She Always Looked Good In Hats started with the title. After rolling the phrase around in my head for a little while this outline came together, which I then used to start drawing and scripting. Originally her name was Andy, it became Alice while I was drawing.
Andy is grocery shopping, she sees the sign that says Hat Stand Coming Soon and a sheet of paper saying now hiring. walks past it.
“Her Granny aways said she looked good in hats” but it was usually followed with “but why do you keep wearing baseball caps you look like a INSULT” geeze granny!
Her Granny says she should wear nice hats like her, that not everyone can wear a hat (throws in a dig about Andy's mom).
Flashback. Andy played baseball until she grew out of it, around the same time she didn't make the highschool team. in college, her athlete's aesthetic kind of drifted away. she gets rid of all her baseball caps, except her reproduction white sox hat, it reminded her of Charlie Brown and she loved old timey. but she even stopped wearing that because baseball people kept talking to her about baseball. going to school in new mexico, she wears the hell out of a cowboy hat while working as a waitress.
trying to be fashionable for the first time in her life, wearing clothes that fit. having to do something with her hair. she laments her flat hair, but her flat hair allows her to wear any kind of hat. end flashback.
at home she makes herself dinner and goes over her debt from her geology degree (118,000). she used to work for the city when they were gearing up to add a new metro line, but then they started fighting over the budget and the plan was shut down and she was laid off, she still walks past the half built subway. the job would pay equal to her unemployment, what kind of motivation is that, but because this is a temporary job, she won't lose her unemployment.
watches an old movie while eating her dinner, watches the hats.
the next day she enters the hat shop, this was only the 3rd hat shop she'd ever been in in her life. the first was in college, when she wanted to buy a hat to wear to her swing class but could only find cowboy hats. the second was a few years ago with her boyfriend, try on a fancy orange hat in a hat store, she was going through a orange phase, it looks like a dream until the shop owner tells them it's $600. accidentally laughed in the owner's face.
the hat shop owner says strike one on her interview is that she walked in not wearing a hat. he eyeballs her size, she has no clue if he's right. and first things first she puts a hat on her. she wonder if he has a fetish, everyone has a fetish, does he get off on people's heads? does he like fitting people's heads with hats? does he get turned on when a hat fits just right? when it doesn't fit at all?
she looks good in the hat, he asks her if she ever modeled. a hat model? is that a thing?
he tells her she's the oldest applicant which doesn't make her feel good, but he likes it, she'll be more responsible than the usual teenagers he finds to run the pop up shop in the summer.
she gets the job but suspects it was only because she looked good in hats. uneasy about getting a job solely because she was born with some physical trait. but she enjoys being tall, she enjoys being strong.
he gives her a hat-guide book, something to help with the various names and styles of hats the costumers might ask for but he says primarily the pop up shop is for summer hats, impulse buys when the sun is beating down on them. he has a similar pop up shop in the winter for warm hats.
she digs out all of her hats to see if she can name them. realizes she's got a lot of dumb novelty purchases (dog hat, frog hat, firefly hat) and not much else. her old-job cowboy hat, she got rid of her swingers hat when swing stopped being cool. still had her baseball cap.
goes to the movies with her friend to celebrate her new crap job. tells her friend to pretend it's a real job, her friend says fuck that, a job is a job. she's in debt, her brother's in debt. who knows, maybe a hat shop is her future. Andy thought she'd own a movie theater some day but her main qualification is that she looks good in hats. her friend shoots her down “i've heard you say that joke already tonight, you tell a self-deprecating joke too often and it stops being a joke and becomes a window into your neurosis.” they see a silent film. she looks at their movie star picture wall, identifying silent film stars by their hats? bowler, porkpie, strawhat, fedora, etc. ends up talking to her boss about how she can't find anything like the old hats. he says he doesn't sell vintage hats because it's a rough business. he only sells new, but he repairs vintage.
she starts her job and starts getting into it, eyeing people. trying to guess their head size, tries to picture what kind of hat they'd wear. gets stumped with curly fluff heads?
she notices an empty store in her neighborhood, imagines a hat shop there.
awkwardness running into friends while she's working? talking to her mom about taking a below-her-level job? feels guilty for taking a service job but maybe it's not so bad learning some humility from the economy. maybe her granny tells her that? maybe after her granny gives her some money and she wishes she could be financially independent. there's no such thing as independence? it's an illusion.
a handsome guy buys a hat. she wishes she had her own hat shop so she could close up for five minutes to jerk off.
talks to her boss about selling hats online, dealing in vintage hats, she sees some nice hats and hat related things at the flea market. her boss says his son tells him the same thing, but he's unconvinced, he had a catalogue and a mail-order business about 20 years ago. you have to spend a lot to promote it. he preferred the local business.
the pop up shop and the original hat shop are scheduled to close for good when his landlord ups the rent to kick out all the shops and sell the building. she ends up unexpected upset, should she be trying to start her own business? is this her vocation? she begins looking into loans, she talks to her boss about taking over the shop and moving it to a smaller store in her neighborhood.
the last shot is her walking past or looking at the bank. or maybe an empty shop in her neighborhood. her only qualification is she looks good in hats.