Friday, July 21, 2006

A Fedora For Philocrites

PeaceBang knows that she can't single-handedly stem the tide of baseball cap-wearing Americans, but she's going to try.

Baseball caps are inelegant. They are boyish. They are a symbol of the American determination to make every occasion, however special, into a subset of "casual Friday." They are sporty in the obnoxious extreme. They are everything that has gone wrong in American style since mid-century. They are loutish.

That said, certain men look very cute in a well-fitting, old-fashioned cotton baseball cap. They know how to carry themselves, they are otherwise wearing something jaunty and fun, and they wear their hats with a sense of Maurice Chevalier flair.

Those men are very rare, and for that reason, religious leaders should be aware that for most of you, a baseball cap just makes you look unfinished, under-dressed, doofish, and sweaty-haired (because you're going to take the bloody thing off eventually, aren't you? AREN'T YOU?).

PeaceBang's father used to look so handsome as he left home every morning in a fedora and an overcoat to commute into Manhattan for work. At the end of a long day, he still maintained his dignity and elegance in his fedora, even if it was raining or snowing and he felt downright bedraggled.

Please remember that PeaceBang is the granddaughter of a well-loved milliner (if you're from Southern Connecticut, ask grandma about Minette Hats in Norwalk) and she takes hats very seriously.

For this reason, she would rather see this on your heads, gentlemen,
philocrites fedora

than a stinky old baseball cap.

However, you can't just stick a fedora on over anything. There has to be a bit of an outfit under it. If you insist on wearing t-shirts and jeans to work, go ahead and wear a baseball cap or a bandana or whatever else your sloppy little heart desires, and the devil take you. You will have broken PeaceBang's devoted heart!


Blogger PeaceBang said...

Some male religious leaders I know who look cute in cloth baseball caps:

Hank Peirce
Chris Walton
Adam Tierney-Eliot
Eddie Gonzalez-Novoa

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Clyde Grubbs said...

blame JFK-he wouldn't wear a fedora in January to his own inauguration....and the idea was born "real men don't wear real hats even when it below zero.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Aola said...

I'm with you on this one PB. I hate baseball caps. Only one of my boys ever wears one (or probably should say is never without one)I've convinced my husband and youngest son they look awful in them.

Emily(daugther) did have a cute pink cloth one when her hair was very long(and she was 6) that we pony tailed thru the back and she had pink tennis shoes to match.

9:21 PM  
Blogger dame olympia's page said...

I have a pink baseball cap that says "life is good" on it--- I like the statement. I'm a life-affirming kind of minister.

I wear it when I work out--rarely do I wear hats with casual wear.

My silly friend, H, calls it my "pro-life" hat.

Dame O

4:31 AM  
Anonymous Dan Harper said...

I like fedoras, and I used to wear one. I no longer do, for some very practical reasons. A good fedora is going to set you back about US$50. However, since so few men wear real hats any more, here in New England very few public places have adequate facilities for safely storing hats -- very few hat racks, fewer hat checks. Now I know down in Texas, men wear their expensive Western-style hats indoors all the time, but that is simply not acceptable behavior here in New England, where men are rsupposed to take real hats off in most indoor spaces (baseball caps do not count as real hats). I had one nearly crushing catastrophe with a fedora years ago due to inadequate hat storage facilities in a public place. No longer do I risk hundred dollar fedora investments to the vagaries of public hat storage.

What do I wear now? A step up from the baseball cap is the Tilley broad-brimmed canvas hat. Tilley hats have gotten a bad name because most men don't know how to wear them. The brim must be essentially flat all the way around -- no ugly dips in it -- and when the hat is new, that means constant tweaking. Too many men don't bother, and wind up with that ugly little dip above the ear. Also, Tilley hats must be washed frequently, and after they get washed you simply must iron them. They are a poor substitute for a good snap-brim fedora, but they can survive the abuse of poor hat storage facilities, and they look far, far better than a baseball cap.

By the way, Peacebang, the hat you show is *not* a fedora. A fedora is always made of felt. What you show is a Panama hat. And I have to say, I would never wear a Panama hat with that kind of, um, ugly hat band -- it looks like something a hippie hand-crafted out in California -- does *not* go well with a respectable suit and top coat. Here in New England, men can wear ugly ties, but they cannot get away with ugly hat bands. That's just the way it is.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Dan Harper said...

Whoa, I you you a big apology, Peacebang!

My middle-aged eyes thought that hat band was *macrame* -- but now I see that it's a sedate and tasteful check pattern. Should have looked at full-size picture first (better have my glasses checked, too). How could I possibly have doubted your sartorial judgment? I should have known that your taste is infallible. Please accept my humble and sincere apologies.

Excuse me while I wipe egg off face.

8:20 PM  

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