So I took off 17 buttons, leaving one as a place marker, and added 6 more.
Now that all 24 buttons are sewn down, right, I find that I'm liking the original again. Weird . . . .
One of the pattern testers deliberately didn't add buttons to her hat. She said that she wanted the flexibility to change out trims. One of her trims, a length of lace tied around the hat, looked especially fresh and stylish.