For years I have preached that straw boaters were appropriate for men only after they begin to collect full social security benefits. A hat that went out of fashion upon the death of John Dillinger (1934) is not for the young. Verily it's true, gravitas is necessary to keep the hat from wearing you.
Well, rules are meant to be broken, and I have broken mine...sort of.
I spent parts of several days searching for my copy of Mike, the Vanity Fair print shown above. I searched unsuccessfully, but looking at Mike's photo reminded me of my father, in the late '50's, taking me with him when he bought his boater. Passing that same shop last week, I stopped knowing I was leaving with a skimmer of my own.
Now that it's here I have come to several conclusions. First, I am surprised at how dressy it feels, it makes me stand up straighter and take notice. A skimmer needs a coat and tie to keep from becoming a cartoon hat. Next, I like it. It is cool, comfortable and feels good on. Finally, I have been right all along. Like love, it would be wasted on the young. Of course my bride hates it, and so the hat and I are going to age gracefully until our time comes.
2 days ago