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How much are you willing to pay for a hat? Well, as we all know, there are people for everything in this world. Even, for instance, people who bash about an expensive hat just because it’s expensive, which is the case of thelifefiles.com, a fashion blog that published today a derogatory post about a one-hundred-thousand-dollar, hand-woven straw Panama hat that was commissioned by Brent Black to Simón Espinal, an Ecuadorian waiver who has been labeled as the best weaver in the world.

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The post presents the Montecristi Panama as ‘The Hat’ and under the picture writes, “We’re sure it’s weaved in some heavenly straw…BUT C’MON”.

One of the problems with hats in recent years is that they haven’t been taken seriously. Or, even more likely, that they’ve been taken as an accessory that doesn’t deserve more than a few bucks, one that is both casual and informal. We aren’t here to predict neither of both perspectives; you buy and wear what you want. Rather, we are here to ask for some sort of respect to a millennial tradition that, by the way, provides a life to people in foreign countries, which is actually the case of Mr. Espinal in Ecuador. The mistake of thelifefiles.com is not to let us know their opinion about the price of a hat, but to misestimate the work of an artist, a hardworking, talented artist. 

You, Resident of The World of Free Will, can choose a 12-dollar straw hat at St Marks Place in New York City or a 100 thousand-dollar one like this one. Whatever you do, however, just take into account that you get what you pay, and that the Hat thelifefiles.com is bashing of is part of a folkloric institution.

A hat is not just a hat, it’s a cultural symbol.

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(Pictures taken from brentblack.com)

 

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A hat is not an accessory. Or maybe it is, but only technically. Because really, its more significant feature is that a hat is a piece of identity, one that not only distinguishes a person as a matchless one, but also one that will remain in our mentalities for a long time.

Millions of thousands of bandits are sentenced everyday in America. Moreover, America is the country that sentences more bandits in the world. Therefore, it’s extremely difficult for a bandit to stand out over the other bandits. So what makes a bandit stand out over his colleagues?

A hat.

Many websites and newspapers are reporting today that William Turner, 58, was sentenced last Monday to 16 years in Los Angeles Federal Prison because he pleaded guilty last fall to six holdups, despite the fact that investigators believed he was responsible for 33 others, including a Citibank branch in Pasadena that was held up the week before his arrest in June 2007. Now, what’s the difference between Mr. Turner and other ordinary, unknown burglars? L.A Times has the answer:

Turner’s headgear included fishing hats, fedoras and baseball caps. Previously, he earned the nickname Pershing Square Bandit for a string of robberies in downtown Los Angeles dating back to the early ’70s, for which he received a 15-year sentence.

Turner’s robberies weren’t the motive of his 15 minutes of fame. Rather, it was his style: an eclectic use of different hats that marks him as a funky old bandit. 

(In the picture, courtesy of The FBI, The ‘Goofy Hat Bandit’ with a fishing topper.)

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Who in the world wants a hat that makes one look like Foghorn Leghorn? It’s a fact that videogames freaks are authentic geeks, but that doesn’t mean that they are stupid. It’s also a fact that one should take even a fist for free, but, again, that doesn’t mean that one would take it voluntarily.

Let me explain. WBIE, the publisher of “Scribblenauts,” the upcoming Nintendo DS game from 5th Cell already recognized for its innovative gameplay, is encouraging people to pre-order the game by offering up a free rooster hat if they buy the game before the launch. Which is a good marketing idea. It’s quite normal to provide kind, altruistic presents to loyal clients, and even more when they buy a product in advance. But that doesn’t imply that they’ll receive any single piece of whatever product. Maxwell Scribblenauts seems to be a breezy character and the game is damn well designed. Even the hat, in the game’s context, is rather nice. But in real life is just one single piece of ridiculous, childish taste.

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Yesterday, the whimsical Ehtiopian Review published a well-written article about hats; about the history of hats. Overall, Mehret Tesfaye pretends to answer why in the hell hat wearing plunged in two decades. The answer, as expected, is the commonplace we always hear: that President Kennedy’s hatlessness was the trigger of a general rejection to hats. Our opinion? You know it: a simple figure will never be the set off of an old fashion trend. Cultural transformations, especially in the clothing field, change because of rooted phenomena that we have to understand in a broad way. The massiveness and significance of the ‘60s generation has to be seen as a multifaceted, complex element, instead as the manners of a popular figure.

