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What's in a hat? (Your head!)


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Saw a guy wearing a fedora today.  On the street!  Almost nobody wears a hat these days.  Not saying it's a loss.  I couldn't bear wearing one.  Used to be, almost everyone wore a hat.  Would no sooner leave a house or apartment without a hat as without pants--I mean slacks.  Hats even played pivotal parts in movies (evidence of criminal conduct, infidelity, inappropriate presence of an individual, presence of a person in a building).  What I'm wondering is what started the cultural convention, tradition, something, of wearing hats.  Did it start in Ancient Times and wend its weary way through the Dark Ages of dark hats, into the Enlightenment with airy hats that sat lightly on the head, to Impressionism that left hat-hair?  And why fedora?  Who was Fedora?  And what ended hat hairing?  I mean wat wearing?  I mean--you know.  Was it the Cultural Revolution of the 60s?  Open honesty against the great hat cover-up?

Hats could be awkward, or in the way.  You could sit on them, or throw them on the bed (big no no, but Why?) .  They could be in the way, or get blown off, and you'd have to chase 'em.  Into traffic!  Or you'd switch 'em and get the wrong size.  Or they could be the style.  And how the hell do you roll them up your arm onto your head?  Or you rake it at a rakish angle showing your sauciness and sexuality (oh my!).  Or you set it straight (classy!) and zip the brim razor even between your forefinger and thumb.  You could toss your hat in the air, onto a hook, into the ring (though I've never actually seen that done).  You could stuff it into your pocket, put it in a box, mute a trumpet, trap a wee beastie, bury an inopportune snork.  And you could pop one on your head and step smartly out the door.

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There's a lot to unpack here, but as a vintage hat collector and wearer (women's though of course🤣) I found this interesting.

From Wikipedia:

"The term fedora was in use as early as 1891. Its popularity soared, and eventually it eclipsed the similar-looking homburg.[2] The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by dramatist Victorien Sardou, Fédora, which was written for Sarah Bernhardt.[10] The play was first performed in the United States in 1889. Bernhardt played Princess Fédora Romanov, the heroine of the play. During the play, Bernhardt – a noted cross-dresser – wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat. The hat was fashionable for women, and the women's rights movement adopted it as a symbol.[11][12] After Edward, Prince of Wales (later the Duke of Windsor) started to wear them in 1924, it became popular among men for its stylishness and its ability to protect the wearer's head from the wind and weather.[11][12] Since the early part of the 20th century, many Haredi and other Orthodox Jews have made black fedoras normal to their daily wear."

I think the decline in people wearing hats began when an increase in closed roof cars happened. I guess the lower roofs got, the less people wanted to have a hat squished on their heads😆

If anyone has any additional information on this though I'd be interested to hear it!

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6 hours ago, SweetSue said:

There's a lot to unpack here, but as a vintage hat collector and wearer (women's though of course🤣) I found this interesting.

Must be something about the name "Sue" since I have over 100 vintage hats-which I still wear too! I need a key list to know which hats can be found in which boxes. Several on display on rotation with the seasons.

I do think hats obviously originated to keep the head dry but eventually  came to have a bit of a religious connotation. Think of yarmulkes and women's lace head coverings in church-generally the only hats worn inside.

Classic Movie tie in: I have a prop Fedora from the movie SECRETARIAT.

 

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8 hours ago, SweetSue said:

There's a lot to unpack here, but as a vintage hat collector and wearer (women's though of course🤣) I found this interesting.

From Wikipedia:

"The term fedora was in use as early as 1891. Its popularity soared, and eventually it eclipsed the similar-looking homburg.[2] The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by dramatist Victorien Sardou, Fédora, which was written for Sarah Bernhardt.[10] The play was first performed in the United States in 1889. Bernhardt played Princess Fédora Romanov, the heroine of the play. During the play, Bernhardt – a noted cross-dresser – wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat. The hat was fashionable for women, and the women's rights movement adopted it as a symbol.[11][12] After Edward, Prince of Wales (later the Duke of Windsor) started to wear them in 1924, it became popular among men for its stylishness and its ability to protect the wearer's head from the wind and weather.[11][12] Since the early part of the 20th century, many Haredi and other Orthodox Jews have made black fedoras normal to their daily wear."

