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hat trick

January 19, 2012

To amp up your style quotient – or to introduce color to your black winter outfit – wear a hat.

For vintage-inspired hats with a contemporary look, try the Merino wool, hand-felted hats by Wendy Allen of Unionville, N.C.

Trained as a milliner before she taught herself to felt, Allen uses traditional millinery techniques to finish her hats. Her attention to detail paid off.

While living in San Francisco several years ago, Allen’s sold her whimsical and wearable hats to upscale stores, such as Le Bon Marche in Paris, Henri Bendel in New York and museum shops in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

To keep her line current, Allen watches color trends, peruses Tokyo runway magazines and experiments with graphics.

This year, she is using rich jewel tones. Allen’s hats range from $62 to $186. The hat (above) is $166.

If hats aren’t for you, Allen makes other accessories, such as mufflers and scarves ($45 to $80), fingerless mittens ($45 to $55), children’s hats and felted flowers ($20), which can be worn as a pin or hair accessory.

Check her website:

P.S. Meet Wendy Allen and get an up-close look at her modern classics at the annual American Craft Council Show March 8-11 at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta.

For admission and show details, visit

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