The article also gives us a broad perspective of the meaning of a hat, something the article takes too seriously, too Freudianly. And that is the point we want to touch about the article. We are talking about a good insight to the hat field, a good Hats-for-Dummies guide. And, in those terms, we want to recommend the piece. However, we encountered the fallowing:

A hat has the effect of making the human head a kind of residence. It gives the brain a dome and porch roof, and a strange little portable sense of place. It is a wonderful spot to look out from under, a sort of individual estate. A man feels at home in a hat, established. But wearing a hat is also like having the FBI set you up with a new identity in a different city. It can change you.

The subject here is the serious hat. Not the “fun” hat. Not the Greek fisherman’s hat. The writer Roy Blount Jr. has correctly remarked that no man should ever wear a Greek fisherman’s hat who is not 1) Greek and 2) a fisherman. In the same spirit, it is probably true that no man should wear a cowboy hat who is not 1) a cowboy or 2) President of the United States.

The serious hat is not a masquerade, not a goof and not an announcement that while a man may look like a middle-aged New York City account executive, he harbors a West Texan in his soul, the real interior galoot made manifest in the feathered Stetson that sits on the bar. The serious hat is the opposite of a disguise. It is a working piece of clothes and an adjunct of character.

What is the point in separating serious hat from funny ones? We understand we are not talking about Disney tops and I-Love-New-York caps. And we understand that there is a big difference between a 200-dollar hat and a 15-dollar, bought-in-St-Marks-Place one. But what makes the second an unserious topper?

One of the most important characteristics of a hat is its wearer, its owner, its pal, its one and only partner. In fact, what a hat is made of is its wearer. Therefore, the seriousness of a hat doesn’t depend on the hat as such, but in its landlord. And one can wear it for any purpose; the significance still depends on the wearer’s particular purpose. Hats aren’t only for executives, gangsters or grandpas. No. Hats are for whomever feels that a top would fit well in his or her head. Toppers are an essential particularity of individual style, of individual freedom. Hat wearing is everything but paradigms and dogmas about general, old-fashioned traditions. Hat’s seriousness is one’s choice and as such they should be seen. Period. 

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There is a piece that stands out over the rest in the current exhibition “America on the Move” at the National Museum of American History: a white cap with a snap brim made for Stockton head-wear company Dorfman Pacific.

The main character of the story (picture) is Herb Mills, a longtime member and officer of ILWU Local 10 in San Francisco. The Recordnet.com interviewed him and this is a hint:

He wore the cap for those purposes before donating it along with other artifacts from his maritime career, such as a hard hat and various cargo hooks, to the Smithsonian.

“I’ve got a white cap on right now,” Mills said Tuesday by telephone from his Berkeley home. “It’s a public acknowledgement that you’re a longshoreman.”

At union functions he would wear what once was a nearly universal uniform for dock workers, the “Stetson,” a blue-and-white striped work shirt called a “hickory” and black denim pants, “what we called back then Frisco jeans.”

The museum in particular focused on the transformation of the ports of San Francisco and Oakland from the 1960s to the 1970s as maritime transportation shifted largely from loose cargo to having nearly everything packed into standardized containers.

Where longshore workers once used hooks, hand trucks and pure muscle to move boxes, bales, bags, cases and pallets, oversized machines took over plucking the truck-trailer-size steel boxes from ships’ holds.

“San Francisco was the major port since the Gold Rush, and now there’s not an ounce of cargo that goes through there,” Mills said. Nearly all the trade has shifted to Oakland with its giant banks of container cranes.

Eight triangular sections of cloth form a circle and meet in a white button at the top. Often called the “West Coast Stetson,” this white cotton cap with a visor that snaps to the upper part of the cap was worn by West Coast mariners, particularly longshoremen and sailors. Black “Frisco” jeans and a “hickory,” a blue and white striped shirt, went along with this soft cap that was once a signature part of “the usual rig” that men wore to express their occupational identity. It also had a safety function: as they could be spotted even in the dark holds of ships by men on deck who were lifting and lowering heavy sling loads. By the early 1970s, it became obligatory to wear hardhats, since working aboard vessels and on the docks was a very risky occupation. Today, however, longshoremen still wear the “West Coast Stetson” at special union meetings and events.

