Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter Hats – Then and Now

The Brady boys – January 1965 (that's me in the middle)
As I get older (next month I'll be 53), I find that I'm becoming a bit of a curmudgeon, often thinking that things were better in "the good old days." Or at least that they made more sense.

A good example of this is the comparison of the winter hats that I wore as a kid with the styles worn now.

When I was growing up in the early to mid-1960's, kids' winter hats were functional. The brim style was very popular for a while. That's all my brothers and I seem to be wearing in old black and white family photos.

Later, the wool stocking cap became the winter headgear of choice. In fact, I don't remember wearing anything else all the way through high school.
Nowadays, decades later, the styles have certainly changed.

WKYC Channel 3 does a 'Bus Stop' segment each morning, showing real kids filmed in studio, wearing the winter clothes appropriate for the particular weather forecast that day. Several times, I have looked in disbelief at what the kids are wearing.

The most surprising is the Peruvian-style hat. I would probably be too embarrassed to wear one if I was a kid.

I've also seen the Peruvian style's American cousin, the furry one with flaps that come down (similar to what Cousin Eddie wore in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation).
For years, you would mostly see it on mailmen who had to be out in bad weather eight hours a day. Now, it seems that the style has been adapted for kids – in a time when kids are shuttled everywhere and are hardly out in the cold any more. (That is, unless their busing has been eliminated to save money.)

It's like my hair stylist says. For a long time (she's cut my hair for about 24 years) I would ask her what the latest hair styles were. A few years ago, she finally explained that there really weren't any set styles any more – that it was "anything goes".

I guess that kind of applies to everything now. Which isn't that bad, I suppose. It's more fun for the kids, and good for the economy, too.

As for me, I'll stick with my practical Stormy Kromer with the brim, and the flaps that are tied in front.

My only problem is that when I wear it to work, my co-workers say I look like Elmer Fudd.

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