The Green Novelist: Rescuing a Beloved Hat

photo credit: Neal3K Handle With Care via photopin (license)

A series of posts by a Toronto-based novelist who’s trying to reduce her carbon footprint by making more thoughtful choices in her daily life.

Around 2009, I purchased—for the reasonable sum of $70—a gorgeous winter hat from upscale retailer Holt Renfrew (then known for its great assortment of hats) in downtown Toronto. The hat, made in Italy for Holts, was a 1920’s-style cloche that perfectly suited my vintage aesthetic: chocolate brown wool felt adorned in front with a cluster of satin roses in shades of beige, camel, and taupe, mixed with a couple of roses in deep brown velvet.

Every year or two, I dropped off my hat at The Hatter (a Toronto store that sells men’s hats) for a thorough cleaning. But by the spring of 2019, the brim, subjected to years of wear and tear, was badly misshapen. The Hatter cleaned the hat but they were unable to restore its original shape. I considered replacing the hat . . . but I didn’t really want to. I love this unique hat, I know I’ll never find another one to replace it, and above all, I didn’t want to create more waste by throwing it out.

Donating it to a second-hand shop wasn’t an option because—to be frank—who is going to buy a misshapen hat?

So I set out on a quest to rescue my hat. After a brief online search, I found a shop that restores the shape of women’s hats: David Dunkley Fine Millinery at 974 Bathurst St., just north of Bloor ( This charming shop, which sells its own exquisite women’s hats, replaced the worn-out wire from the brim of my cloche and magically restored its shape! I wound up with a hat that looks just as beautiful as it did on the day I purchased it, at a price (approximately $45) that was much lower than the cost of a comparable new hat.

Best of all, I was able to avoid adding more junk to the planet!

Visit Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist, online at or on Twitter at and sign up for free updates at ‪  Kathleen’s first novel, Love Is the Punch Line, a midlife romance set in the world of stand-up comedy, is available NOW, in trade paperback and ebook from ( and Indigo Books and Music ( Visit the Love Is the Punch Line Media Room at







Author: kath1960

A lover of words who writes from the heart. Welcome to my site! I’m a refugee from the corporate world, a lover of books, dogs, and 1940’s/1950’s vintage clothing (not necessarily in that order!), a wife and a mom . . . and, oh yeah, a novelist! My first novel, a lighthearted romance set in the world of stand-up comedy, will be published by Moonshine Cove in April 2018.

2 thoughts on “The Green Novelist: Rescuing a Beloved Hat”

  1. Hi Kathleen,How are things going with you and your family? Do you have any plans for the summer? I notice things are slowly opening up, but not yet back to “normal”. How is your new novel coming along? I haven’t heard from anyone from CCH for a long time. Perhaps once things are a little more regular we can meet for lunch. Have a nice weekend.David 

    Liked by 1 person

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