Vintage Hats

Vintage clothes are always the best and hats are no exception! Here is some historical context behind these incredible vintage pieces! 

This small round cream colored hat is covered in tiny white flowers with flex of yellow-green and purple. This style of hat was called the “pork pie” (or also boater). The style was popular for men and women and is now considered a timeless look. It gets its name after the resemblance to the pork pie which is a traditional English meat pie.

The first known establishment of the pork pie style was sometime during the late 1800s. But it mainly became popular during the 1920s. Many hats of this time were also covered in flowers and flowers were a huge accessory to the hats. The hat style actually became popular in the United States due to silent film star Buster Keaton who worn many of them in his films! The hat went on to go in and out of style and during the 1940s for both men and women. The hat style then became popular in the 1940s within the African American culture usually styled along with the zoot suit! 



This light tan hat has a light pink ribbon tied around it with white Daisy flowers. This style is called a cartwheel hat. This style was popular throughout the 1930s into the 1950s. This style was largely associate with Christian Dior’s “New Look” style. The traditional style consisted of a tight fitting, frame-hugging top and a full skirt with the wide hat. Hats of the 1920s, for example, were smaller and much closer to the face, however, around the late 1930s early 1940s the style began to change to a round and wider shape. The hat size also got wider as women’s hairstyles got bigger.     

Now this style much more 1920s inspired. This cloche style hat can be seen in many different forms during the decades. Felt cloche hats were very common among the women of the 1920s. The cloche style was very popular during the 1920s as it complimented the short bob style haircut that was all the rage of the 1920s. 



This cute tan hat with a rounded top has a light pink ribbon tied around it. This hat gives an almost bonnet look from the front with the big rounded top. This cloche style hat continued to be popular all throughout the 20th century, but this bonnet inspired look was at its peak of fashion during the 1930s and 1940s.





Sustainability in the Hat World – Being A Good Corporate Citizen

Sustainability is the new buzzword.  Everywhere I turn, I read about sustainable practices in business, fashion, etc.   

I am proud to announce that Polly Singer Couture Hats has always used ethical practices in our business dealings.  Lessening the environment impact where we can has long been our goal.  In 2014, I decided to run for City Council in order to implement curbside recycling in my community.  Georgetown is the fastest growing city in the state of Kentucky, yet we do not have curbside recycling. Most recyclable materials such as glass, paper, metal, and plastic ends up in the landfill. Having lived in other communities such as New York City where recycling is practically a religion, this really bothered me.  Being an elected official is a sacrifice because you lose time with your family, it takes focus away from your business and quite often, you make people mad who don’t agree with you.  It’s no fun to have people turn their heads the other way when you walk by!  Curbside recycling is around the corner for Georgetown, so it will be worth it in the end.  I am in my third term on the Georgetown City Council. We run for re-election every two years.

Why did I go into that story? It is tell you that I practice what I preach and about my passion for environmental causes.  

Other ethical practices include:

  • Fabrics – We source local fabrics when at all possible.  This is done to help local businesses as well as lessen the impact of shipping and burning carbon fuels.
  • Wool felt – We have switched to using wool felt only for our new winter hats.  Wool is hard wearing and suitable for every day wear. It is made from sheep’s wool without harm to the animals.  Wool is a natural and biodegradable fiber.
  • Straw – We buy most of our straw from American companies.  Our panama straw, parisisal and sinamay are made by small producers paid living wages. 
  • Recyclable materials – Our hat boxes are made from paper and our ribbon from cotton.  Our flowers are made from natural fabrics.
  • Biodegradable – Everything on our hats breaks down naturally over time.  There is nothing synthetic used in the production of our hats.
  • Feathers – We use only feathers from game birds, water birds and do not use exotic feathers. 
  • Stock – We do not produce huge quantities of stock.  This is done in order to minimize waste.  We have been known to take apart hats that did not sell, re-trim them and give them second lives.  Nothing goes to a landfill.
  • Hat Boxes – Our hat boxes are custom made by a company in Massachusetts.  The boxes are recyclable, re-usable and biodegradable. 
  • Packaging – Our shipping boxes are made from recycled materials and we use brown packing paper instead of peanuts or plastic bubbles.  




