Many people claim it was US president John F. Kennedy who killed the hat; his reluctance to wear anything atop his head was said to have kick-started the bonnet rebellion, with men copying his au natural look in their droves.
In reality, Kennedy wasn’t such an iconoclast: sexual and social revolutions meant the sixties were a transitional time for fashion, and hats (an emblem of outdated tradition and etiquette) were already beginning to fall from favor. By the seventies, hats were something only ‘oldies’ wore, and political correctness meant that “donning/dothing ones cap” to a beautiful lady was worthy of a feminist tongue-lashing at best.
Thankfully, the hat has been making a slow return to everyday fashion. With many negative connotations long forgotten it seems everyone’s willing to give the hat another chance:
Styles & Types
There are literally hundreds of headdresses out there making it hard to choose what’s right for you. Below is a short list of the more popular hats, giving you an idea of what’s freely available in stores today:
Baseball cap – probably the most well-known on the list. Although synonymous with hip-hop and sports, it’s still possible to buy a stylish, logo-free baseball cap. Just remember not to wear them back to front, okay!
Fedora – a pinched felt hat similar to the trilby and homburg. The fedora has become an iconic symbol of Hollywood film-noir, and young stars like Johnny Depp and Justin Timberlake have re-ignited the fedora’s popularity.
Flat cap – a cloth, tweedy cap with a slight frontal brim. Again, heavyweight celebrities like Brad Pitt have sparked renewed interest; even the US 2008 Olympic team wore white ‘Ralph Lauren’ flat caps to the opening ceremony!
Knit – The knitted cap is one of the most versatile hats available; it’ll keep your head lovely and warm all year round. Unless you want to achieve that ‘shifty’ look though, avoid letting the rim drop below eyebrow level, and definitely no pompoms or ear-shields.
Bucket – The floppy rimmed hat ever-popular with students and fishermen. Worn by a multitude of celebrities including rockstar Liam Gallagher, it’s a great hat for keeping the sun away from your face. Just ensure you find the right size: you don’t want a droopy brim obstructing your view of the world.
Discover your hat size
Nowadays, most hats come in small, medium or large sizes, so finding the correct fit on the high street is a simple ‘trial and error’ process. However, high end retailers still use traditional sizing figures, so it’s advantageous to learn your measurements before hitting the stores.
Begin by placing the tape measure approximately half an inch above your ears and measure all the way around your head. Take that figure; divide it by 3.14159, and round up to the nearest whole number: the final result is your size. It’s worth noting that UK sizes are a fraction smaller than their US counterparts – approximately an eighth of an inch or thirty millimeters to be precise.
What to buy?
The choice of hat should be unique to you and your individual needs. When sat on the beach, are you more a baseball cap or bucket hat kinda’ guy? Do you feel more comfortable wearing subtle visors or bold fedoras on the weekend? See what matches your personality and persona best.
As always, I recommend starting off with something simple that matches your chosen occasion. Choose plain colors and basic patterns which complement your hair and natural skin tone before investing in wild designs in crazy hues.