Any Excuse to Travel

Bonnets and Belgrade

I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I have a big head. It rarely bothers me except when I get the urge to buy a hat. The average head size for a woman is 56 – and I’m a 60. Couple that to having to wear glasses and it’s rare indeed that I find a hat that a) suits me and b) I like.

In Belgrade, walking down Balkan street, I passed a hat shop. Actually, I passed four shops with hats in their windows, two of which were devoted exclusively to hats. I went into one. And it turned out the be the oldest hat shop in the city. It’s been in the Andelković family for three generations and has been operating since the early 1950s.

Most of the hats are made these days by Veljko Andelković and it’s obvious that the millinery skill has been passed down from father to son. The summer collection is cute, light, and colourful. And he caters for big heads like mine.

I spent a lovely half-hour with Ivana trying on various styles, shapes, and colours and came away with not one, but two. I’m already looking forward to the Fall collection and as for winter…

With so much of what’s on our shelves today originating in China, it’s a pleasure to walk into a shop that has been in operation for 60 years, is being handed down through generations, and doesn’t have the need to advertise: there’s no name on the door. It’s simply the hat shop. And I’d edit that last sentence to add emphasis… it’s the hat shop in Belgrade. And if you’re curious, šešir is the Serbian for hat.

Address: 36 Balkan street. Open Monday to Friday 8-8, Saturday till 4 and closed Sunday.

Now, once you’ve bought a red car, every car you see is red. The same goes for hat shops. Since I went into the first one, I’ve been tripping over them. MVK took me to another one today to buy a hat for the Derby… this one has been in business for 20 years and yes, their hats are all handmade, too. Mine is one-of-a-kind – an experiment of sorts. Mam, dad, and daughter run the show and dad suggested I needed a more glamourous dress for the hat I eventually bought. The cheek! I am impressed, though, with the hive of activity in Belgrade and the sheer choice of locally made products. Who’d have thought it eh?

Vesna – the fancy hat shop, Kraljvica Marka 13, Belgrade

Share:

Sign up here to get an email whenever I post something new.

Never miss a post

Give stories, not stuff.

Do you need to find a gift for a traveling loved one? The best gifts are experiences. Stories and memories last far longer than ‘stuff’. Try Tinggly for thousands of great experiences and gift ideas.

More Posts

Staying local at Kányavári sziget

We dream of islands in the sun. Exotic places where we can get away from it all. We spend hundreds if not thousands of whatevers

Opatija, Croatia – Revisited

We did something we wouldn’t normally do. We booked into a posh hotel. The second-oldest hotel on the Adriatic – the Scessionist-style Heritage Hotel Imperial.

Small stone with the writing: Thank you Michael written in blue between a red heart and a green, white, and yellow flag. In the top left of the photo is a gold coin

Béal na Bláth, Co. Cork, Ireland

One of the many joys of road trips (that way offset the possibility of a breakdown, because, let’s face it, that’s just a possibility) is

The Kingdom of Kerry, Ireland

Back in the first century AD when the O’Connor clan took over the tract of land between the Shannon Estuary and the Maine River, the

Sneem, Co. Kerry, Ireland

The village of Sneem in Co. Kerry is the knot (an tSnaidhm) on the Ring of Kerry. It’s a happening spot, replete with the colourful

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.