Men in hats. Will the trend continue? I believe it has reached what I lovingly call, “The Flip Flop Factor.” Something happened in 2011. It had been occurring more under the surface for many years. But, now, we’ve reached that tipping point where all bets are off and any guy, at anytime, could be considering wearing a hat. He’s seen enough cool dudes wear hats and he senses something’s in the air. Johnny Depp wears hats. It must be alright. “The Flip Flop Factor” comes into play in the fact that a lot of guys see this as an opportunity to flaunt a bit of their casual side at any given time or place. Just like flip flops are no longer an item to be found only on the beach or at the gym, hats on men are no longer just an item at a club. They are this new staple in fashion: a little annoying to some, a bit audacious to others, but definitely here to stay. Also, we reached the point this year where men’s hats, like flip flops, are being sold everywhere, along with a price drop for this type of sporty/retro hat, that makes them even more tempting and accessible.
You can see from these following photos of yours truly, that any bloke can look a little more interesting with a hat. And these bad boys didn’t set me back at all. All three of these hats were less or around twenty bucks. I bought them in 2011 at different times and different places. I think, with these three, I’ve got my set that I can just wear whenever. I have to say, it took me a while, like a lot of guys, to find hats that I liked. I was willing to spend a little more too but nothing seemed to speak to me. I wasn’t too keen on the ones made out of straw or paper. I’m more into something more solid, made of some kind of cloth. I was always aware of a high end men’s hat shop in town but only ventured in there once. Then, this year, I warmed up to the new boutique chain, Goorin Brothers. In time, I may find the finer quality hat I might still be longing for. Like flip flops, you can get the cheap, but still great, type or you an indulge your senses with something out of this world.
It’s very interesting to me how hats have come back. They went away, had become too attached to a bygone era, too associated with your dad or your grandfather, but now they are back. They are not part of the soul sucking routine of “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.” No, they are now a life-saver. As long as they’re not some lame version with flaps to cover your ears, you’re good. As long as they have style, that’s the kind of hat you want.
The balance on supply and demand and trend setting is just right at this time. Guys are fully aware that hats are hot. Retro is hot. Hats are retro. Hats are hot. Not everyone is going to wear them. There will always be a sense of style and of setting oneself apart from the slow and dull herd when donning a hat. You know the slow and dull herd, right? You see them every day of your life, waiting for the bus in the morning, shuffling along, or power walking, up and down, and down and up, the sidewalks as if they really are going anywhere. And then, out of that thick fog, emerges that guy in that hat. That guy with a little something special in his heart that keeps him moving and doesn’t let the petty stares from the ignorant or the smirks from the wanna-bes get him down. He’s the guy with the hat!
Like anything else that is cool, hats have always been around and have been worn by cool people, whether society gets it or not. You’ll find that hats were already back some years back and worn by artists, writers and any number of daredevils and nonconformists. They are a natural for cartoonists and those in the comics and entertainment industry. Big time comics writer Ed Brubaker, of “Captain America” fame among other works, is a long-time hat wearer. And the ultimate hat man in comics must be Seth, known for a body of work that pays homage to the past, as in “Palookaville,” a past with many more hats that we are ever likely to see again. But you never know.