The first time I walked into a café wearing a fedora, the woman who worked there laughed. Then, realising I wasn't a clown wearing hipster headwear for comic effect, she bit her lip and looked away.
Now, as delusional as I can be at times, even I realise I'm no Don Draper in that hat. But to actually be laughable? Well ... actually, I can see where she's coming from.
After all, what was once the epitome of cool -- think Bogie and Sinatra -- is now a symbol of pretentiousness. There are websites that publicly shame those who wear fedoras -- yes, fedora shaming is actually a thing -- and this once indispensable piece of a man's wardrobe is now identified with the kind of guys we actively avoid at parties: those who peacock in front of women (sadly, I was once that guy), or who non-verbally scream to the world they're artistic or brooding or, worse yet, who actually do think they look like Don Draper.
And yet, as a schmuck who knows he'll only ever look like a schmuck, I for one want to reclaim the fedora back for all mankind.
Because I don't want to wear a baseball cap or beanie in order to keep warm in winter. After all, I'm not a drug dealer or an athlete -- I'm a man in his forties who refuses to wear headgear better suited for children and wannabe gangsters.
So consider this a call to arms (or should that be heads?) my fellow men: buy a fedora! Buy it today! Or, if you'd like, grab a trilby, homburg or even a pork pie hat. Hell, anything other than a baseball cap or beanie.
You see, there's a reason every man wore a proper hat up until the '50s -- and it's called practicality. The brim keeps the sun and rain off your face. The furry felt insulates you from the weather and is as comforting as a security blanket (at least, a good hat like an Akubra is made from fur. If it's wool or polyester, you deserve to be mocked). A good hat will make anyone look better, just as a tailored suit does. Even Bogie looked better in the hat. And as for the feather in the band -- okay, there's no excuse for that.
There is a caveat, however: wearing a brimmed hat will make you feel like a tosser at first. People will stare -- and not in a good, "oh my god he's hot" kind of way. Children will point. But it's not you who's the problem -- it's everyone else.
Now I'm no expert on game theory, but surely if we all start wearing them then the stigma will go. So you have a choice: either keep wearing baseball caps a la Trump, or suck it up, ignore the cruel taunts, and put that beautifully-crafted piece of rabbit fur on your head.
You're a man, damn it.
You know what you have to do.
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