Normalize Wearing Hats

I’ve always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby. I have no interest in horse racing whatsoever. I simply want an excuse to wear a big, extravagant hat, because in any other situation it would be socially unacceptable to do so.

In decades past, people used to wear hats all the time. Men would don bowler hats and top hats while women would accessorize with wide, floppy sun hats that partially obscured their faces, giving them an aura of mystery. Unfortunately, the hat went out of style as time went on. These days the only hats people typically wear are baseball caps and beanies. Even some things as simple as the beret and the fedora are far and few.

I tend to place the majority of the blame on the school system. School dress codes tend to prohibit hats of any type which conditions people from a young age to avoid the accessory. Thus they grow up, unaware of the appearance-altering magic of the underrated clothing item.

Their reasoning tends to range from hats being a distraction to other students in the class, hats blocking the view of other students, and hats simply being disrespectful to wear indoors. I’ve also heard that schools might worry that students will attempt to hide drugs or weapons under their hats, which I find to be a silly reason since any article of clothing could serve to hide such artifacts. I also fail to see how wearing a hat is disrespectful. Why does the sight of a hat atop a person’s head ignite feelings of being challenged? How does wearing a beret, for instance, convey to the rest of the world that the wearer is a rebel in society? I also find it hard to be persuaded by the classroom distraction and viewing obscurity argument. It would be understandable if someone wore, say, a sombrero to class. But the type of hats I’m advocating for are simple, yet elegant. They would neither be a distraction nor would they significantly obscure someone’s view.

People wear hats for many reasons, all of which are important to consider. Most wear them as fashion statements and to express their personality. Others wear them for personal reasons. A brim might block out the light and help a student with sensory issues focus better in a classroom setting. The sensation of feeling something snug around one’s head might be comforting and reduce anxiety. A hat could mask a bad hair day or a breakout. A beret makes messyfrizzy hair stylish!

A lot of people would probably like to wear hats, but become anxious at the fact that hats aren’t a typically worn clothing item. It is true that, especially in a time where hats aren’t as popular, they tend to be a rather attention-grabbing item. I say that this is a good thing. So buy that hat! Wear it around! Be a trendsetter! Let’s normalize hats.