Friday, November 6, 2009

I wear hats!

I just read a men's fashion column that spoke in the most disparaging way about men who wear hats. This annoyed me.

Hats exist for a reason, OK? They keep your head warm in the winter, and shaded in the summer, and they keep the rain out of one's face whenever it falls. They are highly functional, and even more so when the wearer happens to be bald. Like, you know, me.

But somewhere along the line, men stopped wearing hats, ostensibly at the behest of the fashionistas. It isn't that we've wanted to stop wearing them. Guys who aren't concerned about dressing up routinely wear baseball hats in all kinds of weather, and it's not (only) because we love the Mets or the Mariners or the Red Sox. We could throw on a jersey if we simply wanted to express our affection. No, we put on those hats because they make us more comfortable. That, along with modesty, is the primary function of clothing.

So we do wear hats. But sometimes we have to look sharp, and a baseball hat just doesn't make it. This has become an issue for me. I'm dressing up more than ever (which is to say still not often), and when I do, I don't want to have to go bareheaded to satisfy the fashionistas. I don't want to freeze. I don't want to have rain dripping down my forehead and into my eyes if I don't have an umbrella at hand. Exactly why should I suffer and feel awkward or uncomfortable?

I bought a fedora.

It might look old-fashioned, or foppish, or both. Actually, I kinda think it does, on both counts. But it seemed like the best solution. It looks presentable, and respectful of any occasion or location -- better than a baseball hat -- and, oh yeah, it covers my head, and protects me from the weather, in the way that clothing is supposed to.

I used it for the first time at a funeral. I felt a little funny putting it on, knowing that not everyone would like the look, but when the day was cold and drizzly, I was very glad I had it. I will wear it again.

So disparage away, fashion columnists. And keep constraining yourselves in ways that make you really, really uncomfortable.