Paige_Warbonnet-Hat-Works-1by Paige Callaway (Pursue Victory)

I am excited to be contributing an article about fashion and style, a topic that I thoroughly enjoy.  I have worked in the fashion industry for over eight years in a variety of capacities.  Everything from purchase buying, marketing and visual merchandising, to more recently designing and producing my own lines, Pursue Victory and Wild Rose Clothing.  The industry is endlessly evolving in many aspects, which creates a very fun environment to work and create in.

For the consumer there are two major categories when it comes to style: classic and trends.  Classic is composed of the closet staples that we have based on our taste and often culture.  Trends are those fun, flash in the pan, here for a couple years and then their gone looks.  In rare cases, a trend can become a classic; after all, the classics all came from somewhere!

Historically trends were started by royal families and other wealthy people who had couturiers and tailors working for them.  The wealthy picked their garments based on the styles they were presented to them on silver plates, hence the term “fashion plate” for someone who is trendy.  The couturiers and tailors would then sew custom garments for their clients and the trends then flowed from there.  This was how trends were set for centuries, until the era of hippies. Not only did the hippies rebel against societal norms but also fashion.  The bell-bottom psychedelic days were the first time in the history of fashion that the trends started ‘at the bottom’ so to speak, and circulated from there.

The power to set trends has since bounced to designers and in the past decade is transitioning to the best-marketed lines, fashion bloggers and social media activity.

As most can attest to, there was a time when western style in Canada was predominantly based on what we filtered up from the States.  A variety of economical factors have opened up Canada to quicker brand adoption, local brands, faster trend adaptation and there by creating our own unique fashion industry with multiple influences.

One of the most notorious symbols of the west is the cowboy hat and it is becoming one of the classic styles that is now trending with a unique twist.  There is a wide range of colors and shapes of hats emerging as staple in many ladies wardrobes.  It adds a fun distinguished finish to an outfit, and also covers up messy hair!

These hats are great with any outfit from being dolled up for a night out, to a ‘jeans and t shirt’ trip to the grocery store.  That’s what’s unique about this trend is that it is so versatile. Rarely are shoes, a jacket or a nice top as adaptable.

There are an array of colors available in felt, from bright mustard yellow to a dark forest green.  These colors are sure bet ways to have a unique hat.  Another option if you’re less inclined to choose a colored felt, is stick with a classic color and customize it with binding, a unique hatband, brim size and shape.

There are a variety of ways to get your hands on a trendy lid of your own and a variety of price points that you can choose from.  In addition to going out and purchasing a new felt there is the option of renovating an old hat.  You could do a variety of things like trimming down the brim size, reshaping and adding a binding to update your hat.

We are fortunate in Alberta to be in close proximity to great talent like Vern Elliot of Gold Spring Hats, Smithbilt Hats and the Calgary Hat Doctor that are masters of the trade.  Outside of Canada there are hat makers such as Warbonnet Hat Works and Biggar’s Hat Store both out of Texas, already creating some unique masterpieces.

As I said before, the setting of trends has become a very muddled area and as time progresses it becomes less of a single force that depicts trends and more individual taste.  From that shift there has been a much broader acceptance in society for what people can and do wear.

Paige_Jelly-Cocanaugher-2These stylish hats are a prime example.  They derive from the classic cowboy hat and the influence of mainstream fashions floppy hat craze, which started a trend of its own and very well could become a classic.  These hats are versatile, fashionable and unique to their owner in fit and style.

A piece of wisdom I live by when it comes to fashion is; if it makes you feel good, it makes you look good.  Confidence and happiness always win.  These hats are an awesome investment and with the rare combined qualities of customized uniqueness and versatility this is a sure bet way to enhance your outfit and wardrobe!

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