Throwback to the Forties: Why Men Should Wear Hats Again

1940s hatsPicture Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, or just about any movie star from the Forties and you will picture a styling man in a fine hat. Hats are classy, sophisticated, and are a long lost fashion statement which today’s fashion-concious males should be trying to resurrect.

Obligatory Hat Sayings
Well, keep that under your hat and hold on to your hats, but my hat’s off to you if toss your hat into the ring at the drop of a hat, then pass the hat around, hat in hand as long as you have somewhere to hang your hat. I tip my hat to you if you scored a hat-trick which may be old hat while wearing too many hats, but if you pass the hat, you may be mad as a hatter or at the least, all hat and no cattle.

But Seriously Folks
Okay, now that we got that out of the way, on with the story. Cowboy hats are big in the west but only worn when riding, dancing, or working on the range. You may be a guy who is “all hat and no cattle” but that doesn’t mean you can’t hop in your Prius and go to a country bar. I miss the days you could set your style by your hat. Okay, I’m not that old but I do watch old movies. Today you’re casual with a ball-cap, a little bit country with a cowboy hat, or walking a beach with a straw fedora or safari.

Caps Off
First off, ball caps are not hats. That’s why they are called caps. Ball caps were first worn by baseball players and truckers to keep the sun out of their eyes. They don’t work so well when you wear them backwards, which is a completely wrong fashion statement that should go away right now. Ball caps are handy for shielding our eyes, but should be worn at ball games, when fixing your car or driving your truck, not when you are out on the town.

Life is a Beach
Safari hats like the Panama Jack Castaway Safaris and Seven Seas Safaris are cloth and canvas toppers that reek of class on any beach—even the ones I’m allowed on. I assume Safari hats may be worn on safaris—I wouldn’t know: the closest I’ve been on safari is shopping at Trader Joes—but at the beach, they are seen everywhere. It’s good to see hats coming back though these, while not as casual as ball caps, are still not used when wearing suits as in the old days. Cloth and canvass hats though are becoming more popular as casual wear, especially where the temps are high and the water is near.

Cool is Cool
Gamblers, Fedoras, and Safaris are popular styles these days and work even better in warm climes when made out of straw. Panama Jack Straw hats range from Fedoras to Safaris to Lifeguards that are a bit more floppy and Dos Sombras which have a fedora look to them. These straws are getting more and more popular as the lines are getting blurred between casual and dress up styles. Maybe as Fedoras gain again in popularity, the fancy felt ones worn with a suit will come back as well. I can’t wait to sport that Spencer Tracy look myself.


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