Aretha Franklin's Inauguration Hat Inspires a Line of Toppers

01/26/2009 at 01:22 PM ET

Jason Reed/Reuters/Landov

Michelle Obama’s look won’t be the only fashion statement to live on past last week’s Inauguration. Selling like hotcakes are $179 versions of Aretha Franklin’s distinctive hat with its Swarovski rhinestone-rimmed bow that the Queen of Soul wore to sing “America” at the swearing-in ceremony. The hat’s designer, Luke Song of Detroit’s Mr. Song Millinery, tells the Los Angeles Times he’s sold thousands since its debut on national TV. While Aretha’s hat was a customized version, Song will be responding to demand by producing a collection of 12 hats in a variety of colors and bow sizes, priced from $150-$220. The Aretha-inspired collection will be shown during February’s Women’s Wear in Nevada trade show in Las Vegas. The company sells its hats in over 500 U.S. stores. and while they usually doesn’t name their toppers, this collection will be named after the singer herself. If you’re dying for a hat like Aretha’s, click over to for contact info. Tell us: Would you wear a hat like Aretha’s?

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Showing 62 comments

Barbara Marsh on

Love your hat, Aretha! It’s so YOU!

ModRepub on

Frankly, I think it’s embarrassing.

Danny on

Seriously? I laughed when I saw her. She looked like a huge Christmas ornament in the stupid hat!

Valerie on

It takes a woman with confidence to wear a hat in this country. Aretha, woman, you rocked it.

NaT on

That hat is beautiful…she looked amazing!

I love you ReeRee on

That hat is so, like really great,
It looks like a Minnie Mouse original
Only a real queen would be bold enough towear something as smashing as a large gray bow, with
Swarovski-Crystal, It is Be U tee Ful!!

Lauren on

That hat was fitting for a queen and an event of that caliber. She looked great! A total throwback to when people got dressed up for big events!!!

Noreen on

She looked atrocious. An old hag like her couldn’t pull it off, someone like Sarah Jessica Parker would definitely look good with it

Veronika on

Dear Madame Aretha:

You have demonstrated the perfect image of
a genuine American Woman.

Your rendition of “America” was truly an
expression from the heart and soul;
you have touched Americans to
feel the RESPECT for this wonderful country.

Your ensemble represented the elegance that
Ms. Aretha so beautifully conveyed.
Of course, I LOVED the “HAT”!!!!!!!
You were a “CLASS-ACT” all-the-way!!!

Thank-You for being there
during this moment in history!!



Joelsa on

I thought this hat served a function purpose (very cold temperatures) in addition to being stylish. This hat is a little driving ms daisy with extra bling. Totally befitting a “queen”

Connie on

Are you serious, it reminds me of a relocated butt bow that were so popular on formal dresses and bridal gowns in the 80’s! Ladies, do not place huge bows anywhere on your person!

Sarah on

NEVER….Would a wear a hat as ugly as that one!!

Kila on

Lovely, just lovely!

I don’t wear hats well myself but am very impressed when a lady can wear a very bold hat. It looked very sweet on her, and added a nice touch to the day!

kathryn williams on

these little children dont know nothing about nothing unless some one is on stage shaking their behinds and half dressed and having no ability to sing. which is most of the so called artist i have witness so far, especially in the pop culture. areatha is an icon. she have talent which she doesn’t have to hide behind like most people today. as for the hat, she has always been a trail blazer, nothing wrong with the hat. just watch, those hats will sell like hot cakes and many knock off’s. any way, what does it matter what some one wears?? oh, i forgot, this is the society where that matters, change people!!!

NuDaiDJ on

I Loved it !!!

Aretha was the something old and something new of this historic event all by herself. She represented old school elegance with modern day functionality.
She was there for the funeral of Dr. King and there for the inaugration of Obama.

For me the hat was the Swarovski Crystal topped cherry on the wedding cake that was inaguration day.

carolyn on

I immediately commented that Aretha Franklin was the best and most appropriately dressed person of the inauguration-making one feel more comfortable knowing she for one was sensibly and stylishly dressed.

LBW on

She looked fine. It was cold and she had to sing. She is in classic wool and her hat is studded with crystals. I liked it!

Kimberly on

I loved the hat. Is is something I would wear as a woman in her 20’s? No, but it looked great on her! I think hats should come back, there is nothing as elegant as a woman in a hat!

