Hat Drama & Decorating with Hats

Welcome to the 422nd Metamorphosis Monday!

Did you know there’s such a thing as hat drama? lol Okay, I’m being silly but I have had a bit of drama over the past year with finding and holding onto the right hat.

Back in the fall of 2015 when I was planning a trip to Kenya, I did a lot of research about what I should take with me on the trip. One oft recommended item was a hat for sun protection. Since I would be heading to Italy the following month, a hat sounded like a good investment.

In my search, I kept reading good things about Tilley hats. Most looked a bit on the masculine side, especially the ones that were being recommended for safaris, but this one caught my eye. It had that outdoorsy feel, yet also looked stylish.


I especially loved the little decorative banding that gathered together and hung down in back. So cute!


Then, in Susan fashion, I promptly lost it on my very first trip out of the country. It never even made it to Africa, much less Italy. I hadn’t wanted to squish it into my suitcase, even though it’s supposed to be packable, so I decided to just carry it. Big mistake!

Unfortunately when I got to Paris and was deplaning for my connection to Nairobi, the nice gentleman who offered to retrieve my carry-on luggage from the overhead bin, didn’t see my hat. In my tiredness after an overnight flight, I totally forgot it was even up there. I remembered it about 2-1/2 hours later when I was just getting ready to board the Kenya Air flight to Nairobi. It was too late then to go back and search for it. Drat!


I never got around to replacing it but now that I’m headed back to a sun-filled country where I’ll be spending 2-3 days in the desert, I figured I’d better get on that! I had ordered my Tilley hat from Amazon and I remembered when it arrived, tucked down inside the hat was an “Owner’s Manual.” The manual contained lots of good information, including this statement below under the “Insurance” heading:

If your Hat has been irretrievably lost, stolen or destroyed within 2 years of date of purchase, we will replace it at 50% of current catalogue price, plus shipping and taxes.

What they left off was, “unless you purchased it on Amazon.”


When I called Tilley to inquire about purchasing the hat again at half-price, as soon as I stated I had purchased it via Amazon, they told me that they wouldn’t honor the warranty. They will only honor the warranty if you buy it directly from them.

On Amazon it sells for $83.95, while at the Tilley website it’s $100. I guess that extra $16.05 you pay when you purchase it directly from Tilley is the cost of the insurance. I was disappointed to hear they wouldn’t honor the warranty and decided to just purchase it once again on Amazon. (You’ll find the hat here: Tilley Hat.)

There’s a bit more to this story that you might find interesting. Not too long after my return home from Africa, I received a call from an Air France employee saying they had my hat. I had put my phone number in the hat as recommended in the owner’s manual and it had worked. Someone had found it and called me!

I told the Air France employee that I had tucked a $20 bill into the hidden pocket in the inside top of the hat (that’s another little tip suggested inside the “owner’s manual) and I asked if they would put it in a large envelope and mail it back to me using the money for postage. I told her I’d be happy to reimburse them if the cost was more.

The woman I was talking with said she didn’t know and would have to ask her supervisor. I never heard back from her again and never got an answer when I tried calling her back a few times.

More Hat Drama (Hats don’t like me!)

After losing my Tilley hat, last summer I purchased another hat that caught my eye. You may remember this adorable sunhat shared in a previous post last summer.


It can be ordered with a black, cream or navy bow and I purchased it in the navy bow version. (Scroll down to see all three colors it comes in here: Straw Bow Hat.)

When it arrived I was disappointed to see that the hat was actually much darker in color than shown in the photo online, so I returned it. Recently when I was trying to decide if I should purchase another Tilley hat or something altogether different, I decided to give the sunhat another try, despite its darker appearance.


This time I purchased it in the cream bow version, thinking that would be nice for summer and go with almost any outfit. See what I mean, it looks so much darker in real life than in the photo above. Or, does it?


This morning on a lark, I took it outside to see how it looks outdoors. Looks a lot lighter, doesn’t it? It’s still not as light as in the photos from the website, but definitely a lot lighter in appearance than when viewing it indoors.

You’ll find this adorable hat available in three different bow colors here: Bow Sunhat.


I also broke down and re-ordered the Tilley hat from Amazon again. I think I’ll take both hats with me when I travel to Morocco in March. At least if I lose one, I’ll have a spare this time! lol They both claim to be packable, so I’m squishing them into my suitcase. Don’t want to risk leaving either in an airport or on a plane.

Hat Storage

So, where am I going to store all these hats when I’m not wearing them? Ummm, I have an idea!


