Taking Cover

 Image shows woman looking out from under a white hat and wears a red dress in hulu room poster for TV show.Alright, I confess, I hate them. Those pale, flimsy fabric bonnets. Why would anyone speaking for themselves wear one? When I would watch Little House on the Prairie, I didn’t understand the point of wearing the brimless, lacey ones. No refuge from the rain. The dust was not deterred. I figured hair ribbons would have been more useful.

Also, people who wear hats for religious reasons don’t bother me as long as free will is part of the deal. Symbols of piety and modesty can be beautiful. I’m peeved about frilly bonnets on humans older than two, ok? And, I understand oppressors can use clothing to control. I don’t want any part of those systems. This is why after seeing promos for The Handmaid’s Tale, I’m torn about my sudden interest in…bonnets.

Susan, you might be thinking, you just admitted you’re not smitten with bonnets. You’re not okay with oppressive clothing. Why on earth would the uniforms of persecuted handmaids intrigue you, a sensible and sensitive woman?

Exactly. I’m sensitive. Light sensitive! And when I first glimpsed those Puritan-esque winged bonnets pictured in show reviews, I paused in thought. Would those ugly symbols of control help reduce glare, guarding my eyes from painful bright light? My hatred faltered.

Promotional image for Hulu's Handmaid's Tale shows multiple women dressed in bonnets and red dresses.Functional and fashionable design makes a great hat. Online, the winged version caught my curiosity: I learned the coveted style worn by the handmaid is called a poke bonnet. I can’t call it a great hat, but it’s unique.

I prefer the look of say a throwback cloche, but it’s thin edge offers no relief for my vision issues. However, the poke bonnet features extended side coverage that yes, obscures the face, but may block pesky peripheral sunbeams, too. It’s not like I’m seeing much from the sides anyway. Imagine me riding the bus, weeding the flower beds, and walking the terriers around Mayberry wearing a stiff poke bonnet. People would double-take between the white hat and the white cane. Will I ever find a suitable sunbonnet? Who knows. Tomorrow the bright sun will rise, and I will seek a form of shade.

What do you wear to block the sun? Have you read or watched The Handmaid’s Tale? Don’t you think those outfits are cheeky modern protest garb, too?  Tell me about it.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Casee says:

    I haven’t seen the show but I like the bonnets. I wear sunglasses that block sun from the sides. I wear them on cloudy days too. I always wear a hat but I can see myself in that poke bonnet. Perhaps a nice yellow when I’m feeling optimistic or black for more solemn occasions. A nice light blue one for the beach. If a bonnet fashion revolution is on the way then count me sort of in! I still think they look dorky. 😁😁😁

  2. Your review made me smile! Not too sure about poke bonnets when it comes to crossing the road! In my city many young women have adapted the hijab into beautiful colours and subtle ways of tying them. Beautiful as well as making a gentle statement. I have seen the first episode of The Handmaid’s Tale…gorgeous and unsettling.

    1. I would love to see a fashion show spread of people wearing beautiful and artfully tied hijabs. I’ll have to do some googling.

  3. MamaRupp says:

    I just picked up a sun hat from cost plus world market. They’ve got a huge selection from wide brimmed to not so wide. Mine is a tan colored woven straw sun hat that has just the right amount of sun coverage without being too floppy.

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