Hats Off To Life!

After seeing photos from the Royal Wedding, I couldnt NOT POST about this phenomenal charity that I know of run by a friend of mine named Margie Bijou.

After a cousin’s hat got chewed up by her dog just a week before her sons bar mitzvah, and Margie fashioned one out of a yarmulke and the remaining flowers, Margie became a hat enthusiast and eventually founded the charity HATS OFF FOR LIFE in memory of her beloved cousin Ezra Abraham who passed away after a 7 year struggle with a rare pediatric cancer.

Margie collects vintage and new hats, even adding her own veils and flourishes. She has 300+ hats in her collection and she has been dubbed “the hat lady” by most of the women she knows. She rents the hats to women who need them for a special occasion for a fee of $100-$150. The money goes directly to the To Life foundation which tries to alieviate the suffering of children and teens suffering from cancer by creating “To life living rooms” in hospitals around the country.

Margie gives endlessly of herself to this cause, Hats Off To Life is completely non-profit- and while doing so has created some pretty stunning fashion forward hats! She’s putting The Royal’s milliner to shame with some of her fabulous creations!


Irish designer Philip Treacy made most of the hats for royals attending the wedding_ 36 in all that included creations for Prince Charles’ wife, the duchess of Cornwall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Princess Michael of Kent, Queen Anna-Marie of Greece and Princess Mathilde of Belgium.

He also designed a hat for Hollywood royalty: Victoria Beckham wore a midnight blue Treacy hat. And dozens of less famous guests wore his creations_ many resembling architectural works meant to elongate and frame the face.

Princess Beatrice, the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, was wearing an ensemble of Valentino couture and gloves by Cornelia James with Treacy hats that rose like a modernist building from her hair.

Her sister, Princess Eugenie, was wearing an outfit by Vivienne Westwood with an equally dramatic hat.

Some guests’ hats looked like dinner plates. Others were so large they covered faces. One woman wore a bright red fascinator_ a hairpiece attached to a clip or a comb_ that resembled a flame licking her cheek.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s wife, Samantha, broke with tradition: she wore a sparkly hair clip instead of a hat, and a tight turquoise dress.

Zara Phillips, the queen’s granddaughter, was wearing Paul Costelloe. The couple’s friend, Tara Palmer Tomkinson was wearing Deborah Milner.

The wedding presents a golden opportunity for designers. Many replica hats and dresses are expected to be in shops this week.

(All Hats Off To Life Photos are courtesy of Margie Bijou.)

Margie works out of a studio in her home assisted by Lucy Sutton and Lorraine Chera and many woman have also donated their very expensive hats as well. Hats Off To Life has hatted over 600+ women and completely funded one “To Life Living Room,” another one is in the works!

I wanted to share this beautiful charity with you and this is the perfect time to do it! Hats will be seeing a major comeback in America, why not contribute to this beautiful cause while being outfitted for your special occasion.

You can read more about the foundation HERE, and contact Margie, The Hat Lady, at hatsofftolife@aol.com, or visit their website HERE.

Happy Sunday!

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  1. Hats will definitely make a comeback! I know I’m obsessed. I love Princess Beatrice’s hat. Your friends work is amazing. I love the butterfly one. I’ll be checking her out!

  2. SO fabulous, Nicole! Thank you for sharing this beautiful charity; next time I find myself in need of a fabulous chapeau, I’ll be looking her up. xo