When I am sitting at my desk, I have a photograph of my lovely late Dad in my eyeline. His presence often makes me consider what he would think of this strange world we live in now - when he died, computers were still the size of houses and mobile phones were larger than bricks! But it also makes me think of how life was when he was 'in his pomp' and, today, the significance of hats.
When I was a schoolgirl, my father regularly worked in London as well as in Coventry and Leamington where his offices were. I could always tell when he was going to London as he would be wearing a bowler hat. Indeed, my father had a range of hats - each of which had its own particular occasion for wearing. He wore a trilby (greeny-brown) for normal working days which he would take off immediately on entering any kind of building - home, office etc. He had the black bowler for London days - very smart. Recently Genevieve (oldest child) wore one in the television serial she appeared in and it so reminded me of Dad. 'Girls in bowlers - never!'
He also wore a flat cap for all sporting occasions: rugby - which we all went to with Dad, point-to-points, racing etc although, thinking about this, he might have put the trilby on for anything horsey. (Dad never actually went anywhere near any kind of horse, including my pony, ever. 'Kick at one end and bite at the other!') And, of course, he had his own top hat which we now have. This was for weddings, with morning suit, and Royal Ascot. Since finding a home with us, I fear that the top hat has made two appearances in Oliver on the head of the Artful Dodger - possibly not a suitable end to the career of a fine hat.
How sad that hats are not worn so frequently now. I love that JK in Jamiroquai - the Cat in the Hat - always wears one though what my dear Dad would have thought of him wearing it inside, I don't know. However, he probably would have liked the fact that my lovely husband is particularly fond of hats and purchased a turban only yesterday! He has a whole range of dressing up hats (the dressing up thing is one of his particular interests - and not in a pervy way, really) and is very fond of his Jamaican woolly hat complete with dreadlocks. In fact, when he was presented with it by the aforementioned daughter Number 1, he immediately suggested he wore it to the pub! Why not, he went to the pub dressed in a toga and laurel wreath the week before! (I pointed out that we were going to a Roman Orgy, not just the pub!)
Anyway, bring back hats for men I say! No fear of helmet head for them - always a problem for us girls. I love a man in a good hat - any takers?