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Cars and hygiene killed the middle-class hat (medium.com)
95 points by jameslk 35 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 124 comments

I've been wearing a hat outdoors for about 10 years now, since the doc carved pieces of flesh out of my forehead. It was annoying at first, but I grew to like it. It keeps the sunburn away. I was surprised how pleasant it made walking in the rain.

It doesn't affect my hairstyle because my hair departed long ago.

I do get ridiculed for it now and then, but one advantage of getting older is one stops caring about that, and if pressed I'll just tell 'em they'll change their mind after going under the knife.

> I do get ridiculed for it now and then

I have similar experiences with dyeing my hair in bright colours as a guy; most people react neutrally or positively, others ... not so much.

There seems to be something of a cultural difference here too; in Ireland, New Zealand, and Indonesia I don't get too much grief from it, in the Netherlands ... meh. One guy (random stranger) even went so far as to shout "hey homo!" :-/ One of the aspects of my country I'm not especially impressed with.

Overall, it's not a bad people filter. If you're the kind of person who would ridicule someone over hair colour or wearing a hat then you're probably not the kind of person I want to interact with if I have the choice. I'd rather know sooner than later.

the same thing happened to me with my hair bleached. got told I was in the wrong toilet...

for your filter analogy, tattoos have a similar effect. one of my smartest friend has a great education with merit... and knuckle tattoos. he never wasted any time with a company that would not respect his life choices outside the job.

The opposite is true, as well: You attract the people who you're more likely to get along with.

A similar thing is said about guys with long hair (or any fashion/appearance niche): Not everyone prefers it, but for the ones who do, you're in short supply.

I find that putting on a big floppy hat is quicker and easier than applying sunscreen to my face. So I wear one during the summer when I'm outside. I keep an additional one at work for summertime lunch. The only obstacle is, when I'm outside, I'm often wearing a bike helmet.

> quicker and easier than applying sunscreen to my face.

Yup. It's not greasy, don't have to worry about missing a spot, don't have to wait the 20 minutes before it becomes effective, don't have to reapply it after a few hours, it doesn't expire, it doesn't smell like rotten coconuts, and it's very, very effective.

Wait, Walter, what is this "wait 20 mins before it becomes effective"? Did I miss something? Aren't the standard ingredients simply opaque to UV frequencies right out of the bottle/tube?

The standard Coppertone sunscreen says

Directions: Apply liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply: after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating; immediately after towel drying; at least every 2 hours

I’ve always heard this as time to absorb to become waterproof, but I’m not sure if it’s actual skin absorption or the liquid used to convey the sun blocking compounds to dry or evaporate. Either way, apply and then wait.

When you film it in UV, sunscreen appears completely black from the first drop out of the bottle, meaning it absorbed all UV. The 15 minutes might be for applying or getting absorbed before there's a chance to get wiped off.

This is a good video to highlight this [0], the sunscreen part is in the second half. Probably many more like it.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9BqrSAHbTc

I always (mis?)interpreted that as a way to get you to finish putting it on before you went into the sun, so you wouldn't get burned while possibly putting it on (a group of kids, for ex) too slowly while standing in the mid-day sun.

I think the 15 mins is to allow sufficient time to dry so that you don't immediately sweat it off and/or wash if off in the pool/lake/ocean. It's got to stay on your skin to be effective.

There are chemical and physical active ingredients used in sunscreens, with many sunscreens containing a little of each. The physical components tend to work immediately as they block UV frequencies as you mentioned. The chemical components apparently need to be absorbed into the skin.

This is a fairly succinct overview: https://blog.reneerouleau.com/chemical-vs-physical-sunscreen...

As a chemist I squinted at “need to be absorbed to be effective”.

The molecules in sunscreen either block or absorb UV. Nothing gets “absorbed into” the skin. It just sits on top (the skin is an amazing barrier).

The fact the molecule can absorb UV doesn’t change if it’s sitting in a tube or on top of your skin.

