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Old 03-14-2002, 06:22 AM
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Hats


There once was a time when everyone was supposed to wear hats. Starting in the 1960s, this changed and ever since then hardly anyone wears hats anymore (except for rappers, I suppose). The change is usually attributed to President Kennedy and his dislike for hats. I'm not sure that's the entire explanation. My parents were Kennedy Democrats and I remember them wearing hats in the 60s.

But as a kid I read a lot of Batman comix and there were always guys in hats on the streets of Gotham, you never saw anyone without them. The hat that all the guys wore then, as required as wearing a suit & tie all the time, I forget what it was called, like a fedora but smaller and with a narrower horizontal brim. In Batman it was the badge of John Q. Public. The fedora tended to be bigger, the sort of thing worn by gangsters, also by bon vivants who walk out of the midtown Manhattan restaurant to hail a cab wearing an opera cape. Bon vivants with neat little moustaches, opera capes, and fedoras, walking out of restaurants in places like Rome and Beunos Aires. The porkpie hat was smaller and I'm not sure what it was used for or who wore it apart from Charles Mingus. Women's hats by the 1950s and early 1960s were small and had those black net thingies attached, called veils although they didn't actually veil anything. I have only a vague memory of this.

I have never worn hats myself (apart from the knit hat that becomes necessary to keep your head warm when it's very cold out and you have to shovel a lot of snow), except in college I wore a couple of those woolen caps from Ireland that are flat with a brim in front. But when you go indoors you take it off and then forget to put it on again when you leave. You lose hats that way, and that's why I didn't keep wearing them long, I guess.

The top hat nowadays looks so silly, but it used to be serious headwear. Whoever thought of such a thing as formal wear? Why? Although I have to admit the collapsing top hat that snaps out was a cool idea.

I had a dream last night, triggered by the memory of a frame in an old Batman episode of a guy in a hat. I dreamed I was writing a post to the Straight Dope about how people used to wear hats all the time and nobody wears hats any more. Being a dream, it produced these stream of consciousness images I must share.
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Old 03-14-2002, 07:17 AM
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I don't know what you're talking about, Jomo, I wear hats all the time.
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Old 03-14-2002, 07:27 AM
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Re: Hats


Nice piece of musing, Jomo Mojo.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jomo Mojo
The top hat nowadays looks so silly, but it used to be serious headwear. Whoever thought of such a thing as formal wear? Why? Although I have to admit the collapsing top hat that snaps out was a cool idea.
Dunno if it's a UL, but apparently this guy is chiefly responsible for the top hat (result of quick google):
Quote:
"In 1707, John Etherington, a London haberdasher, caused quite a stir when he emerged from his shop wearing a hat of his own design the Top Hat. Etherington was arrested for disturbing the peace, but his hat set a style that was copied for two centuries."
I also think the idea of snapping open a top hat is pretty darn cool. But then again, I'm mighty impressed by umbrellas too.
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Old 03-14-2002, 07:52 AM
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I have a great unshapen Fedora (I guess) that I like to wear in inclement weather. The brim is about 3 inches. In the rain, it covers my hair, face and neck to keep the rain off, and with a tip of the head, can also block the wind from your face.

I also like to wear it if I am shovelling snow while it is still snowing, as keeping the snow out of my eyes and neck make the job much easier.

The fez. Now *there's* a hat!
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Old 03-14-2002, 07:56 AM
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Yep. That's me. During the cooler winter months I wear a fedora. It was a big hit at the NYC Dopefest.
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Old 03-14-2002, 09:41 AM
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I love hats!

I almost always wear a hat when I am dressed nicely (unless I am going to the movies, or someplace where I'd have to hold my hat to keep from obstructiing someone else's view... that's just a pain). I have hats in all sorts of colors and shapes ;j (and the hat pins to keep them on) I always feel better dressed when I wear one.
(I also have really long hair, and hats tend to help keep it under control, and out of my way)

Of course, I wear jeans and t-shirts to work...so being nicely dressed is not an everyday kinda thing. (although I often wear a baseball cap to work, I have a feeling that does not fall into the catagory of hats you were thinking of) But even if dressing nicely was an everyday thing, I think I'd still wear hats.

No one makes me wear a hat, and I never feel that I have to wear one to be properly dressed, in fact sometimes hats are inappropriate, or just awkward (see above). But I love them.
And I've never been one to be normal anyway.