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Justin Timberlake, Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Simpson or Nicole Kidman. You name it. Because, in fact, you choose it. You can go to The Headwear Association’s site and vote for your favorite topper wearer of the year.

In 101 years of history, this Association just started this contest, in which the winner must meet three criteria: to be living, to be well-known publicly (like an actor, athlete, musician or someone easily identifiable to the general public) and to be a hat wearer in their everyday life – not just performing on screen or stage.

Pretty easy, no?

The truth is, the nominees are predictable ones. Why did the Association had to choose the most obvious contestants? It may be that they needed known characters that people instantaneously recognize as hat wearers. Especially, if we are talking about the first time this contest takes place. However, this clearly underestimates the public, who obviously knows where the hat fashion is right now. Names like Jason Mraz, Lady Gaga, Queen Elizabeth and (The One And Only King of Hats) Michael Jackson should have been part of the list, instead of the evident Samuel L. Jacksons and Justin Timberlakes.

More imagination than one would’ve expected from the Association, who began its poll this week. Voting will continue through August 31, 2009. Are we really exited about this? Not really, since it seems to be a contest full of commonplace and monotony.

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Get ready, you hat-wearer. You have few days more to prepare for the celebration of the celebrations, the party of parties, the one event in America that gathers the top of the top of the toppers. It’s not the Oscars, it’s not the Vanity Fair Parties, it’s not the VMA’s. It is the Del Mar Race Track, the thoroughbred racing track at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in the seaside of Del Mar, California, 20 miles north of San Diego. 

It was August 12, 1938, when the Del Mar Club hosted a 25-grand, winner-take-all match race between Charles S. Howard’s Seabiscuit and Binglin Stable’s colt, Ligaroti. It wasn’t just a race. It was actually one of the most popular events in American sports, ranking as the second most important sports event of the year, after the World Series. Here is when Seabiscuit, ridden by Goerge Woolf, won against Ligaroti, ridden by Noel Richardson, in an exciting battle by a nose that has gone throughout time as the most thrilling battle in horse races ever.

 

In 1940 Del Mar became the summer recreational area for many Hollywood stars. Say, Sinatra and Bob Hope. And it hasn’t changed a lot since then.

That’s the event starting next July 22nd.

And here is the icing on the cake: the Del Mar racecourse is one of the most important hat gatherings of the year in America. It would be libel to compare this with Ascot, with all its royalty, tradition and pomposity. However, it gets close. And even though the hats get sometimes a bit flashy and gaudy, the whole event must be  a major concern for us, in this hat-appreciation space.

Before the race begins, a subtler event takes place: “The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest.” “People don’t just go to Del Mar for the betting,” hat contest organizer Julie Sarno said to La Jolla Light. “There is a beauty and pageantry and tradition to it that people enjoy. And Del Mar is such a beautiful racetrack, being so close to the ocean – it is really a resort experience.”

This year’s contestants will be judged in four categories: best racing theme, funniest and most outrageous, most glamorous, best flowers and all others. Hat wearers display their hard work during the Hat Parade, and category winners are then invited into the paddock for an awards ceremony. The grand-prize winner will walk away with a 42-inch Toshiba LCD TV this year. 

Diana Cavagnero, a local hat designer and owner of the hat boutique Designer Millinery, has seen the hat contest transform Opening Day into much more than a chance to bet big.

“Del Mar’s Opening Day has become the biggest fashion show of the year – 40,000 people all dressed to the nines and having a big party,” she said.

This season, Cavagnero says to expect yellow-, coral- and plum-colored hats in addition to the always-popular black and white. Sheer fabrics and lace will also be big. And while oversized, floppy hats are synonymous with racing season, Cavagnero said small cocktail hats have been in high demand lately, especially for the racing season. 

So, please, let’s take a look at this outstanding, beyond-time hat generation. After you, my dear sir. 

