“Hello, Red Hat, I like your red hat.”
Those were the first words Ravn Jenkins ’15 heard when she met one of her best friends, Leta Elias ’13.
With a hat for every occasion, Jenkins stands out in a crowd. Whether the day calls for one of the four berets, four brimmed hats, two hats with horns or five other miscellaneous hats that Jenkins keeps in her wardrobe at Andover, she is prepared for whatever the day may bring.
“I like a hat with character. I like to look in a lot of thrift shops to find a good hat,” she said.
Jenkins also likes to collect hats from places she goes to travel. When she was in Spain last spring with the Music Department Chorus and Orchestra, she purchased a red and black brimmed hat. After scouring Madrid’s shopping centers, she finally found the hat at a street clothing market.
“No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t seem to find the right hat. The ones I saw were either too cheesy, or too touristy or too expensive… Then I saw it, the perfect hat,” she said.
Coming from a middle school filled with the usual assortment of social cliques, Jenkins did her best to fit in.
“I dressed to conform, or at least I tried to, but I was still an incredibly awkward science geek from Maine who didn’t really know what conformity was,” she said of her years before coming to Andover.
Jenkins began wearing hats when she arrived at Andover as an “improvement upon the average ponytail.” Starting with beanies and berets, Jenkins gradually wore and acquired more hats. Jenkins said the hats have helped her become more confident and allowed her to start developing her own style.
“I stopped being so terrified of what people would think of me because of something as trivial as unusual clothes. My self esteem went up a lot, and I stopped getting the jitters whenever I talked to someone new,” she said.
Jenkins’ current favorite hat is a “giant white faux-fur monster with tassels and a big pom-pom on top,” which she describes as “incredibly warm, and very soft.” In warmer weather, she favors a beanie made out of multicolored, iridescent fabric.
Jenkins’ other hats include a black, faux-fur Kazakh hat, a “very 20s” black-brimmed hat with a silver ribbon, and two hats with horns, “one that looks like a Viking helmet, with yarn braids and everything, [and] another one looks like Tim’s hat from Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” according to Jenkins.
Besides hats, Jenkins also has other signature fashion items, such as her hot pink leather gloves and sweeping skirts.
“Long skirts, funky old dresses, multicolored pants—these are all things I would have been terrified to wear two years ago,” she said.
When creating an outfit, Jenkins tries to find things that would make her happy.
“I don’t dress in a way that makes me stand out, I don’t dress in a way that would make me fit in, I try to put on things that I feel kick-ass in. The hats have stayed, though, and I have added some pretty wild ones to my collection,” she said.
Theodore Perez ’16 said, “[Jenkins is not] afraid to be very out there in terms of what she wears. She dresses in the way she wants. It’s not necessarily the way others expect.”