Every source I could find indicates this distinction as well as the fact that chemical active ingredients need a bit of time to be absorbed, unlike physical ingredients. Maybe you could provide an explanation for how your claim seems to fit for chemical sunscreen active ingredients?

Here's another excerpt from a different source:

> Chemical sunscreens use up to a dozen ingredients that, when applied, are absorbed in the top layer of skin. They react with the skin to absorb UV rays and convert them into energy before they can harm the skin.

> Chemical sunscreens aren’t as thick as physical sunscreens, so they are often used in sunscreens specifically made for the face as well as those found in spray bottles. Since chemical sunscreens need to be absorbed into the skin, they must be applied at least 20 to 30 minutes before heading outdoors.

> Physical sunscreens, sometimes called “natural” sunscreens, include two ingredients: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Together, these ingredients sit on top of the skin and deflect or reflect the sun’s rays. Think of physical sunscreens like a shield, while chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin. Both ingredients work well to protect from UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) rays. Since physical sunscreens are thicker, they can leave a white cast on the skin.


I think the wikipedia article for one of these "chemical sunscreens" sheds some light on the issue.[1]

These "chemical sunscreens" are also used in plastics to prevent UV damage. There is no "reaction with the skin" required - the molecule absorbs UV light all on it's own. And if the molecule "reacted" with the skin (i.e. create a chemical bond), that would likely alter it's UV absorption.

As per another reply, the only think I can think of is there is some "drying" of the sunscreen that prevents it from easily rubbing off. If you don't wait for it to dry, then the sunscreen won't perform as described.


I started wearing a hat coupled with a UV-screening swim shirt when going to the beach. It may look dorky (hell it does look dorky) but the benefits of not having to apply sticky goo all over me are worth it.

Right, and using sunscreen on my partially bald head would be icky.

> I find that putting on a big floppy hat is quicker and easier than applying sunscreen to my face. So I wear one during the summer when I'm outside. I keep an additional one at work for summertime lunch.

The awkward thing is it to me years to learn how to do this. My family didn't wear hats, and no one I knew wore hats: the cultural knowledge/practice was totally lost.

From my perspective, hats are lost advanced technology, like fusion from Atlantis.

Find the round part of the head, and put a hat around it. ;-)

For me, I already had an "outdoors" vibe for the clothes that I wear, and it's still possible to find hats in that market space. Check out REI, LLBean, Campmor, Sierra Trading Post, are ones that come to mind just because I remember getting their catalogs at sometime or other. One of my sun hats came from Target too.

You had me until the very end...

I think the hat a lot of men (especially those with less hair) are looking for is called a boonie hat. More than a few guys I've recommended this hat to have said it's exactly what they wanted, they just didn't know the name.

These things cost 10 bucks at an Army/Navy surplus store. I've had mine for about 15 years now, it's held up great.


It's basically had that's fully reduced to its utilitarian function, with any fashion aspect being an afterthought.

And there are fancier (more expensive) ones that have better airflow, or are rainproof, or fast-drying etc. These are usually made by companies that make outdoor recreation gear. E.g. here's one that can be easily converted between a mesh sun hat and a waterproof rain hat:


That's exactly what I wear, albeit mine is plain beige and not camouflaged.

Thank you for sharing this. I had no idea such existed. It's hilarious and I'd totally wear this if I was still cycling (let alone going outside).

Additionally, it looks like there may be harmful side-effects from sunscreen. It's probably still better than getting a sunburn, but it's not harm-free either. All other things being equal, a big floppy hat is proabbly better for your health.

The science isn't 100% clear on this as I know; and different sunblocks use different ingredients. This seems a reasonably good/quick overview: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscr...

The year 2020 solution for this problem is a face mask.

Almost the same here. Picked up a Tilley had on impulse one day, and started using it for my scout evenings and trips. Before long, going outside without a had felt naked: a perfect piece of clothing for Scandinavian weather with showers, wind and sun.

The King of all Hats!

Getting older, getting married, and having kids: all things that have significantly contributed to the shockingly low levels of care I give to the opinions of strangers and acquaintances.

