Several years ago, I was outside all day at a street festival and needed a hat. I never have a hat when I need one. Of course, the reason is that I look like a complete dork in a hat. But still, sometimes one must have a hat, or suffer from sunstroke. The choices were limited, and I ended up spending $10 on this blue hat that I figured I would wear once and then misplace or forget.
But several years later, I still have the hat. It has accompanied me to California and Ireland and Spain, and to different beaches up and down the East Coast. The design is really simple — it’s a single piece of extremely sturdy ribbon, sewn (sown? no, sewn, I think) over itself, with the placement of the stitches determining the shape of the hat. It squashes down to almost nothing, making for easy carrying. It’s easily cleaned, just toss it in the washer and then let it air dry. The brim adjusts, which is useful depending on the angle of the sun.
Of course, I do occasionally forget even the Awesome Blue Ribbon Hat, and end up buying the cheapest hat available. Which is how I ended up with a Rafa Nadal/Nike baseball cap from the US Open last year, and a USOpen fishing-style cap the year before. Yes, I’m a don’t-forget-to-pack-a-hat failure. And I look like an even bigger dork in ball caps than I do in other hats.
While I was gift shopping a Barnes & Noble over the holidays, I also bought a gift for myself — it’s cheating, but I did it anyway: this little carrier-type bag made of recycled juice boxes. The colors were so bright and cheerful. I use it to carry my lunch to work, or as little handbag when I’m out running errands. Several people have stopped me and asked if I made it or where I got it.