If the Dress is the Cake, Then the Hat is the Frosting

Keona's Boutique Hat Fashions
Rows of hats from Keona's Boutique; Mary in pink hat; Judie in a hat from Keona's; Mary in black hat

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

The Mad Hatter would be right at home at Keona’s Boutique, a shop on Fifth Street across from Embassy Suites. There are big hats, little hats, bright-colored hats, felt hats, casual hats, formal hats, hats like the Royal Family wears, and even tiny hats on bands (called fascinator).

Mary King has owned and operated Keona’s Boutique downtown for 30 years. She has always loved fashion and when she discussed the possibility of opening a boutique – not a clothing store, but a boutique – her husband told her to go for it. She decided to name the boutique after her daughter, Keon, but thought that didn’t sound just right, so she added a “a” and named it Keona’s.

As well as hats, the store also carries ladies suits, dresses and accessories. Mary goes to market and trade shows to see what is the newest styles, but when it comes to selecting items for her boutique, she chooses what feels right to her and what she believes her customers will like. Then she orders one of each. Unlike traditional stores with a multitude of the same dress or suit, Mary chooses just one so that her customers will never have to worry about showing up at church or a special event and seeing the same outfit on another woman. She also feels the fabric before purchasing because she wants to carry clothes that are made well from quality fabrics.

Hats are a specialty and Mary believes in helping her customers select what looks right on them. She has been known to be quite blunt and tell someone that the hat they’re looking at just doesn’t look well on them. Hats must fit the body shape, shoulders and face of the person. Tall people can wear big hats; petite ladies should choose smaller hats. If you have long hair, pull your hair behind your ears when wearing a hat. She suggests putting on the hat from the front and then adjusting it toward the back, but a hat should never touch the shoulders. Many hats can be worn several ways – decorative bows could be worn in the front, to the side, or to the back, depending on the look the person wants to achieve.

Ladies can find a hat to fit almost any social occasion, from casual outings to luncheons to formal affairs. Pants suits can be topped off with a sportier hat, while church attire should have a more elegant hat. One fashion faux pas ladies often commit is not matching their hat to their shoes.

Mary suggests when you store your hats, put white tissue paper inside to keep the hat’s shape and store in a hat box.

As British hat designer Philip Tracy remarked, “How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about.”


About: Judie Holcomb-Pack

Judie Holcomb-Pack, APR, has spent most of her career in marketing, advertising and public relations, retiring from a local nonprofit. In 2014 she became the editor for For Seniors Only. A graduate of Forsyth Technical Community College, Judie was honored with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003. She enjoys a great cup of coffee and stimulating conversation and is a die-hard Virginia Tech Hokies football fan.

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