Easter bonnets reminiscent of less casual days

Published 2:03 am Wednesday, April 17, 2019

“In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it…”

That song keeps singing in my head. Does that ever happen to you? A song, or bits of lyrics, worm their way into your mind and stay there looping over and over and over?

Of course, since it’s only a few days before Easter Sunday, it makes sense that these words keep spinning themselves around in my brain. It would be odd if they showed up in December along with Rudolph.

Anyway, I’m sipping my apple juice and listening to the melody. Perhaps, this started because of a little shopping excursion with my Mother over the weekend. We went to buy ferns, but ended up strolling through the aisles of the store too.

There was a far amount of laughing going on. My mother has a wonderful sense of humor and always manages to crack me up with her comments. On this day, we found ourselves in front of a display of women’s hats. We stopped to have a look at all the different styles.

I pointed to a bright green baseball cap that had a big sparkling star on the front. Mother said maybe she ought to buy that one to wear when my sister comes for a visit this weekend. We laughed at that idea.

“If they saw me wearing that, they’d get right out of the car to come see what is wrong with Mother,” she said, laughing at the picture she painted.

We moved on to another display with less sparkly headgear. No, these were hats, bonnets, in a variety of colors and shapes. There were some with bows in pastel colors and others with little bits of netting draped over the front.

Seeing them made us both remember the days when we wore hats to church, especially on Easter Sunday. Oh how I loved wearing a hat to church.

When I was a kid, I had cute bonnets that tied under the chin. The hat looked good with my dress that sat atop layers of petticoat. Some lacy white ankle socks, cute Mary Jane style shoes and gloves completed the look. I was styling.

I even remember creating bonnets in school during the week leading up to Easter. We used paper plates stacked with flowers, sometimes fruit and all tied up with bright ribbons. I’m sure we sang that song about the Easter parade as we paraded around the classroom wearing our paper plate finery.

When I graduated to grown up hats, it was wonderful. One particular Easter, I had a yellow shift dress, a big floppy white hat and elbow-length gloves. It was the first time I wore high heels and lipstick and I felt like something out of the pages of a teen magazine.

The last time I wore a hat to church was probably in the late 70s or early 80s. I remember it was black with a wide brim that dipped slightly over my forehead. My dress was black with white polka dots and I wore pantyhose and heels that made me inches taller. I think I was the only one wearing a hat that day, but I didn’t care because I felt grand in my Easter bonnet.

I placed a tan colored hat on my head and modeled it for Mother. She said I looked pretty. I asked her how she thought it would go with jeans and a tee shirt.

We laughed again at the idea of me walking around my yard in my bonnet and blue jeans. I put the hat back and moved on.

I know we live in a more casual world these days, but memories of hat-wearing days make me smile and kinda miss it. Come to think of it, I have that last Easter bonnet I wore. I used it as part of a Halloween costume once. Maybe I’ll dig it out this weekend and take a stroll around my yard.

“You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade…”

Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.