Preston Schlueter of The Gentleman’s Gazette explains why men stopped wearing hats on a daily basis despite them being a staple of past wardrobes. In doing so, Schlueter also give a quick tour regarding the history of hats.
When looking at old photographs or watching old movies, you’ve probably heard people comment on the copious amount of hats worn in them. When discussing previous eras, you’ve probably heard the often overused phrase that “a man wouldn’t leave the house without a hat on.” Phrased another way, it’s all about the hats.
The simple reasons, Schlueter states, are the advent of climate control at home and inside vehicles, and the lowered headspace in automobiles.
Let’s say it’s a cold winter’s day; leaving your heated office for 20 seconds to get into your heated car, which you’ll drive home, and then leave for another 10 seconds to enter your heated house means that you probably aren’t going to bother with copious layers.
Hats also indicated social class, a notion that gave way after wars.
Before the World Wars, social class was an incredibly important aspect of Western society, and people were absolutely expected to know their place. But, after the horrors of war brought every social class just a bit closer, we began to focus more on the individual rather than on the class in which they resided.
And of course, there’s the internet.
Indeed, for some younger members of our audience, when we mention fedoras, they might first think of the infamous “tips fedora” meme. Because there are now thousands of these easily spreadable memes all over the internet, the fedora, in recent years, took on a decidedly less-than-cool reputation.