Bycocket Hunter

Dear Loyally Luaithrend,

Bycocket hats being de rigueur this hunting season, I absolutely -must- have one. All of my friends have purchased theirs from the same merchant, who crafts them from a lovely rabbit velour. But I, alas, have sneezing fits if ever I should brush against the fur of the lapin! Should I instead purchase one in wool, though it is scarce half the cost, or shall I sneeze and suffer in the name of fashion? Perhaps I should buy two in wool, and thus atone for my frugality? (I fear my husband will not see this as a necessary expense). Will anybody even notice that my hat is but the byproduct of a humble sheep?

-Vexed in Vanity

Dear Vexed,

As always, we who would aspire to be peacocks must don the feathers. I do not believe, however, that, unless a very close inspection of said bycocket is to be had, one would at a glance discern the difference between the coat of the lapin from that of the lowly sheep. You also mention a husband who might be somewhat tightfisted…please do not allow his lack of understanding of your fashion needs wring havoc upon your wardrobe. I believe that the requisite number of bycockets necessary to carry you through this season is three. Four might be excessive. Five is right out.

Indeed, Sheepless in Seattle, mentioned earlier in this column, may in short order find himself possessed of more sheep than he originally planned. Should the merchant you were to patronize find him or herself short of sheep, perhaps I could manage an introduction between the two of you.