Once I left the cosy confines of the Anglican education system (our school even had its own paedophile! That no one talked about! We thought he was the nice, if slightly eccentric, school counsellor! Top stuff, carers of children!), hat-wearing joined Maths B in the pile of "Things I Won't Be Bothering With Again".
Apart from the odd baseball cap on sunny days outdoors, I don't wear hats. But I'm not alone.
When was it last the done thing to wear a hat?
I'm going to say the 1960s.
I am guided in this - as I am guided in so many ways - by the James Bond films. Sean Connery's opening gunbarrel shot sees the actor clearly wearing a hat. Possibly a fedora, maybe a trilby. But by the time Roger Moore assumed the role in the early 1970s, the hat was consigned to the history books. And it makes sense - can you imagine Roger Moore in a hat?
It's somewhat sad that hats are no longer an integral part of a daily outfit. These days, hats are confined to protective duty, such as the aforementioned baseball caps, or "special occasion" - such as going to the races, or attending a Royal Wedding. And I think it's a bit of a shame that hats have lost their ubiquity.
|With certain exceptions, obviously.|
I say all of this because at the Brisbane Arts Theatre's recent Winter Wardrobe Sale, I picked myself up a number of vintage hats.
I call this little cream number with burgandy ribbon "Elizabeth Bennett Dreaming":
|I'm pleasantly romantic!|
Next we channel the screwball comedies of the 1940s, as Girl Clumsy dons a dark pink felt number with feathered detail and becomes Girl Friday:
|Will this be my big scoop?|
And finally, cross her palms with silver, and Madam Clumsy - in her purple turban with blue flower and feather detail - will tell your fortune!
|I see... hammy acting!|
Now I love my new hats. But it's hard trying to integrate them into my current wardrobe. I feel turning up to work in a hat on any day other than Melbourne Cup day would garner you nothing but awkward glances and "What's with the hat?"queries. Then you'd have to spend all day explaining yourself.
Or not, I guess. Maybe I just have to be brave enough to WEAR one of said hats, and confidently declare, "That's right, I'm a hat person now."
After all, some of our greatest pop culture icons have worn hats. Can you imagine Indiana Jones without his brown felt fedora? Who could forget Eliza Doolittle's memorable headwear in My Fair Lady? And of course, a certain Doctor is bringing back the Fez in a big way. 'Cause fezes are cool.
Have you worn, or do you wear, a hat? How do you wear a hat these days anyway? What are your favourite headpieces? Do you go batty for boaters or tilt at a tricorno? And let's tip our hats to the great hat wearers - who did it best up top?