Why Do I Find These Little Hats Annoying?

And do other people have the same reaction? This picture was in the local paper yesterday. It's the country-ish duo Sugarland performing in Gulf Shores last weekend. I have nothing against them, although I don't know their music. But that hat...I remarked on my annoyance to my wife, and she said "Because it looks too little for his head?" Maybe that's part of it, I don't know. It seems like a malformed Sinatra-style fedora (the real thing would be much preferable).

 If you find out I'm wearing one two or three years from now, please hire someone to shoot me.


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They are definitely annoying, and the too small factor is part of it.


Do you mean you want a photo-shoot?

No, the traditional kind, with bullets. Perish the thought of my being photographed wearing one of these.

I just remembered that there is one student here that wears a hat like that--a really big guy. He has a whole collection of "colorful" outfits. I think he must be a musician.


More of a pork pie than a fedora, surely?


Yeah, you're right. But it looks good on him:


Not exactly the same hat, though--taller and the brim is flat--and I think a little wider, too.

My first reaction was that he looks like a leprechaun. Couldn't say why I think that, though...

Oh yeah. I definitely thought leprechaun hat when I saw it.


Go to Google Images and search for leprechaun, and you'll see why you thought of that. (I hadn't.)

My first thought was of Tyrolean hats, but it's not one.

Hats on men in good weather or indoors always struck me as contrived. A small hat would be almost useless for rain, sun, or cold and so would be all the more contrived.

For me it goes even beyond that. To explain, I have to admit to a bit of gender bias. Vanity is never admirable, but being so heavily conditioned by the culture, I can easily overlook a touch of it in a woman. It is repugnant in a man. And that what I see in that silly little contrivance of a hat.

Even-handed as I am, my gender bias goes the opposite way when it comes to vulgarity. I think and hope that it ends about there.

Tyrolean hats are cool, though, even if they are impractical. I have no justification for the inconsistency.

You must still have most of your hair. :-) Now that mine is extremely sparse on top, it's amazing to me how much difference even a baseball cap makes in cold weather. It's also a good idea to keep something between bare pate and broiling sun.

So I could sympathize on that score, but I don't think that has much to do with why this guy is wearing this hat. I totally agree about male vanity (not that I'm 100% immune).

vanity in men and women normally takes on different forms.

My grandfather hated vanity in me and often told me (rightly) to stop looking in the mirror. then when I was in my teens it suddenly occurred to me that he probably hated the trait in me b/c of his own little vanities - he used to spend half an age in front of the mirror every morning combing his long side hair over his bald patch!

Incidentally, I spend a fair bit of time being irritated by my 8yo daughter's antics in front of the mirror!

Entertainers per se annoy me more and more the older I get. If they were just prancing around on stage (with small hats or not) I wouldn't mind - that's what they're supposed to do. But when they start telling us their opinions on matters they have no hope of understanding, on the basis that they're famous, I get really peeved.

Funny about your grandfather and his bald spot. I sympathize with the poor guy.

Oh, it's pretty thin on my pate too and I appreciate a baseball cap every now and then. But that is back to the practical thing.

Hats on men [...] indoors

Well, that's just bad manners.

You know, Paul, I really wish I could have known your mother.


"...that's just bad manners..."

Amen! Though a lost cause, I fear, like hoping that people will get "lay" and "lie" straight.

My 12yo son has just bought himself a fedora hat, which looks pretty good. I have instructed him not to wear it inside.

Son: "why?"

Louise: "Because."

(strictly, the reason is "because my grandfather didn't")

Although I think you can wear hats in cars, yes?

I have started wearing hats to Mass in an effort to halt the destruction of Western Civ. Gloves are next...

Sorry, I've been too busy to participate.

Congratulations on sticking to the "men's hats off indoors" rule, Louise. Not that it matters in any absolute way, but if the reason for breaking it is just cloddishness and one very small instance in the dissolution of manners, it's worth keeping.

There is some conservative who recently, in a take-back-our-culture sort of manifesto, insisted that men must revive the fedora (I think it was the fedora--at any rate I don't think it was just-any-old-hat). I believe that's going a bit overboard.

Well, mandatory fedoras is over-the-top, but I used to love my Daddy's hats. Of course, all the men I knew wore them and couldn't have imagined that they would disappear like they have.


On reviving the fedora and Mad Men as well: Some of y'all sound like retrosexuals. Here's M-W take on the word:

Retrosexual is a word that has been used in two very different ways.

It sometimes describes an old-fashioned "manly man" – e.g. a beer and football-loving guy who cares little for his appearance. [the opposite of a metrosexual]

But it has also been used, as in the example above, to describe someone who self-consciously adopts traditional masculine styles – e.g. old-fashioned manners and clothes typical of the early 1960s (think Mad Men).

Hey, I ain't wearing a fedora or a pork-pie, or planning to.

I think there's a difference between wearing something like that because you just like the way it looks, and wearing it to make some kind of statement. Although those impulses might be hard to separate.

For me, the idea of not wearing a hat indoors is not a revival of something from the past, but an attempt to keep alive something that's dying. I was about to say it's about as likely to succeed as the effort to use "lie" and "lay" correctly, then I remembered I've already said that. I better go lay down.

What are you going to lay down?


My burdens, down by the riverside. Or else that boogie. Or a groove. Or my weary tune. I haven't decided.

Some time in the early 1990s, I had a brief exchange with a tramp outside Victoria Station, and as we parted he said, slightly shyly, "Can I ask you something?"
Not sure what might be coming next, I guardedly replied, "You can ask."
"Are you Jewish?" he said.
"No, I'm not" I said, slightly puzzled, and then added (to edify him, and just having come from the cathedral), "I'm Catholic, as it happens."
"Well, don't take offence," he said, "but are you German?"
"What?! No!" I exclaimed, and as I rapidly retreated from his ravings he called out apologetically, "I just wondered because of the hat!" (This in reference to a rather battered garment, somewhat in the style of a fedora, that at one time would have gone unremarked on a London street.)
If I'd been wearing a baseball cap, the question would not have arisen. That would have looked perfectly English.

I couldn't figure out the Jewish-German association till I remembered these guys.

I wear baseball-type caps when I'm outside in the summer or in chilly weather, a stocking cap when it's pretty cold. But I've been wanting something that keeps more sun off in the summer, having had a skin cancer and some pre-cancerous stuff removed a year or two ago. So I've been thinking about something along the lines of...it's ok to laugh...a cowboy hat. I actually have a bit of a legitimate claim to it, because when I was a teenager and a member of the Junior Cattlemen's Association and raising and showing steers, we wore them. An actual cowboy hat would probably be too hot, though, so I have my eye out for a straw hat in more or less a cowboy hat shape.

And by the way, when did the bowler disappear?

You could still see them in the late 70s, but by then as a rarity to be remarked upon.

Why not a panama?

A possibility, if it wasn't too...something, I'm not sure what the word is.

Bill used to wear on of those straw cowboy-type hats. I think the last one must have worn out and we got a lot of baseball caps free, but they must be miserable in this heat. I hadn't thought about that before.


Yes, they are. It only recently dawned on me that it feels really good to take that hat off when I'm really hot. I was thinking a straw one might be cooler.

y'all need akubras...

Those are actually sort of fashionable in some circles. I'm not sure exactly what circles but they seem to be somewhat upscale. The hats look a little heavy for this climate.


No, definitely urban. I see them advertised in The Atlantic.

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