Same. Had a SCC cut out where my hair is thinning above my forehead back in March, but the lockdown put a hold on finding and trying out a nice felt hat - still a month off having to go back into the office.

I wonder if there's a noticable correlation between head cancers and the end of traditional hat wearing?

Could be. When I was young I went to Hawaii and got a bad blistering burn on my forehead, and I was only out for 15 minutes. I suspect that was the root cause.

I never wore sunscreen in my youth and pretty sure that's going to come back for me eventually. Everyone was doing Reef Sun Tan oil before the ozone hole days and Slip, Slop, Slap (I'm Australian) which was basically basting youself in coconut oil.

> since the doc carved pieces of flesh out of my forehead.

Melanoma or fishing accident?

Melanomas are pretty drastic because they'll quickly spread cancer throughout your body, and require chemotherapy to prevent you from dying if not detected early enough.

More common you can get carcinomas that doctors prefer to cut out. BCCs often look like a rough patch of skin that never heals while a SCC can be more wart-like and also spread locally if not dealt with.

All are caused by sun damage.

Had a friend die young (in 20s) from melanoma. Horrible disease.

Fortunately not melanoma, but typical problems caused by sun damage.

Yes. I found wearing a baseball cap or golf cap help to reduce sunburn. It makes a difference during driving, especially when the top is down.

My wife is Japanese.

She trained as a Milliner, and has been desinging and making hats for decades.

She's a damn great milliner. She won 1st prize in The Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London competition, in the 90's.

She worked for Philip Treacy.

She's been in numerous magazine and newspaper articles.

There is only one problem: no one buys hats these days :/

I have about 30 hats, I don't wear a hat every day because I am usually not leaving the house, but when I leave the house I typically wear a hat. That's just how I grew up in the rural Midwest. I know it's dying out and I've had people make comments that I am old man in a young man's body, but nonetheless it's a habit I have. I'm always on the lookout for good hats so if you'd like to share a link to her work I may be interested to buy. Right now I mostly buy hats from Goorin Brothers.

Apologies for the late response. I've been a tad busy :)

https://tocofashion.com/ is her site. You'll find it's mostly high fashion designs for women, but she has (and can) design and make hats for men.

GB quality and selection of nice baseball caps is shot. I never bought the other styles but the last two times I’ve dropped in it has felt like being in Lids / ToW.

Baseball caps offer limited protection for the head as a whole, especially the ears, though. To say nothing of trucker caps and their mesh crown, which fail to even protect most of the head.

Any chance you could link to some of her work? Not that it would make that much difference in the overall scheme of things, but I bet a lot of people reading this comment are curious now!

Apologies for the late response. I've been a tad busy :)

https://tocofashion.com/ is her site. You'll find it's mostly high fashion designs for women, but she has (and can) design and make hats for men.

Yah, I’m always looking for a good hat.

Apologies for the late response. I've been a tad busy :)

https://tocofashion.com/ is her site. You'll find it's mostly high fashion designs for women, but she has (and can) design and make hats for men.

Thanks, those are very, very nice! It's true I have no need for such a hat, but I appreciate your sharing them and hope some other HN reader does.

If I think of an occasion that calls for a specific hat, I'll try to keep her business in mind. :-)

Would you be willing to share some pictures of your wife's hats? I'm very curious!

(also curious about the prices, maybe it's time for me to wear a fancy hat?)

Apologies for the late response. I've been a tad busy :)

https://tocofashion.com/ is her site. You'll find it's mostly high fashion designs for women, but she has (and can) design and make hats for men.


> She's a damn great milliner. She won 1st prize in The Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London competition, in the 90's.

> She worked for Philip Treacy.

> She's been in numerous magazine and newspaper articles.

It's noteworthy when someone wins awards or achieves elite status in their profession in a country/culture that is different from the one into which they were born.

They're both facts about his wife

As George Costanza said "What a bald paradise that must have been. Nobody knew" referring to the 20's and 30's when everyone wore hats.

> dried up in just a few generations

I think a decade from now they'll be analyzing the even more rapid demise of suits and briefcases.

