Friday, 24 June 2011

Objects: Hats.

For the entirety of my young and teenage life I have found myself partial to the odd hat or two- the creativity, the style, the comfort, the flambouyancy- there really is a hat for every occasion. Fortunately, I am also one of the rare breed of people that feel confident wearing hats (I know, I was blessed from birth)- they really can transform an outfit. So, here is the complication of my reasons and opinions as to why I think HATS are good.


1. They make you stand out in the crowd.

2. They can make an outfit instantly more formal.

3. Winter hats can insulate your body in winter, and keep you nice and cosy.

4. Hats come in all ranges off costs- they're suitable for both Prince and Pauper.

5. Hats come in all shapes and sizes- there's a hat to literally suit everyone.

6. Hats (though often stereotypical) can represent and define countries- ethnicity and historical events.

7. They can be used as a protective armour in combat.

8. They can be worn to express individuality or personal fashion/cultural tastes.

9. As well as the cold, they can protect from the heat, and help to prevent sunburn, dehydration, and spells of 

10. They can be worn to express religious beliefs.

11. Wearing a hat over big poofy hair can make it far more managable- it was my saviour before the discovery of 
hair straightners.

12. They can hide a multitude of sins- largely, greasy "the morning after the night before" hair.

13. They reduce the time spent getting ready in the day- covering most, if not all of your hair, that's one less thing 
to worry about.

14. They come in as vast a range of colours you could possibly imagine- a great way to add a splash of colour to 
an otherwise dull or plain outfit.

15. They can disguise the odd bald patch...great for the distinguished gentleman.

16. Wearing a hat is one of the easiest transformations in a fancy dress costume party.

17. They can confirm a profession- they are a form of identity.

18. Hats come in a variety of sizes, and can be made to order to specifically fit an individual.

19. Hats were traditionally made by millners, and millnery is a course which can still be participated in today- 
either through recreational or degree programmes.

20. Tommy Cooper wore a fez (hat). 'Nuff said.


1. THE HAT ACT- A British law was implemented in 1732 which restricted the manufacturing of hats in the colonies of America. This was done to protect the fibre industry in England.

2. Audrey Hepburn wore a mushroom hat known as a Tiffany in Italy. She wore in during the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's".

3. Lady's Day at the Royal Ascot Race in the early 18th century was a yearly event, not only for horse racing, but also for women to flaunt their hats, and still remains a tradition to this day.

4. If a hat fits properly, it sits snugly around the forehead and the bump at the back of the head with no space over the ears between the head and the hat. Thus the top of the crown sits about 1 to 2 inches above the hair and so will not leave the hair flat on the top of the head when the hat is removed.

5. The most common types of hat include:
* Beret- A cap with a round flat crown of varying widths
* Boater- A stiff, straight brimmed, straw hat with a flat crown and a ribbon band.
* Bowler- Has a low, melon-shaped crown and a rounded brim that turns up at the sides.
* Breton Sailor- Woman's hat with a brim that turns up evenly all around.
* Cap- snug fitting head covering, usually with partial brim or visor.
* Cartwheel- Woman's hat with very wide, stiff brim and low crown. Usually made from straw.
* Cavalier Hat- Wide brimmed hat, velvet or beaver, trimmed with ostrich plumes on left side or back. Usually one side of the brim is cocked or rolled.
* Cloche- Hat that covered the head to the neck in back; it came to the eyebrows in front.
* Doll Hat- Small hats in various styles and materials. Usually worn forward and titled about the right eye.
* Fedora- Men's soft felt hat with brim and lengthwise crease in crown, adopted by women.
* Fez- Shaped like a truncated cone.
* Homburg- Soft, elegant, felt hat with tapered, creased crown and rolled brim that has a bound edge. 
* Panama- Handwoven straw hat from leaves of the jipijapa plant that grows in Central and South America.
* Picture hats- The brim is large and dips at the back and the front.
* Pillbox- Small cap that has a flat crown with straight sides.
* Top Hat- Tall, cylindrical crown in various heights.
* Toque- Small, brimless hat or cap with full crown.
* Turban- Long pieces of cloth rolled and formed over a cap.

