Spot the hats

Today I walked round a street corner in Dublin and spotted something I hadn’t seen for a while: a group of men, probably around eight or so, in conversation, and all of them were wearing hats. Well to be precise, all but one sported hats, the odd one out was wearing a cap. But you get the idea.

The sight made me feel nostalgic, because I grew up in a household with a lot of hats. My parents both wore hats when I was a boy, and my father in particular almost never ventured out of doors without a hat. When we came to Ireland, virtually all men wore hats or caps, and if you wanted to inspect their hair you needed to catch them in church at Mass. But it wasn’t particularly an Irish thing: look at this photograph of John F. Kennedy at his inauguration. In fact, if I remember rightly Kennedy didn’t usually wear hats, and when he became President he was put under intense pressure by the hat industry to set a good example and ensure that sales stayed buoyant.

At some point, almost without my noticing, hats disappeared. All of a sudden women only wore them for certain social occasions, and men hardly at all. And certain kinds of hat vanished completely: when can you remember last seeing a bowler hat?

But all is not lost. Recently hats have started to creep into the picture again. Often they are worn by rock stars, such as Pete Doherty (and the other man’s headgear is also quite the thing). So I am thinking that the time may be right for me to acquire a hat or two, and see if this adds something to my attire, style-wise. Suggestions for particular models are welcome.

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4 Comments on “Spot the hats”

  1. Vincent Says:

    You have not been to the Races in a while then. For I suspect that’s where your hat-frat popped up.
    While the Bowler beyond looking stupid is as much a part of the Orange uniform as the sash.
    And I suppose were one Diabetic, the hat is as good a place as any to protect the fixings.
    Anyhow, do you not have a hat with the job. It is very mean of them if you are the only one without the hat and all the trimmings. Especially when there are entire tomes devoted to the protocol of the number of stitches and margins of poplin in other places.

    • Maybe I need to re-think things… I have always rejected the use of any hat for this job, but perhaps a sense of style should push me to handle this differently…

      I have also just discovered a whole blog site devoted specifically to hats:

      • Vincent Says:

        Hats, or no hats never mattered all that much to me. But as a graduate member of one of the Godless colleges, the Mace, an ugly lump of silver with the imperial crown perched on it, was very unwelcome to my eye. And you would have some job on your hands finding a full sized copy of the 1916 Fogra, for regardless of ones political feelings having it on display is more a statement of the bleeding obvious than anything else.

  2. Ciara Says:

    In UCC we were told that the lads historically didn’t wear hats as a protest against the admission of women to the university… I never found out how much truth there was in it though!

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