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Hats on to winter!



Published: Wed, February 12, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



By MARALINE KUBIK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

Babushkas, fedoras, berets and caps. On cold, wintry days, some folks will wear anything to keep their heads warm.

Others are strictly stylish, choosing to sport the shivers and blue lips over a hat that might allow them to be mistaken for Daniel Boone in his coonskin road kill, Sherlock Holmes in his houndstooth deerstalker, Abe Lincoln in his towering top hat, or Minnie Pearl in her fruit-and-flower-laden bonnet.

Stylish folks, it seems, wouldn't dream of wearing anything that might muss their hair.

Rose Street of Liberty knows what that's like. She hates hats.

The wind chill must be in the single digits before she'll even tie a scarf around her head. Although she has a drawer full of hats, she said an arctic blast would have to send the mercury dipping to below zero before she'd wear one.

JoAnn Lightfoot of Youngstown isn't so opposed to cold-weather head wear. She wears a hat whenever it is cold and, she added, "on bad-hair days."

Sporting a stylish, plum-colored chenille hat with a roll-up brim -- a perfect match for her cozy, plum-colored fleece jacket -- Lightfoot said choosing a hat isn't a big deal. She buys them to match her outerwear at whatever store she happens to be visiting. She's been known to buy identical styles in different colors. "Right now I have two hats. The other one is just like this but it's winter white," she added.

Wouldn't be without 'em

For Geneva Oliver of Niles, wearing a hat is a way of life.

"I wear hats year-round. I have a coat rack just for hats," she said.

With a rackful to choose from, Oliver makes her selection based on her mood. A soft, black, brimmed hat made of angora yarn is among her favorites for frigid days. She said she's had that hat for about 15 years and holds onto it because it still looks like new and serves its purpose well.

Bill Griffith of Boardman wears hats all the time, too. In the winter, he said his hat of choice is a wool plaid cap. In the summer he sports the same style, but opts for a cap made of lightweight cotton.

Ryan McCoy of Campbell has Oliver and Griffith both beat. "I wear two hats all the time," he boasts: a snug-fitting skull cap under either a stocking cap or a baseball cap, depending on the weather.

He's been sporting the skull cap since junior high and added the second hat about 12 years ago, when he entered high school.

Kevin Riggleman of Niles wears baseball caps whenever he's running late and doesn't have time to do his hair. That happens more often in the winter, he said, because he is more conscientious about styling his hair in the summer. If he wears a baseball cap too often during the summer, Riggleman explained, he develops an unusual tan line across his forehead.

A kid's lids

Eight-year-old Andrew Comstock of Boardman loves his hats.

Among his favorites are a colorful court-jester style that ties under his chin and has ear flaps -- "Uncle Rob bought it for me," he said -- and a festive red and green hat embellished with white snowmen and pompoms.

Andrew said he usually wears hats "during the winter" and "whenever Mommy tells me."

Sometimes his mom chooses what he'll wear, sometimes he makes the selection. When he gets to choose, Andrew said he likes to mix it up: one hat for school and another to go shopping with mom.

Andrew's newest hat, and current favorite, is a fluorescent yellow stocking cap that glows in the dark.

kubik@vindy.com




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