Ask any of my relatives what food item I resembled as a baby, and you’re likely to get this common answer: a siopao. I owe this largely to my complexion and round, bald head.
This baldness at birth is a staple in my father’s lineage – an heirloom propensity where even the girls are not exempt.
My mother happily took to dressing me in dresses and hats, perhaps in an effort to make me look less of a baby boy.
Me on my first birthday
This tradition continued until I was about two, when my head was shaved for the last time.
Angel at age 2
When the hems of my dresses grew longer, my hair too grew out as I outgrew my hats.
But my affinity for them couldn’t be capped so easily, and this outfit pays homage to that fondness.
Sometimes I come across pictures from the 1930’s and older, and muse over how sharply people used to dress. Besides providing protection from the elements, hats indicated social status and functioned as confidence boosters.
Today, one would be hard-pressed to find occasions to wear hats, especially in a tropical country like the Philippines. But I subscribe to the notion that non-occasions can be occasions in themselves — hence my sporting a hat and a dress to school one Tuesday in August.
For an even more vintage feel, my wuvly photographer and I headed to the art deco-inspired Aldaba Hall for this shoot.
The printed yellow dress is a P35 ukay find from Ayala. My gray hat (P269) is from Landmark, worn with shoes by Comfit and a quaint mustache ring.