Saturday, July 7, 2012


Until John F. Kennedy was sworn in on January 1961 - without a hat for the first time as a President, men wore hats all the time. It was the American way since the founding of the country. In the 1700's we had the famous tri-cornered hats of the first Patriots.American hats evolved from that to stove-tops to what President Teddy Roosevelt (right) wore as a Rough the famed cowboys; the gangster Al Capone era, until the dapper 1940's and 1950's. Over the decade of the 1960's, gradually, hat usage faded away and many hat-cleaning small business went with it.

The funky leather hats of hippies in the 1960's-70's were a hit for a while, as was Gilligan's bucket hit from the hit TV show - "Gilligan's Island".

However, women kept up the tradition for many years...up to this day, in some quarters. Church became the last bastion of hat-wearing and especially some of the older women in African American churches. There is something really dignified about a 1950's looking hat and gloves holding a bible, rather than some of the sights of modern churches with women in flipflops and capris!

Hat societies are making a comeback. The Red Hat Society is still the most well-known one. Founded in 1998, there are over 50,000 chapters of this ladies, who are usually over 50 years of age, and get together for soirees and good works in the community!

Of course, there IS the BIG HAT Society if you love the amazing Old West. There are the Flat Hats ( a college Fraternity group); the Pink Hat (a fun merchandising outfit of ladies who like pink) and my favorite - the Tin Foil Hat Society!!! There are others, but you get the point! 

There is the beach hat; the Cuban styled straw hat; the 1920's straw boater; the Panama hat; the Cowboy straw hat; the famed-Stetson and one my personal favorites - the Bear Bryant hat! 

Hats are a beautiful thing and the point of all of this is - WEAR ONE! Even the ubiquitous baseball hat...but in this kind of heat, we need to preserve our tops and maintain even body temperatures.

We need hats to keep the sun off our foreheads and if you're like me, keep balding heads from burning up in 100 degree heat and also protest ourselves from skin cancer! A friend of mine has had to have melanomas removed a couple times, right off the top of his heads.

Therefore, in these days of drought and dreaded dismally high-degrees and temps, no matter what your choice of hat is, PUT A LID ON IT!

 Many of us remember the 1980's Canadian new-wave group "Men without Hats". We can still dance like we want to, but wear a hat outside in this heat!

(images courtesy Cheri Majors, wikipedia and google images) 

No comments: