“Cock your hat – angles are attitude.” Frank Sinatra

Frank+Sinatra+sinatra2+pngIf you were to compare a random group photo from today and  one from the 50’s one of the most noticeable differences would be what people are wearing, or rather what they are not wearing, on their  heads. Hats. Until more recent times hats were just another appendage, something everyone wore no matter the weather, age or class. Hats have a long history; from Ancient Greeks whose freed slaves wore a Phrygian cap( a soft conical cap almost elf-like) to denote their new liberated status, to the Middle Ages when the Church decreed that women must cover their hair, to wartime France where people used something as ordinary as the hat to demonstrate how they felt about the enemy. Hat materials were one of the few items not rationed, so your hat became a symbol of resistance against the occupiers – the more elaborate and in-your-face, the better. However the Swinging Sixties swung the hat away; it longer represented freedom or equality, so along with other shackles of oppression – the bra – it was burned and assigned to the history books. In recent times it has attempted a comeback – the beanie, the fedora, the trilby- the  woolly one with long chest length ears, to name but a few. Now as much as it delights me that hats are back in vogue, I think Sinatra’s words should be borne in mind when choosing which type of hat to wear. Hats can be functional; to keep us warm,  especially for those of us who are follicly challenged, or to keep us dry when it is pouring down yet blowing a gale making umbrellas and people holding them,  fodder for some Youtube funny moments videos. But not all hats are created equal,so when choosing a hat one has to bear this in  mind. So think Sinatra. Think positioning on the head, think about the shape of your face, the amount of hair that will either be scrunched up into the hat or allowed to roam free outside the hat. Think about the size of your head and the size of your face. Sinatra had a small head and small face so he used hats to create a bigger presence, to make him larger and more in proportion than in reality he was. I, on the other hand, have a rather large head and a big face so I use them to minimise the imbalance. Because of this I must  also must avoid at all costs certain styles, for example the beanie, that simply make me look like an egg, and add volume to my already voluminous face. Hats with large brims however work very well for some one like me, so need to throw me a pity party, because there is still plenty of options out there for us big headed folk. In the physical sense that is.  And anyway the whole beanie look isn’t one for me especially those ones with bobbins.  Unfortunately I’ve seen quite a few,call them fashion roadkill, who definitely didn’t pay any heed to Sinatra  so no amount of cocking will detract from the sheer awfulness of what the beanie has done to them. I’m afraid attitude is  hard to establish when you look like wee Willy Winkle. However we are spoilt for choice and there really is a hat out there to suit every head, no matter the size or shape. So I think it’s time to reclaim the liberty cap and whether it’s a beret or a yarmulke wear it with pride and Old Blue Eye’s blessing.

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