There was a time back yonder when one wouldn’t leave the house without his or her hat. It was a different era, one where tipping your cap signaled a much cooler “hello” than the eager and oft misdirected wave.
Hats lost power, chiefly as a daily accessory, just after World War II. It’s theorized that men began to forgo wearing theirs because JFK was more frequently photographed bare-headed, while the young women who ambled through the ’60s simply wanted whatever their mothers did not.
But hats never completely went away. They just became a thoughtful addition rather than a dogmatic necessity. Now, you can find them quietly shading brows against the beating sun, acting douchey on the heads of night club-attending men, or protecting humanity against sweaty, post-gym hair. The great ones — according to Leandra — have this almost mystic and definitely paradoxical ability to change a woman’s persona in spite of their serving no real purpose other than to give a woman’s left hand something to do when a fast breeze threatens to knock a hat right off her head.
Technically speaking, all clothes and accessories maintain the dexterity to change a person’s character. You can be five different people if you have five different coats — heck, blame your split personality disorder on a slew of shoes because you can. But a hat, man. A hat can take that combination of you-as-coat plus you-as-shoe and throw your whole universe through a tailspin until you’re staring at yourself in the mirror, not even recognizing that it’s YOU, confused that the reflection is a ridiculously good looking stranger who mimics your mannerism.
So, you tip your hat at her and she tips back, obviously knowing better than to wave.
Play this song for a little easy Saturday morning atmosphere, then clicky clicky through the slideshow above of people bringing honor to the mostly useless — but always necessary — hat.