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Old 03-14-2002, 11:24 AM
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This thread reminds me of my Dad. He always wore one of those fedoras made out of the velvety material in dark grey. I called it his "gangster hat".
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Old 03-14-2002, 11:45 AM
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As opposed to the wildly successful "Gangsta Hat."
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Old 03-14-2002, 12:10 PM
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I was born several decades too late, and missed The Age of Hats. So now, of course, they seem incredibly nifty.

I had a friend when I was younger, and I had a crush on him, and he wore a tan fedora on a daily basis. I think the hat was part of why I liked him so much.

I have a red wool felt fedora that I occasionally wear Out with Gunslinger. I want to get a little black hat with a veil to wear, too.

I bought Gunny a Bailey "Detective" (second row, last one on the right) for Valentine's Day. He looks good in it.
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Old 03-14-2002, 03:35 PM
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Remember Teresa Wright in the 1943 Alfred Hitchcock opus Shadow of a Doubt? When she got on the train for the climactic scene? She was all dressed up to ride that train, complete with hat (with its little net "veil"), gloves, stockings, shoes with heels.

Friends, that was the reality of what it meant to be a woman in the 1940s. And Teresa Wright was a young woman then. Maybe if it were remade nowadays the heroine would wear jeans, a T-shirt that showed her navel, a few piercings, tattoos, and spiked hair. (Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that.) And then there was the 1940s young woman who plunged from a skyscraper to the roof of a car, similarly all dressed up, whose picture in Life magazine excited a stir of interested here at the SDMB.
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Old 03-14-2002, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jomo Mojo
And then there was the 1940s young woman who plunged from a skyscraper to the roof of a car, similarly all dressed up, whose picture in Life magazine excited a stir of interest here at the SDMB.
?


I know what you mean about the dressed-up-ness. Nowadays if I put on a skirt and a button-down blouse people ask me what I'm all dressed up for. God forbid I wear a dress unless I'm attending a wedding, funeral, or church service. On one hand today's casual dress is a lot more comfortable and women wear underclothes now, not foundation garments (which were just as comfortable as the term sounds, IME); on the other, being a little dressier makes me feel pretty and people generally seem to act with a little more class when they are dressed up.

Wearing hats on a regular basis can be annoying when you go out to eat; fewer and fewer restaurants supply hat racks.
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Old 03-14-2002, 04:21 PM
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I have a black trilby that I bought in England, which replaced my gray trilby that was run over by a bus (fortunately, I was not wearing it at the time). I thought it was pretty cool, in a The Third Man sort of way, until I saw a picture of Mike Tyson trying on the same hat. I didn't think there was anything that could make Tyson look even more like a mean bastard than he already is, but there you go. I'm afraid I haven't worn it since--not that I would since I moved to California anyway.
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Old 03-14-2002, 04:35 PM
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I, too, have a dark gray, heavy wool-felt fedora for winter wear. I like it. Distinctive. Natty. Dapper.

I must get a lighter-weight one for warmer weather, like the kind Harry Anderson wore as Judge Stone in Night Court.

You have to know how to wear them, though. The front of the brim snapped down, the slight tilt, not quite rakish, but set off a little, over one eyebrow.

I saw a couple of slackers (late teens, early 20s) in the men's department of my local Macy's, and they were messing around, trying them on, and Yeeesh! They looked ridiculous! No style, no flair.

There oughta be a law, I'm tellin' ya.
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Old 03-14-2002, 06:54 PM
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An honest question . . .


Quote:
Originally posted by Gorgon Heap
Yep. That's me. During the cooler winter months I wear a fedora. It was a big hit at the NYC Dopefest.
I've had this running debate with a friend about the fedora: I say Indiana Jones wears a felt fedora. She says it ain't a fedora.

So, does Indiana Jones wear a fedora?

Tripler
If so, I'm gonna go buy one right now.
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Old 03-14-2002, 07:28 PM
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Tripler, not only did Indiana Jones wear a fedora, there's actually a licensed line of Indy hats. Go for it.
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Old 03-14-2002, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by racinchikki
Tripler, not only did Indiana Jones wear a fedora, there's actually a licensed line of Indy hats. Go for it.
Oh.





My.






