My husband’s family members have been generational ranchers in the panhandle…
Hats used to be fairly standard fashion accessories, so people didn’t think twice when they saw someone wearing one. Nowadays, hats are much less common than they used to be, so you are bound to get more attention when you wear one. Due to this fact, you need to accessorize with a purpose when you select your headwear because people will probably draw their own conclusions about you based on what you choose.
The beret has a bit of a split personality when it comes to what kinds of people wear them. The first image you might think of probably has something to do with a French man in a striped shirt wearing a black beret and carrying a baguette. While the beret is definitely an important part of French and Spanish culture, it also says a lot about the people who wear it who aren’t from those two places.
- The Artist: Sometimes (but not always) referred to as “The Tortured Artist,” people who wear berets are often highly creative and artistic. Artists like Rembrandt and Picasso and musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk rocked the style.
- The Soldier: People have worn berets as part of everyday life through the ages (some sources even claiming the style went back as far as the Bronze Age), but they reached the height of popularity beginning in the late 1800s. At this time, the French military adopted the weatherproof, close-fitting, low-profile cap because it protected the soldiers’ heads from oil when climbing in and out of tanks. Since then it has become a symbol of the soldier –either fighting for their country (such as the Green Berets or the Russian paratroopers) or fighting for a cause (as is the case with Che Guevara, the Argentine revolutionary).
The Floppy Hat
The floppy hat can also take on several personalities, but for the most part, it is worn by fun-loving, hard-working people who crave being outdoors. The wide-brimmed floppy hat can be easily accessorized with ribbons and flowers to dress it up.
The fedora is a hat that you either love or hate – there’s not really an in-between. It used to be strictly made from wool and was all the rage from the 1920s through the 1950s in America. This hat was tough, sharp, and endlessly classy – the embodiment of the great American businessman. Since the ‘50s, the fedora’s popularity has morphed into three very different personas altogether.
- The Musician: Musicians of many genres have worn fedoras as part of their ensemble. The movie “The Blues Brothers” capitalized on Jazz musician’s affinity toward the fedora, and crooners like Frank Sinatra were often seen with this suave headgear.
- The Businessman: The fedora is still a favorite in the business world, though it’s usually a specific kind of fedora. People who fit the businessman profile tend to stay away from the more contemporary fedoras and stick with pinstripes that match their suits or just plain, dark blue, brown, black, or grey felt hats. This persona simply radiates authority and power.
- The Eccentric: The third category of people who wear fedoras is what we’ll call “The Eccentric.” If you’re in this category, you likely have an affinity toward artistic things while remaining grounded with manga, gaming, and cosplay. The style of choice tends to be colorful or pinstriped cloth fedoras matched with a vest worn over a button-up or t-shirt.
The Flat (Duncher) Cap
This cap is popular throughout Europe and is a symbol of the working class. Traditionally made of wool or felt in muted shades, this cap kept the sun out of the eyes and the rain out of the hair. If you wear this cap, you most likely value a combination of family, hard work, and the outdoors.
Baseball caps go so much further than they did in the old days when they were used primarily by baseball players. Now you have a number of variations, including trucker hats, five-panel hats, the increasingly popular “Dad Hat,” and flat-billed caps. Each of these hats serves a purpose for different types of people.
- The Trucker: Trucker hats were originally given out as promotional merchandise for farming equipment, but they have since been accepted by hip hop artists, celebrities, and everyday blue-collar workers as a functional accessory.
- The Five-Panel: If you are wearing a five-panel hat, you most likely love cycling and/or you have spent a significant amount of time in Europe.
- The Dad: The “Dad Hat” has only recently become a household name for the exact thing it stands for: that old, well-worn, slightly scuffed up (yet highly functional) ball cap. If you wear dad hats, you are probably very practical and just want to keep the sun and sweat out of your eyes.
- The Flat Bill: There is a difference in the people who wear the standard ball cap with a curved or slightly curved bill and those who wear the flat-billed ball cap. The flat-billed cap usually has official logos or holographic stickers for sports teams or brands. These caps are generally very well taken care of and are seldom worn as headwear when they could get dirty or dingy. People who wear these kinds of caps tend to value teamwork and loyalty.