On Tuesday, I went to REI on my annual pilgrimage to find a non-hideous winter hat that fits me. My hall closet is a graveyard of ugly, uncomfortable hats bought in years gone by. You see, I have a peculiar affliction—my head is freakishly large. I don’t look like a bobble head doll (at least I don’t think I do), but my head measures 24 inches in circumference. To put that in perspective, Scarlett O’Hara’s waist was 17 inches at the beginning of Gone with the Wind. So finding a winter hat that fits is a challenge for me. Women’s hats don’t come in sizes. They all have a little tag that says “one size fits most” followed by “*except Susan Hubbard.”
Just about every women’s hat I try on perches on the top of my head like a yarmulke. But I thought I might have some luck at REI because they sell a lot of unisex hats (hiking types reject gender stereotypes, I guess). I drive over there and pick up every winter hat in the store that looks like it might possibly stretch over my noggin. Then I move the pile to a big mirror to begin the arduous process of trying them on.
Most fit me like wool swim caps, flattening my ears and leaving compression marks across my forehead.
I ask a passing sales woman her opinion of the loosest of these.
The horror on her face clearly indicates the hat I’m wearing is a non-starter. She fetches a hat from a display. “Here, try this one. It’s a classic that looks great on everyone.”
I can barely get it over the crown of my head.
The sales woman cracks up.
This should be my cue to stomp out of REI in a snit, but I can’t afford to be insulted. I need help.
So she enters into the spirit of the quest, looking for the most ginormous hats in the store. We find one designed for hipster ski bum dudes, the kind of hat that’s supposed to look slouchy and hang down in the back.
My head fills the entire hat, with no fabric left over to slouch. But this hat is comfy, not cutting off the blood circulation to my brain in the least.
Unfortunately, it’s gray with men-at-work orange stripes.
“Does it come in any other colors?”
Of course not. Hipster dudes like the gray/orange combo. Middle-aged female mystery authors, not so much.
So I leave REI empty-headed. Now I’m on a mission to find this brand of hat, Turtle Fur, online and see what other styles and colors their hats come in. I feel a little guilty for showrooming in REI then buying online, but hey, the saleslady did laugh at me, right?
Two hours of internet surfing later, I discover a hat that resembles the one that fit me in REI, but comes in a muted green/slate blue color combo that matches both of my winter coats. This hat is also designed for hipster dudes, but has a crossover suburban mom appeal. I click BUY and hope for the best.
Today, my hat arrived.
Eureka! It fits. It’s warm and comfy. It’s not winning any fashion awards, but it’s not hideous.
I bet Scarlett O’Hara could wear it as a mini-skirt.