There was a time, not long ago, when ladies and gentlemen would rarely leave their homes bare-headed. Over the course of centuries, hat styles have evolved, but it is the hats of living memory that seem to hold the greatest nostalgic value. But the donning of hats, along with most of the other trappings of formal white culture, fell victim to the deculturization of whites in this century in favor of “diversity”.
There are several theories that try to explain the decline of hats, but I’m more interested in understanding why they’re coming back. Specifically, I’m interested in why they’re coming back among whites. Among blacks, at least ghetto blacks, the dress hat is a statement that says “I be pimpin”. The same hat, worn by a (non-wigger) young white person, might express a subconscious yearning to be proudly white – just like his ancestors. There is a strong link between the donning of a formal hat, by a white person, and his white identity.
Such is the link between the wearing of formal-style hats, and whiteness, that a business that caters mainly to whites has only one way to depict whites, exclusively, in its advertisements without being accused of “racism”: It must show them as “ye olde whites”. Such whites are shown wearing hats of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Trader Joe’s is famous for this.
Hats are indeed coming back among whites. Willamette Weekly recently had a photo essay called “Feathers in Caps“. That hats are now commonly worn by the younger, white, crowd would be too obvious to devote an article to, so they specifically featured the feathers some choose to adorn their hats with.
Of course non-ghetto blacks also wear formal-style hats, but (except for some older blacks) they are few in number. I do not believe that the average hat-wearing black is making the same statement as the average hat-wearing white. A black, by virtue of his very features, expresses his blackness. He is taught, from a young age, to be proud of it. But a white person is taught to be ashamed of his whiteness. So if he wishes to express it in a positive way, he must dress in code. I believe the formal hat is just such a code – and I love the way it looks on them.
hats protect against radiation from the sun.
and have a religious relevance.
In some cases, but I don’t think those are major factors here.
Hats are one of those things where if you’re not careful you can become a caricature of yourself. First, you don’t want to look like an extra from an indiana jones, western or 1950’s detective flick. Second, if the brim is too short (trilby) or too long you’ll look silly. And, finally, it has to go with what you’re wearing in terms of color and style. So its probably better to have 3 or 4. I tend to prefer a safari style fedora with medium, down-turned brim.
Ultimately, hats are a matter of style. And style is one of those things that has to represent some sort of theme. Though “theme” may not be the right word. Regardless, the theme has to go in some direction. So if you’re dressing like blacks do then it’s a black theme. And if you’re wearing the kind of hats whites used to wear in the 50’s then its showing an implicit preference for white styles (and by extension values, attitudes, etc) of the 50’s.
Just to add: hats with full brims went out of style, I think, when automobiles began to have headrests. Second, for whatever reason, hats began to be worn more as costume than as a proper part of clothing. Men’s clothing was directly aligned with military type decorum; a military person cannot be out of doors “uncovered”. We have gotten away from this as our clothing has become more and more casual. Look at a street photo from the 1940s to 1950s and see how formal dress was, and then look at a street today, with all the shorts and revealing clothing.