This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Do men still wear hats?

If you watch an old movie, or one that is set in the past, you see men wearing hats. In a western, the men wore cowboy hats. In the early 20th century, men wore fedoras. In the 18th and early 19th century men wore various types of hats - think of The Three Musketeers, or Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. If you are wondering if men still wear hats today, they do.

As a history buff, I am always interested in how smoothly things change over time, yet how much remains the same. The whole world doesn't wake up one morning and say, "No more hats!" You see less hats on men these days because of the widespread use of cars, and the overall tendency for men to work indoors. The guys who work outdoors, as most men did up until about 70 years ago, still wear hats. The style of hat has changed, but not the hat.

Beginning in the 1940s, working outdoors started to have a negative stigma. Men wanted to be seen as thoroughly modern. A hat told people that you had spend a lot of time outdoors, possibly walking because you didn't have a car. But a hat is still a very important thing when you have to spend time outdoors. It keeps your head warm and provides shade for your eyes. The solution was for men to start wearing baseball caps.

The author in a golf hat
Baseball caps didn't say, "hey, I'm a lowlife who doesn't own a car", it says, "I'm a sports fan". They are less practical than true brimmed hat, like a stetson or a fedora, but that's kind of the point. It's utility is supposed to be casual. Some men even turn the brim around to the back. This says, "I'm wearing this to be cool, not for practical purposes". But if they get stuck out in the rain or need to shield their eyes from the sun, they can turn it around. And even without the brim, it protects a man with thinning hair, which is as common now as it ever was.

Hats are meant to be worn on your head, and some men feel naked without them. Don't ask him to take off his hat, unless you mean it.
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