Shop Local, Think Global | Milliner Vanilla Beane

December 7, 2009

The weather outside might be frightful but my Internet search engine is so delightful with images of spring frocks and sandals. As a Washingtonian, my must attend events of the summer involve outdoors, horses and hats. Yes, the horse races. Sure we don’t have the Kentucky Derby but we do have Gold Cup, a slew of polo cups and Preakness. Ahh horse racing season. When fratasticity ensues on the polo fields with Lilly Pulitzer dresses, madras, Ray-bans, flip flops and yes hats.

For the past couple of seasons, I’ve bought cheap hats because I was scared of losing expensive hats on the polo field during the all day drinking sessions. Yes I just admitted I drink, I think I’m entitled to do so. After all I am in my mid 20s. The times are changing and we’re all getting older. Isn’t it time to get over the aggressive drinking and act our age? Every grown woman should have a well made hat that she can wear to church, brunch or the horse races. Which is why I am obsessed with my friend Jeni’s granny Vanilla Beane and her fabulous hats.

The 89 year old milliner and fashionista in her own right, has been one of Washington’s best kept secrets. With an impressive clientele under her hat, including former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Berry’s wives and prominent judges and socialites and civil rights activist Dorothy Height, Vanilla Beane is the woman to go to when looking for a one of a kind creation fit for any fair lady. Mrs. Beane has a shop in Northwest, which Jeni raves about. I have yet to meet Mrs. Beane but a one of a kind, handmade hat is on my list of must haves for 2010.

Email me if you are interested in getting a hat from Vanilla Beane at makeda[at]

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