Saturday, May 14

Believe Me, I'm Just As Puzzled About This Post As You Are

I have an enormous head. It's huge. Freakishly, genetic-mutation, upper-limits-of-the-birth-canal huge. I stand right at six feet, (or did in the days when I was measured; I'm sure the Bush administration has cost me a half-inch at least), yet depending on the manufacturer my hat size is 7 5/8 or 7 7/8. That's an important distinction, chapeau-wise, as 7 5/8 is about the upper limit of "extra large" in the millinery world, while 7 7/8 will put you in the "Special Order" category, or the "Hats to Cover Extensive Bandaging" category, with a corresponding loss of selection. Every adjustable hat I own is set at the very last little peg, and sometimes even that doesn't work.

I love the fedora. I have three, though I'm never dressed up enough to wear one. I don't wear a porkpie quite as well, but I get more use out of them since they work in more casual settings. I've got a dark gray felt Dizzy Gillespie number, and a straw Slammin' Sammy Sneed special, only it's black and the band is a tasteful cream, black, and brown, not one of those technicolor assaults. Of course the real problem with wearing hats out in public these days is that once you get there there's no place to put them. Sic transit.

Decent hats--and what's more important, decent hat wearing--can make even a boring Turner Classic Movie a must-watch. A couple months ago there was a Ray Milland movie on, no idea what it was, but man, he looked like you'd cut yourself on his clothes if you brushed up against him. Hats are like tuxedos. Some people wear them, but for most people it's the other way around.

What brought this on is my wife was able to get me a team cap from her high school baseball nine, and...it's fitted, not adjustable, and they had one in my size! So I was breaking it in, you know, getting the roll just right, and it occurred to me that the roll is perhaps the single greatest fashion innovation ever, and if you're reading this you know I'm no slave to fashion. When I was a kid you crowned your cap (and called it a "hat"), meaning you creased the top above the logo so it stood up. Some guys tucked baseball cards in theirs to stiffen 'em. And when I look at those old pictures today it reminds me that "dorky" had not yet entered the lingo.

And two-toned shoes.. Oh, baby! And yes, ladies, I've got big feet, too.

14 comments:

KathyR said...

In my husband's Little League pictures ('59 - '62), all of their hats are squared up with baseball cards tucked inside the band. Almost papal-looking. In fact, I think the first American pope should add a bill to that miter thingy.

D. Sidhe said...

I like fedoras. Walking sticks, properly carried/used, are fairly attractive. Two-toned shoes I can do without. Let's not discuss houndstooth.
Despite the fact that "dorky" gets applied to me a lot (not for my fashion sense), I find it an extremely valuable word. What'd you do without it?

handdrummer said...

I also love hats and have a "cabeza grande". It becomes a moment of true joy to find a hat that fits and has some style.

I have an old Panama hat that I've worn off and on for nearly 25 years. I'm just now getting it broken in properly so that the exact tilt is automatic when I put it on. One of the best things about summer is being able to wear that hat.

Not to get too commercial on you, but the black cotton ballcaps that cafepress.com uses for their instant online merchandising shops are both comfortable (soft and they fit), but rather stylish. I just design my own sayings and make a one of a kind head cover.

I'd buy a Doghouse Riley cap if you did one.

corndog said...

I think your last line gives new meaning to the term "blogwhoring". And if you're going to go the Cafe Press Route, I want a Doghouse Riley coffee mug, since I don't wear hats on my freakishly large head.

Hokie said...

In my opinion, you can wear fedoras even without being all dressed up. A good fedora wears well with a respectable t-shirt and khakis, though of course I wouldn't wear one most of the time I would wear a t-shirt, since then I'd get all kinds of sweatstains on the band.

But yes, hats are good. I have a nice newsboy cap I wear from time to time.

KathyR said...

Corndog: You wear coffee mugs on your head?

handdrummer said...

Well, their large size coffee mug might fit....

Houston said...

I was a hat person all my life until I started riding motorcycles. I don't ride motorcycles anymore, but I still haven't gone back to hats, although I have quite a few. I wear a 7-5/8ths also. This being summer, my hat of choice is my old straw cowboy hate. There's a picture of me wearing it as my blog id picture right now. I have a great cane, too, but can't use it for the same reason we don't wear hats as often, no place to put it where you're guaranteed not to forget it.

Pepper said...

I've had a coffee mug on my head ... and a lampshade ... and a crown made of origami birds ...

Doghouse, congrats on finding the perfect-sized cap! As another large-noggined individual, I get around the problem by wearing Russian muffs when appropriate. They're stretchy, they get attention, and people are always mildly scared of me. Works great.

D. Sidhe said...

(Now sidetracking. Apologies.)
As a compulsive folder of origami cranes, pepper, can I ask why? Never seen anyone wear them before. Is there some kind of tradition associated with it?

Pepper said...

This is exceedingly dorky ... my friends and I are trivia buffs. We play 'Trivial Pursuit' on a regular basis, and one of us made a crown out of origami birds left over from a wedding. The crown is known as "the Auk," referring to the bird, of course. Said crown goes to the individual answering the most difficult and/or bizarre question correctly.

You should try turning your cranes into a crown! It looks smashing!

D. Sidhe said...

Not so much dorky as just oddly amusing.
I know that there are many people who fold them small enough to use them for earrings and pendants, but now you've got me thinking about capes and such.
I usully have a box of around two or three thousand that haven't found a home yet, and I have three housemates with odd senses of humor, so they've tried lots of things with them. (I put my foot down over the porno puppet show.)
And of course I have a box of the black ones. No one wants the cranes folded from black paper. They'd make a lovely long wig, though....
Nothing wrong with trivia. Most all of it is, if you wait long enough.

HP said...

I just wanted to follow up on what Houston said upthread, and note that I too enjoy putting on a cowboy hate: "Consarn you city fellers with yer duded-up ways! Why haintcha go back East where ya comes from? I'll be dad-blamed if'n I know what in tarnation!"

Yep, nothing an old cowboy hate when the weather gits ... *cough* ... gets nice.

BTW: 5'6", 7 5/8 long oval. I don't wanna hear about your apparently quite normal head. Dagnabbit.

D. Sidhe said...

I live for the occasional dagnabbit that makes its way into my humble life.