The Hat Edition

After following the exciting and extravagant affair of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week in my previous column, I wasn’t quite sure what would flow from my fingertips when I sat down to write this week’s words. Happily, and also surprisingly, there are two things I’m going to ponder over this time, so there you go – two for the price of one!

First of all, I want to explain just how important clothes really are. Now I’m not simply saying this as a style, clothes and shopping obsessed nut, and I understand that some may disagree with my next statement entirely, but here goes: your clothes say a lot about you and really are extremely important. I must admit that I’ve always felt this way, but last week it cropped up again in the back of my mind for one reason in particular; I bought some official College merchandise. Rugby shirts, athletics tops, beanie hats and socks – there was a huge selection to choose from. But I could only laugh when I felt one billion percent more ‘college’ (legitimate) when I became another face wearing our college’s rugby shirt to both lounge around in and also wear when supporting our sports teams in the numerous finals we’ve been in over the past two weeks… and unfortunately lost, but that’s beside the point..

What makes it even funnier, is that the new international exchange students were treated to a second semester college tradition, where our commencement was officially marked when the Dean of Students introduced us individually at a formal ‘High Table’ dinner in front of everyone and we were invited to sign THE book; a book of names and signatures of every student who has lived at college since it opened in 1937. Now this all sounds very fancy, and it was pretty special, but I genuinely do feel like more of an official college ‘ranger’ by wearing a simple rugby top with our three staple colours. Funny how that works, hey?

I’d now like to bring you on to my hat dilemma, in the hope that typing it all out on this page will help me reach a solution. For our mid-semester break in two weeks, I am heading up to Queensland and spending the week on the beach, near the Great Barrier Reef. Excited doesn’t quite cover it, but here’s my problem; I need a summer hat! There are just so many different types to choose from; a trilby or classic 90s bucket hat? A boring baseball cap or a straw hat? HELP. For some reason, the idea of strolling along the beach wearing a completely over-sized floppy hat has resonated. Looking silly, out of proportion, and just like a downright poser aren’t the only problems I face though; I’m only taking hand luggage, so I’ll have to wear my huge hat walking around the airport AND on the plane (if that’s not an annoying air passenger, I don’t know what is), but how do I choose the right colour? Black is not appropriate in the sunshine, white will only get filthy and ultimately, it will have to work with my bikinis. A fast-fashion Aussie shop, ‘Cotton-On’ has a fair few for under $20 – considering the expense of Melbourne, this will probably be my best bet.

Obviously, at the end of the day, it’s most important to stay safe in the scorching Australian sunshine, but the shopping trip I’m about to embark on is going to involve lots of posing, lots of hat-trying and lots of whining at my friends for advice…oh, poor them.

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