Jul 2, 2011

A Hat Person

The last time I wore a hat on anything resembling a regular basis was at high school. Wide-brim, white straw, ribboned - it made you look as if you were balancing a small Scottish microwave on your noggin.

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?


  1. I love Princess Beatrice's hat choices - especially the one that looks like an alien life form or antenna. I would never wear it, of course, but it is spectacular on her head.

  2. My twenty two month old daughter is obsessed with "ats".

    I cannot dance very well but it does not stop me. I am a man with a hat (bike helmet, hard hat and/or a wide brim Council-issue number)...


  3. Do it! Wear your hats proudly!
    I haven't in a long time, but you've inspired me.

    I've also worn turbans to work before. Just ignore the comments from the peanut gallery like "did you run away from the circus?" They're just jealous that they don't have the balls to pull off a cool hat/turban/headpiece.

  4. oh they are gorgeous!!! wear them.I think being winter you can slowly integrate them into your wardrobe,lots of ppl wear hats in winter,when winters over,just don't stop wearing them!!!
    I'm not showing this post to Gemma, she will be so jealous,she couldn't get to Brissy for the sale,she actually wanted me to send you money lol

  5. When I was a small girl in the late 60's I can remember my mother saying she was glad she didn't have to wear the hat and gloves anymore, but she felt really weird without them, but she couldn't leave the house without stockings,even in summer!She was so happy when panty hose were cheap and available around 1970.I was 3 when my mother was pregnant with my sister in 1966 and I can remember trying to do the stocking clip up on her stepins at the back of her legs as she couldnt reach. damn I should have blogged this hahaha

  6. I wear a hat on occasion. Usually when I'm out doing stuff in the outdoors. It's an Akubra. That's right. I wear a cowboy hat. The one I have doesn't have the stereotypical centre cowboy crease though, it's a sort of telescope type crease. I'm actually currently in the market to buy a new Akubra too, I was looking at them just yesterday. I want to get a black one, as I generally only wear black clothes and my fawn coloured Akubra I think looks a bit odd.

    Anyway, I've been looking at a couple of different ones. The "Outback Club" Akubra looks pretty cool. It's the official Lee Kernaghan hat, but I don't think I'd mention that if I got that one. I quite also like the "Bronco" and "Rough Rider" Akubras. I want one with a centre crease this time.

    My Akubra wearing started when I was on tour through northern Queensland with some fun time having scoundrels of country musicians a few years back.

    Decisions decisions...

  7. Rowan - you can do hats a lot easier when you're 2, though. :)

    Kat- would LOVE to see you in a turban. Let's have a turban party sometime.

    I Wasn't Blogged - blame Jean Shrimpton. She's the one who started all this no hats, no gloves, no stockings business. And the short skirts! Scandalous.

    Saltmarsh - did you know Akubras are made out of rabbit fur? I only discovered that in the last week. You're such a metal guy. :)

  8. Why don't you ease into it with a cosy slouch beanie? Then you can practice the whole 'hat hair' debarcle.

  9. Wearing rabbit fur makes me more metal? I thought wearing an Akubra would put me on the furthest end of the scale from metal?

    I just can't shake this metal thing no matter what I do! :P

  10. hmmm.. i think i might like the " i'm pleasently romantic" look best!

  11. Big scoop is the one I favor the most. There is something cute and a bit naughty about this style.