Why Hats?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by daddy0d0, Oct 2, 2021.

  1. daddy0d0

    daddy0d0 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    452
    Location:
    Maryland
    So forgive me if this topic has already been discussed ad nauseum. If it has just direct me to the correct thread and I will head over there. If not, why hats, what attracted you to them? Was it for function, fashion, a family member who wore them, what?
    I grew up in a family where none of the men wore hats, grandfather, father, uncles, cousins, no one. So that was not the impetus for me.
    I used to be a golf professional and spent countless hours giving lessons out in the sun and hated wearing sun screen. Had a growth on my face that would not go away so had it looked at and it turned out to be skin cancer. Decided I did not want a doctor taking out any more of my face so I started looking at hats. Not a baseball hat wearing kind of guy and I looked like Gomer Pyle in a bucket hat, so I needed to find an alternative. I happened to be in a pro shop one day and saw this cool looking outback style straw hat by Greg Norman (Famous Australian Golfer with a clothing line) bought it and have been wearing that kind of style ever since. Early 90’s as far as I remember.
    So, again what started you on this journey?
     
    Short Balding Guy likes this.
  2. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,841
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I bought my first hat some 60 years ago as a young teenager. A black stingy brim (Sinatra - Rat Pack styling). Must have been wool as I don't recall spending too much on it but then hats were relatively cheap back then. Then many years of baseball cap wearing until about 30 years ago picked up a Stetson on a closeout sale and the hat wearing began in earnest. My Father was the role model.....Other than his wedding photos I do not have a picture of him without a hat on his head. But it wasn't until I was in my 40's that I felt truly comfortable wearing a fedora. Prior to that I felt too much like a kid wearing his father's hat.
    Since my first 'nice' hat an Akubra 25 years ago I have gone on to collect somewhere north of 60-70 hats.....a few modern, a few vintage, many custom, and now hats made by my own hand.....(now too fearful to count up the $$$ spent on the accumulation) I too am now like my father and never venture outside the home bare headed.
     
  3. For as long as I can remember I've been attracted to Fedoras and similar hats. I think it started when I was very young and would watch Adventures of Superman, seeing George Reeves as Clark Kent (and other actors) dressed in his suits and Fedora, or watching movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s with my sister. The suits didn't stick with me, but those Fedoras...man oh man! Trouble was, in my younger years almost any hat I put on my head seemed like a costume item--it just didn't "fit". Then in 2008 I saw the fourth Indiana Jones movie, and I decided I was old enough and had waited long enough to start wearing hats I liked regardless of what anyone else thought. So I did the research and, with Indy still on my mind, I finally chose a dark brown Akubra Federation IV as my first "real" hat. Nearly five years later a doctor carved a tiny amount of Basal Cell Carcinoma off of my nose (I'm convinced they got it all when they removed the biopsy sample), and like you I chose hats for sun protection after that because I've never liked that "oil slick" feeling of sun screen on my face.

    Now I have nine Akubras, one wonderful custom by Tim Mahovich (Alley Kat Hat Co.), a few other fur felts, one wool felt Porkpie, a number of flat caps, a few ball caps, some military surplus caps and/or reproductions, a few straws... Once I became a dedicated hat/cap wearer I didn't look back, and now I rarely leave the house without a cover on my head, rain or shine. And as an added bonus I've been fortunate enough to meet people here on The Lounge who are just fun to spend time with despite the occasional squabbles.
     
  4. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Yes, and if you ain't having the odd squabble from time to time then you ain't family!
     
    Redfokker, Zombie_61 and daddy0d0 like this.
  5. I only saw my father, grandfathers, and uncles wearing hats that were activity specific. In a duck blind my dad wore his old army cold weather cap. When fishing on a lake my maternal grandfather wore some unknown cheap straw western. My paternal grandfather wore a silverbelly western occasionally while working as the elected sheriff of Eldorado County. When just out and about I don’t recall seeing any of them in hats.

    As my career progressed I ended up wearing a suit. This lead to better full-canvassed suits. This snowballed into waistcoats, full-grain leather Goodyear welted shoes, sport coats, etc. A dress hat seemed appropriate and I gravitated to homburgs. Homburgs led to fedoras, fedoras led to westerns. This progression was partly driven by evolving aesthetics and partly by utility as sun protection. My last promotion took me out of my urban office and into a field office where suits and the like are out of place. This coincided with my increased like of western hats as I spend a lot of time outdoors in the mountains and ranching country. The wide brims of westerns were functional and I fit in with the people I am working with. However, rather than have one style/type of hat replace another I’ve just added new styles. I still buy homburgs, fedoras, and westerns and I still find occasion to wear them all.

    As for why I’ve collected so many, I enjoy the difference and the nuances between them. It’s a thrill to find a new vintage hat and it’s very gratifying to help design a new custom hat. Unlike my previous collection of Smith and Wesson revolvers, my hats don’t just stay locked away to be admired in private. I enjoy being able to wear and use my hats and to be able to share them here.
     
