“I collect hats. That’s what you do when you’re bald.”
James Taylor, Singer/Songwriter
I’m not a hat collector, but I am bald, on the top. Heat escapes through that unguarded space like smoke up a chimney. Hence, I need a hat.
I find hats difficult to buy; so many styles, so many shapes. A hat literally changes the way you look, for better or worse, often hiding the irregular shapes that a hairless head reveals. It’s important to find the ‘perfect’ hat.
Trying on hats in front of a big department store mirror is awkward, too. I use the dressing room for privacy where I can channel my ‘inner hat looks’ and zone in on the perfect one that fits those ‘looks’ as well as my head. I’m thinking something iconic, like this guy…
I’ve worn a variety of hats over the years: team hats with logos, winter hats with side flaps. fishing hats, those grubby hats that smelled and got tossed around and stored with gear until the next outing. One smell of that fishing hat helped you recall the story of the ‘one that got away’.
The Army gave me a ‘Smokey Bear’ hat. Actually, the Army doesn’t ‘give’ anything, I earned it. An odd shape, the Drill Sergeant hat was good for standing close to a trainee and pecking him on the forehead with the hard brim to make a point. I know, harassment,right?
When I was six or seven, my parents dressed me for a brother-sister picture. Of all things, they found a soft hat my size that made me look like a little old man escorting a young and much taller lady to the local Moose Club for a night of jitterbugging. Surely, it embarrassed my sister to pose next to me. I wore it just the one time.
Now, I am an old man and need a hat with a bit more style than my lifeless, faded Red Sox hat. It’s a classic but it’s ready to become a fishing hat.
Style, comfort and warmth, the three criteria for a new hat. I found one on a recent solo shopping expedition. It’s the Gatsby or ‘newsboy’ style. My wife is not a fan, says it makes me look old. I think she means ‘old-er’. I like it. It keeps the heat in and that’s good enough for me.
What do you think?
Yes, hats can add style to your image, a little pizzazz to your ‘get up and go’. But thinking about the different hats I’ve worn, this one is probably the one I treasure most…