Style

Sunbody Hats

I bought my first Sunbody Hat in 2016. I don’t know how I tolerated summer before then. Maybe I didn’t. We had fans (not air conditioning) growing up, and I used to stick my head in the freezer periodically. “Don’t do that,” my mother would say.  Even as a child, I didn’t like being hot.

Sunbody Hats are made in Mexico and Guatemala from neutral-colored palm leaves. The brand itself is based in Texas—they even have a showroom—and its culture vibes with cowboys, guitarists, and historical reenactors. Their classic styles transcend Texas culture. I’ve never been to the Lone Star State and am far from being Southern, but I own three Sunbody Hats—the swinger, the Sam Houston planter, and the teardrop fedora. I bought them all online from Village Hat Shop.

The swinger has a 5” downturned brim. When I wear it with sunglasses, an A-line dress, and espadrilles, I feel like an Old Hollywood star. I like to wear the hat tilted slightly forward, which obscures my face and adds a bit of mystery. The 4” crown is a bit shallow, which means the swinger is most likely to fly on a windy day. I sewed a black grosgrain ribbon on both sides and tie the ends together under my chin to prevent it from flying too far. The hat band is black and made of cloth.

The Sam Houston planter also has a black cloth band and 5” brim. But, unlike the swinger, the brim is turned upwards, which makes more of my face visible. I tend to wear this one with the brim parallel to the ground. It’s ideal in situations, like dolphin watching in Cape May, where I want shade and an unobstructed view. This style has a 5 3/4” crown, which measures 4 1/4″ when creased down.

The teardrop fedora is my most-worn style. I wear it on my daily commute. When it gets too crowded on public transport, I hold the hat by the brim instead of wearing it. It’s easier to maneuver a hat with a 3” brim in these situations than it is to manage a hat with a 5” brim. The fedora came with a brown leather band, which I removed. I bought a beautiful, black grosgrain band from Montecristo Panama Hats on Etsy but have yet to attach it. I’ve been wearing the black band from the Sam Houston planter on the fedora in the meantime. The teardrop fedora can be purchased on the Sunbody Hats website with either a black leather band, a brown leather band, or a black cloth band. I wear this style at various angles. Sometimes I tilt it forward. Sometimes I tilt it back. Sometimes I wear it parallel with the ground. It has a 4 1/2” crown.

Not only are Sunbody Hats practical as a natural form of sunscreen, but they are effective conversation starters. I receive an almost-overwhelming amount of compliments whenever I wear them. They’re beautiful and, up North where the brand doesn’t seem to have a presence, a rare sight. 

Works Sighted

Sunbody Hats teardrop fedora

Further Reading

The Charming Sun Hat (TCE)

Veja Campo

I received my introduction to the French brand Veja in October 2018. I’d ordered two pairs (in 39 and 40) of the V-10 from Zappos. The high top rubbed uncomfortably against my ankle, and I returned them. I waited a few years before ordering a different style. In September 2022, I bought two pairs of the Campo in bronze and white, again from Zappos. They were stolen in transit. My third attempt at acquiring and keeping a pair of Vejas was successful. In March 2023, I purchased the Campo in white and black from the Veja store in the18eme and have been wearing them ever since.

Deciding between sizes 39 and 40 took at least an hour. My instep is on the higher side, and the 40 seemed accommodating in this regard. However, the length of my foot is closer to a 39, which is the size I ended up committing to. I loosened the laces to allow for a little more room.

The break-in period for this sneaker was long and uncomfortable—at least a month with consistent wear. Initially, the toebox rubbed against the top of my toes. After a day of walking, I was relieved to take them off. Eventually, the leather became supple and the sole pliable. I don’t have issues with the toebox now.

Veja sneakers are attractive. The V logo looks like it’s peeking above the rim of the sole—clever in my opinion. Known for its sustainable measures, the brand uses materials like bovine ChromeFree leather, Amazonian and recycled rubber, organic cotton, rice waste, and recycled polyester. The sneakers are manufactured in Brazil through fair trade partnerships

Although the Campo may not be comfortable enough for me to buy again, I’d be open to trying other Veja styles, some in the running category perhaps. It’s pronounced “veh-ja” by the way.

Works Sighted

Veja Campo (white/black)

Lola (1961): Cécile in Nantes

In Jacques Demy’s Lola (1961), single-mother Cécile (played by Anouk Aimée) balances life’s demands gracefully. She’s always rushing and asking people for the time. On a typical day, she picks her son up from school, tucks him into bed, and heads out the door for work. Known on the stage as Lola, Cécile performs nightly at a cabaret in Nantes.

The cabaret is a party with free-flowing Champagne, ribbons, and music, a playground for the American sailors passing through the port city. In her line of work, it’s common for male patrons to become emotionally attached, but Cécile’s heart is reserved for someone else, and she isn’t timid about making this fact known.

Cécile finds pleasure in being feminine: admiring her silky hair after it has been washed, applying lipstick in her signature color, accessorizing a sheath dress with just the right necklace and jacket. She doesn’t know her own strength when it comes to captivating men on and off the stage. Even if she did, she wouldn’t sacrifice her attractiveness. She adorns herself with makeup, jewelry, and clothing for her own enjoyment.

Works Sighted

shirt // top hat // necklace // coat // tumbler // book

silver ribbon // gold ribbon // Champagne // bodysuit // comb // lipstick // fedora // candles

comic // dictionary // heels // flowers // cake

satchel // trumpet // vinyl // suitcase

Les Amants (1958): Jeanne Between Paris and the Provinces

Jeanne Tournier lives in la campagne but prefers Paris. She escapes to the capital at every opportunity, staying with her friend Maggy. Henri, Jeanne’s husband, doesn’t appreciate her; he hasn’t for years. Henri senses that his wife is slipping away and attempts to shower her with affection. His efforts are inauthentic and too late. Jeanne is a woman who needs to be loved, and Henri is no longer son amant.

Works Sighted

dress // nightgown // robe // sweater // scarf // skirt

heels // hair comb // alarm clock // necklace // flats // flats

Shopping for Basics at Monoprix

I really love shopping for classic pieces at Monoprix. They carry my size and have reasonable prices. I pick out my items online first and then search for them at a brick-and-mortar location. The hunt often takes me to a few branches of the retail chain. Here are all the items I’ve been fawning over lately.

Works Sighted

sweater // trench coat // puffer jacket

T-shirt // handbag // marinière

pants // ballet flats // gym bag

La Pointe Courte (1955): Elle in Sète

Elle was born in Paris and prefers city life over the quiet existence of the countryside. When her husband travels to his hometown of Sète in southeast France, she follows by train a few days later. Elle has a lot of time to reflect on their four-year marriage, and when she reunites with Lui, she’s ready to discuss it. Over the next few days, they talk about the meaning of love and the possibility of discontinuing their relationship. The passing of time is signaled by Elle’s changing outfits; her clothes are more sophisticated than those worn by the residents of the coastal town. A conclusion regarding the marriage is reached after several cinematic strolls by the water.

Works Sighted

clothesline // clothespins // top // sweater // kitchen towels

marinière // skirt // scarf // dress

baskets // shoes // suitcase // espadrilles