get to take you for a spin that day… you covered my unwashed hair with a singular grace and flair.

I was wearing my cowboy boots that day… otherwise known as my “Nice Boots” boots because that’s what I hear all day when I wear them.

Not that day at OR.

You stole the show.  It was as if my Nice Boots didn’t even exist.

I don’t know what it is about you — but I’m not the only one whose eye you caught.  In the time we’ve spent together since the show, I’ve noticed a few things about the magic that you work in the world.

Is it possible that people are so charmed by you, that they’re actually more friendly to ME when we go out together?  I wore you to work today.  Some people do outright compliment you.  Others, just smile and greet me a little more warmly because of your presence.  We make a very good team.

A completely unexpected side benefit:  you’re improving my Scrabble game.  Today I heard the words “chapeau” (a shame, that I can’t use French words in Scrabble) and “bonnet” for the first time I can remember… “bonnet” I think would be fair game, on a Scrabble board.  And how could I not love a company with these FAQs on their website?

You, dear Jane, are doing your part for the environment.  Dirty hair is an opportunity, now, to show you off.

Thank you, and your little red bow, for bringing a smile to my face.  Your Fall 2011 debut can’t come soon enough.

Now let’s go turn some heads, together.



Also new in 2011:

Outdoor Research Transcendant Beanie
Outdoor Research is coming out with a down hat.  You know, like a sleeping bag for your head.  No, I’m not kidding.  I heard early tell about the project, and if the chatter was from any brand other than my quirky, gear geeky friends at Outdoor Research, I wouldn’t have believed it.

The rumors are true.  New for Fall 2011, OR welcomes the Transcendant Beanie to the line.  It’s cuter on than you’d think by looking at the product shot.  With 650+ fill down and a ripstop shell exterior, it’ll be nice and warm, and I LOVE that it packs down into its own tiny little stuff sack.  I always carry a hat when I ski — it looks like I’m carrying a large grapefruit in my coat pocket.  This little guy will tuck into my ski pant pocket, without hardly a bump.

Pistil Hats
I got a sneak peak at the Pistil line-up for 2011 and all I can say is… yes please. They’ve got a couple of canvas cap models coming out that are high on my wish list, as well as some beautiful scarves (think color!).  Season after season, my friends in Hood River, OR hit it out of the park with comfortable, cute accessories that seem somehow universally flattering.

If you just can’t wait to start your own Year of the Hat, check out:

Arc’teryx Millie Toque
I have a lot of hats — and I love a lot of hats — but the Arc’teryx Millie Toque one has been my definite go-to this winter.  The wool / acrylic blend is warm (but not too warm) and I can wear it all day without itch, which isn’t always the case with knits.  I like its little brim (more cute than function, but it does give a tiny little shade).  The currently-available colors will carry well into future seasons; and I’ve had a peek at possible future season colors and I’ve already picked out my wishlist color for NEXT winter.  A hint, for those of you who’ve seen my ski getup this year:  it will match my pants.

I could go on all day about hats, but I’ll spare you.  Stay tuned for more post-OR coverage in the next couple of weeks!

Did I miss any great hats at the show?  Do you have a current season favorite?  Share your thoughts, in the comments!

GearGear LoveGirl Tested Girl Approved

Sara Lingafelter

Sara (Grace) Lingafelter takes steps forward and backward toward a right-sized life on a daily basis.