Amy on

She looks silly. Minnie Mouse wants her hat back.

rita hays on

People without intelligence belittle anything & everybody, unfortunately they don’t realize their own ignorance. Even if they tried, they could not handle anything more than massproduction on their tatooed body. May it be a hat, a physical aspect or whatever a difference, unfortunately, only a few have have enough caracter to be different. In this case, I hope Ms Franklin is singing it all the way to the Bank. Rita

Emilia on

Well, at first I was shocked when I saw her wearing this hat. But then again, who are we to judge? If she felt comfortable in it – let her be. No one is asking you ladies to go ahead and buy it for yourself…! Leave Ms.Franklin alone already! :)

lisa92865 on

I love Aretha, but anyone who runs out and buys this hat for 180 bucks just because she wore it doesn’t deserve to have that much money to waste. Seriously…in todays society, the majority of women do not even wear hats, so it’ll probably set in your closet forever. And doing something just because a celebrity does it is really brainless. Too many people are followers and not enough are leaders. Get a life of your own, folks. DOn’t buy this silly looking sky piece…buy a few good books or pay down on your student loan instead. This old world needs more educated people and less robots. Thanks.

James Earl Jones Would Like Some Closed Captioning [Feuds] | Gossip Tube on

[…] Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration hat, designed by Detroit milliner Luke Song, will be released for general sale in different colors. […]

uppföljning Aretha och mer radio « Sanna: Mina ord on

[…] uppföljning Aretha och mer radio Hoppa till kommentarer Som vi kunde konstatera förra veckan, följde Aretha Franklin inte radioprogrammet Mitt i Musikens tips om att sjunga Chain of Fools vid presideninstallationen häromveckan. Nu visar det sig att hatten hon bar när hon sjöng det patriotiska stycket America eller My Country blivit en hit. Hattmakaren ifråga, med verksamhet i det i övrigt så krisdrabbade Detroit, meddelar glatt att bes… […]

Biche on

To answer the question: no, I wouldn’t wear a hat like that, but I think she pulled the look off well.

Bonnie on

I think the hat was beautiful and yes it does take a LADY with confidence, and secure with who she is. Perfect especailly for the occasion. For those that don’t like it that’s why it’s called a choice. Everything is not for everybody. But most of all it’s called RESPECT and respecting someone’s choice. Ellen D. was critical of the hat on her show. She of all people should know how she felt when people critized her for her way of life and choices. Women need to be the first to uplift each other not beat us down for a different style. Think before you speak and put your self in that position.

Lisa on

Aretha, you looked FAB U LOUS in that hat.

When I was growing up, ladies wore hats to church, and my grandmother taught me how, when, and why to wear a hat. It is now often considered an old fashioned practice but you just go by a church attended by black women even now and you will see ladies dressed beautifully wearing beautiful hats. You rarely ever see white women wearing hats anymore. I do happen to be white and I was just thrilled to see Aretha (who is so well known her first name is all that needs to be said) dressed so beautifully with that wonderful self confident hat on her head. No matter how old Aretha is, she is an example of grace and class to all women, across all racial and cultural lines. YOU GO ARETHA GIRL!! I have been a fan since I was in grade school!!

Lisa on

Let me clarify something, I do not want to be misunderstood that wearing a hat is a race issue because I mentioned black women vs white women wearing them. I do think though that there must be some kind of cultural history to wearing a hat for black women. I do not know what it is or I that is an accurate way to put it. So before anyone has the chance to accuse me of making racial statements, my previous post was not meant that way. Thank you very much.

just cuz on

This hat is definitely not for everyone.. I personally wouldn’t wear it because I don’t think I could pull it off. I’m still trying to decide whether or not Aretha did.

Aretha Franklin is a Trailblazer in Christmas Ornament Headwear | | Humor Columnist, Pop Culture, Sex, Funny News, It's CandyTV on

[…] Aretha Franklin, whose inauguration hat almost matched the size of her ta-tas, is apparently quite the style trailblazer:  $179 versions of the distinctive hat with its Swarovski rhinestone-rimmed bow are selling like “hotcakes.” […]

Aretha Franklin is a Trailblazer in Christmas Ornament Headwear | | Humor Columnist, Pop Culture, Sex, Funny News, It's CandyTV on

[…] Aretha Franklin, whose inauguration hat almost matched the size of her ta-tas, is apparently quite the style trailblazer: $179 versions of the distinctive hat with its Swarovski rhinestone-rimmed bow are selling like “hotcakes.” […]

monique on

I much prefer the gigantic hat to the gigantic boobs she’s always got hanging out. Thank God it was cold outside.

