Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 127: Hats

As my last posting was rather controversial, this post will be anything but.

Growing up in Utah, although it could get very cold, hats were not often worn. Other than the baseball cap worn by the adolescent, truck driver, or game-goer, the times when they adorned one's head were limited to times when skiing, sledding, or generally when out in the snow for leisure, or by babies. As I moved east, I noticed that the frequency of hat-wearing increased. This may have been a function of circumstance. Rather than going from warm house to warm car to warm office or shopping center as in Utah, a driving culture, people generally were in the cold for longer waiting for buses, trains, metros, or simply walking from commuting points to home or office. That, and eastern cold is a wetter, more humid cold that eats into ones skin and chills the bones.

Here in England, more than the western and eastern United States, people wear hats, and not just against the cold.

I have seen hats of all shapes and sizes: policeman's bobby hats, floppy hats, wide-brimmed hats, Sherlock Holmes-styled hats (pictured), top hats, fur caps (massive things), Indiana Jones hats, and wedding hats.

As to the last, I have discovered that wedding invitations here often include the dress code: “Hats preferred.” Although such dress codes are standard wedding fare, they can still set the younger generation's fashion anxieties a-flutter. They certainly provide wonderful fodder for British fashion magazine articles. Hats worn by the younger generation are generally smaller, and even a feather with a bit of netting or bobble can qualify as a “hat.” The prince's girlfriend wore something similar to a wedding (reading fashion mags are legitimate if attempting to appreciate the full gammet of Anglo culture, right?).

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