I remember when 'casual dress Fridays' started. A leading men's shop took out full page ads in the newspaper extolling the virtue of looking professional vs. casual. They've since gone bankrupt.

> demise of suits and briefcases

I still have my Samsonite briefcase my dad got me as a graduation present. Having a hard shell, it is perfect for my laptop, wires, and other junk. I also enjoy being the only person with such a briefcase.

A pic of what it looks like:


I still want a Zero Halliburton briefcase. It would be wildly impractical for me, but I want it nonetheless.

If it helps, I bought one around 25 years ago. It is a thing of great beauty. But I’ve used it maybe twice, and lugged it through maybe six house moves since then. All a bit pointless.

The biggest thing that’s stopping me is that I can’t decide if I want to buy one that’s in pristine condition (and never want to use it for fear of damaging it) or one that’s beat up and has tons of imperfections (and feel bad about spending so much money on something that looks like it fell out of the back of a van).

I’ll likely eventually find one cheap at a flea market or estate sale. That, or end up buying a slim modern Pelican case for the same purpose.

After watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xz1Ye8I9NY I am tempted to set up a packet-switching network running something like https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2549 using Zero Halliburtons (or knockoffs) for framing.

(alas, Concorde packet delivery no longer implemented.)

TEUs for Jumbo Framing?

Briefcases were pretty dead by the 1990s weren't they?

I'm 43, I've never owned a brief case.

My father had them in the 80s.. but he had a laptop by around 1990 and the briefcase disappeared.

My father was an engineer and later manager in tech companies though, so maybe the briefcase hung around longer outside of the tech industry.

I don't think I've ever seen a briefcase in my career, which essentially started in 1996.

> Briefcases were pretty dead by the 1990s weren't they?

I'm 47 and not only own a couple of soft-sided small briefcases, I still see small hardsided briefcases, and the larger wheeled briefcases regularly (well, less so since I've been working from home due to the pandemic, but...)

> My father had them in the 80s.. but he had a laptop by around 1990 and the briefcase disappeared.

Soft-sided briefcases that existed before laptops and laptop bags are essentially identical, but for the padding in the laptop compartment.

Hmm, I would have said the briefcase was essentially already dead. When's the last time you actually saw someone carrying one?

Before everyone stopped taking the subway here, it was quite common for business commuters to be carrying a briefcase. Though some sort of casual/dressy tote bag is just as common these days.

This morning. When I walked from my car to work. I used to (like a little more than a year ago, not back in the 90s or anything like that) ride the train with someone who carried one every day.

The cellphone killed the wristwatch.

I hope we don’t lose the blazer and sport coat, at least. They’re great. Like a purse for men, but even better than that because you wear them. Unlike winter coats or hoodies they’re not shlubby-looking and you can wear (appropriate cloth & weight) ones in almost any weather.

I’m OK with the suit going but damn, without those there’s not much left for guys to wear that’s not athletic wear of some kind or another (and hell, sport coats kinda are anyway)

> there’s not much left for guys to wear that’s not athletic wear of some kind or another (and hell, sport coats kinda are anyway)

Sport coats are athletic wear? To me, a sport coat is the same thing as a suit jacket, with the only difference being that a sport coat isn't the same color as your pants. It will literally become a suit jacket if you put on matching pants.

For example, a sport coat, very much unlike athletic wear, will prevent you from raising your arms too high with its big squared shoulders.

Sport coats evolved from riding and shooting jackets. I suspect some mobility has been lost over the years, but neither of those sports requiring raising your arms very high.

Exactly. A lot of what's available to men these days is former athletic/sporting wear turned "athleisure", then sometimes losing much of the original association: button-down collar shirts (there's a reason they're traditionally made of relatively tough Oxford cloth, and the collar's buttoned down so it stays that way during vigorous activity), polos (invented for tennis), sport coats (hunting, riding), "rugby" shirts (obviously).

