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Hat Squad : A Rose Here, a Bit of Lace There Turns Youthful Heads

September 04, 1992|BARBARA FOLEY

This summer teen-age girls have rediscovered hats. Not for the sake of being conspicuous. A hat needs to send just one message: "I'm unique, a little daring, a little different."

TV helped make it happen. For "Blossom," the popular Monday night series, costume designer Sherry Thompson has been using hats to complete the main characters' outfits.

"I \o7 wanted \f7 to start a trend," she says.

She finds hats for the show at flea markets, antique stores and theater shops. She adds flowers, pins, buttons, lace, anything unique and special. "But not so unique and special that anyone couldn't copy the look for themselves inexpensively," she says.

The idea is catching on. Jill Fantazia, Nordstrom's accessory buyer for the junior Brass Plum department, says three styles are especially popular: unstructured slouchy shapes in velvet decorated with flowers and other trim; formed felt hats, usually in bowler shapes; and variations on newsboy caps. Prices range from about $15 to $30.

"They're great with flowered dresses," says Fantazia, "but also with more boyish looks like jeans and T-shirts, or menswear jackets."

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