Aretha’s Inaugural headwear made about as much an impression as her version of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” which was in such high demand that she’s released it digitally. Her hat is also in high demand – the Museum of American History (one of the 19 Smithsonians) is hoping that she’ll donate it to them.
Aretha said that she’s considering donating her hat to the Smithsonian Institute, but no decisions have been announced. The hat itself was made by a Detroit hatmaker who now has a month-long backlog of people clamoring for a similarly bedecked headdress. Although he won’t make an exact replica, he will be making something close for those who have lined up to remember the Inauguration with a custom-made bling bling lid.
Whether the Big Bow (all fancy hats need a nickname) will be on public display for future generations is up to the Queen of Soul. If she were to donate it, it would be in fine company: the National Museum of American History also houses Lincoln’s top hat, and with his 200th birthday tomorrow and the significance he’s had for the Obama campaign, perhaps it’s only fitting that Aretha’s Big Bow go to live alongside Lincoln’s top hat.
And so we award Aretha Franklin a slightly overdue Fantasy T-Wearer Award, though in this case we present her with a cap. While we acknowledge that a baseball hat doesn’t make the same impression that a Swarovski crystal-encrusted headdress does, regrettably we don’t do jewels yet.