Then our most popular outerwear shirt, the T-shirt, used to be underwear with a strong military association, and came into common use the same way much of the rest of our modern fashion did: youth culture, which AFAIK is also how we got the blazer (dad's orphaned suit jackets) and two-button and especially two-roll-three suit jacket styles (kids wearing hand-me-down 3 and 4 button suits and orphaned jackets "casually" with fewer buttons done up).

> and the collar's buttoned down so it stays that way during vigorous activity)

Yes, but also the collar is buttoned down because those shirts don't have bones and are not starched.

I would hate to shoulder a firearm wearing a modern sport coat. The dimensions of the parts of fabric and the orientation of the seams at the shoulder just don't permit the jacket to fit well while you to bring your hand out in front where it needs to be. I think more than a little mobility was lost (probably in the name of tighter fitment) over the years.

Actually, shooting jackets (for high-power shooting, at least) tend to fit pretty tight. The idea is that they help hold your body more rigid, giving you better stability when shooting at longer ranges (200, 300, and 600 yards). While I agree that sport coats aren't fit the same way, the lack of mobility is pretty common.

Sport coats are descended from the kind of thing well to do Europeans wore wear while shooting clays, riding horses, shooting at foxes while riding on horses, saying nasty things about the slavs, or whatever else well to do Europeans a century ago did for recreation. They aren't descended from shooting specific gear.

A well tailored jacket allows raising your arms. Straight off the rack jackets have abnormally wide arm holes to "fit" a wider range of people, which gets you the problems with raising your arms. See anything Fred Astair wore for a jacket you could move in.

Shit, man, I'm just waiting for the Romper to cross over from women's fashion. Loose-fitting, linen combination shorts / tank? Yes, please!

I'd even settle for denim if we must play at working on cars for women to accept it as fashionable. Maybe then I can finally have my cargo pockets back!

It already did! Sean Connery wore one in one of the bond films.

I think the key to the whole thing might be buried towards the end of the article: "Students began to go without hats as a sign of status".

Is it not likely that as car-owners began to shirk hats - and presumably they would have been more affluent - hats were increasingly worn predominantly by poorer people? Not unlike a tan was originally considered unfashionable as it meant you had been working in the sun?

I bet you could find other examples that confirmed that this was a fashion driven by lifestyle changes amongst the upper-middle class.

Having a tan in colder latitudes in the Winter/Spring was fashionable because it meant you'd "Wintered" or at least had a long Winter vacation somewhere sunny, which means you could afford (having the time, freedom, and money) to "Winter" at all. Tanning beds killed that, of course.

I've come to really appreciate good hats, especially good bush hats (think Crocodile Dundee type cowboy hat) when I'm in the bush.

They don't just keep the sun out of your eyes. They keep your head warm when it's cold outside and cool when it's sunny. They keep your head dry when it's wet, but don't end up drenched in sweat.

They also make boonie hats with retractable bug netting. You can forget it's there until you really need it. After a really buggy May/June trip I never go camping without mine.

Though everyone keeps referring to me as cowboy, I love wearing my Australian Barmah hat. It keeps my head and glasses dry when I go for a walk in the rain. And in the summer it keeps me cool and prevents the sweat from running down into my eyes. Best feature is that because it's kangaroo leather I can mistreat it more (like folding it into my pocket) than wih a cowhide leather hat.

How do they keep your head cool? Whenever I wear one, my head always ends up drenched, because there's no air.

As a Jewish man, I come from a long-line of hat-wearers. And I get a lot of complements from people on my hats when I'm out and about. Men are curious about them, as if the want to wear them, but fear looking silly.

My experience wearing a hat on my college campus was similar. I found a faux leather fedora (same style as Indiana Jones) and I'd wear that for sun and rain. I don't think anybody said anything negative about the hat, but I got several compliments on it. People like hats, they just worry too much about what others think of them.

Some of the orthodox hats are just so cool. Black. Rakish. Almost streamlined.

Wear one! It's ok!

Huh, the Borsalino. But damn, those are expensive hats!

My half-baked theory has been that nobody wears hats on TV because you wouldn't be able to see their faces as well, and people started imitating that.

