Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Mad for the Hatter

Via Antipixel comes word that hats are back in fashion. An interesting development, even if one isn't a style conscious metrosexual (as I, being the absent-minded introverted sort, am not).

As far as hats are concerned, I'm not really a big fan of Fedoras - I can't rid them of the association they have in my mind with gangsters, debauched European rentiers and oppressive landlords of Latin American latifundia* - while Michael Moore style baseball caps are infra dignitatem even to my less than cultivated sense of what constitutes high fashion. A Homburg might be suited to the dress sensibilities of some stolid, aging businessman aus Mitteleuropa, but I don't really see myself fitting into that demographic, nor do I feel comfortable looking like the old-style English bankers for whom Bowler hats almost seem to have been specifically invented. I used to wear berets when I was much younger, partly because of an episode of military training I'd undergone, but nowadays doing so would strike me as projecting either a pretentious pseudo-revolutionary image, or an equally pretentious, left-bank intellectual look, with the only additional props needed to finish it off in the latter case being a black turtleneck and a handy supply of gauloises.

If I did have to go about hatted, I think I'd have to plump for a nice straw boater; for some reason, perhaps because of my general affinity for Edwardian era aesthetics, it seems to me to strike just the right balance between formality and casualness, while lacking any of the noxious associations of the other varieties of headgear that are still to be found on sale - speaking of which, would anyone ever dare to bring back into general use the notorious top hat? That would certainly be an interesting way to tweak the sensibilities of Marxists.

*This is not a spelling error - "Latifundia" is the plural of "Latifundium."