I’m sitting here watching Turner, which is about the great artist J. M. W. Turner, and is set in The Past (at the turn of the nineteenth century of thereabouts). Just now a weird thought has popped into my head: why don’t we wear hats anymore, except at weddings and perhaps when it is really cold? Or of course when our heads are in danger of damage.Where have all the hats gone?
I am a bit of an exception because I wear hats. I love hats. I have lots of hats. I have a couple of bowler hats and lots of flat caps. I have a few wooly hats too. However, not many people share my enthusiasm for hats. Not many people wear hats these days. Why is that? When did the hat fall out of fashion? Or I should ask, when did hats stop being a part of our normal everyday attire?
According to that oracle of all knowledge, the Internet, hats fell out of favour with the invention and popular use of the motor car. Once people stopped riding horses and started riding in cars, they had no need to keep their heads warm for any length of time. Perhaps the change is less clear-cut than that. Perhaps it just stopped being fashionable to wear a hat (and cheaper). Maybe, as the climate has warmed, we’ve felt less of a need for a warm head. Or, even perhaps, it is just one less thing to put on when we go out. We’re unlikely to sacrifice our pants and clothes, or our shoes or coat, or even our gloves, so the hat is the natural first casualty.
I’d like to see men walking around in top hats or bowlers again. I think they look very handsome. And surely those who feel concerned about being follicaly-challenged, with any worries about not being able to attract the opposite sex, would welcome the common wearing of hats again?
It is my ambition (one of my many ambitions) to get people wearing hats again. I wonder if I will succeed?