Gentlemen, Hats and the Hair Thing

man in fedora hat

There was a time when a gentleman would not be seen without his hat. It was the last thing added before he left the house, and he would never have worn it inside under any circumstances.

Now attitudes have changed but they remain rather ambivalent, and say more about us than hats themselves do. Wearing hats reached its peak (so to speak) in the 1920s after which they declined, (not the hats themselves, that would be silly); slowly at first, but then rapidly.

The decline of the hat

After the Second World War, men stopped wearing hats more than ever. It was a response to having to wear one when they were in uniform.

But the real blow came when most families had their own car. Once people were taking their car to and from work there wasn’t the need for a hat any more.

That tricky old hair thing…

Now hats were uncommon, if a man wore one there had to be a reason. And perniciously came the association that wearing hats equaled hairlessness. It was a cover up thing. A hat was hiding something a little bit shifty. Men with a full and gorgeous head-of-hair would show it off, men without, well…

In the winter men sans thatch needed a hat for warmth. In the summer, heads needed sun protection and thank heaven there was a certain Hemmingway-esque flair about a Panama.

Sporting Origins

man wearing cap backwards

Then we entered the era of the baseball cap. First worn in the mid 1800’s by baseball teams in the US, these hats became more than just simple sports apparel. The boom for caps as fashion really took off in the 1980’s with various celebrities and well-known figures appearing on television sporting them. Today, you would be hard pressed to walk down any city street in the western world and not find people wearing a form of the baseball cap. To capitalise on this ever-growing fashion, the offer of custom hats allows the gentleman to also partake in some casual attire however naturally with his own customized flair.”

When the hat fits

It remained a little quirky to wear a hat. They were relegated to weddings, where the people who rented out the groom and party’s tails insisted on the need for a topper, which added to the price. The damn thing was carried in the crook of the elbow, or raised in a jokey photo – never actually worn.

A Renaissance

Of late though, hats are making a comeback – particularly custom hats made to fit.

Let’s face it they are stylish, they reek of manly confidence and when worn well look so very on point. If you’re not sure what I am alluding to take a look at any of the pictures of Prince Harry in 2018. (The same is almost true of his brother, but then there is that Windsor-hairline-thing going on with him – although he did have the sense to shave it, and we all breathed a sigh!)

How to pull it off…

Wear the right hat for the occasion; don’t wear a boater if you’re not wearing a striped blazer and cream trousers. Hats have such power they make an amazing first impression when you get it right. Lastly, imagine how it would feel when you, sir, get to raise your hat to the love of your life.

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