I think the decline in people wearing hats began when an increase in closed roof cars happened. I guess the lower roofs got, the less people wanted to have a hat squished on their heads😆

If anyone has any additional information on this though I'd be interested to hear it!

More evidence of Miss Bernhardt being a pillar of civilization.

And male cultural appropriation!

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During the last couple of winters I saw men wearing fedoras. And in certain cases I approved very much. 😍

Last weekend at Noir City DC some of the moviegoers had on fedoras in tribute to the period. It probably takes a certain amount of commitment to wear a hat like that today, but I salute the gentlemen who made the effort.

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3 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Must be something about the name "Sue" since I have over 100 vintage hats-which I still wear too! I need a key list to know which hats can be found in which boxes. Several on display on rotation with the seasons.

I do think hats obviously originated to keep the head dry but eventually  came to have a bit of a religious connotation. Think of yarmulkes and women's lace head coverings in church-generally the only hats worn inside.

Classic Movie tie in: I have a prop Fedora from the movie SECRETARIAT.

 

You must post some photos!

 

59 minutes ago, hamradio said:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTt2rrBzf9GjjGxop43mwr

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTMiYiuHZSkBsZgnueYKDv

In praise of hats--or mustaches?  Or do the two go together?

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25 minutes ago, Polly of the Precodes said:

During the last couple of winters I saw men wearing fedoras. And in certain cases I approved very much. 😍

Last weekend at Noir City DC some of the moviegoers had on fedoras in tribute to the period. It probably takes a certain amount of commitment to wear a hat like that today, but I salute the gentlemen who made the effort.

Thank you.  I too wear a Fedora.  But not always exclusively.  I switch over to a "Newsie" six section cap on occasion.  I've got four of those, but working at getting more Fedoras.  I've got three, but only one fits well and looks what I call "right".  ;) 

My lust is(despite bufoon Eddie Muller's thoughts) for a couple on the order of the one VICTOR MATURE wears in KISS OF DEATH.  Or like the one HUGH MARLOWE has in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.  Oh, and I do have a funky looking old STRAW Fedora I wear all summer,  but need to replace it with a newer light colored straw.   There's only one good long standing hatter here in the Detroit area, and Henry doesn't deal in "vintage" hats.  And if I'm lucky enough to reach a more advanced age, I might invest in a classy looking Homburg for holidays.  But I'm undecided as to mid-grey or black.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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13 hours ago, slaytonf said:

  What I'm wondering is what started the cultural convention, tradition, something, of wearing hats.  

  And what ended hat hairing?  I mean wat wearing?  I mean--you know.  Was it the Cultural Revolution of the 60s?  Open honesty against the great hat cover-up?

Think about the regions where you see hats worn historically. Its normally Northern Europe/Eastern Europe where the climate can get very cold. Hats keep your head warm. In warmer climates, hats function to shade from the sun so a different style is required. The era when most classic movies were made, most of the U.S. population still lived back east where its cold (even though the films were made in sunny Hollywood). So the characters still wore their hats coast just the same.

Its been said that the 1960 election was the beginning of the end of hat wearing. Ike and Nixon were often seen in hats during the 1950's. But, JFK showing off his great head of hair portrayed youthfulness, a new era, so to speak.  Sending a message that "only old people wore hats". And as that 50's post war era faded away, so did the fedoras.

I'd wear a hat regularly but, my head's too big. And the hats I find that do fit are way over priced. So a ball cap will have to do for now.

