These days you tend to see baseball caps everywhere and pensioners wearing trilbies or flat caps, but rarely do you see anything more, well ‘smart’ and/or ‘sophisticated’ for want of some better words. Bowlers and top hats for example only seem to be associated with weddings and funerals and yet the bowler wearing, pin striped suited business gentleman is as stereotypically British as the red double-decker bus, the London taxi, the red telephone box and the union jack.
Back to the TV; Poirot was wearing what I think was a homburg and Hastings was sporting a fedora. The fedora looked very smart, it reminded me of the hat of Indiana Jones and that made me think that I might quite like to try one on and see if I looked quite so cool (probably not but that’s beside the point). The fact is though that if I went out, bought myself a fedora and then walked around my local town with it, people would probably just think I was odd – which is a shame! Of course once the fashion for smart hats comes back (and it’s bound to one day), I could wear one without drawing undue sympathy.
To be fair, I am not exactly averse to drawing myself attention for wearing odd hats, for example I have a Russian Ushanka (I know that sounds a bit like ‘merchant banker’) which, now winter is here, has been pressed back into service. That attracts a few stares too but the key is that I am happy to wear it with my leather jacket and jeans and just convince myself that everyone is jealous and really wants one too (they may of course have a word rhyming with ushanka in mind).
If I bought a fedora though, would it go with jeans? I am not sure I would be prepared to wear a suit and overcoat every time I went out (rather like Hastings) just to complement the hat! Still Indiana Jones got away with hat and scruffs so maybe there is hope.
Talking of scruffs; do any of you remember Sid Snot? I grew up with the Kenny Everett show and was a fan! The Sid Snot character wore Ray Bans this black leather cap with a brim and a chain that I just thought was the coolest thing – in fact one Christmas (at about the tender age of ten) I asked if someone could buy me something similar. That was of course a long time before I understood what gay was or that muir caps were associated with the gay S&M scene. So despite my appreciation of the cap’s form and having lived in motorcycle jackets for the last 25 years, I am definitely not brave enough to wear one of those!
Forgive me that digression; back to the point! Smart hats must be due a comeback, so if there are any fashion designers reading, let’s get some back on the catwalk and then back into the high street. It’s about time that people stop thinking that a fedora is just a tennis star! Marks & Spencer take note, there’s an opportunity here and your business could lead the way!