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Gents, We're Doing Hats All Wrong

Consider this a call to arms, or should that be heads?
I'm brimming with excitement about my mission to reclaim the fedora for all mankind.
Warner Bros
I'm brimming with excitement about my mission to reclaim the fedora for all mankind.

The first time I walked into a café wearing a fedora, the woman who worked there laughed. Then, realising I wasn't a clown wearing hipster headwear for comic effect, she bit her lip and looked away.

Now, as delusional as I can be at times, even I realise I'm no Don Draper in that hat. But to actually be laughable? Well ... actually, I can see where she's coming from.

After all, what was once the epitome of cool -- think Bogie and Sinatra -- is now a symbol of pretentiousness. There are websites that publicly shame those who wear fedoras -- yes, fedora shaming is actually a thing -- and this once indispensable piece of a man's wardrobe is now identified with the kind of guys we actively avoid at parties: those who peacock in front of women (sadly, I was once that guy), or who non-verbally scream to the world they're artistic or brooding or, worse yet, who actually do think they look like Don Draper.

And yet, as a schmuck who knows he'll only ever look like a schmuck, I for one want to reclaim the fedora back for all mankind.


Because I don't want to wear a baseball cap or beanie in order to keep warm in winter. After all, I'm not a drug dealer or an athlete -- I'm a man in his forties who refuses to wear headgear better suited for children and wannabe gangsters.

So consider this a call to arms (or should that be heads?) my fellow men: buy a fedora! Buy it today! Or, if you'd like, grab a trilby, homburg or even a pork pie hat. Hell, anything other than a baseball cap or beanie.

You see, there's a reason every man wore a proper hat up until the '50s -- and it's called practicality. The brim keeps the sun and rain off your face. The furry felt insulates you from the weather and is as comforting as a security blanket (at least, a good hat like an Akubra is made from fur. If it's wool or polyester, you deserve to be mocked). A good hat will make anyone look better, just as a tailored suit does. Even Bogie looked better in the hat. And as for the feather in the band -- okay, there's no excuse for that.

There is a caveat, however: wearing a brimmed hat will make you feel like a tosser at first. People will stare -- and not in a good, "oh my god he's hot" kind of way. Children will point. But it's not you who's the problem -- it's everyone else.

Now I'm no expert on game theory, but surely if we all start wearing them then the stigma will go. So you have a choice: either keep wearing baseball caps a la Trump, or suck it up, ignore the cruel taunts, and put that beautifully-crafted piece of rabbit fur on your head.

You're a man, damn it.

You know what you have to do.



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