I couldn’t find the picture that I most wanted to show you, but this one from Sarah Richardson’s wonderful beach cottage is close enough.  I’ve always loved the idea of hanging hats around a mirror, especially in an entry. I don’t have a place where I can do this, but I did think of another spot that would be cute.

Photo from Sarah Richardson’s Beach Cottage Home


I think I’m going to lower the Bucket List Travel Map I have here in the office down a bit (it’s always felt a bit too high anyway) and place a vintage hat rack on the wall above the map. (Travel Scratch off map is available here: Travel Map.

Not sure if it will work or how it’s going to look…


…but a few days ago I ordered this vintage wood wall hat rack on Etsy. It may be too small, but I loved the vintage look of it. It looks like the kind of hat rack you would see on the wall of that marvelous house in the movie, Australia. It just feels sort of British Colonial to me.


I think the warm, wood tone of the hat rack will work nicely with the warm tones of the baskets, ottoman and wood floors here in the office.


Plus, there’s a brown basket beside the chair where I store books/magazines, too. Again, it may turn out to be too small for that area, I’ll know once it arrives.


So that’s what I’m working on around here right now. Will keep you posted on how the new hat rack works. Hope you have a wonderful week! Winter has returned here so I’m staying snuggled down inside as much as possible.

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  1. I bet you look great in both of those hats. I love hats, but like you, I can’t keep up with them. All I have to do is take it off once, and I never find it again. What a great idea to write your phone number inside. Sorry that didn’t work out for you. Can’t wait to see your great hat rack on the wall. Thank you for hosting.

  2. That’s a great idea for storing the hats, I’ll be looking forward to seeing the end result. p.s. I really enjoy reading your blogs. Thanks!

  3. It’s unusual to see stylish hats in my area so I stopped wearing mine. Having read this I’ll be taking out my summer straws and will wear them. What a nice way to start my day. Bought my first fancy hat at 15, still have it but a bit too snug now. My hat collection over the years has grown and it’s a thrill to remember why and where I bought them. Travels in Europe it’s my go to souvenir. In spring and summer I often give luncheons or teas and the ladies select a hat to wear from my collection, and it’s a much anticipated event each year. Susan, wearing a hat is an attitude and once you have that you can wear any hat. Promise.

    • I love that, Kem…I’m going to remember that! πŸ™‚ I just need to adjust my attitude a bit. I love hats, love how they look on other people…thinking Princess Diana, Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn…so I’m going to give this hat thing a try this summer. πŸ™‚

  4. The hats are so nice. Looking forward to
    seeing them hung by the map. The
    rack does have that colonial flare.

  5. Well, that is some hat drama! Who knew re: Tilley’s guarantee not being honored if purchased from Amazon?! My husband has a couple of their hats, and we knew they guaranteed them, but his 2nd one was bought on Amazon. So much for that. I really like both your hats. Maybe you should get those little clips and/or string attachments used for babies’ mittens to keep your hats secure on these next trips. πŸ™‚
    Btw, that last post on the animals of Africa was amazing. Thanks for sharing it. I feel the same as you in going through all my photos of our trip across America last summer. I still haven’t gotten them all organized.
    Have a great week, Susan.

    • I actually saw something similar to that online…it’s was sorta like a clothesline, with hats pinned to it.
      Thanks, Rita! It is exhausting going through pictures isn’t it? It’s like taking a never ending eye exam, having to decide if the last picture or the next picture is sharper/better. It’s exhausting! I still haven’t gotten through all of the Africa ones, yet but I made it through the majority.
      Was thinking about you today and your kitchen update…hope all is going well! XX

  6. Susan your blog continues to be my favorite. I love your easy style of writing that makes me feel like we are sitting in my kitchen sharing a cup of coffee together. Thank you!

  7. Susan, I love hats, especially really wide brim hats. If we lived in Kentucky, I’d be at the Kentucky Derby every year just to get a big, new Derby hat. Going just once is on my Bucket List. We actually have a hall tree in our foyer where I can use the display idea you shared, surrounding it with hats hung on the wall. Thank you for sharing.

    Recently rewatched an old Alfred Hitchcock movie set in Morocco – “The Man Who Knew Too Much” with Jimmy Stewart (my favorite). Good Hitchcock thriller if you like his movies. You should get some more great photos while there.

