24 September 2008

forever summer

When I was walking through Jermyn Streeet a few weeks ago I stopped to admire - and snap - the straw hats in the window of Bates. It was a miserable wet afternoon and it was as much the display of optimism as headwear that caught my eye. (Or was it British stoicism that attracted me?)

I was up that way again today, and looked to see whether Bates had rearranged their shop window to show a different, more seasonal, collection of hats. But no. There they were - a window full of panamas. Maybe there was a fedora or two, but not so's you'd notice particularly. Then I realised that maybe one of the reasons why Bates is still trading is because people can rely on getting their panamas here no matter what the season, customers who are taking them back home to places where it is warm and sunny when it is cold and damp here. And that in this hat shop it's forever summer one way or another.


Anonymous said...

Oh pure nostalgia! I regularly used to walk down Jermyn Street and past Bates in the late 1960s, when I worked nearby. That window display hasn't changed at all. I wonder if they are the same hats.

Anonymous said...

I think it's such a shame that the wearing of hats isn't as de rigueur as it was when I was little. Everyone used to wear hats (proper hats, not knitted beanies) and not just for weddings. My husband would have a field day in that shop. He still insists (much to our offsprings' embarassment) on wearing a panama on holiday and a black fedora in winter.

colleen said...

I'm so glad that this stimulated such affection for the hat and the hat shop. I'm a great hat lover, so it's good to know I'm not alone in being an admirer.