Sunshine by Hester beret haul (Halloween and Drag Race inspired berets!)

Ever since I first laid eyes on Sunshine by Hester’s berets I knew I had to have some. For those who aren’t as obsessed with berets as I am Sunshine by Hester is a company run by fashion designer Hester Sunshine and is a hand-made US based fantastical fashion line. Her designs are bold, colourful and feel like cartoons come to life. So essentially everything I love.

Hester’s personal style also reflects this and I love every outfit she puts together and when looking through her Instagram to give examples of her style I realised how much I subconsciously was influenced by her when I saw that we both own the same ‘Little Devil’ beret. I really admire how she has such a distinctive bold, primary colour inspired kitch style and I hope one day my own style will be as defined as hers.

While Hester is also known for her newly launched bandanas and halloween special bonnets (I’ve also seen Easter ones too!), as well as custom fashion creations; it’s Hester’s berets that have always caught my eye. Quite simply, because as anyone who follows me on Instagram knows I am beret lover and honestly now I think this may have transcended to collector.

When I saw on her brand’s Instagram that she was re-stocking her Halloween berets that I missed out on last year I knew I had to have some. As in I set my alarm for 2 in the morning to make sure I had some. In my sleepy haze, I made a snap decision between the purple and black version of the ‘Feeling Witchy’ beret that part of me regrets but as you’ll see the berets I got are absolutely gorgeous.

Now, Hester’s berets are custom made so do cost more but honestly they were one of the products where I could sense the extra quality right from unpacking them from the little details to how the berets were lined to their structure. Shipping is also the same flat rate no matter how many berets you order as well, which is a real bonus for international customers.

I limited myself to one Halloween beret (I just couldn’t afford to pick up the Trick or Treat one) and I also picked up one of her newly released Ru Paul’s Drag Race berets because of my love for the show and also because I’ve been needing a pink beret to add to my collection.

The berets actually arrived fairly quickly and were packaged in an adorable Halloween parcel bag, which I can’t bear to throw away.

Feeling Witchy beret – in Black 

So this beret really appealed to me not only because I love Halloween and I find comfort in things associated with witches (who doesn’t love powerful women?!); but because of the embroidery on the top of the beret. Since I’m short I thought that people would at least notice it (ha, ha) but also I don’t have a beret like it yet and I really like it as a extra touch. At first, on the website I didn’t understand what the letters where on the top of the beret but in person I realised they stood for ‘SbH’ i.e. Sunshine By Hester and I really like how each beret is ‘signed off’ in this way.

The text and detail on the top of the beret is also silver and glittery, which I really love and is definitely one of the details where you can see where the extra craftsmanship has gone in. I also love the extra lining that both berets have on the inside not only, as it helps protect the shape of the beret but also shows that every detail in the making of this beret didn’t go unnoticed. Sunshine by Hester in this way reminds me a lot of Irregular Choice, as both brands pay attention to all the little details.

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Shashay Shantay Berets – in light pink

When I saw this beret I fell in love but wasn’t originally going to purchase it because the dark pink option wasn’t for me. When I saw there was a black option I became more tempted and when ordering day came and I saw the light pink option I knew I needed to get it. On one side of the beret in white glitter writing it reads ‘Shantay you Stay’ and the other side it reads ‘Sashay Away’ just like the two declarations that Ru Paul famously tells contestants who are in the bottom two.

This beret like the other one looks great on, the only thing I’ve been struggling with which I think may be due to my head shape is sitting the beret on my head so that you can see both the writing at the front and back. This mostly matters to me because I want to tell people who look at me from behind to ‘Sashay Away’! I have a feeling this might be user error though so I’m definitely going to have a play with the beret.

Sunshine by Hester sashay away beret

Shantay you stay beret

Sashay Away beret

Sunshine by Hester drag race beret

In conclusion, I love these berets and definitely recommend them to anyone who is a collector of alternative, distinctive fashion pieces. I can’t wait till Hester gets back off holiday as I definitely may have to order some of the berets from her classic collection!