  8. Hi! I’ve been away from Naps from a while but am happily back and loving all that you do. Browsing your office pix, I spy a really intriguing throw on your foot rest underneath your travel map. See letters, what does it say? And, since whatever you do seems to speak to me, where did you buy it?
    Nancy B

  9. I do so love hats! thanks for sharing these, they are wonderful.

  10. I love hats too, and have a number of them. I feel a bit silly in them for no good reason, but I do like them as hanging decor. Does the ribbon come off of your cream ribbon hat or is it glued on? You could buy various ribbons in navy etc if it does to change it out. I would like bright pink too. Sage green. Black.

    • You know why I think we sometimes feel silly in them, I think it’s because we just don’t see that many folks wearing them these days, unless it’s a sunhat at the beach. I definitely want to start wearing them more during the summer. Yup, they glued the bows in place, I guess to keep them looking straight and in place. But the band on the Tilley hat can be changed out. Apparently, at some point, Tilley made some different color bands that you could order and I think the Tilley hat actually came with an extra band in a different color. Not sure why they discontinued that. I need to look for some pretty ribbon I can cut to change it out periodically. Thanks, Jillian for those suggestions! I love the bright pink and sage green ideas…two of my fave colors!

  11. Nothing better than a hat wardrobe! Happy travels Susan!

  12. Love your idea with your hats. I really like both hats but was wondering if you came across when you were looking, do hats come in sizes. I can never find a hat that fits me. Just wondering? Thanks.

    • Thanks, Irene! The Tilley hat does come in different sizes and they have a chart that shows you the different sizes. I wore a Small in it. The sunhat doesn’t come in different sizes, but it’s designed with a ribbon built into the inside rim of the hat that you can tighten to adjust how it fits. It seems to work pretty well. I had to make it a little bit smaller.

  13. rattlebridge farm says

    Lovely hat rack and map. Thanks for hosting.

  14. Does the straw sunhat fold to pack? I got a straw hat at Disney World that can be crushed to pack. I’d like to get new one for a trip and I really like yours.

    • Yup, it’s supposed to, it’s says that it’s “packable” at the website. I saw a similar hat somewhere on another website when I was shopping for hats and they had folded up the sides, but I’m not going to do that. I’m afraid I would look like the Flying Nun wearing it after it being folded that way. So I’m going to place it in the suitcase, rim down, stuffing/filling it full of socks or underwear first to help hold it’s shape. Then I’m going to place the clothes around it. I have a pretty big suitcase, so that should work. You can see all three colors here: http://bit.ly/2mDqZRx. I love all three colors so it was hard choosing. I finally went with it in the cream bow and then ordered the blue one, too.

  15. Thanks for hosting Susan. Wow, that’s a really nice warranty for them to offer to replace the hat for 50% of price! Liz

  16. Elizabeth Roderick says

    Loved the hat story! I feel inspired to get one. Have a wonderful trip!

  17. Where did you get that mirror next to your world map,and above the chest? Thanks!

  18. Susan, I can relate to “hat drama”. I love hats, but somehow I look like a toadstool in a hat, becoming much shorter. LOL. When I went to Jamaica some years back with a hat, it was so aggravating keeping up with it. If I were traveling, a hat would have to go in the suitcase like those fold up canvas things men wear.
    Do you think once the Air France employee found the $20, she didn’t notify her supervisor ? Going to all the trouble to contact you and then not following through.
    BTW Love the hats you picked out.

  19. bobbi duncan says

    I adore hats! They are worn by quite a lot of people where I live, especially to all the equestrian shows that are held near us (it’s like the Kentucky Derby around here with all the amazing hats). Unfortunately, with my short hair, I only look good in certain hats, so that has been somewhat challenging. Just found out about a women, not far from me, that makes custom hats. I may give that a try if she isn’t terribly expensive. The hats you pictured are really nice and hanging them on a rack is a great way to keep them in shape.

  20. I think hats on a rack above your map will look perfect. Can’t wait to see what you do.

  21. Thanks so much for the party!!

  22. Susan, be careful about packing that straw hat. My sister and I bought straw sun hats the night before we flew to St Kitts. The sales clerk assured us that they were packable. They were not. I still have mine although it is completely misshapen. Can’t bring myself to toss it because I remember how much I paid for it. Your straw hat is lovely!

  23. Thanks for this info Linda. My husband and I just ordered our passports so I have some future traveling to look forward to. I ordered the Tilley hat and another one of their that is straw because of the sizing. My head must be really large because the ‘one size’ hats never fit me. So I ordered the two Tilley hats because they come in Xtra Large. Will see how that works and return them if too large.

