Vintage Blogger Spotlight: VintageRoseGirl + The "100 Hats Project"

Eliza Schneider-Green of VintageRoseGirl discusses the "One Hundred Hats Project," an ode to her ever-growing vintage hat collection. Each entry includes information on the hat style, label, age, where it was purchased and how it fits into Eliza's own personal history! You can find her on Instagram at @vintagerosegirl, or #onehundredhats.

"I have always loved hats, possibly a result of having grown up watching movies from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, but I remember buying my first hat when I was ten and feeling an instant connection.  That connection really hasn’t left me since then, so I suppose that’s when I became so incredibly passionate about hats."

Eliza said she is drawn to hats because of "the statement that they make."

"They can change the whole dynamic of an outfit and the entire attitude of the person wearing them. Hats are natural conversation-starters.... When I’m in thrift stores or antique shops, or even perusing Etsy, I’m always looking for hats that tell a story [moved from other spot in interview]."

Eliza speaks to United States of Vintage about some of her favorite hats, how her knowledge of historical costumes benefits her while vintage shopping, and advice on how to keep your own vintage collection from stretching into obsession.

All photos courtesy Eliza Schneider-Green of VintageRoseGirl

Do you have any favorite hats?

Oh, this is difficult!  I have so many hats that are incredibly bold, so I definitely have a favorite from that category – a gorgeous 1940s tilt hat made out of a stiff brown felt and vibrant green pipe cleaners (Hat No. 4 of the One Hundred Hats Project, pictured above).

My favorite hat, judging solely on sentimentality, is the one that my grandfather was rarely seen without.  It’s a simple stiff white cotton sport hat with a very small brim, and I’m reminded of him every time I see it.

What do you look for when shopping for a vintage hat? 

The best part of shopping for hats is the feeling when one just fits you perfectly  I like to try them on before I buy them and some hats just absolutely feel right.

Are there any particular styles on your 'bucket list'?

I have been on the hunt for an 1890s equestrian hat for years.

I remember seeing a beautiful black silk hat with a dramatic sweeping veil in an antique store when I was about 12, but when I went back for it the next day, someone had snatched it up.  Naturally I’ve been bitter ever since!

You are interested in historical costumes. How does that knowledge influence your shopping? 

I think the biggest way that my knowledge in historical costuming influences me is my ability to date the clothing and hats that I find online or in thrift stores.  Knowing everything from different fabrics and hemming techniques to the different fonts used on labels helps identify when that particular item is from.  This takes lots of practice, and sometimes you have to trust your instincts and use your own knowledge instead of relying solely on the date that the seller provides.  It’s a fine art!  I find myself constantly feeling the fabric, checking for hidden labels that might provide information, and Googling the brand name to see when that particular brand name was first and when it was last used.

Of course, in the end, it’s about buying what I love, but having this knowledge allows me to dig a little bit deeper into every piece I find – which, for a research junkie like myself, is heavenly.

In your blog post introducing the project, you briefly address the concept of a collection versus hoarding. What advice do you offer to someone who's afraid that starting their own vintage collection will automatically brand them as a hoarder?

I’ve actually thought about this topic a lot lately.  I believe that collections have a very clear purpose - you have specific things which you allow into your collection and when shopping, you shop for those specific things - whereas hoarding is a compulsive disorder.

When I first started my hat collection, I would buy nearly every hat that I found, because I thought that I would NEVER find anything better.  But nowadays, I only buy the show-stoppers – the hats that I can’t get out of my mind, or the ones that just feel right.

I think that one’s thought process is the main difference between collecting and hoarding.  A collector sets specific goals and has specific guidelines about the things they will or will not add to their collection, whereas a hoarder buys without this thought process.  For those of you who are still on the fence about whether or not you are ready to become a collector, I highly suggest the “Catch and Release System” – buy what you absolutely love, and when the honeymoon phase is over (due to a change in style or a completely full closet) sell that particular item to make room for the next show-stopper that comes along.  This allows you to dip your toes into the collecting world without truly committing!

But the most important part, whether you’re a serious collector or not, is to buy what you buy because you love it!

Check out some of Eliza's favorite vintage stores on our vintage shopping map


  1. Oh just lovely. What an amazing interview. "I remember seeing a beautiful black silk hat with a dramatic sweeping veil in an antique store when I was about 12, but when I went back for it the next day, someone had snatched it up. Naturally I’ve been bitter ever since!" This is one of my favorite quotes. Great Job Eliza.

  2. I love this! I've been trying to buy only showstopper pieces now, too, since my closet got too crowded. I find it difficult to resell many items, too, so I'm just trying to be more careful about what I buy in the first place!