I love hats. I try to wear one every time I go out, and I am always in pursuit of new hats with new fashions. The reason I love hats is because they supply the most unique part of a man’s wardrobe. One of the unfortunate aspects of men’s fashion is that there is not a great deal of opportunity to diversify-especially when employment requires a regular dress shirt and dress pants ensemble. So, I incorporate hats into my wardrobe, reaching into the past for my supply of individuality. I want to clarify something at this juncture-I do not wear hats in the now popular way of “ironic” casting. I genuinely like the style and the look. The other aspect of hats that I love is the opportunity that they provide for acting out proper historical decorum. I am able to tip my hat to someone whom I meet as a sign of greeting and respect. I take my hat off when in church or praying, as well as whenever I enter a building. Hats are for the outdoors. The baseball cap has unfortunately gone a long way to ruin what has been established as the proper context for hats. So-let me reveal something dramatic and shocking; hats are intended to be worn outside, not inside! Thus far, I have only mentioned the vanities of hats, without bringing up the practicalities. Hats protect one from the rain, from the sun, and from making eye-contact with that neighbour who always stops you to discuss his view on politics, making you late for work. In this way, the hat is utilized outside, not inside. Wearing a hat inside is like never taking off your coat or shoes.
So, why do I believe that everyone should begin to wear hats? First of all, for all of the reasons mentioned above, it is an asset to anyone’s wardrobe. It provides functionality as well as contributing to an overall look (I include women in this discussion, as I believe that the variety of women’s hats is simply brilliant!). The other reason is that hats lend a level of respect and dignity to the wearer. It places one into a sense of connectivity with the past. Styles are always changing very rapidly, but it may not be a bad thing to retain certain aspects of the past, if for nothing else, than simply to remind us of the positive aspects of previous generations. One of the unfortunate traits of the current generation (of which I am a part), is a lack of restraint and respect. We have been brought up by society to believe in our absolute right to independence and self-governance. I am not preaching against this per-se, but I am pointing out the problems that it causes. We are, as a whole, extremely selfish, and this is only increasing as we fall into our phones and technology. The hat acts as a symbol of respect. It is an article of clothing that has evolved into an almost exclusive method of relating to other human beings. It is used to express a number of emotions and responses, all arising from social situations. Beyond this, people perceive the hat as iconic of the “good ole days”, where honour, respect, and hard work was something esteemed and lauded. Let us bring back the hat, so that perhaps our society can receive a bit of a dignifying lift. There is always room for a little sophistication , and a little dignity never hurt anyone.