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Nice to hear the hat affection here.   I love men in fedoras in film and in real life.  They offer scope for drama.  In fact most of the elements of traditional male "business attire" are appealing--  tailored suits, high contrast white shirts, silk ties (yes, ties),  polished oxfords.  Most other women that I've canvassed on this have a similar reaction.

I can't think of a leading man in classic Hollywood who didn't 'up' his considerable appeal with a sharp fedora.  

Also love the look of 'old school' women's business attire-- again, a nicely tailored suit, soft blouse, no extremes.   Jean Arthur in her "Washington" movies. Roz Russell.  Tiny Veronica Lake in a strictly cut trench coat.  Ann Sothern in a white peter pan collar and black dress.

Ladies and gents, looking their best.  

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"Hats", ya ask?!

This old weathered greybeard here usually only sports this number when it he knows he's going to be out in the rain or the snow...

 NbLQnMY.jpg

And yes, we do get snow here in the higher altitudes of northern Arizona.

Otherwise, the only other time the old f*art here wears something on his head would be a baseball cap while he's out playing tennis or driving his little sports car around with its top down. Oh AND of course, ALWAYS a helmet when he's ridin' one of his motorcycles around, too.

(...btw, don't ya just HATE IT when someone refers to themselves in the third person?...how pretentious is that, RIGHT?!!!)  ;)

LOL

 

 

 

 

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I can't   stand  wearing  hats and am so glad  they're mostly out of style. Sweat band? Yuck. I also have  the suspicion  that many of  the

older guys wear hats  because they don't have much hair on top of  their noggins anymore and this is a  good  way to hide that fact.  🤠

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16 hours ago, Vautrin said:

I can't   stand  wearing  hats and am so glad  they're mostly out of style. Sweat band? Yuck. I also have  the suspicion  that many of  the

older guys wear hats  because they don't have much hair on top of  their noggins anymore and this is a  good  way to hide that fact.  🤠

Exception to this rule here then, Vautrin.

As the aforemenioned old weathered greybeard here still possesses a pretty darn thick mop o' hair on his noggin. Nope, not even a little bald spot to be found on it, in fact.

(...and I'd show ya this now TOO, but I think I've already been a bit too immodest here by postin' that pic up there)

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

"Hats", ya ask?!

This old weathered greybeard here usually only sports this number when it he knows he's going to be out in the rain or the snow...

 NbLQnMY.jpg

And yes, we do get snow here in the higher altitudes of northern Arizona.

Otherwise, the only other time the old f*art here wears something on his head would be a baseball cap while he's out playing tennis or driving his little sports car around with its top down. Oh AND of course, ALWAYS a helmet when he's ridin' one of his motorcycles around, too.

(...btw, don't ya just HATE IT when someone refers to themselves in the third person?...how pretentious is that, RIGHT?!!!)  ;)

LOL

 

 

 

 

 Are you sure you didn't grow up in the Valley, Dargo?

   https://a-drifting-cowboy.blogspot.com/2012/08/san-fernando-valley-horses-and-movies.html

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

Exception to this rule here then, Vautrin.

As the aforemenioned old weathered greybeard here still possesses a pretty darn thick mop o' hair on his noggin. Nope, not even a little bald spot to be found on it, in fact.

(...and I'd show ya it now TOO, but I think I've ALREADY been a bit too immodest here by postin' that pic up there of my old BUT still reasonably handsome visage)  

LOL

True,  not every oldster who wears a hat is bald, but I'm guessing most of them  are. It's  like those cops who wait around  for  the suspect  to  throw out his

cig so  they  can get his DNA. Wait long enough and when that hat comes off there's likely  to be lots of skin up there.

(Hey, I'd take a little look see to check on my goods. Anyone who trusts Fred  C. Dobbs deserves what he gets).

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22 minutes ago, NoShear said:

 Are you sure you didn't grow up in the Valley, Dargo?

   https://a-drifting-cowboy.blogspot.com/2012/08/san-fernando-valley-horses-and-movies.html

And if I recall correctly NS, the San Fernando Valley was also where this 1957-1963 sitcom family's farm was located...

