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Great Men's Hats

Updated on May 24, 2009

The Great Men's Hats Debate

It has been said that men's hats are a thing of the past, something from a different era, something we'll probably never see again in our lifetimes. Or are they? We don't see them on men's heads, so I have to ask why not? What's changed?

Well, you would never know it by looking around today, but until recently all men wore hats in public (women did too but that's for a different article). Check out those 1930s and 1940s baseball games. Not only were the men decked out in stylish men's hats and golfing caps, but they were wearing full suits and ties too.

When's the last time you saw a man in a suit at a ball game? It's been awhile, hasn't it? Look at how far we've fallen in public decorum! Can we not get any more creative than a baseball cap turned backwards, or worse, sideways?

Now consider this question, back seventy or eighty years ago, was there an obsession with the bald head like there is today? To discover that information you only need to watch a few black and white movies from that era. I've watched hundreds, and I don't recall any comments about a man being or becoming bald. No bald jokes. No bald is beautiful sketches. It just wasn't discussed in the movies.

Whether or not people discussed baldness in public is open for debate. And yet you know that things have not been altered that drastically.

Again, in the movies men took off their hats, and the majority of them were bald or balding. What does that say about us? Have we become obsessed with the "obsession du jour?"

So that brings us to two possibilities: either the men wore hats to hide their baldness (which no one ever said it was a bad thing or a stigma against the person) or there were other reasons. I suspect it was to cover up baldness, to "decorate" their heads, and not to stand out (since everyone else would be wearing one).

For practical reasons, in the winter the men wore the so-called "men's hats" to keep their heads warm. Scientists and doctors tell us that 80% of body heat is lost through the head. Wearing a hat in the winter, while it wouldn't protect the ears, it would keep the body heat from going out the top. Then when summer came men just never removed the hats. But that's a discussion for another day.

In the next article, I'll talk about the kinds of men's hats that are being sold on the market. Still to come is an article on how to buy, care for, and how to wear men's hats. Oh, and the ethics of wearing men's hats is being written now.

A Few Stylish Hats We Wish Were Being Worn Today

Men's Hats and Ethics

By now most of you have a pretty good idea about why it is necessary for you to begin wearing some variety of men's hats (if you're a man, that is). So here's the question: should all men wear a hat?

Obviously some men just will never wear a hat. Ever. Some gentlemen are prima donnas in that way, and they think that a nice hat will muss up their wonderful flowing head of hair. I've never been able to understand that kind of thinking, but that's a different story for a different day and time.

Similarly, many men will find that owning a single hat is just not an option. They'll need to buy ten or twenty to fit the occasion.

A while back I read Dr. Seuss' biography (Mr. Theodore Geisel). He said that when he and some other writers had mild writer's block, with a twinkle in his eyes, Mr. Geisel would swing open the closet door and pull out a number of crazy hats. He'd then say, "Let's put on our thinking caps, shall we." Then the writers would continue with their writing. It's a great story that shows the need for owning more than one hat.

My first recommendation: toss out all of your unsightly baseball caps, all of them! We are overwhelmed with mundane baseball hats. We need to inject some style and class into our attire.

So while I'm thinking of it, I'm coining a new slogan: Scrap the Ball Cap! Okay, perhaps it's not the most innovative slogan in the world, but it makes the point. We can do much better than plain vanilla baseball caps.

I think country music singers are on the right track. Many of them have donned a cowboy hat for when they are performing. Wearing only those hats, too, can become stale. If everyone wore a cowboy hat, that would be equally as boring. With the cowboy hat you can only wear it two ways. At least with the baseball caps, there are twelve or thirty different ways you can wear one, depending on the angle and position.

But that's what makes the world an exciting place to live in. We have variety. We have a thousand different brands of toilet paper. Certainly we can be creative with the men's hats that are sold and marketed in the stores. That's what I think the problem is, marketing. And again, I digress.

Men's Hats: Bogart and Sinatra Wearing Fedoras


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      LaughingJohn 6 years ago

      The amount of body heat lost through your head is much much less than 80%, more like 10%.

      I think the original myth was only around 40-45% anyway and came from a U.S army manual that has since proved to be incorrect.

      Hat's are still cool though :)

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      Muldanianman 6 years ago

      I love hats and have bought many of them. However, I have never had the courage to wear them. I see no other men wearing them, so think I would stand out too much if I were to wear mine. Hats seem to be making a comeback, because all of the fashionable shops are selling them, yet still, I see no one actually wearing one. Perhaps, like me, they are buying them, but do not have the courage to be seen in one.

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      Henning Christensen 7 years ago

      I just bought a Stetson wool fedora, which is perfect for keeping your head nice and warm. Where I live, we're used to -20C (-4F), and it's no problem with the hat. As a plus, it looks quite nice paired with a nice coat ;)

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      Sun Protection Hat 7 years ago

      Hats can really make a man as you've pointed out here - but they are also very practical when it comes to sun protection. Wouldn't want to get skin cancer for playing in the sun for too long.

      Anyway... great hub Sanford and thank you for contributing!

    • Sunshyne1975 profile image

      Sunshyne1975 7 years ago from California, US

      Great hub! I would love it if you would watch my hat video, I think it's funny. Maybe you will too. Glad to be a fan!