All About Holiday Hats & Gowns!

Mary Dawson

Sometimes you can learn a lot about a store by the way it looks in the back, where most people don’t see. Holiday Hats and Gowns has several parking spots in the lot behind their store. Customers “in the know” park there and enter from the back door. The “secret passage” is like a picture, the back door entrance flanked on either side with potted topiaries and a window with a window box full of seasonal flowers. This is a store that cares about their customer’s comfort. When I was doing this article, I had to take pictures of the fitting rooms. I think they should rent them out, as once inside you will want to move in.

Holiday Hats & Gowns is owned by longtime business partners Lilian O’Connor and Karla Baer-Cohen. I think just about every woman in town knows these two. If you are reading this and have never met them, you must put aside some time to stop in their store and say “hello.” These are two of the most elegant, gracious, well-dressed and beautiful women you will ever meet. They are the best at what they do. They understand service at a level that you don’t find in many stores anymore. If you walk into HH&G any Tuesday through Saturday, Lilian and Karla will be there, together, carrying on the tradition that began here in the 1940s. Karla’s mother, Florence, and her sister, Gloria, purchased the store in the 1970s.

HH&G carries a variety of women’s clothes but their specialty is mother-of-the-bride dresses. They have been serving generations of women in this capacity, being experts in style and fit. They are thankful for Alfred from Town Tailors who does all of their alterations. This year customers are excited about formal ball gowns with full skirts, fit for a queen! So do stop in at Holiday Hats & Gowns, 2313 Honolulu Ave., and see another of Montrose’s one-of-a-kind stores. Sit in the chairs pictured here and take it all in, two stores in one, full of unique, hand-picked, quality merchandise. You’ll be glad you did! By the way, we invite you to check out our blog at I have begun sharing pictures taken of the businesses I have had the pleasure of writing about.

See you next week for another Montrose Shopping Park adventure!

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