Game of Thrones was irritating me in every other scene with the complete lack of headgear. It stuck out so badly in that setting.

I spend a lot of time in unfamiliar environments as I travel, and now and then, this results in banging my head against something, followed by, "I can't believe I did that again, I've got to be more careful."

Recently, when it was cold, while I was wearing a couple of hats and a couple of hoods, I happened to bang my head into an object above me, something which happens to me infrequently, but regularly.

Because of all the padding, I felt the impact, but it did not hurt me nearly as much as it normally would have.

Since then, I've been wearing one or two thick hats most of the time, and this habit has already saved me from that very unpleasant experience of hitting my head on a sharp corner.

People ask me if I'm warm, but I barely notice it. I think that, as also with sleeping in a thick blanket, my body adjusts and just produces less heat.

A question on a related topic, then: given that hats are dead, how can a person appear reasonably good if they want to wear a hat for comfort/practical reasons?

Clearly one of the big no-nos is mixing formal and casual. Fedora wearers without a suit, also the weird college-student fad of wearing a waistcoat ("vest") with casual clothing, much ridiculed. But on the other hand, wooly hats and baseball caps are more casual than a lot of general leisure and business clothing. We have the flat cap, but here in England that seems like an affectation unless you're from particular places where it's traditional. What alternatives are there?

Alongside casual vs formal I think we see workwear and sportswear consistently evolve into fashionwear. I see the baseball cap as an example of that. Baseball caps were originally worn by players. I think the bucket hat is another example, traditionally worn by fishers and farmers. Both of these hats came in around 150 years ago.

Knit or woolly caps on the other hand have been used for over 1000 years. I think it's safe to think the knit hat will be around for many more generations

I have 3 hats: A seaweed one for summer (very light, protection from the sun), a felt one (warmth and some rain protection) and a faux-leather stetson (sun/rain and very sturdy, so I tend to take it on flights and for festivals). Mainly utilitarian, but I also like how they look. And I find caps hideous.

While there aren’t many people with hats, there are some (most, but not all, older than me; I’m 34). Never gotten a weird look or comment regarding my hats. We have a dedicated hat-store (split, one for women and one for men) 2 streets over and usually when I walk past there is at least one customer.

Could you link to an example of a seaweed hat? I've never heard the term and Google is giving me very mixed results.

Look up a "seagrass" hat instead.

Sometimes I wear a cowboy hat for fun, but they are terrible in any condition. Outside they blow away because of the wide brim. If you forget to take it off before getting in a car it will either catch on the door frame, or the headrest will knock it off your head. If you wear it inside the brim will knock into something and make you look like a doof.

>Outside they blow away because of the wide brim.

Easiest way to fix this is to fit the hat to your head like they used to do in the way back whens. This technique works for felt hats and straw hats. When your hat is new it is unlikely to fit your head well since head shapes differ so widely. A old cowboy method of fitting the hat to the head will work perfectly every time. Wet the hat and the sweat band and put it on your head until the band has shaped to fit your head with no pressure points so that it contacts all the way around your head. Then just wear it until it dries. It will always fit your head perfectly and will not blow off in the wind. You can do the same thing with ill-fitting boots. Just get them wet, slip them on and walk around wearing them till they dry. They will fit your feet like a glove.

I'm with you on the headrest thing. That's the main reason I no longer wear a hat when I drive. You have to remove the headrest for that to be practical. Years ago before headrests in pickups were a thing I wore a hat everywhere. For a while I got around it by rolling the back of the brim up so it curled enough to fit with a headrest but that defeats the purpose of the brim.

I can see 8-9 cowboy hats right now from where I'm sitting. They each fit a specific person in my family. That's one of the reasons behind it being really bad form for someone to grab your hat and shove it on their head, the hat is fit for an individual and though it may look nice on them, it won't fit - plus it's disrespectful to mess with a man's hat.

