- Tuesday, 03 April 2012
Why do we go bar'that? reader letter Mature Times March 2012.
It happened gradually in the 1960's, but the main cause is unclear.
The chief reason cited is that US President Kennedy famously didn't wear one, and other Western men then just copied him.
There are some other theories;
The Beatles and The Rolling Stones not wearing hats, and young men copied them.
Cars became streamlined, faster, and more widespread - so a hat was either not needed to shield the wind or blew off in a faster car (men tended to drive a lot more than women in those days).
Television - as it grew, presenters didn't wear hats because they were in a studio. People then copied them even when outside.
The Hippie culture just made men lazy over wearing hats.
In the era of 1960's disputes over Civil Rights etc, the idea of social divisions between people, which hats greatly signified, became politically-incorrect.
The idea that they caused baldness because your hair collected in them, an idea later found to be false actually.
The materials to make hats became much more expensive.
Less honesty and more theft - if you threw your cap in air with everyone else in the 1950's when a goal was scored in football you'd soon get it back, but by the 1960's many men saw it as a good chance to nick a better cap from someone in the crowd - the same way motorbikes aren't parked on the pavement nowadays but were in the past.
Since people in the countryside followed fashion slower - them still wearing hats just made city people think that it really was outmoded, so even more of them then gave it up too! (rural people eventually catching up later on).
But as I say, whatever the main reason was, it is still argued about.
Time for a Seasonal Closet De-clutter - 19 October 2012