Monday, June 30, 2008

Sometimes wears a hat

I've been wearing a hat today. It’s a straw Panama-type hat that I bought on holiday where it very sensibly shaded my eyes from the fierce sun. And now I’m home, and the weather's fine, I’m finding that I’ve got so used to it that I’m wearing it in my own garden. But not in public. I’m not quite ready for that yet.

We seem to be living in a small window of British history where the gentleman’s hat is not in favour. I see baseball caps quite regularly, and occasionally a flat cap, but rarely a proper hat. Except on older men of course who still regard themselves as undressed without necktie and headjoy.

Uniformed officials still wear them although it seems to be less often these days. I often see police officers without hats. And I can’t remember the last time I saw a bus driver in a hat.

I remember once reading a very old copy of the Police Gazette, an in-house Home Office publication that describes those people who are most wanted in any particular week. It was dated sometime in the 1930s and the description of one rough sort included the line ‘Sometimes wears no hat’. I laughed at the time, but thinking about all the photos I’ve seen from that era, I can’t remember seeing someone with a naked head. The bad guy must have stuck out like a sore thumb.

Fashions change and I’m sure that the hat will soon be back, just as flares, Ra-Ra skirts and tie-dye t-shirts have. I think it would be nice to see a few bowlers, deerstalkers, sola topees, straw boaters, porkpies and berets back on the street. The odd sombrero, stetson or fez would be nice too to add a bit of foreign glamour and colour. It would make a pleasant change from just seeing chavs in mock-Burberry gear and gangsta-wannabes in their shiny label-plastered designer pimp caps. And certainly classier.

And I could tip my hat to you. Good day all.


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, wear the hat. People look nice in hats, I think. It is always better to stand out looking nice than to blend in looking ordinary.

willow said...

I love hats. I think all people look nice in them. It actually does look very nice on you, Stevyn.

You might like this post on hats:

punk in writing said...

All self-respecting men wear hats. At least all my male friends in the rockabilly scene do. Last time we were away for the weekend my friend Jimmy brought no less than three hats in various styles and wore them all.

I myself own both a Wigens cap and straw hat made by Brixton. Here are a variety of the hats we sell.

And since fashion is always ripping off subcultures it's just a matter of time before there are cheap knock offs in the high street.

So congratualtions Stevyn, you're on the cusp of infinite coolness.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Punky - Good grief. I've never been on the cusp of infinite coolness. It feels oddly exciting.

Thanks Willow - great post. You're obviously a lady who's already been on the cusp. As indeed your great grandad was.

And welcome Pamela Terry and Edward (is that two or three of you?)I shall wear my hat today in your honour.

Stevyn Colgan said...

P T & E - Ah, just the two of you then. A very attractive blog you have. And a very handsome dog.

John Soanes said...

I like the baseball caps (and sometimes entire shellsuit-type outfits!) I often see which are positively festooned with dollar $ign$.

Because, as we all know, the dollar is such a strong and respected currency right now.


Me said...

Stevyn, you're on the cusp of infinite coolness.

Totally stunned....

Jon M said...

Ah, the fine old tradition of bringing a hat home from the holidays...but they never feel quite right once you're back home! Bring back the trilby, even the name sounds cool!

Stevyn Colgan said...

I fancy a fedora myself. And nice to see what you look like Jon! (No hat though)

Sharon said...

Just passing by your page and I see a pic of a man wearing a hat and wearing it just fine, wondering if he should be caught wearing 'the hat.' Wear 'the hat!' I love hats, hats on racks, hats on shelves and mannequins, but mostly 'the hat' that is on my head on any given bad hair day. Many fine friends have been made because I wore 'the hat' and someone outgoing and intelligent commented on it.
Wear the hat!
Sanford, Florida