"That's when I decide which ones are coming out to play"

"I change the hats twice a year – the first day of spring and the first day of fall. That's when I decide which ones are coming out to play, which ones go back on the shelf and which of the damn things I'll never put on my head again." 

What I love most about New Orleans is that no matter the day or week, there is always something waiting for you to discover...including a collection of hats left by a famous New Orleanian upon her passing.

Mickey Easterling was a famous New Orleans philanthropist known for her outlandish parties and her outstanding collection of unique hats. She passed away in April 2014, but didn't let something as trivial as death stop her from making everyone stop and stare in awe at her. Her funeral service was set in the newly renovated and much loved Saenger Theatre. One would not think much about this location knowing of the company Easterling kept. She knew people from as far as Morocco.
Sure, she wanted to pack the place, and she knew she would. This would be her last party after all. And she wasn't going to miss a moment.
Easterling attended her own service in bright colored attire, seated in a chair with a champagne flute in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Draped around her was a hot pink feather boa and atop her head was one of her revered hats.


Mrs. Easterling


This brief synopsis of a woman famously known in the New Orleans area brings me to my main point: her hat collection and how I managed to get a piece of history.

A local business called The Occasional Wife holds an estate sale every Saturday morning. Although I have never been, I came across a post via social media stating they came into possession quite a few of Easterling's hats. Now, if there's one thing I know about myself physically, I do not look good in hats of any kind. So I thought to myself, I am ever going to find a hat I like, this is it.

Somehow I wrangled Man Friend to get up early and be there for the grand opening. When we walked in there were hats everywhere. Like EVERYWHERE. Man Friend found a spot in corner...this was going to be awhile.
Hats were on mannequin heads while others were lain and strewn about. I started to consider the likely hood of my chances of getting lice; not because I believed Easterling's hats we're dirty, but there were a lot of people and a lot of hats, and you know we were all trying on every single one.

After picking up, sizing up, putting on an unknown number of prospects, I finally found one that fit like a glove and framed my face perfectly. As we grow up, we're told when we fall in love with someone and they're "the one" we just know. That feeling we're told is what I felt as I lifted this hat above my face and over onto the top of my head.




This hat was made for me, and hey, I now own a piece of New Orleans history for my pretty little head. I have the #1 Bitch to thank for that.

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