I Need a Summer Hat That Isn’t a Baseball Cap. What Should I Wear?


As soon as upon a time, within the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a hat was a fundamental a part of an grownup wardrobe — the final touch as one went out the door, serving as each safety and social uniform.

Then, across the Nineteen Twenties, hats’ reputation started a gradual decline, which culminated, for males, in 1961, when John F. Kennedy deserted his prime hat to take the presidential oath of workplace and his naked head turned emblematic of a brand new period. Although the baseball cap and the cowboy hat held on as private identifiers, most formal headgear was consigned to the standing of costume (and a key participant in British pageantry).

However local weather change and spiking temperatures have sparked one thing of a world hat renaissance. They’re, as soon as once more, essential components of each wardrobe: an adjunct all people wants. And though the baseball cap looks like the default resolution for many, whether or not worn with irony or with out, there are options.

Certainly, stroll round lately and you’re prone to see every thing: crushed straw gardening hats (a badge of the weekend ecowarrior), safari types (for the adventurer) and, as you say, the Panama hat (for the city dandy). Which means hats have as soon as once more grow to be a semiological minefield.

There’s, nevertheless, a center floor.

“My advice,” stated Stephen Jones, the British hat maestro, “would be to try a bucket hat. These have the informality of a baseball cap but the structure of a fedora. In fact, if you flip the back brim up, they can even have the illusion of a modern trilby.”

And although, as Mr. Jones factors out, buckets typically include a postmodern air of souvenir-shop kitsch, they are often present in nearly each shade, materials and worth level. Which means you would even accumulate a hat wardrobe. (We could also be going on this path anyway, so that you would possibly as effectively be ready.)

“Linen to match the texture and mood of jeans,” Mr. Jones stated. “High-tech nylon to go with active sportswear. Even wools to coordinate with a suit.” Cool raffia variations. And in case you are involved in regards to the dimension of the brim, you possibly can go to a milliner and get a mode custom-made.

To start out, Mr. Jones stated, “My take is that the hat should match your coloring or your hair, not necessarily your clothing.”

He calls it “the masculine-hat equivalent of a woman’s ‘nude’ shoe”: a go-anywhere, always-appropriate merchandise that doesn’t look as whether it is attempting too laborious, however will get the job carried out. And to that, all anybody can actually say is: Hats off!

Each week on Open Thread, Vanessa will reply a reader’s fashion-related query, which you’ll be able to ship to her anytime through email or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.


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