I don’t look good in hats.
This was confirmed when my pal B. and I stopped by the Goorin Brothers Bold Hat Makers during our walk around Elmwood in Berkeley one late morning. After having a coffee at the Elmwood Cafe, we meandered this part of College Avenue and wandered in and out of shops. B. is always on the lookout for some little mementos to take home for his daughter and son.
We stopped into Goorin’s for no other reason than to look around. But we, or rather I, tried on hats as I made my way, all to no avail, with pretty much a thumbs down on each one. It wasn’t the hats – which are beautiful, by the way – it’s me, the shape of my head or me having too much hair.
As I walked towards the back of the store, I noticed a mixed row of Fedoras and Homburgs. Fedoras are making a come back, you know. That classic hat from the 1930s worn by every man, gangster and sophisticate alike, back in the day when men never left home unless they were dressed in a suit.
Now Fedoras are worn with anything, including t-shirts and jeans, and have crossed the fashion and gender boundary to also include being worn by women.
When I saw that row of Fedoras, I immediately remembered my Granpap and his hat. He had taught me the various ways to handle it, to wear it – brim up or brim down, or brim up in the back and down in the front. To put it on his head he pinched it at the front of the crown, never lifting it by its brim. None of this was something that I had thought about in ages, but it was a sweet memory, one with him smiling, as he put on his hat and walked out the door …