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The truth is that Judah Friedlander is popular—therefore rich—because of his hats. He is not actually that funny, and as an actor he has only played second roles, not to say extra roles. Okay, I agree, the American Splendor role was fantastic. His stand-up jokes, though, are barely witty and are just a eulogy of stupid, childish humor; bathroom humor, Jackass-like humor, and so on. His role in 30 Rock has been quite successful. But funny? Well, I leave it to you.

The interesting part of his performance as a comedian is that he is always explaining and preaching about his hats. In every single interview, reporters ask him about it and he always tells the same story:

 I make all my own hats and I make up all the sayings. Once in awhile on 30 Rock — I’d say once or twice a season — they will actually write a hat into the storyline. I still make the hats, but they will actually write a comment about my hat that one of the characters will say, or they’ll come up with a plot line that uses the hat.

Here’s how it happened: As a comedian or an artist, you create things. I used to do painting. Or a joke, you think of a joke and put it out there. I was like: Why do we always have to buy clothes that are advertising somebody else’s stuff? That’s one of the amazing marketing things that the clothing industry has done, where it’s become cool to wear clothes that actually have the name of the clothes on it. So all you are is a billboard for a giant corporation that is already making tons of money.

So one could say that mister Judah Friedlander is famous—and rich—because of his casual look and the fact that the media is always lauding it. With his patented hat and his big belly, Judah Friedlander has made a joke of the hat wearing. Let’s see how.

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What’s a Hat?

July 10, 2009

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Thank God we were born in the Urban-Dictionary generation. What’s a hat? Well, let’s ask God himself. Here are 10 Definitions.

1.

(British) slang for condom

wear a hat or you may catch something

2.

To everyone else: A covering for the head.

To parents: A magical cham that prevents people from getting colds.

Mom: Where’s your hat?

Me: I wear a hood

Mom: That’s not good enough

(translation: nothing but a hat can ward off the evil of colds)

4.

Hat is a more intense degree of “hot.”

Many things are hot, but very few are hat.

JB, “How’s is going Phil?”

PJ, “Pretty hat.”

5.

An acronym for Hair Absence Treatment

Hey that bald guy is trying to cover his baldness with a HAT

6.

Yet another name for a Jewish person wearing a yamacha.

Adam Sandler is one funny hat.

7.

South Florida slang for a Jewish person, usually used when they can overhear you; similar to the use of Canadian for blacks.

Caller: Which Black Friday line are you at?

You: Best Buy in Boca Ration

Caller: Oh man I bet there’s tons of-

You: Yep. Hats everywhere, man.

Caller: Oh well at least you’re not at Wal-Mart in Lauderhill, it’s like fucking Toronto over here if you know what I mean.

8.            

The result of millions of hamsters being released into the New York subways and mating with the enormous rats to create a new breed of super-rodents.

Upon entering the hat store, the old man’s left foot was voraciously bitten off by a mob of angry.

9.

Description of a female that has Hips, Ass and Thighs. (HAT)

Damn that girl has some HAT on her!

The HAT on that chick is rediculous!

10.

Acronym for “Hot Asian Tang.”

See Asian Lover

I was at the mall the other day and I seen the best HAT ever.

Damn, did you see that HAT.

So last night I ran into this HAT, she ws a nice girl…

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Let’s be honest: we all expected it: naked pictures of a trendy woman in a trendy magazine. Both V Magazine and Lady Gaga are known for their edgy fashion sense. So the pictures, which will be available today in newsstands, should not be as controversial and shocking as they seem to be.

What is outstanding of the publication is the hat she’s wearing and the fact that every single publication reporting the pictures is labeling it “Lady Gaga with nothing but a hat”.  Is it actually a hat? Sebastian Faena took the pictures and Gaga was styled by Nicola Formichetti, who experiments with this outrageous headgear, an orbiting and daring headpiece designed by the young milliner Nasir Mazhar. She’s been wearing it for a while and not only Mazhar has been taken to the center of the controversy, but the hat, which has become an infamous piece for Gaga’s fashion credentials.

It’s not our responsibility to judge neither the hat nor the nude. We just let you have your opinion. 

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