6. "Mad as a Hatter": in order to bind felt fibres the millenry industry used mercury. Felt fluff would be inhaled by the milliners and over time the mercury would drive them mad. 

7. The word "milliner" was first recorded in 1529 and referred to Milan, the premier source for straw hats.

8. Chanel, Halston and Adolfo all started out as milliners.

9. You lose 20% of your body heat from your head...mainly from the forehead as it has no insulation.

10. Panama hats actually come from Equador. the workers on the Panama Canal wore the imported straw hats but the Americans thought they were wearing locally made hats. 

11. Hat wearing declined after WWII, due mainly to the popularity of the car. People moved from urban area with mass transport to suburbs built for the car.

12. In the mid-80's, the baseball hat kicked off the current trend for hat-wearing. Since 1985, hat wearing has increased by 15% a year.

13. The Audubon Society was founded in order to protect the bird population from Edwardian millinery trends, sometimes whole birds were put on the hats.

14. In oldest hat center in American is in Danbury Ct. It was founded by 8 families in 1684. Again, because of the mercury poisoning, people would refer to it as "The Danbury Shakes".

15. When worn in Scotland, the beret is referred to as a Tam.

16. The Fez hat gets it's name from a town in Morrocco. Each fez is normally either red or black and made of felt. They are all trimmed with a tassel. It was the Turkihs official dress from early 19th century until outlawed in 1923 when the leader of Turked was making a determined attempt to become more westernized. The fez itself has largely replaced the turban as the official headgear.

17. The word 'Dunce' (from a 'Dunce Cap') is derived from the name John Duns Scotus, a logician, philosopher, and theologian whose works were being taught in universities during the 14th century. In the 16th century, followers of his works opposed a form of 'new learning' and the word 'Dunce' or 'Duns' was used by supporters of the 'English Renaissance' as a term of abuse. This term for a cap worn by an 'incapable' student is first mentioned in 'The Old Curiosity Shop' by Charles Dickens.
18. Roman Catholic Nuns wear a hat name a 'wimple'. The wimple is the hood, and is worn as a part of the Habit. the Habit refers to the whole costume, as worn by certain religious orders, but most commonly associated with Roman Catholics.

19. The word 'Sombrero' is derrived from the Spanish word 'sombra' which means 'shade'- the exact purpose of the sombrero, to provide shade.

20. In the US, the bowler hat is commonly know as the 'Derby'. It was originally invented for English gamekeepers in about 1849. The gamekeepers had, until then, worn a Top Hat which was easily knocked off by low brances, thus damaging the hat.


1. Busby
2. Beret
3. Top Hat
4. Ascot
5. Wedding
6. Kippah
7. Fez
8. Fisherman Hat
9. Straw Hat
10. Boater
11. Stetson
12. Millenry
13. Cap
14. Fascinator
15. Felt
16. Buckram
17. Millner
18. Feather
19. Bundeswehr Field Cap
20. Beanie


1. My opinion is you either have a hat head or you don't, because not everyone suits hats no matter what type of hat not everyone can wear them. I like hats. I don't wear them because I don't have the head for them- smoking causes lung cancer, via Yahoo Answers. 

2. Yes, I like hats, but I don't often wear them, usually, I'd love to collect them- Vita Zheng, via Yahoo Answers.

3. I love hats, but I don't have a chance to wear them very often since it's against my school's dress code. Usually I'll wear a camoflauge cap- Rosa, via Yahoo Answers.

4. My opinion is that I look terrible in hats- Abhorsen, via Yahoo Answers.

5. I like them, if I go bald I will wear them- The REAL Steel Deal!!!, via Yahoo Answers.

6. Sometimes I wear SnapBack's- Jade Marie, via Yahoo Answers.

7. I am fond of hats with fruit on them. and veils. Fruity, veiled hats. No fake birds though- CB stopping in for a bit, via Yahoo Answers.

