I have a little book that a friend bought me called a “Gentleman’s Guide to Dressing” it tells me that a gentleman instinctively craves a hat. I can imagine that’s true of the gentlemen of bygone eras, but hats, especially men’s hats nowadays, are functional items seen mostly in Winter. There are plenty of hat trends for us guys, beanies, bobble hats, trilbies, pork pie hats… but like all trends they become ubiquitous very quickly because of the speed and price at which the high street stores churn them out.
I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, I can’t do hats. My head must be a weird shape or maybe my ears are in the wrong place but I can count the number of hats that I’ve owned (that I’ve also enjoyed wearing) on one hand. On three fingers of one hand to be precise. It’s a shame because nothing is more impressive than a really amazing hat. I wish I remember when city gents all wore bowler hats but like most fashion from the past, things have become more streamlined and people just don’t make that kind of effort any more. I still buy hats, I have loads in fact but I rarely wear any. The ones I do wear, well they come with a whole plethora of problems… Hat hair for example, apart from a shaved head what kind of hairstyle can withstand the damage a hat can do in just a few minutes?
If Philip Treacy himself made me a hat I’m ashamed to say it would probably go unworn. Of course I’m sure I could find a place for the Giles Pac-man hat. But that’s more like a helmet and is probably cheating. Isabella Blow could wear literally anything on her head and carry it off but that comes down to sheer confidence, something that’s hard to have when you’re so self conscious. I had a nice Sonic Youth bobble hat which defines ‘indie chic’ and of course there was my Las Vegas hat. What happens in your Las Vegas hat, stays in your Las Vegas hat… or more precisely gets crushed in your suitcase on the way home. This weekend I’m going to a friend’s birthday party, but it’s no ordinary party there’s a theme… Can you guess what it is? Oh yes YOU HAVE TO WEAR A HAT!
So after much panicking and worrying I’ve found one that I’m going to wear. I didn’t go for the trusty hats I own and like wearing. There’s no point going to a hat party in a £5 Topman bobble hat. A theme party is about fun and showing off. A hat party is a great idea, the headwear will be an icebreaker and a leveller all rolled into one. I don’t want to rest on my laurels though so I’m going with my trusty Power Dome. That’s right, everyone’s favourite new wave band Devo’s headwear of choice. Hopefully I won’t look too stupid. If I turn up and no one else has made an effort, the hat makes quite a nice fruit bowl. Altogether now – WHIP IT! WHIP IT GOOD!