A Boater Hat For The Summer!

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Should you be wearing a hat? It’s a relatively simple question – some would be able to settle it with either a yes or a no. Of course, it is due to personal preferences – but, with history on my side, I would argue yes you should.

I recognise that many may be weirded out about wearing a hat, which is a sad thing really. But why is it that you are feeling odd – or misplaced? Even when history has it that hats are the total dapper move? First, let’s discuss hats in general. Historically speaking hats served a practical course – like much clothing in general. This hat that I’m wearing is called a boater and usually made from very thin straw. It’s recognised by the flat top and flat brim. The hat was originally worn when sailing – hence the name – and was practically because it was light yet it caused some natural shade. Rumours have it that it was also part of an unofficial FBI dress code in the years leading up to WWII. But when hats have so much cool factor, why is it then so alienated in so many mens’ wardrobes?

Trends come and goes, and some may stay for longer than the other. I believe that up through the ’60s and ’70s there was an outbreak from many of the traditional menswear norms. The menswear that the rebellion of the 60’s – and that was enhanced in so many psychedelic ways in the 70’s – never really allowed som classic menswear pieces to come back. Maybe that is why some people often associate hats with elderly people. People who have actually experienced a time where hats were considered a common dapper move. Though would have been kids at the time.

But as the dapper kind of headwear hasn’t really moved back into the mainstream, people will think it seems odd as they haven’t experienced it before (you know, the thing with the elderly…). But it makes it seem like such a bold move to wear a hat. Which is a shame. But with any other styling, things can be done in either a good manner or very, very bad manner!

First of all, consider – what’s the season? Is it a hot day of spring or summer, then go for a hat made of straw. Either a boater or a Panama hat will fit well for this weather. Is it fall go for a felt hat. A wide-brimmed fedora or a pork pie should be your friends for this season. Are you on top of your style try out flat cap or sixpence – but those are hard to pull off!

Next is that some hats have some associative value. A boater will be great for nautical environments, whereas a fedora will make your business attire instantly vintage-formal-cool! Imagine you in a suit, a long overcoat and then a fedora on your head. Menswear doesn’t get much cooler than this!

Well if this was a good way, what is then the bad way? Well, many people see the trilby as some sort of festival hat. This means that pulling it off with your regular attire can be really hard. You simply cannot use that same hat as you’ve been wearing the entire summer while your body contained more alcohol than water. In general when wearing a trilby, make sure that the quality is solid, the brim isn’t too narrow and that the rest of the outfit cannot be associated with being at a festival.

Well about the boater here… I knew that the city I arrived in (Sète, France) is a little fisherman’s city. This means a lot of boats and a wonderful nautical vibe throughout the entire city! I sort of tried to hit that vibe with the striped t-shirt, light trousers, navy loafers and of course the boater hat. The only thing that could have spiced this lookup was a navy blazer and yacht! 😉 Well it was 35C so I definitely preferred to go without the blazer!

Best Regards,

Portrait De L’HOMME

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Portrait De L’HOMME

A destination where personality and a sense of fashion bond over a negroni. Often, but not always, centered around a specific individual’s journey of style and taste. All to remind that paying a bit of respect to your appearance pays off in regards to your confidence and how your surrounding environment perceives you.

A digital and visual odyssey by

Jon Grossert

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