Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Tip of the Hat

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Tip of the Hat

Article excerpt

"Hats off to summer," say the season's bronze goddesses.

"No. Hats ON," say the new sun worshippers, who are taking to head-coverings like swimmers to water.

The beauty-minded among us have finally started to pay heed to what the health-care professionals have been telling us for several years: that a glowing tan isn't a sign of health at all, but a precursor of wrinkles - or worse.

"Hat sales have been phenomenal this season," said Kim Phillips, public relations coordinator for Venture. "Sales are up 21 percent over last year," which, she added, also saw a jump in hat sales over the year before.

Informal surveys of other area stores uncovered the same surge (although after seeing a display of straw sun hats near a supermarket check-out counter early in the summer, we weren't surprised).

Tracy Zakrzewski, manager of Contempo Casuals in the Chesterfield Mall, said that her store has always done well with hats - but not as well as this year. Jackie Kolberg, assistant manager at Pier I on Olive Street, said they not only sold more hats this year than last, they also sold out sooner than they ever did before. By the middle of June, the store's entire summer hat stock was low.

There's more than responsible dermatology at work here. There's also a lot of fashion. "Women may start out looking for protection from the sun," said Pam Younger, fashion events manager for Famous-Barr, "but once they get to the store, it becomes a fashion thing."

Little wonder. Hat buying this season is truly brimming with possibilities. What could be better than a big-brimmed hat for keeping the sun off your face? And what could be more striking than that same hat with a flowing scarf wrapped around the crown or an eye-catching flower blooming on the brim?

"Flower embellishments are very strong," said Mariam Dennis, Dillard's director of special events. …

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