National Hat Day

cffblog6.jpgJanuary 15, 2018 (Monday)

Today is National Hat Day. I'll deal with men's hats today; tomorrow I'll write about women's hat styles.When I was growing up in the 1930's and 1940's most men and many boys wore hats. They had their choice of many styles.

Below are pictured a few hat styles for men:

hats.jpgHats seemed essential to being fully dressed. Certain rules applied. Take off your hat when meeting a lady. Never wear your hat to the dining table for a meal. Hold your hat over your heart to salute the flag. "Here's your hat" means please leave. "I'll get my hat" means I am about to leave.

My father wore a cap when he was a boy. I saw a picture of his father wearing a cap while fishing in a Minnesota lake. Most of the time I don't think "Papa" (my paternal grandfather) wore a hat; he had a big bushy head of beautiful white hair. "Big Dad" (my maternal grandfather) always wore a hat, and I remember his wearing a wide brimmed Stetson hat (the "ten gallon" kind). He was never without it. My uncles and my father all wore fedoras or trilbys. Sometimes a few of them wore caps. "Joe" (my stepfather) preferred the Homburg hats. I recall thinking they really looked classy on him. Many men never wear hats these days, while many prefer to wear a cap with some sort of slogan printed on it. A lot of guys like to wear matching t-shirts and caps. I never liked hats. But now that I have lost a lot of hair, my head is much more sensitive to heat and cold, so maybe I shall try one now and then.

Why did men wear hats? People once walked a lot. They needed the hats to shade them from the sun and protect their eyes from uv rays. A hat style once revealed a man's social status, something that was important in the old days. There was a time when not to wear a hat drew suspicion from all the men wearing them. It was just "the thing to do," that everyone did. Our tendency in those days was to conform to customs and styles.

Why did men stop wearing hats so much? Men became more conscious of hair styles and hats worked against keeping one's hair presentable. Automobiles with their high seat backs interfered with keeping the hat straight. JFK refused to wear a hat and he had great influence on younger generations. The 60's brought dramatic change to just about everything. If you lived through that decade you know nothing remained the same.

My hometown had several stores that specialized in hats. They are all gone now, as far as I know.

Celebrate National Hat Day today. Why not?


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 15, 2018 6:00 AM.

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