544dab508e87f83df9451a80f2f74a61.jpg

(...didn't see it mentioned in that wonderful link you provided)

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2 hours ago, Vautrin said:

I also have  the suspicion  that many of  the

older guys wear hats  because they don't have much hair on top of  their noggins anymore and this is a  good  way to hide that fact.

I've been bald since my late 20s and I still don't wear hats. Never cared for them. I do on occasion wear baseball caps, but I have to take them off to eat. They move around too violently on my head while my jaws are working overtime. I don't have objections to guys wearing hats in the movies, though. I never had much use for obviously bald guys like Paul Simon taking to wearing hats at all times, though I will say to Simon's credit, I saw his retirement tour, and he'd returned to going au naturel.

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4 hours ago, GGGGerald said:

Think about the regions where you see hats worn historically. Its normally Northern Europe/Eastern Europe where the climate can get very cold. Hats keep your head warm. In warmer climates, hats function to shade from the sun so a different style is required. The era when most classic movies were made, most of the U.S. population still lived back east where its cold (even though the films were made in sunny Hollywood). So the characters still wore their hats coast just the same.

Its been said that the 1960 election was the beginning of the end of hat wearing. Ike and Nixon were often seen in hats during the 1950's. But, JFK showing off his great head of hair portrayed youthfulness, a new era, so to speak.  Sending a message that "only old people wore hats". And as that 50's post war era faded away, so did the fedoras.

I'd wear a hat regularly but, my head's too big. And the hats I find that do fit are way over priced. So a ball cap will have to do for now.

So John Kennedy is once again responsible for cultural decline.  But hey wait a minit!, it's still cold in those parts!  And it's still warm in others!  Ah well, it's too much for me to ponder.  But I will say I admire you for your admission.  I know of nobody else who will admit their head is to big.  The world would be so much better if people knew they were walking around with big heads.

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4 hours ago, Dargo said:

"Hats", ya ask?!

This old weathered greybeard here usually only sports this number when it he knows he's going to be out in the rain or the snow...

 NbLQnMY.jpg

And yes, we do get snow here in the higher altitudes of northern Arizona.

Otherwise, the only other time the old f*art here wears something on his head would be a baseball cap while he's out playing tennis or driving his little sports car around with its top down. Oh AND of course, ALWAYS a helmet when he's ridin' one of his motorcycles around, too.

(...btw, don't ya just HATE IT when someone refers to themselves in the third person?...how pretentious is that, RIGHT?!!!)  ;)

LOL

 

 

 

 

Why, y'ol charmer!  Hats are mandatory in Arizona, aren't they?  

Here's a radical suggestion:  Baseball caps for (get this!) baseball.  (I'm just sayin'. . . . .)

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1 hour ago, slaytonf said:

Why, y'ol charmer!  Hats are mandatory in Arizona, aren't they?  

Here's a radical suggestion:  Baseball caps for (get this!) baseball.  (I'm just sayin'. . . . .)

For years slayton, I never wore a baseball cap while playing tennis under the sunny SoCal and then later Arizona skies.

However, in the last few years and after noticing the damage the sun was doing particularly to the skin of my forehead, nose and cheeks, I'm now attempting to protect those parts of my face by wearing one while on the tennis courts.

The point being that playing baseball isn't the only sport where wearing one would be readily advised.

(...and even though I know your point was that baseball caps in recent years have somehow become "acceptable attire" in public by almost everyone and at almost any time, and whether or not one might be participating in some sort of outdoor sport)

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3 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I've been bald since my late 20s and I still don't wear hats. Never cared for them. I do on occasion wear baseball caps, but I have to take them off to eat. They move around too violently on my head while my jaws are working overtime. I don't have objections to guys wearing hats in the movies, though. I never had much use for obviously bald guys like Paul Simon taking to wearing hats at all times, though I will say to Simon's credit, I saw his retirement tour, and he'd returned to going au naturel.