God.





This thread is the singlemost important thread I have ever taken part in. If it had cost a membership, racinchikki, your reply would have paid me back my dues thrice times over.

Indiana Jones is my hero! Hot damn!

Tripler
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Old 03-15-2002, 05:06 AM
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I've got a half dozen hats and 2hat racks (the 2nd was a Christmas present from my brother. My favorites: a hunter green fedora I was wearing the night I met two of my closest friends, a black stetson, and a black and white checked cap with matching pony tail holder which, in my fantasies, makes me look a bit like Diana Rigg in The Avengers.

I love hats! They lend a bit of style, distinction and flair, a nice way of saying "I'm not ordinary, but I might be fun." Oh well. I suppose if everyone did wear one, I might stop for precisely that reason.

CJ
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Old 03-15-2002, 12:26 PM
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i have a wicked cool black felt tophat that i wear while shooting darts. it intimidates my opponants and has become so legandary round these parts that when other teams see it, they adopt a defeatist attitude even befor the match, which gives me the advantage and the ultimate victory! (5 straight championships!)

i wore it with a tailed tux at my wedding. damn, i was good-lookin' at least for a day!
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Old 03-15-2002, 01:51 PM
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I'm very glad that the unofficial requirement for men to wear hats that existed from the early 20th century all the way to the late '50s/early '60s went away before I had to deal with it. I don't look good in hats. In my 30 years on this planet, I have found precisely ONE hat I look good in - a grey wool "outback hat" that's similar to a fedora but not really - more like if a fedora and a cowboy hat had a baby.

I look dumb in fedoras, baseball hats, balmorrals, glengarries, cowboy hats, tam o'shanters, berets, bowlers, top hats, garrison caps, sombreros and just about any other kind of hat you can think of. Plus, I've got a big noggin - it's hard to find a hat in my size, and when I do, it just doesn't look good. Hats make me look silly.

All except that grey wool felt Aussie outback hat. I actually look cool in it. And it's handy to have around when it's cold and rainy. Or snowing, as it did down here twice this year.

Oh, and Indiana Jones' original hat was a Stetson fedora. Stetson makes hats that really will stand up to all the abuse they show Indy's headwear (and head) going through on the screen.

We need an Indy-smiley in a tan fedora with a five-o'clock shadow.
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Old 03-15-2002, 02:33 PM
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I love hats, although I rarely look good in them. I have a couple. The problem is they always mess up my hair.

--Cliffy
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Old 03-15-2002, 02:43 PM
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Re: Hats


Quote:
Originally posted by Jomo Mojo
Women's hats by the 1950s and early 1960s were small and had those black net thingies attached, called veils although they didn't actually veil anything. I have only a vague memory of this.
I believe those were "pillbox" hats, though I may be mistaken. I liked some of the cool ones my grandma used to wear in the 20s and 30s. Not "toques" but they were kind of tight fitting and really neat.
Like this one.
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Old 03-15-2002, 04:19 PM
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Of course, we know that our moderators wear their hats regularly.
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Old 03-15-2002, 04:24 PM
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Re: Re: Hats


Quote:
Originally posted by Charmian


I believe those were "pillbox" hats, though I may be mistaken. I liked some of the cool ones my grandma used to wear in the 20s and 30s. Not "toques" but they were kind of tight fitting and really neat.
Like this one.
"Cloche" hats. Some of them were rather pretty, but when you found an ugly one, it was DAY-UMM ugly!

And, I believe pillbox hats had a resurgence in the early 60s, sans veil, because Jacqueline Kennedy wore them, and she had a lot of influence on women's fashions at the time. Because after Mamie Eisenhower...well, virtually anything would have looked fashionable.
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:32 AM
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It's an urban legend that Kennedy is responsible for men no longer wearing hats:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/hat-trick/

This is typical of a certain sort of urban legend. Take a long-term trend. Find an example of it in the middle of the trend that's easy to remember. Blame the trend on that example. So, for instance, it's not true that Clark Gable is responsible for men no longer wearing undershirts:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/th...-off-his-back/
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:25 AM
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This was raised by a spammer who has since been wished away to the cornfield. Given this thread's extreme age, I think it's best to put this poor zombie back in its grave.

If anyone wishes to start a new discussion on this topic, feel free to link back to this thread.
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