I am a collector. And I collect hats. There, I’ve finally said it. It is out in the open. My secret, revealed at last.
I have scores of the things. Trilby’s, bowlers, straw hats, leather hats. Caps made of tweed. Caps made of cloth.
I have so many hats that I have been called a ‘Hoarder of Hats’. This is unjustified and it hurts. The term ‘hoarder’ has been made famous (infamous?) by those numerous TV programs about grubby people who can’t get out of their houses because their passage is blocked by all the useless items they have collected and stacked up in their living areas.
Cardboard boxes full of items they have pulled willy-nilly from garbage skips and what have you. From empty cardboard boxes to years of useless newspapers. Wild animals live in these piles of rubbish. The hoarders very lives are in danger not just because fire could break out any minute but because piles of crap could, at any moment fall and suffocate them. Let me make it very clear.
That is not me.
I am a collector.
If I have one task in life, it is to make hats great again. In my humble opinion hats have been neglected for far too long. Oh sure, you might find the odd pop star wearing a hat, usually of his or her own design. Usually something outlandish and sparkly. And therein lies the problem. Because we see hats as the territory of the eccentric, your average Joe or Jennifer tends to give hats a wide berth. In short, there is a line of thought that says, only mad people and show-offs wear hats. This is blatantly untrue.
I am not a show-off. I am stylish. A hat, on the head of a man or a woman marks them out as, different, or in my case, special. And I use that term not in an arrogant way but as a statement of fact. I am only special because not many folks can carry a hat in a stylish manner. I do. Not every one is ‘a hat person’. I am. Some of us hat wearers could sport a wooden box on our heads and it would still look good.
Hats are also about confidence. In the old days of hats, you know the days when everyone wore one. Hats were a mark of social standing. Caps for the working class, other more exuberant types of hats for the wealthy and those further up the social ladder. However, apart from marking out your social standing, hats were there mainly to keep your head warm. Nowadays, unless you live in Russia warm heads do not count. Hats are more of a statement on who you think/know you are.
For example, when I wear my Trilby with the wide brim I am showing not only my stylishness but also my bravery. I feel like Oscar Wilde. Where I live hats are such an anathema that I am likely to get attacked or at the very least, sneered at. Caps are not so dangerous. Caps are experiencing a resurgence. Wide caps, baker-boy caps, Yorkshire mill caps. All of them the height of fashion.
This is good and an important part of the resurgence.
It is my task, my quest if you like, to bring back, to collect, the forgotten hats. The many, many different styles that are all but extinct. The Beaver hat, the beret, even the boater. The list of course is endless.
And I will not rest until every man or woman leaves their place of residence, wearing a hat. Indeed, I would like to make it an offence, punishable by fine, to be hat-less.
Be cool. Buy a Hat.