Hatitude on parade

The National Trust hosts its annual celebration of chapeaux

Clockwise from top right: Kendra Gass won the Most Hatitude competition last year; Kelsie Woodman-Bodden, crowned Miss World Cayman in 2018, wore bright tropical colours last year; Cynthia Hew was a well-chapeauxed host; Verity Scott makes a statement with peacock feathers.

It is time once again for islanders to don their fanciest chapeaux and head to Grand Old House for the annual Hatitude event, being held on 1 Feb. from 2-4:30pm.

This is the seventh annual Hatitude social, hosted by the National Trust, and this time it is a tea, rather than a brunch. After all, beautiful hats and hot cuppas go hand-in-hand.

Each year, the Trust themes its family friendly event to bring awareness to Cayman’s unique and delicate natural environment. This year’s theme is ‘Tea by the Sea’ – a fitting title that ties into Cayman’s strong connection to its precious coral reefs, incredible marine life and maritime heritage.

Hatitude guests are encouraged to pull from nautical inspiration, from iconic sea turtles to vibrant coral reefs teeming with life.

The tea menu, prepared by Grand Old House, will be complemented by Prosecco and the tea will be provided by Tea Time in Cayman. In addition, event-goers will be treated to the full high tea dining experience including sweet and savoury bites, quiche, mini-sandwiches, scones and a selection of desserts. Special musical guest DannyLoops will bring some smooth vibes to match the breezes wafting over the deck. Just as before, there will be a dedicated kids’ craft corner to keep the little ones occupied. Attendees can enter to win raffle prizes thanks to the kind donations from many local businesses, and back by popular demand will be a fun photo booth by PartyBooth Cayman.

Proceeds from Hatitude, the National Trust’s largest fundraising event of the year, will enable the Trust to continue its work to protect Cayman’s natural environment. The money also goes towards preserving buildings of historic importance and providing hikes, tours, workshops and activities for visitors, residents and local students.

Tickets for the National Trust’s Hatitude are $75 for adult members/$90 for adult non-members and $45 for children members (ages 6-12)/$50 for children non-members.
There will be no ticket sales at the event. To reserve a ticket or table, email [email protected]. Tickets can be purchased online as well by visiting www.nationaltrust.org.ky.

Interesting hat facts

London black taxis are made tall so that a gentleman can ride in them without taking off a top hat. George Dunnage, the inventor of the top hat, also patented a way of ventilating them. He designed a unique version of this famous hat featuring a top which lifted off, just like a car sunroof. This was designed to keep the wearer’s head cool.

The earliest record of hat-wearing comes from a cave at Lussac-les-Châteaux in central France. The rock drawings there are 15,000 years old and we’ve been putting things on our heads ever since.

In the middle of the 19th century, baseball umpires wore top hats during the game.

White tall chef hats (known as toques) traditionally have 100 pleats to represent the hundred ways an egg can be prepared.

Panama hats are actually made in Ecuador.

In Fargo, North Dakota, there is a law stating that one may be jailed for wearing a hat while dancing, or even for wearing a hat to a function where dancing is taking place.

The bowler hat, symbol of the City of London commuter, began life as a riding helmet. It was designed in 1849 by the London hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler as a tough, low-rise hat to protect mounted gamekeepers from low-hanging branches. Its practicality and strength made it the hat of choice for American cowboys, who knew it as the derby.

After British railway workers wore it in Peru and Bolivia in the ‘20s, Quechua and Aymara women adopted it as part of their national dress, renaming it the bombin.

The smallest hat worn by men was from the 18th century and it was a tricorn hat with dimensions of two inches by four inches – very wee. It was worn on the top of the gentleman’s wig.

Men’s hats were taxed in the UK from 1784 to 1811. The tax payable depended on the price of the hat.

In the time of Elizabeth I, everyone over the age of 7 other than lords, ladies and knights, had to wear a flat cap on Sundays and holidays.

The Trilby hat takes its name from George du Maurier’s 1894 novel ‘Trilby’. Such a hat was worn in the first London stage production of the book.

A milliner makes or sells women’s hats. A maker of men’s hats is a hatter.