Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Les Nouveau Retro-Chapeauistes

The hat, of course, has revived. It's now quite common to see men, from dapper dons to scruffy bohemes, topping their domes with with a fedora, pork pie, bowler, or the like:*

This is well and good (though I myself have not joined the Hat Club, both for reasons of personal stylistic minimalism and because most commercially available toppers won't fit my massive noggin), but I do have one concern: I see many nouveau retro-chapeauistes wearing their hats indoors.** May I suggest that:
If we're going to bring back hats, let's also bring back the pleasantly particular manners and customs that go with them.
Going inside: hats off. Going outside: hats on.*** (And what about the tipping of the hat as a cordial greeting?) Simple and lovely, non?

* Drawing hats is surprisingly hard.

** The particular case that prompted this post occurred during last night's hilarious mayoral debate when Jerry Jacobs, the fringe pro-ganja-legalization candidate, wore his hat—a bowler
for the duration of the discussion. (Though honestly, he kind of made it work.)

*** I've spent a lot of time working around Navy guys (an enduring bastion of hat culture and etiquette), and I've seen them don their caps when leaving one building only to doff them again upon entering another building thirty feet away. Maybe it's ridiculous, but it's also kind of great.


  1. Teresa11:21 AM

    Hear, hear!

  2. Anonymous3:53 PM

    What about caps--baseball to be specific. How do you feel about them/

  3. Hmm, they kind of seem like a different category, not quite the same as hat-hats and not governed by the same rules.

  4. Just yesterday I saw a young (under 40) man in an honest-to-God, non-ironic TOP HAT and long black wool coat and I nearly hurled myself off the tram to catch him.

    In short, hats are très sexy!!

  5. craic-head10:18 AM

    I see a T-shirt series in this.
    For real.

  6. My partner and I have had the outdoor/indoor hat on/off debate. I'm from the old school; she, a shade younger than I and probably hating having to look at my hat hair, is on the other side. It is as yet unresolved.

    That said, if you ever watch Mad Men, you will notice the main character unbutton his suit coat the instant he sits and re-button it again upon standing, even when simply standing from his desk to shake a hand. Crisp, nonchalant: you don't even notice unless you're looking for it.

  7. Foremer Saints Coach Bum Phillips always wore a cowboy hat on the side line, except when in the Dome. He said "My Mama taught me you don't wear a hat in the house".

  8. a). I like the t-shirt idea. People can wear a hat without wearing a hat. There could be little clubs, like the Jennifer/Angelina thing.

    I would be a bowler, Billy would be a pork pie (he wore one in college and still does periodically and I likey).

    b). Hats are hard to draw 'cause of the E-lip-ses.