Sunday, August 28, 2011

Men in Hats / The Hurricane Made Us Do It

So much to say this week!

First, since we didn't have any pictures of NOUS [plural of MOI] last week, we thought it best to be sure to put up a picture this week so you remember who we are.

Second, Jean had her very own personal hurricane-driven adventures this week, and has them on her very own post. Be sure to scroll down below this post to see it.

And now to the business at hand. Since the hurricane kept us from planning anything outdoorsy, this blog posting, a celebration of the rare men who know how to wear hats, was done entirely indoors by MOI [singular of NOUS] at a computer while the rain pounded the entire east coast, just inches away from me.

A few ground rules for the celebration:

1. No gimme caps. Gimme caps are to hats what ketchup is to vegetables.

2. Just because you're wearing it, doesn't mean it's your hat. We have a good looking president, and he's wearing a good looking hat here, but odds are he did not buy it or choose it. This posting will only feature hats that we're reasonably certain the wearer chose personally.

3. No silly hats, even if they DO belong to the wearer. (Jean interjects: Don't you just love Elton in his pre-knighthood era?)

4. Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire and Clark Gable wore their hats very well, but repesent a bygone era. This post will show contemporary role models to promote the wearing of men's hats today.

Let's put Johnny Depp first, because he was declared Hat Person of the Year by The Headwear Association. Indisputably great hat, indisputably great photo. Depp seems to specialize in fedoras, and should be encouraged to broaden his horizons because he clearly has a gift for knowing what works for him. We'd show you photos of other styles he wears if we could find them. (Sorry, not showing pirate hats.)

If Depp modeled Jack Sparrow after Keith Richards, was Richards also his millinery muse?

Keeping the one-time Glitter Twins in close proximity, here's Mick Jagger wearing a fabulous hat circa 1970. Jagger seems to have worn a variety of hats with great panache, although more in the past than in the present.

Bob Dylan has had a lifelong interest in hats. Here are six, all of which he seems comfortable in. Several of his album covers have included hats.

David Bowie is a natural hat wearer. Here are three dark hats, worn to completely different effect: showing half the forehead, showing the whole forehead, and showing none of the forehead. In the first and last photos, the hat can be removed at will. In the middle photo, if the hat is moved one micron the hair will have to be redone, so there's nothing casual about this very casual look. The first photo is a trifecta, showing not only Bowie in his hat, but Malcolm McDowell in his Clockwork Orange hat (on his shirt) and William Burroughs in his hat.

The artist currently known as Prince is known to occasionally wear hats despite his luxurious head of hair. Here are three pictures of Prince in hats. The last photo, in which he's wearing a matching purple suit and hat, shows a man who goes so far as to preplan his hats.

Here are two photos of Edward James Olmos in character - first in Zoot Suit, then in Blade Runner. These two photos don't follow the rules, since all the hats are supposed to be real hats worn by real people on real occasions (to the best of our knowledge). But Olmos looks like he's inhabiting these characters, and might easily wear any of these clothes.

Since fashion and style are so individual, it's understandable that not every man wants to wear a hat. Hardly any good pictures of Sting in a hat, so perhaps he's not a hat man. But by the looks of his head outlined here by his sweatshirt, he could give any hat wearer a run for his money. In addition to Sting, there were few or no good hat photos of such luminaries as Danny Aiello, Antonio Banderas, Richard Belzer, Eric Clapton, George Clooney, Anderson Cooper, Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Michael Gambon, James Gandolfini, John Goodman, Danny Glover, James Earl Jones, Spike Lee, Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortenson, Peter O'Toole and Rufus Wainwright, all of whom one would suspect would be naturals for wonderful hats. Of course, this might just mean they're camera shy. Also, if you look at photos of celebrities in hats, it's disheartening how often the best part of the hat is cropped away. The hat wearer may make his statement, but the photo editor gets the final word.

Author Tom Wolfe, shown here on the cover of Time magazine, has dressed in white forEVER. Note the black band around the brim of his white hat, almost certainly a custom job.

Elton John is better known for over-the-top fantasy hats, but here he is wearing three different hats that look great on him, and would look great in the next issue of GQ.

Van Morrison simplifies things by matching his hat to his suit, for a don't-mess-with-me look.

Here are four completely different hat styles for Andre Leon Talley, as befits a contributing editor at Vogue magazine.

But for sheer mastery of hats and singular ability to coordinate, we've saved perennial Bill Cunningham favorite Patrick McDonald for last. Patrick must have a hat for every day of the year, and sometimes has a suit to match. And did we mention hair color? Additionally, there's always a great pair of shoes AND a wonderful pocket square or boutonniere to complete the outfit. Here are just three examples, but they say it all.

Interesting parenthetical: Ever notice how few politicians wear hats? Churchill and FDR, men of outsized personalities, wore notable hats, but few politicians since then have worn any memorable hats. Could it be cocklaphobia - fear of hats?

To tie the hurricane and the nattily dressed men together in a neat little bow, we'd like to close with Men Without Hats singing The Safety Dance.

Men Without Hats – The Safety Dance


  1. What a great subject for a blog post! I'm always drawn to men who are wearing great hats, unfortunately, they are few and far between where I live. I adore Patrick McDonald's eyebrows--I wish I could carry that off!

  2. For really inspiring today-hat-wearer-men take a look at, very vintage inspired, but with a twist sometimes

  3. I visited your blog for the first time and just been your fan. Keep posting as I am gonna come to read it everyday.thank you for your post

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  4. Barack obama given good pose with black hats.

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