Mary on

the hat reminded me of something a 6 year old would wear (raven symone when she was on Cosby show)

But hearing her sing brought tears to my eyes as I thought how far African Americans had to come to get to this point.

sun.kissed on

Yeah, I’d wear it if I were 60 years old on the mother’s board at church.

Miller on


this hat is singularly the most awesome piece of clothing ive seen in my life.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T the hat!!!

Denise on

I actually laughed at the hat, but Aretha IS Aretha. Does anyone remember the white bustier and capris she wore at the VH1 Divas concert? She doesn’t care what we think! And she did a great job considering I heard that she refuses to sign in air conditioned halls to protect her voice.

Chasity on


Dianne Brooks on

So, it’s really just a hat? I thought the big bow was supposed to spin with the wind and generate energy. The inauguration was so awesome that I could overlook the “Wind Machine Queen”.


blessd2x on

The hat rocked! You did it once again! Let the haters hate! Everyone can’t wear it, you showed us a classy Lady Aretha Look! Thank you! God Bless!

ladycool on

Aretha is and always will be a music industry icon. To all those who had negative comments…didnt your parents teach you if you dont have any nice to say, dont say anything???
Haters are everywhere!!!

*Bows to the Queen*

nauman on

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nauman on

tyra on

To blessd2x
Just because someone does not like something, that does not make them a hatger. I have just about quit going to church because of people like you.
YOU have a blessed day and stop judging.

gina on

love you, aretha!

Richard Somerville on

My sister Diva, Ms. Ree,

Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t…especially when they can not and have not! You’ve worn it all and been a vision in most of it.

That HAT… and mind you I saw it LIVE… the first thing I said was..:Work That Mother Loving HAT..

Don’t they know… you’ve been setting trends for a lifetime??

Continue and God Bless!!

Debi on

She looked ridiculous. The hat is just as trashy as the way she sang.

…oh, but that’s right, we have the mutt president, now, and that makes everything okay. How appropriate that someone like her should be in the forefront of his inauguration. She is just as trashy as the bull he’s feeding the world.

Teresa on

I thought it was fabulous! Not everyone can pull off a hat like that, but Aretha did.

M. Maurer on

If I were Aretha, the Smithsonian would get that hat in my WILL. Not before. Loved it – why are so many Americans allergic to a little flash & dash?

Jeff on

Not that she hasn’t had other accomplishments, but Miss Thang really needs to consider her legacy.

That hat will live as long as her music, and may reach more people in the long-run.

But I’d love to know if she gets satellite tv with it.

R Brown on

Queen of Soul……your hat was outstanding as was your beautiful redition of “My Country Tis of Thee”

Jane on

I loved it – reminded me of when ladies dressed for the occasion.

Pj on

Aretha is a legend! She will be going down in history for singing for Dr. Martin Luther King during the early years for civil rights and for the swearing in of the first African-American President Mr. Barack Obama. She’s the Queen and she dosen’t care what anyone thinks about her styling of dress. She’s been like that for a long time. If you’ve got confidence in yourself you don’t care about what others think of you. And the hat was Fabulous!!! Fit for a Queen.

Chris on

If you are looking for a similarly-styled “Aretha hat” that is inexpensive compared to other selections available on the internet, try:

Lubo on

I don’t know why people make such a big deal of fashion, but i am a long time fan of the queen, and my thing is that she was awesome with her rendition of that song, and it would and should make anyone proud to be living in america!!!! WHAT A VOICE!! WHAT A WOMAN!!! WHAT A GIFT!!!!!

many on

На данном сайте вы можете легко и бесплатно скачать софт и всё это бесплатно и без проблем.

Rosie Khan on

Satellite TV users will definitely grow in the following years and also satellite internet users..-;

Sophia Wilson on

i have a satellite TV and cable TV at home, both of them are good~`’

Rain Jacket  on

satellite TV is getting cheap nowadays, i would like to have my own satellite TV too:~;

Blank Fax Cover Sheet : on

satellite televisions are very affordable today, i even bought two units for myself and my brother*”`

Water Container : on

well it is nearing for us to buy some christmas ornaments for the coming christmas:.-

Fridge Freezers on

satellite tv has got to be one of the best inventions that we humans enjoy, ~~’

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This blog appears to get a large ammount of visitors. How do you advertise it? It offers a nice unique twist on things.

I guess having something useful or substantial to talk about is the most important factor.

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