I don't mind other men wearing hats, but count me out. I'm glad hat wearing  is no longer almost obligatory as it seemed  to be in the 1930s  and 1940s,

though It's fun to watch the movies of  that era with almost everyone sporting  a fedora.  I have  an old  Dodgers  ballcap but I rarely wear it. Maybe Simon

reached the age where he just  figured screw it. He's earned  it. 

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

(...and even though I know your point was that baseball caps in recent years have somehow become "acceptable attire" in public by almost everyone and at almost any time, and whether or not one might be participating in some sort of outdoor sport)

And having fun.  Something that's missing a lot around here.

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14 hours ago, slaytonf said:

Why, y'ol charmer!  Hats are mandatory in Arizona, aren't they?  

Here's a radical suggestion:  Baseball caps for (get this!) baseball.  (I'm just sayin'. . . . .)

I agree.  HATE them ball caps.  Never could stand them,  even as a kid in little league .  And I only wore it during games 'cause the coach said I had to. The ones now have the same design as the cap my Dad wore that was called a "golf cap".  I thought back then they looked goofy on old men, but for the last 30 or more years, men and boys of all ages took to wearing those stupid looking things.   So, when and WHY did that trend start?  With GEORGE BURNS wearing that cap in OH GOD?  ;)   Plus, what made those cap wearers assume the rules of etiquette doesn't apply to those caps?  Miss Manners will gladly inform any "gentle reader" that it's good manners to remove one's hat in public, or upon entering anyone's home.  But those fools NEVER remove them no matter what or where.  I recently went to a RED ROBIN restaurant for a family gathering celebrating a grand nephew's 13th birthday.   The only people NOT wearing a ball cap were the ladies(except another nephew's wife) my grandniece and me.  And I was perplexed at trying to find a place to place my Fedora while dining.  I was about to take it out to my car when the waitress  suggested she take it to the counter just inside the door and I can ask for it when I leave.   One of my nephews asked me, "Why don't you just keep it on?"  And with a sharp look i replied, "because it's bad manners to wear a hat at the dining table."   Heh...  They looked at me like I was nuts!  And too.....

I agree with George Carlin who once said----

"Any white guy over the age of TEN who wears a baseball cap backwards,  is an ABOMINATION!"  ;) 

12 hours ago, Vautrin said:

I don't mind other men wearing hats, but count me out. I'm glad hat wearing  is no longer almost obligatory as it seemed  to be in the 1930s  and 1940s,

though It's fun to watch the movies of  that era with almost everyone sporting  a fedora.  I have  an old  Dodgers  ballcap but I rarely wear it. Maybe Simon

reached the age where he just  figured screw it. He's earned  it. 

Well, as I just vented about, those ball caps DO seem to be "obligatory" these days.   Once, when showing up at a family function with my Fedora, someone asked me, "Why do you wear one of those kind of hats?  Why not a baseball cap like everyone else wears?"   And I had to tell her....

"There's two words in the English language that save me from buying or doing just about anything.  'Everybody else'  "  ;)   B)

Sepiatone

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I don't wear a baseball cap everywhere, but if I'm going to be out in the sun for more than 20 or 30 minutes, I have one on while outside.  Sorry if that offends, but those of us without hair on top have to protect our heads from the sun.  I have a friend who got melanoma, and had a silver dollar-sized chunk of of skin removed from the top of his head.  I'd rather not go through that.

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17 hours ago, Dargo said:

And if I recall correctly NS, the San Fernando Valley was also where this 1957-1963 sitcom family's farm was located...

544dab508e87f83df9451a80f2f74a61.jpg

(...didn't see it mentioned in that wonderful link you provided)

 I remember the show in syndication from my childhood, Dargo, but don't think I knew it was set in my proverbial backyard.

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