Way back in my own way back whens, I boarded my horse with an old cowboy who told stories of his younger days rodeoing and riding. At one time he held the calf-roping record time he set at Madison Square Garden. Him and some of his cowboy friends, his sidekicks, were wranglers in the 40's and 50's for movie studios in California. He had worked with Tom Mix, Gene Autry, and others and taught the lead character from Rawhide (can't remember his name) to mount and ride a horse since he had never been on one when he got the part. He wrangled their herd for that old show. Anyway, getting long here but he told me a story one time about one of the stars he had worked with who couldn't or wouldn't wear a hat, saying that he had a head too much like a nickle watermelon and a hat just wouldn't stay on it.

I was reminded of that by your comment about losing your hat in the wind. Hope this helps someone.

Common etiquette says that you dont wear hats indoors unless you are in service or a woman, I heard somewhere.

> in service

Interesting; in British English in service applied to a human being means in domestic service, like the servants in Downton Abbey; applied to inanimate objects it means that they are functioning or that a bus, for instance, is ready to take passengers.

This isn't meant to say that your way of saying it is wrong by the way.

I'm pretty sure that's the meaning GP was going for. The only other meaning I can think of would be "serving in the military", which (in the US at least) would be "in the service" and anyway members of the military also remove their hats indoors except in certain specific circumstances.

I meant arms service; in military/police duty. Probably mistranslation from spanish “de servicio”!

If I could get a nice wide-brimmed sunhat that didn't blow off in the slightest breeze I'd be a happy man indeed.

You want a Tilley Hat... prized by boaters for not falling off in even the stiffest of winds, keeps your head/shoulders from burning in the sun, floats, and nearly invincible.

Add a hat band to it to weigh it down. I did that with a really cheap Ebay Chinese broad brimmed hat. My hat band is made of Norwegian one kroner coins that have a hole in the middle, Some colourful string and fifteen coins makes a band heavy enough to keep the hat down most of the time. But sometimes that isn't enough so I added a stampede string (actually a bootlace) with a toggle so I could strap it tight when it's really blowing.

They don't mention that so few people have served in the military these days.

Wearing hats could have easily been more popular because so many more men were veterans back in the days after WWI and WWII. They would have been used to wearing hats after being in the service. The time hats started dropping off in popularity also correlates with the rise of the anti-war movement brought on by the Vietnam war.

Also in the 1960s the Catholic Church stopped requiring women to wear hats in church.

Men wearing hats in the West predates the military mass mobilization and conscription of the 20th century.

Frequently wear a baseball cap (that counts as a hat? Right?) on weekends thinning hair, pale skin and a subtropical climate pretty much mandate it - and the extra shade certainly improves the efficiency of my sunglasses!

A lot of people use umbrellas here for the same purpose, but with dense crowds, overhead obsticles and tying up a hand... I'd rather wear some form of hat while out and about!

A baseball cap works for the forehead but does nothing for the tops of the ears. A fellow I know had the top quarter of one of his ears sliced off by the dermatologist.

True, but it's much easier to put sunscreen on my ears than on my head (my hair isn't that thin yet!)

On of the benefits of shaving your head! Easy sunscreen application.

Cars also produced the tuxedo/smoking, because tails were not so compatible with bench seats.

I have a huge randomly flowing mane that can only be curbed with hats (short - a cap, or long - a soft beanie). I've worn them for more than 20 years.

Widespread pandemic hair might be just the luck hats needed.

I’ve often wondered about getting a more wide brimmed hat as I get older, but I find that baseball cap does the job just fine.

That'll work if you let your hair cover your ears.

Someone really thought this comment deserved a downvote? How is this not a relevant comment? Baseball caps and winter hats are the default hats worn by most people these days. There is little reason to go back to something more traditional, as classy as that could potentially be.

People arn't wearing enough hats...

People aren't wearing enough hats for what purpose?

For covering their heads, presumably.

I would love to add more hats to my wardrobe. But I can't shake the thought that a man in a hat that's not a baseball cap just looks like he's trying too hard.

People will judge you on many things, so what's one more item on the list. If you like the hat and think it makes you look good then wear it and damn the judgemental types.

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