  24. Susan, How funny is it that riding the Peloton not only shrinks your behind but also makes you look good in a hat! Amazing. You got me interested in the bike but the nearest dealer is about 340 miles from me and that is too much money to risk on something that could become a clothes rack. I am not an exercise fan and I never learned to ride a bike. We lived in the city and my mother worried that I would be hit by a car. Your enthusiasm is catching and I am glad it is working out for you. Keep it up!

  25. Oh I think you could almost hang you hat rack vertical on the right side of the window, of course I don’t know how far the bookcase goes to the window but just an idea. Very cute piece.

  26. Hats…Yes hats for me! I grew up watching ladies wear hats and gloves to church, into the city, etc. I have a few hats in my stash…some quite nice and others more casual. I am a from Ky and we go for Derby Hats! In fact…one begins with a hat and then puts an outfit with the hat. But sometimes in the reverse. Custom hats are quite a big business in Ky. πŸ™‚ I have a straw sunhat very much like your’s with the bow. Mine is crushable, packable…and great for throwing into the car or taking to the beach. I wish hats would come back into style! πŸ™‚ Sheila

  27. Love your hat story. I have a straw half brim hat trimmed in black velvet ribbon that my mother bought when she was seventeen. She paid three months salary for it, about $35.00. (That was a lot of money for that day.) I have it hanging on a mirror in my bedroom as a decorative accent. I’m like you, have never thought I looked good in hats. I sure wish that person from the airline had followed through. Love you blog…

  28. Hi Susan…I’m coming in late here, but I know quite a few credit card cos. will insure ( I think they call it Assurance Program) items lost, stolen or broken. You would need to read their guidelines, but several years ago Amex covered a signed art print print chewed up by my kitty! It was laying out to be framed and I was sick about it. I was honest to them about this and received payment! Anyway, for future reference.

  29. I have one of those scratch off maps, too. I really thought I had been to quite a few countries until i began scratching and it looks like I have traveled very little!

  30. Cyndi Raines says

    I Love hats and wore them a lot in the late 80’s when I lived in Dallas, Texas – love that city and state!! But since moving back home to MI, usually only wear sun hats now at the beach. I hang mine on a hall tree by the front door, they look really cute there. I agree with the above statement – it is an attitude!! The more you wear, the more you like and when I did /do wear them, I always get compliments. Really like the Tilly hat and the straw hat with the blue bow. Can’t believe the employee didn’t follow through, especially after making the phone call! How very disappointing!

    • Hello, what a fun post! I had a couple of thoughts to share.
      1st, define location — I’ve traveled a bit and there us definitely a difference between going from one luxury location to another — to– backpacking it. When they recommend a hat it would be : according to location and USE. I’ve done deserts and jungles and a hat is more than sun shade, it’s sun screen and bug screen. And I choose to look stylish as well. But stayed away from navy as I was smart enough to know I didn’t want to attract more heat. I have several grosgrain ribbons already made up to fit attach with a snap so it always matches the outfit. It’s washable and packable.
      Ah.. define packable then– each manufacturer can say that — they do ship to don’t they? Yes. Take note how coz that’s how you have to pack it. Some are roll up, some are more rigid. All straw and felt are heat sensitive as that’s how they are shaped. I have 3 straw, each packs differently. The one I think links nicest on me is a pack flat with a roll places on the brim. I use my old stocking filled with scented hankies and I use linen scent.
      As for stoage– any hat worth it’s muster ( and cost) would NEVER be stored hanging off a wooden dowel. All the money you just invested in finding that perfect hat.. wasted. The firm would just be lost and they do collect dust. Nope. Hat boxes are the way to store your hats. I have 5 Charlie-One-Horse and several other brand cowboy hats from straw to felt and up. As well as my backpacking and my luxury hats — all in boxes. Some doubled up. All with a picture of me in the hat on the front of the box. With purchase info. Makes choosing easier!
      And finally, if you want kitchen looking stirage. Put your no longer wearing hats up there. They might as well be recycled as art!

      also word to the wise. Don’t mention the money next time. Just thank the lady. Get the hat back and then reward
      Enjoy your hats!

  31. Cecilia from Georgia says

    Susan, your “Hat Drama” had me laughing out loud! I can totally relate to losing something every time I travel:( Putting your phone # and some money in the hat is brilliant! So, I had a great hat in London and wore it everywhere but now I’m going on a Scandinavian trip and want a new hat. I love the one you have with the back of the brim turned up. What brand is that one? The Atlanta airport has so many shops that sell hats and it’s fun to try them on so I can see what looks the best. But, this only works if I get there with plenty of time to spare…seldom happens. Have a great year traveling and I look forward to your posts.

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