If you want to get ahead...

THE Ascot scene in My Fair Lady is probably responsible for my lifelong love of hats. Ever since I first saw the film as a little girl, I've fondly imagined that the right hat could similarly transform me into an elegant, poised woman-about-town like Eliza Doolittle.

THE Ascot scene in My Fair Lady is probably responsible for my lifelong love of hats. Ever since I first saw the film as a little girl, I've fondly imagined that the right hat could similarly transform me into an elegant, poised woman-about-town like Eliza Doolittle.

In reality, my curly mop and round face mean the finished effect is less Audrey Hepburn on Ladies' Day and more Aretha Franklin at President Obama's inauguration. But that has not stopped me from wearing a hat at the drop of one, and I loved the gorgeous photo in last week's News of farmer's wife Jan Overton, who has launched her Get Ahead Hats business at Chapelfield Farm, Stalham.

Nowadays hat-wearing occasions for women are few and far between - weddings, certain race days and meeting royalty are the only ones that come to mind. But there is one role in local public life where it's still de rigueur. I've enjoyed opening the News in the months since Hilary Thompson became mayor of Cromer to look out for her beaming smile under an assortment of heavenly hats.

We all need our morale lifted at this bleak time, and, as Jan says, women will always want to dress the part for a grand occasion despite the credit crunch. So, for your delectation, I give you... Hilary's hats!


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