Monday, January 25, 2010

Western Hat

The OPOD campaign to bring back men's hats continues today with this fine picture from about 1905. The man is wearing a nice western style straw hat. I think it looks good.

Nate made the point yesterday that hats aside, men needed to dress better overall, and perhaps go back to the daily suit. Two jobs ago, I had to wear a suit every day and hated it. Suits today are not comfortable. They restrict your movements, get wrinkled easily, are easily damaged, and the tie is a natural magnet for any type of red sauce. I found it difficult to get normal day-to-day tasks done having to wear a suit. Now this guy's suit looks much more practical. First, look at the collar. There is a nice amount of space between collar and neck, so he is not getting choked by his shirt and tie. The tie is neat, and would stay in place. The jacket looks like it is made of something more like canvas or denim that would probably be easier to wear, and would probably be more rugged than modern fabrics.

Yes, I could really go for a suit and hat like this! What do you think?


  1. The man in the suit don't look so bad, either.

  2. One thing about men wearing hats that you haven't considered is that wearing a hat indoors is bad manners. Where do you put the hat when you go to the bank or some similar place? That's why my DH doesn't wear his hats. He has a nice, expensive thick weight Stetson that sits in the hall closet on a shelf here in Uvalde, TX.

  3. I don't wear a hat now, but I believe that a man looks good in a classicly formed Stetson of about a XXX weight. The men I know that do wear them place them on hat racks found in most places here near Austin, Texas and throughout West Texas. Those men buy their cars based on having enough clearance for their hats.

    Maybe I'll go buy Sheppler's and see how I look in a good hat....

  4. Is this a relative of yours? Or is it you?

  5. The place I used to work at tried to institute a dress code. That was all well and good for the folks in the office, but, working amongst the machinery, I always looked like I was wearing hair-on chaps from all the snags in those dress slacks. Got yelled at for that, too, until I reminded them that it was their rules that said I couldn't wear jeans and they didn't pay me enough to buy new slacks every day.

    The clothes need to fit the situation. Shorts and halter tops are not for church and suits are not for the machine room. But, a good hat can go danged near anywhere.

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  7. PJM:

    You need to remove the post directly above this.

    Objectionable content.

  8. Men in hats just look so dapper! PJM I'm surprised you didn't use a photo of John Batterson Stetson himself; an interesting fellow.

    I always enjoyed looking at my mom's high school year books and seeing all the young dressed up in suits, and the young ladies in dresses. No doubt about it, our behavior grows more lax the more casual our clothes are. I'm sure that's why the church I attend still encourages men to wear a white shirt and tie, women to wear dresses. There are a few who don't, and that is their choice, no one is going to think the worst of them, but even the children behave better in their Sunday clothes.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if all our schools had dress codes again. I'm shocked by what some of the kids wear to school!

  9. Along with nicer hats, I would like to see the return of hat etiquette.

  10. There's a simple reason that suits today aren't comfortable.

    In the old days, you were fitted for your suit with your arms outstretched. So when wearing the suits, you could move around as needed comfortably, with the only downside being a wrinkle under the arm when your arms are down.

    Now suits are fitted (when they're fitted at all) with the arms down. So they're horribly ugly and uncomfortable when you're actually using your arms for something.

  11. Excellent point Chad! There were also more tailor made suits in the old days.
    The man in the photo reminds me of Lionel Barrymore, one of my favourite character actors.

  12. My husband wore suits to work for a long time and he never had a shirt that was tight. I think men may think they have to have the neck tight, but that is about choice. He also found these fantastic ties that had a zipper in them and he never had to actually tie his tie. Hard to explain, but once on, they looked just like a hand tied tie. :-) Suits need to fit the environment, too. You can't be wearing a suit and do woodworking, or work in a mill or something, with open machines. That's just too dangerous - ties caught in machinery - and not practical. However, men dressing nicely for casual social events would be nice! I can't believe all the slobs I see at sporting events. What happened to dressing nicely when outside the house?

  13. +JMJ+

    Go for it! Love the suit, love the hat. Yes, we look twice at men dressed like this!

  14. It pays to invest a little money in some nice quality shirts and shop around for a brand that seems to fit your proportions - then you can stick with that brand for years. If you think you take a 16 inch neck but you are not comfortable with a tie on, get a 16.5 or 17. Sometimes, one needs a longer sleeve length too. If the neck is comfortable and the cuffs don't bind your wrists when you reach, the rest of the shirt is usually fine.

  15. Lizbette we are in agreement, I look twice and sometimes more when I see a man in a nice suit and hat.

    Hats say so much about a man. Think of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones; can you imagine him without his signature hat?
    Who could wear a cowboy hat better than John Wayne? Well maybe Ronald Reagan (or the good looking Bonanza men!)
    Then there's Fred Astaire in his Top!
    Soldiers wearing their berets look really good too.

    After seeing that PJM was featuring hats, I asked the women I work with what they think of men and hats. 100% said they think a man looks even more attractive when he's wearing a hat.

  16. It has been said that wearing a tie cuts off the blood to the brain, hence the brain-dead decisions made by many of the "suits" of the world.

  17. Start with a good tailor. As for about a bolo?

  18. My dad (born in 1909) almost always wore a hat. A fedora when dressing up or going to town, a ball cap or a straw hat for fishing. When we moved to Fort Worth in the early 80s, I went downtown to Peter Brothers where they made men's hats and bought him a XXX fedora. He was so proud of that hat.

  19. I agree with some of the commenters who wish we all dressed up more. One of the sad things about modern travel is how awful people dress.

    How about a week on train travel and how the passengers dressed?

    And air travel up through 1969. That's about when it got too casual.

  20. I aggree, a lot of people dress like slobs today, even in public.

    Messy sweatpants, butt cracks and muffin tops showing, backwards baseball caps, etc.

    Visit the "people of walmart" web site and you'll get an eyeful.

    Our standards are definitely lower.

  21. I know that I will probably miss any return comments as I have been out and about for the last 2 weeks so missed you guys.
    But wanted to say that I wear an Akubra every day and love wearing my hat everywhere I go. People look at me kind of strange but I look great and smart and it keeps the sun off my head.
    I am 29 and seem to be the only one not wearing a cap, beanie or bandana.