Hats. What happened?

Posted: May 4, 2015 in Humor
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Yeah, you got it right. I’m writing about hats. Stay with me. I’ve never let you down before have I? Wait. Never mind.

As a lot of you know I taught history for several years. It’s been an interest of mine as long as I can remember. Anyway, I’m currently teaching the period from the discovery of the Americas by those dudes who walked across that swampy area we now call the Bering Strait right up to reconstruction after the Civil War. There are a million cool things I cover, such as the Vikings, Mayans, Incas, Paul Revere, George (“The Man” as he is known in my class) Washington, Lewis & Clark (love ’em), the Intercontinental Railroad, and of course Abe Lincoln and all things Civil War related.

There has always been something that has stood out to me and my students as we studied history though, and that is the demise of the cool hat. Stop laughing, I’m dead serious here. Seriously, stop it. The cool hat has died. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a kid stop in the middle of a lesson, look at a picture and say, “Dude. Cool hat.”

Some historians say the hat was the first apparel worn by man, ya know? Weird, when you think of a bunch of cavemen running around with nothing on but a fur hat.

Speaking of the Vikings (I did a second ago, you can go back and look), did you know those cool Viking helmets never actually had horns? Sure makes the Minnesota Viking logo look pretty dopey, huh? Vikings actually looked more like this dude:


Yeah, I know. Badass. Of course, an axe always adds to your badassness, amirite?

Note: Quite possibly another first. I just used the word badassness in a blog. Twice. I’m awesome.

But anyway, over the years hats went from being popular as hell to basically dying out to the point where all we have left in hat fashion statements are baseball hats being worn sideways, which only serves to make you look like a tool. So, kids, on with some hat blogging!

Let’s begin with the Mayans. Take a look:

Holy! What the . . .? No, that ain’t The Mothman. Mayan warriors wore stuff like this to battle so they’d hopefully scare their enemies. And that hat, I dare say, would give any opponent cause for pause, don’tcha think? Legend says some Mayan enemies cried like little girls upon seeing that get-up. Yikes.

Let’s move on. Here’s the man credited with discovering America, although we now know he wasn’t nearly the first and in addition pretty much wiped out an entire race of people. Yep, we’re talkin’ the one and only C-Bus as his buddies called him. Check out this lid:

I don’t even know what I’m looking at here. Not a stellar look. Of course it doesn’t help that Chris resembled my 67-year old 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Toler. Regardless, let’s move on to the American Revolution:


Hey-O! Now we’re talkin’. That’s not your run-of-the-mill hat right there. That’s the three cornered hat, the ol’ tri-corner we all know and love. You do love it, right? Right?

The trappers in the days after Lewis and Clark had cool hats. Let’s check one out:


That’s your basic run-of-the-mill Beaver on the Head Accentuated with a Feather look, wildly popular amongst the men of the wild back in the day. You can actually see similar hats on the streets of Bainbridge today. True story.

Later on, a hat we all know and love became the symbol of the west:

Now there’s a hat. By the way, that’s John Wayne for you youngbloods out there. Incidentally, he was as bad as they come. He could have taken one look at Chuck Norris and made him poop his pants. Not even kidding.

Let’s take a look at the Outlaws of the Sea and some of their headgear:

Yes friends, that is Blackbeard the Pirate. Legend has it that when he was beheaded and his body thrown overboard he swam around the boat 7-times as he tried to get back aboard and kill the bastards who did him in. He also used to braid his beard and light the tips on fire when fighting to intimidate his enemies. Rough customer he was. Anyway, stellar hat.

Note #2: Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a picture of a pirate that is not Johnny Depp? Good God.

Alright, now let’s move on to the mid-1800’s, a great time for hats. You might even call it The Golden Age of Hats. Or, you might not. Totally your call. Anyway, here’s quite possibly the most famous hat ever, period.

That’s an actual photo of Abe, and you have to admit his hat is spectacular. Not many men could pull that off folks. Hey, you know it’s a great hat when it can hold your wallet, notes, hanky, and you know, the Gettysburg Address. Impressive. Impressive indeed.

Here’s a hat that was popular in the Roaring ’20s. I can’t imagine why this one didn’t last:

Yeah, I know. Not great but better than anything we have today, no? On a related note it could double as a frisbee. That is, if they’d been invented yet.

OK, let’s get to the hat worn by a guy who probably wore a hat better than anyone in history. I give you this cool cat:

Seriously, nobody, and I mean nobody, could pull off wearing a fedora like The Chairman of the Board, Mr. Frank Sinatra.


All of which brings us to 2015, where 99.9% of the hats we see today are baseball caps. Check out this assclown:

Ugh. The truly sad part is that this chick thinks this dope is cool. Do me a favor and look at this guy, then scroll back up and look at Sinatra. Do it a couple of times. This is what has happened to people’s perception of cool, not to mention cool hats. Cool is dead people, and with it, cool hats.

One day, hopefully, the cool hat will return. Not holding my breath though.

  1. yourothermotherhere says:

    Nice post, grateful for the ending.

  2. lechap1942 says:

    Someday Shoe, I’m going to have to assemble my hat collection and send you a photo. I’ve been a hat guy going all way back to Leo Gorsey in the East-Side Gang film series. Leo wore a large felt fedora with the front rim pinned up with a large big safety pin. One like it was my first lid and I traded a kid two dead frogs and my favorite catseye taw marble. Over the years since then I’ve had hundreds of different style caps (faves are Greek fisherman and 8 wedge newsboy) and hats (faves are felt fedora and classic Panama). BTW, Panama hats weren’t from Panama. The reals were, and still are, made in Ecuador. One truth, however, is that you can’t make someone who just isn’t cool, cool by putting a cool hat on their head. But, you can take a cool hat off the head of someone who is cool and they become less cool. It’s in the Bible! It’s also in the Bible that God wears a spun gold mitre with a silver bill.

Gimme a holler.

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