8. I have nothing against them...- Emmy Gee, via Yahoo Answers.

9.  I don't like hats- Monday, via Yahoo Answers.

10. I like red hat- ?, via Yahoo Answers.

11. I do not like most of them on people- Chad, via Yahoo Answers.

12. I'm indifferent to them- nadiaconan36, via Yahoo Answers.

13. Not really a hat person...I will wear a beanie in winter and that's about it- Newyork_City_xo, via Yahoo Answers

14. I don't like hats, Bob Falk via Yahoo Answers.

15. I hat them. I hate wearing them and I hate anyone who wears them. Especially female when they're supposed to be trendy. If you're trying to stay warm or keep the sun out of your eyes that's one thing. If you're trying to look cool you're the epitamy of douchery- SAMSQUAN, via Yahoo Answers.

16. Neutral. If I have to wear them, I will- ► ลุงหง่าว ◄, via Yahoo Answers.

17. I like beanies, I tend to wear them on the beach/camping/chilling and if I'm just hanging out with friends- MusicIsTheLanguageOfUsAll, via Yahoo Answers.

18. I like hats- but only really winter hats. I curl bits of my hair and then pin the rest up under the hat. I only have one summer hat and I don't wear it very often- Rachel, via Yahoo Answers.

19. I love hats, especially cowboy hats- Calamity Jayney, via Yahoo Answers.

20. Young guys with caps on- Dreamy, via Yahoo Answers.


It's true- it really is impossible to be unhappy in a poncho, but the sombrero hat doesn't do too much damage either- as sported her by characters Vince and Howard (as played by Noel Fielding and Julian Baratt in 'The Mighty Boosh')

The late, great comedian Tommy Cooper sporting Turkey's finest...the Fez.

Sure, very few nuns are as stunning and screen-perfect as actress Ingrid Bergman, but heck, does she work a wimple.

Here, the first lady Jackie Kennedy, with then president- JFK. Jackie Kennedy was one of a great line of first-lady trendsetters, and she bought the pillbox hat to fame. Just another day at the Ascot Races...

The "Mad" Hatter as portrayed by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's film adaption of the children's classic, 'Alice In Wonderland'. The character was inspired by the mercury-used to line the felt hats, which when worn regularly, could seep into the scalp and make the wearer "mad", as a reaction to the chemical.

A traditional hat as worn by Gurkha soldiers (whom originated from Nepal). Having lived across the road from a Gurkha Barracks when I was younger, this was a very familiar site (perhaps where my love of hats started from?)

The classic- TJ Detweiller from Recess...a classic cartoon of the 90's, the fashion animated in the cartoon highlighted many of the current young teenage trends- the back-to-front baseball caps being a particular favourite in American television programmes.

Ooh, la, la! What a charming stereotype. Here, a Frenchman with a beret. Classic.

Kate Bush here posing for the cover of her 'Sat In Your Lap' EP. If not popularising, at very least introducing the dunce's cap into musical culute of the day, and away from the classroom.

Here, the traditional Kippah hat, as worn by males in the Jewish community.

A classic straw boater hat, as traditionally seen in Britain in cities of culture- think Oxford or Camrbridge. Perfectly for keeping the sunshine off when sailing down a serene river.

Here, the British Grenadier Guards showcase the traditional bearskin hat- often referred to as a 'busby'.

Here, actor John Travolta showcases his cowboy credentials by fashion the traditional Stetson hat- perfect for the wild west.

Beanie hats are commonly worn by all cultures and at all times of the year, but are particularly useful when it comes to taming dreadlock hair (as my sister would tell you)- to keep them off your face.

Beanies are often commonly worn in winter time and during winter sports- such as skiing or snowboarding, insuring optimum insulation and warmth.

A top hat and tails in traditional wear in Britain for a Bridegroom at a wedding. Also very commonly worn by funeral directors...hmmm...

Fascinators are a great head-wear piece, and can easily transform a more casual day-outfit into something rather smart. Great for weddings and other social events if slightly intimidated by hats (or if you have very large hair, of course).

Bukram is the material in which hats are most commonly construced- particularly lighter hats such as pillboxes. The material is flexible to create the shape, yet still reinforced enough to secure a solid form.

The classic bowler hat, commonly worn by British business men in the 1950's/1960's...of which I can proudly have confirmed by my Grandfather, and ex-bowler-hat-wearing-London-based-account.

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