I bought a hat

So, I bought a hat.  It’s the kind of hat that other people can buy, and when they wear it they look quite cool.  That’s cool-as-in-stylish, not cool-as-in-temperature, since it’s a hat designed to be worn in cold weather.  And the coolness is also relative, since it’s cold-temperature wear, and cold-temperature wear is always, by definition, less cool than other kinds of clothing.  When you wear cold-temperature clothing, you advertise to the world that here is a person who is sensibly dressed for the season, and sensibleness is inherently uncool.  Or, at least, it is to me.  It’s possible I may have been scarred for life by being forced to wear a jumble-sale parka to school several winters in a row as a kid.  Or perhaps I have an unknown genetic connection to the good people of Newcastle.

Anyway, the point is, I bought a hat, and it’s of the kind that can sometimes look quite stylish on other people.  It’s not a dorky hat, not even the kind of dorky hat worn with ironic intent by ball-achingly trendy hipsters.  Just an ordinary, unselfconscious hat.  The kind of hat that, when it is worn by some men, says “Hey, check me out people, I’m a hat.  You might not even notice me, but I nonetheless help to make the guy whose head I’m sitting on look cool and stylish in an effortless, understated way.  See, he looks like he’s doing something important in a thrusting and athletic manner, doesn’t he?  He’ll probably start jogging in a bit, and he won’t be all blotchy and snotty when he stops.”  A hat, not to put too fine a point on it, that is not altogether unlike this one:

Hat not actually capable of speech. That was whimsy.

And yet somehow this hat, when placed on my head, is not effortless, or understated.  It does not call to mind thrusting athleticism.  It is not stylish, or cool.  On me it looks like a  furry condom.

For a start, it’s too big.  This leaves me with three equally unsatisfactory options.  I can leave a section of hat unfilled with head at the top, which, to extend the condom simile, makes it look like I failed to expel the air from the tip before I put it on.  Plus people might assume I was trying to copy Dappy:

This is not a good look for me. Or him. Or, indeed, anyone.

A second possibility is to roll the hat up more at the bottom than was intended by the designers.  This makes it fit snugly over the top of my head, but has the unfortunate side effect of – returning to the condom simile – making it look like I bought Magnum XLs in a fit of overconfidence, instead of the Little Tigers that would have been more appropriate.  The third alternative is to wear it rolled up to the normal extent and pull it down, but this means it covers most of my face.  Plus I end up looking uncannily like Pootle:

Hands up: who remembers The Flumps? I do. It. Was. AWESOME.

In fact, I think my Pootle-resemblance is probably key.  Even after 19 months of effort, I’m still basically a round person.  Compared to a year and a half ago, I may be wearing jeans that are three sizes smaller, and shirts that are two sizes smaller, but that doesn’t affect my underlying body type.  That’s really what lies at the heart of the problem, I think.  Hats of this type look cool on people with firm, angular jawlines.  I don’t have a firm, angular jawline, and I’m never going to have one, no matter how thin I become.  I’m always going to have a little, round face on a little round head, and on people like me a hat like this is always going to look like a furry condom.

So this leaves me with an important decision to make: would I rather freeze my knackers off when the frosts come (and that’s one change I’ve noticed with the missing flab – I really feel the cold), or would I rather go out in public looking like I’m worried about my ears contracting a sexually transmitted infection…?

It occurs to me that my google record may look rather strange for the period of writing this post.  What to make of someone who starts off searching for pictures of men’s hats, then for Dappy, then for condoms (and repeatedly for extra small condoms, looking for a named brand, and then a site that makes it clear the named brand is for the less-excessively-endowed gentleman), then for Skins (because of the character in that who wears a woolly hat, who I was wondering about including a picture of) then for a character from a stop-motion kids TV show of the 1970s, and finally Rastamouse (because I was idly wondering what a current stop-motion kids shows is like)?  To any authorities that may have been paying attention: this post was why.*

* – Why, yes, I am currently being plagued with paranoid thoughts, as part of a wider downturn in my mental state!  How ever did you guess?  (This is the cause of the slowdown in posting, too, but I’m basically ok, so there’s no need to worry.  Unless you’re feeling paranoid like me, of course, in which case you won’t be able to stop worrying…)

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5 Responses to I bought a hat

  1. blackberryjuniper says:

    Posted to a friend with a real thing about hats, and the same worries about how they look as you express here. Solidarity on the hat worries.
    (I think the mental thing may well relate to change of weather. Everyone I know who feels a bit teetery, also has this feeling right now. Me included. So solidarity on that also.)

  2. lsnduck says:

    Rastamouse! I accidently came across it a few weeks ago. It was both brilliant and slightly disturbing.

  3. gun street girl says:

    I have always wanted to be the sort of person that wears hats well. Unfortunately there is something about my head that turns even the hippest and most stylish hats into sadly dorky things. After many years of hoping I have given up and just accept that hats are functional things, they will never look good on me, and I wear them when I have to and don’t care what they look like.

    When I was at Neuschwanstein a few years ago it was cold and rainy and I needed a hat. So I went into one of the gift stores and bought a wonderful grey wide-brimmed felt hat with a little bit of rope tide around it in a jaunt fashion. Jammed it on my head and looked in the mirror. It looked…great. I mean really great. Like it was meant just exactly for my head. I wore it constantly for the rest of the trip (it rained a lot) and was so pleased with it. Of course, also for the entire rest of the trip, many, many kindly Germans pointed out politely that I was wearing a man’s hat. Oh well.

    God, I love that hat.

  4. Thanks for the comments. :o)

  5. Kapitano says:

    So that’s who Dappy is. And good to hear you’re less…flumpy than before.

    That’s a good word – recalling both the (awesome) flumps, and frumpy, which the hat is not, and which I suspect you are also not.

    I also have a new hat. It’s a ‘sun hat’ – bought on the last day of sunny weather this year, before we got grey raininess. Graininess? Also called a ‘bucket hat’ or a ‘bing crosby hat’, it’s rendered either macho or ironically-macho by being printed with a camouflage pattern.

    Last week I was sitting outside a cafe and someone had left a cream cake (minus one bite) on the next table. After waiting 15 minutes to make sure the owner wasn’t coming back, I hid the cake in my new hat and walked nonchalantly away.

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