  6. Hats Matter

    Hats Matter One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    197
    Location:
    Oakland CA
    None of my relatives growing upo wore hats so there is no family connection. I just liked the fedoras I saw in the movies like the hats worn ny William Powell and Humphrey Bogart. Growing up in a single parent family there was not a lot of money to spend on clothing so my attire, while always clean and presentable, could never be more than utilitarian. I went to Catholic School so uniforms were required. Pretty boring. Anyway, as an adult I had a job that allowed my to afford good clothes and I thought about hats as part of my wardrobe. Then came the basal cell carcinoma diagnosis and treatment with the dermatologist telling me to start wearing a hat. Shortly after, I met Graham Thompson and the rest is history. If none of this makes and sense then just leave it at this......Hats Matter.
     
  7. MisplacedHillbilly

    MisplacedHillbilly Familiar Face

    Messages:
    91
    For me it started in high school. I'm originally from Southwest Virginia, and grew up on a small mountain farm. We raised cattle and had horses but cowboy hats still wasn't a thing I seen regularly in person. When I was 14 we moved to another county and it was an area with allot of cattle and horse farms. At the time movies like 8 Seconds, The Cowboy Way, Lonesome Dove and Tombstone was all the rage with my redneck buddies and me. Not to mention Garth Brooks, George Strait, and Chris Ladoux was big at the time, so naturally we wanted to dress like our heroes. My first cowboy hat was a super cheapo from the county fair, I mean it was black fabric glued onto a straw shell cheap. Well I went on a trip with some family to my great aunt's in the Florida panhandle, her husband family is from a long line of Florida cracker cowboys. He wasn't very impressed with my cheapo hat and showed me his Stetsons and his late father's Open Road. He said if your gonna wear a hat, wear a damn good one! Well I got a job over the sumer hanging sheetrock and bought me a 4X Stetson, a Wrangler button down shirt kinda like Garth's and when we went back to school I was the bees knees. Almost all my friends just had Bailey's (nothing particularly wrong with that) but I had a REAL Stetson! The following summer I hung more sheetrock and that school year I sported not only a Stetson, but a pair of Golden Retriever packers, which was VERY in in our crowd. I live now in coastal North Carolina, and see very few others in cowboy hats, but I get compliments regularly. What amazes me is the people that say "nice hat I wish I could wear something like that" I always say "Go for it! And its always "nah I couldn't, but I wish I could " It's been years since I rode, but I figure I've fed enough cows, shoveled enough manure,and strung enough barb wire I don't give a damn if someone thinks I ain't no cowboy. Besides I'm no cowboy, just an ol Hillbilly and proud of it.
     
  8. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
    New Forest
    On the ballroom floor actually. My wife and I love Latin & Ballroom dancing, but we also love other dances like the Lambada, or the Lindy Hop. Researching the latter is where we came across the fashions of that era, how we fell in love those classic styles. Zombie_61 mentioned Indiana Jones, long before "Raiders," my wife and I dressed very similar to Indy & Marion. Having said that you might like these threads.
    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/how-not-to-look-like-indiana-jones.79606/
    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/the-curse-of-indiana-jones.29677/
     
  9. Redfokker

    Redfokker

    Messages:
    12,381
    Location:
    Albany Oregon
    For me, it really started in 2012 when I graduated from college with a degree in History. After going back to school after 35 years in the working world (got laid off during the recession) I finally reached a lifelong goal. My wife thought I needed a "signature Historian hat". She got me a Scalia woolie from our local habadasher. I started looking around the internet and found this group of enablers. Now I have customs, vintage and that lonely woolie stingy. I look at hats as an attempt to bring back the civility of fine men's hats.
     
  10. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,027
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    I recall seeing my Grandfathers and father wearing fedoras and caps from a small age. Having gone from balding to bald over the past 30 years have made hat/cap wearing an everyday occurrence for me. Here is a pic of myself and my Grandfather.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, Eric -
     
  11. AbbaDatDeHat

    AbbaDatDeHat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,730
    Some 60 or so years ago as a young child i have recollections of a hat i coveted. From a nail in the wall hung a worn suede bomber jacket and a fedora. A scruffy dark grey, wide ribbon felt hat with a pork pie styled crown. I recall taking it down to play with, it’s enormity, it’s peach like softness, the way it yielded like tissue.
    I recall images of my father wearing it and the jacket from time to time. This was my father’s fishing hat. These images are some of the earliest memories i have. I wanted this hat and jacket. I wanted them to fit. I have no idea what ever happened to them or when. I still see them hanging on the wall. I can still recall the feel of each. I have always missed them even though i never had them.
    I guess this is why i like hats.
    B
     
  12. Redfokker

    Redfokker

    Messages:
    12,381
    Location:
    Albany Oregon
    What a wonderful memory Bowen
     
    Zombie_61 likes this.

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