How to Fascinate in New York City: Shopping with Hats!

Diane Raaum and I recently got our New York fix together. She reflects on one particularly fun aspect of our trip in this guest blog post.


On a recent trip to New York City, I was fortunate to be able to travel with The Rollerbag Goddess. As friends we share lots of interests and one includes a love for The Big Apple. So when I suggested that we go visit, I knew that she would jump at the chance.

Diane and Charish plan their day in the city, from the breakfast table of their
funky little sublet in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Photo (on timer) by Charish Badzinski.

Planning our trips is always part of the fun. This time Rollerbag Goddess stated that she thought it would be a blast if we would bring our glamorous outfits and accessories. I joked and went along and envisioned wearing my finest attire in the city, but for some reason when it came time to pack I held back on taking my glitz. I packed clothes and accessories that I knew would look good- but nothing too flashy. However, on a last minute whim I throw in my little black fascinator hairpiece.

Diane fascinates, while Charish steals Diane’s fascinator headpiece. 
Cellphone self-portrait.
We had Saturday brunch reservations at Pastis, and decided to dress like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The little black fascinator was perfect for the occasion. 

Brunch at Pastis. Breads from Balthazar, center left.
Photo by Charish Badzinski. 
The reservations were for early morning, so wearing furs and hats at that hour was head turning from people that we passed on the street. The stares were unsettling and I wasn’t sure if I could pull this off all day. But on the advice of Rollerbag Goddess she said that I just needed to “own” it.

Gratuitous food porn shot. Eggs Bennie at Pastis. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

I took her advice and after that embracing our attire was what the day became about. Almost everyone that we came in contact with had a response or question for us. Are you in a play? Are you actresses? Are you going to see Barbra Streisand? Where did you purchase them? Why are you wearing them? Who is the designer? Where are you going? What do you call that; I would like to buy one for my wife.

Sipping coffee at the bar and waiting for our table at Pastis. Photo by Diane Raaum.

We were asked for our e-mail addresses by a clerk at the Kate Spade store, as she wanted to stay in contact with us and ensured us that she would send us a photo of her when she found a hat to wear. The clerk at Saks Fifth Avenue with his hand over his heart simply said, “I live for you.”

Shoe shopping at Saks.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.
What transpired throughout the day of wearing our hats was really a wonderful experience in connecting with total strangers in a large city. Throughout the day the comments and conversations were ones that would never have happened without the opportunity for them to comment on our attire.

Diane rocks the fascinator. Photo by Charish Badzinski. 

The people we talked with enjoyed getting to learn what our day was about and to meet a couple of Mid-western gals enjoying a trip to New York. In a city that large, it is intimidating to talk to strangers, but the hats opened the door. It was a spectacular Saturday.

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Diane Raaum, publisher of Coulee Region Women magazine, loves to travel and explore new places.  Wearing the fascinator in New York City was one of her most fascinating days of travel. 

Creative Commons License
Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

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