Pantone 2015

2015 Spring Pantone Colors
2015 Spring Pantone Colors

Each season, Pantone releases colors that will appear in clothing designs and accessories.  The colors shown above are for Spring 2015. 

My personal favorites are the Glacier Gray and Tangerine.  We have seen the classic blue for awhile.

How does this all relate to picking your hat? 

A safe general bet is to choose a neutral base color and then add the pops of color.  As many of you know, everything is sewn on by hand, so hats can be retrimmed later on.

Below are some hats that would work well with the Spring 2015 color palette.

Samantha's Tropicana
Samantha’s Tropicana

Headley-Whitney Stitching Art Exhibit

stitching art

I was excited to be selected to have my work in the Stitching Art exhibit at the Lexington’s Headley-Whitney Museum. The show opens on March 23rd. Featured in the above photo is Simone, a sculpted fur felt fascinator with curved peacock feathers.


The hat above is called Matisse. I designed Matisse in 1996, while studying at F.I.T. in New York. I was given the subject Matisse and asked to design a hat around that theme. In 2003, the hat won best of show at the T.L.D. Design Center in Chicago. I absolutely adore the outfit the hat is paired with. The dress is a very intricate design by Monica Magdangal. All photography by Anna Esposito.


Hats, Horses and Hope….Hats that benefit the Kentucky Equine Humane Center

I have always been an “animal” person. Growing up in Kentucky, I always loved seeing the horses in their fields as I drove along the road. After spending five years volunteering in animal rescue for a local humane society, I wanted to help unwanted and abused horses in some way.

Not long after that, I received a letter from the Kentucky Equine Humane Center. Having worked with them a few years ago, I thought about working with them again. I designed a hat for the Breeders Cup, which did quite well in a silent auction. I drove down to their farm just outside of Nicholasville and fell in love.

Executive Director Karen Gustin showed me around the facility. Immediately, I fell in love with the horses at KYEHC and wanted to help. Karen and I discussed ways to help. What was born of that discussion was the Hats, Horses and Hope line that will benefit the KYECH. 15% of the sale price goes directly to KYEHC.

The Joey hat
The Joey hat

The first hat of the series that sold was Joey. Oddly enough, Joey was the horse at KYEHC that immediately stole my heart. The victim of abuse, he had a severe case of rain rot, more parasites than the vets had ever seen, two puncture wounds and a right eye that had to be removed. Joey is a strong 2 year old and making progress daily.

Joey on arrival to KYEHC
Joey on arrival to KYEHC
Joey After
Joey After

Polly Singer’s Breeder’s Cup Hat Design to Benefit KY Equine Humane Center


Camella was designed as a tribute to the lovely Anglo Arab gray roan horse rescued by the Kentucky Equine Humane Center, of which a portion of the proceeds benefit. This limited edition hat (only 15 available) features a curved 6″ brim in a metallic warm taupe. White feathers, purple handmade flowers and a white silk camellia complete this stylish look in Breeder’s Cup colors.

Camella at the Kentucky Equine Humane Center
Camella at the Kentucky Equine Humane Center

Camella is a stunning horse available for adoption from the Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Nicholasville, Kentucky. This hat is part of the Hats, Horses, and Hope line to benefit the Kentucky Equine Humane Center. TTheir mission is to provide humane treatment and shelter while working as a clearinghouse. They seek adoptive homes for Kentucky’s unwanted equines, regardless of breed.

15% from the sale of each of these hats benefits the Kentucky Equine Center. Each hat purchased will come with a card about the horse.

Events Coming Up.


We have a busy weekend coming up at Polly Singer Couture Hats. Friday is the Future of Fashion Show in Lexington. Saturday features the Fall Fashion Event at Unique Gifts in Georgetown. On Monday, I speak to the Scott County Woman’s Club, famous for their pre-Derby party fundraiser. Tuesday night sees us at the Arabian Horse Celebration at Churchill Downs!

Our Anne Walks Down The Aisle!

Anne Kreke

My first and only intern got married last month. Many of you know that Anne interned for me back in 2007 and 2008. She appears on my site as a model and even played the role of a bride on t.v. when we did a t.v. show about bridal attire.

It was a pleasure designing her fascinator. I used a piece of the sash and sculpted it into a flower, used a vintage pin that Anne had and added a few feathers.

Anne and her Dad watch the festivities
Anne and her Dad watch the festivities