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Fashion Police

Finding a Cap in a Small Size Is Some Hat Trick

April 09, 1998|JEANNINE STEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dear Fashion Police: I have been desperately trying to find hats and caps (for all four seasons) for women with small heads and narrow faces.

"One size fits all" is a joke for most of us. Even the bills and brims are not flattering. Hopefully, there are still some designers who can help us (I am over 60). I have to wear hats year-round, so how about something that will look good? I shop till I drop to no avail.

--HATLESS BUT HOPEFUL

Dear Hatless: Since our head size is in the normal range (actually, some people have told us it's rather large--even swelled!), we haven't had this problem. But we feel your frustration.

It's true that most department stores carry hats and caps for the average-size head, which is 22 1/2 inches. This has forced women with larger or smaller heads to either wear hats that don't fit or attempt some quasi-alterations, such as stuffing the inside bands to make them more snug.

So if you're looking for hats that are proportional to your head and face, your best bet might be to find a milliner. (That, for all of you born after 1970, is someone who makes women's hats.) Yes, they can be pricey (starting from $50 and going up to three and four figures), but they'll last for a decade or more with good care.

In Southern California, we found a few milliners: Drea Kadilak in Los Angeles ([213] 931-2051), the Constance Jolcuvar Co. in Calabasas ([818] 225-0432), Carolyn Hats in Mission Viejo ([714] 367-1597) and Santa Monica-based Louise Green, whose line is available at Neiman-Marcus. Kadilak may be able to accommodate you without an appointment, but Jolcuvar does require one-on-one fittings. Green's hats are made with a patented adjustable hatband that accommodates different sizes. Carolyn Hats provides custom hats for children and women ($45 to $300).

Kadilak sympathizes with your plight: "We have a lot of people with teeny, peanut heads, and others with heads that are as big as people's waists. It runs the gamut."

Then why don't most women's chapeaus come in different sizes, a la men's hats? According to Kadilak, "I think it's because hats were out of style for so many years, so stores didn't carry that many sizes."

But Jolcuvar says the interest in hats "is climbing, and you do see trends." And if more designers show hats with their creations, she adds, we might even have a true hat renaissance.

We say hats off to that! (Sorry, we couldn't resist.)

*

Always a Bridesmaid: A recent letter from a bridesmaid-to-be asked for our advice on pantyhose. It seemed the rest of the bridal party (twentysomethings) didn't want to wear it, but our reader (fortysomething, but with great gams) did. We sided with pantyhose and suggested she appeal to the bride for special dispensation.

But one of our readers came up with another solution. Roshni Dastur, an 11-year-old in Los Angeles, went to work on her "Barbie Fashion Designer" CD-ROM and came up with four bridal and bridesmaid designs. She wrote: "These are suitable for an outdoor summer wedding, but instead of pumps, low-heel sling-backs. The dress lengths should take care of the question of the pantyhose."

We ask you--what woman wouldn't love to march down the aisle in a Barbie-inspired dress? For her efforts, we're making Roshni a junior officer in the Fashion Police Force.

* When reporting or preventing a fashion crime, write to Fashion Police, Life & Style, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053, or fax to (213) 237-0732. Submissions cannot be returned. No telephone inquiries, please.

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