There was a time when ladies and gentlemen were not considered properly dressed without a hat. In fact, an older lady I go to church with related a tale of her childhood about how she went to church with a tissue on her head because she’d forgotten her hat at home. Her mother would not stand for an uncovered head in public. Another lady of that era tells me that showing up wearing yard-working clothes and a hat was better than Sunday best without one. These days, aside from ball caps, Easter, and certain horse racing events, very few people wear hats. What happened? Why did that change?
An older gentleman of my church explained it to me one afternoon. “It’s all Kennedy’s fault. When he stopped wearing hats, everyone stopped wearing hats.” Blaming changes and trends on the president has been a long-held tradition for years, with each new office-holder blaming the one before for all the problems. I don’t know if Kennedy should take the rap for the demise of hat wearing, but that does seem to be about the time when headgear faded from use, sadly.
I have amassed a large collection of hats. About a third of them were inherited from my grandmother. A few were gifts. I even made a couple. The rest were acquired over time when I found one I particularly like. You may be amazed to know that although I live in Texas, I do not have a cowboy hat, a oversight that will have to be remedied some day.
My personal hat collection. Can you figure out which were Grandma’s?
Hats can be elegant, playful, beautiful, or functional. It’s a pity they’ve fallen into disfavor, but I will still wear mine any chance I get.