Hester is currently on holiday till December 7th so you won’t be able to pick up her berets until then, however her berets will be stocked in Planet Cute Shop in Brooklyn, New York. 

Website: https://www.sunshinebyhester.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sunshinebyhester/

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

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How Kiki’s Delivery Service helped my mental health

Main Image: Kiki’s Delivery Service/ Studio Ghibli 

I am currently trying to pretend that Halloween is not over. Although, I am very much excited for the Christmas drinks at Costa; I can never fully get into the Christmas spirit until the December ‘I need to buy presents now’ panic hits in. Therefore, I thought it would be better to look back and reflect on my Halloween costume, and why I chose that particular costume, rather than get myself into a funk.

If you know me at least moderately well, you’ll know I like to dress up. While I have not done more than a smattering of cosplays (because I build the expectations I have for a costume up too high in my head); I love cosplay. I love dressing up and becoming a character. Recently, anyone who follows me on Twitter will know I have been making my way through the Studio Ghibli canon, and one film really stood out to me the most, and if you haven’t guessed it already that film was Kiki’s Delivery Service.

For those of you who don’t know Kiki’s Delivery Service is about a young witch who has come of age, and decides to leave home for a year (a witch tradition) to decide what magic/ what kind of witch she wants to be.

The film then is about growing up, and transforming from one stage of your life to another. What the film also talks about (which I’m not the only one to notice) is depression. During the film (spoiler alert) Kiki loses her magical powers and doesn’t understand why. No matter what she does things are just not working like they used to.

Kiki

Image: Kiki’s Delivery Service/ Studio Ghibli 

She talks to her artist friend Ursula (who is totally cool and lives in a cottage in the woods that I would totally frequent minus the crows) who tells her that she went through the same thing with her art. One of the pieces of advice she gives is:

“Stop trying. Take long walks. Look at scenery. Doze off at noon. Don’t even think about flying. And then, pretty soon, you’ll be flying again.”

Which for me basically translates to take some time and look after you. Beating yourself up because you’ve lost inspiration or are going for a depressive episode is not going to help. All you can do is try to look after you.

Kiki and Ursula

Image: Kiki’s Delivery Service/ Studio Ghibli 

The film also discusses friendship for those who struggle at. In the film Kiki laments:

“I think something’s wrong with me. I make friends, then suddenly I can’t bear to be with any of them. Seems like that other me, the cheerful and honest one, went away somewhere.”

Kiki Mardy

Image: Kiki’s Delivery Service/ Studio Ghibli 

I love, love my friends but very often I get myself into a rut and I just don’t want to be anywhere near anyone. I’ve missed several events because of that (don’t even get me started on building up expectations for events) and so can truly relate.

So, you can see why Kiki definitely has a special place in my heart. I did however hesitate with the costume, because it was never made clear what ethnicity Kiki is. I think cosplaying a character if you are not the race of the character (i.e. if you are not a minority) should always be treated carefully and with respect. I personally don’t feel comfortable cosplaying a character of another ethnicity to me, usually because that character is a minority in film/ tv/ literature or whatever the medium is- it feels like I am taking the character away from someone.

In the end I decided to cosplay as Kiki because Kiki’s ethnicity was never absolutely defined. In Spirited Away for example the film is set in Japan, and the lead’s character’s name (Chihiro Ogino) and appearance is Japanese.

However, I think personally as long as you don’t try to match your skin tone to that character (i.e. blackface) I don’t have an issue. In an ideal world there would not be an issue at all but to ignore the aspect ethnicity plays in our society today would be wrong. I am not though a person of colour so really you shouldn’t be paying attention to what I say in this debate, but actually asking people affected.

Kiki, as a character though means a lot to me. Not only has she become someone I can relate to, but the film and its beauty inspired a new burst of creativity in me that I have not felt for so long. For that reason Kiki’s Delivery Service is always going to have a special place in my heart.

Kiki's Delivery Service

🍂April🍂

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