I Love My... Vintage Don Johnson Hat

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Liza Darwin is the Web Editor at Nylon, where her duties include interviewing hot rockstars, attempting nail-art fads, and dissecting fashion trends. Check out her Twitter here!

"All throughout college I had made it a goal to grow out my hair. We’re talking long, mermaid-status hair. And a year out of school, with a wavy mane well past my chest, I was pretty much there. However, one fateful brunch in April my attitude shifted. It was one of the first days of spring and I was already uncomfortably warm. Considering this was only the beginning of what was sure to be a hot summer, I knew dealing with another season of heavy hair wouldn’t be fun.

"I was literally just talking to my roommates over Eggs Benedict about how I had been thinking about taking the plunge and chopping it all off, when this girl walked into the restaurant (fate!). She had a choppy bob that hit just below her ears, and she instantly stood out from the rest of the shaggy weekend crowd. She didn’t look too boyish (a fear that had held me back before), but just effortlessly cool. In other words, I was inspired by a total stranger.

"That same day, I headed to the salon and chopped 12 inches off my hair. The experience was totally awesome and freeing and exhilarating…and kind of scary. It’s still a big change for me—and one that requires some wardrobe adjustments. In addition to my uniform of cropped tees, high-waisted skirts, and breezy dresses, I’m now way more into wearing hats. I bought this Don Johnson one last summer at the Brooklyn Flea immediately after moving to New York. I originally bought it because I liked the romantic idea of a hat having a story behind it, but I had barely worn it up until now, save for Fashion Week, and at some random parties. Although I had always felt shy about wearing it with my long hair, paired with an Alexa Chung-style haircut, hats now make any outfit complete.

"Whereas at first my purple topper served mostly as a security blanket for my new haircut, I now look at it in a totally different way. It’s a conversation piece, a sun-blocker, and has an easy vibe, like I just grabbed it off the rack and headed out the door (which is often true, but it’s usually when I’m running late and the hat is buried under a pile of clothes on my bedroom floor). It’s no longer part of a disguise—it’s just me."