Summer thoughts on hats
I was brought up – in a world far from this one – to believe that going out in the heat of day without a hat was very unwise. I still live in a very sunny part of the world, and I am often astonished to see people not wearing hats. I wear a wide-brimmed hat all the time (out of the house) as well as plenty of sun-block!
Not that I regard hats as purely utilitarian, of course. They are also charming – or should be! But it is strange to see that many local people do not wear hats and end up sheltering their heads with a newspaper or even using a black rain-umbrella! At least they know they should protect their heads most Americans (of whom there are a lot here) go hatless and make no attempt to protect their heads from the sun.
The reason I am saying this is not so much to reduce the discussion to one of practicality and health. Quite the reverse really. It is a question of “fashion”. I am sure the reason people are not wearing hats – which is both practical and still consciously traditional here is the influence of the “casual” “global” fashion originating in the United States (I suppose I should say a little prayer of thanks that the dreaded baseball cap has not caught on here!). People are refraining from doing what they really know they should because they are influenced by this “fashion” – and then shielding their heads with newspapers, umbrellas and other makeshifts.
I think it is better called an anti-fashion really. I wear nice dresses or skirt-and blouse outfits every day, and I really couldn’t think of wearing anything sloppy or casual, even though most people would probably consider that quite “normal”. So I suppose it is a lot conditioned by what one’s “internal world” is. Maybe other people would feel as uncomfortable and just plain weird in a hat as I would in a tee-shirt.
A hat goes perfectly with my clothes and completes them – rather as one’s white summer gloves do! And it is just sensible too.
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