You’ve probably seen old photos where members of your own family are all gussied up from head to toe. That more often than not included some spiffy hat.
Hats, once a fashion staple, have fallen out of favor since the 1920s so on those infrequent occasions when you catch a glimpse of one, it’s a memorable experience. Aretha Franklin’s fancy over-bowed bonnet generated plenty of inauguration buzz a few weeks ago, but it was the natty headware on the roof of the Newseum in Washington that really caught my eye.
In case you missed it, that’s where CNN perched its pundits for its inauguration coverage. There they were, sitting in the chill January D.C. air, looking positively splendid in their stylish hattedness. I wish I had a picture of that scene. It reminded me of the days when people got all dressed up whenever they stepped outside the door, if even to attend a sporting event.
Those of us who wear hats these days mostly do it for practical reasons. A stocking cap to provide warmth. A garden hat to ward off the sun. A baseball cap to corral an unruly mop on a bad hair day. Women are better than men these days in the cool hat department, though it wasn’t always so.
The photo with this post is of my Dad with a cousin from 1940. He was around 20 years old at the time. By the time I was 20, the only hat I owned was a brown corduroy Huck Finn cap similar to the one Bob Dylan wore on his first album cover. I thought it was cool, but it would never pass the stylish test.
Do you have any hat-related stories in your family history?