This is my 1st post. I need help deciding on a proper hat. I turn 50 this year (YIKES!) but the good news is that I'm both old enough and married enough not to obsess over what others think. (My wife wanted me to edit this remark. I sure showed her!!!!)
With that said, I need your help obsessing over the right hat(s). I really need sun protection on my head but I don't want to look like a d-bag doing it. Thanks to my Welsh/Celtic complexion, I need SPF 30 even if I'm just going to watch Lawerence of Arabia on video, 40+ if it's Blu-Ray. This fact was hit all-too close to home last year when I had some skin cancer removed from my upper forehead.
My business garb goes from suits to biz-casual, so the right hat is a tricky choice. The fact that I spend crazy amounts of time in air travel makes it even tougher. So here's what I'm up against:
I'm a pretty big guy, 6'2" 235 lbs, so if I lived in Texas, I could probably carry off one of those Stetsons or Resistols with a brim so wide that they double as a car port. But I live in SoCal, so THAT won't work.
So many thanks for any observations,
Its good to be aboard
Howdy back, from hot and sunny Texas.
>This is my 1st post. I need help deciding on a proper hat. I turn
> 50 this year (YIKES!) but the good news is that I'm both old
> enough and married enough not to obsess over what others think.
> (My wife wanted me to edit this remark. I sure showed her!!!!)
Well, then, happy birthday! And, just for reference your age sounds a lot better if you count in hexadecimal. I'm only 28, now! :)
> With that said, I need your help obsessing over the right hat(s).
Hats are out of fashion, and especially brimmed hats. Whatever you do, you had better OWN the look, or you'll look like one of those ironic hipsters.
> Carry sunscreen EVERYWHERE
They make sunscreen hair conditioners and hair products, so applying it is surprisingly easy. But, I definitely see your point.
> Outdoorsy sun hats
> Danger area - this is what my wife recommends
> Probably the BEST sun covereage out there.
> Should I just man up and go to REI?
OK, let's just start with the "keep the wife happy" argument. That's a strong argument FOR the sun hat, and it would be a logical choice. Happily there are many choices for a sun hat beyond the army boonie hat. Even WalMart carries some decent looking casual hats. Check in the men's section, and the hunting/sporting goods section. Yes, I'm serious.
> Decent Panama straw Fedora style The http://panamahatshop.com
> seems to have the best choices I've seen.
> Drop a little $ and get a nice, foldable, Panama Straw fedora that will
> still look nice even after it gets crushed in the cheap seats in Southwest Air.
> The Executive Committee (my wife) says that guys wearing nice hats and
> really casual clothes look like posers. (Her words, not mine.)
> Deep down this is my preference, but she could be right about the Panama
> with khakis and a company polo shirt.
You live in what is, essentially, a tropical climate. A panama hat is designed for this environment. Just because tourists and "douchebags" have appropriated the look, doesn't invalidate its use in the proper environment.
Again, I'm going to suggest that you OWN the look. Whatever you choose. Most of what makes you look good is not the clothing itself, but your attitude in wearing it. I know people who would look dumpy in Armani, and I know people who would look fabulous in a bedsheet toga. It's all in the attitude.
And, I know that you said you didn't want a cowboy hat, but if your personal style can handle it they ARE designed for protecting you in hot and sunny climates. We wear them, regularly, with all manner of clothes and the right cowboy hat with a polo, with a suit, and even with a tuxedo can look amazingly good.
I, too, am the very definition of WHITE, and understand your plight.
> But I live in SoCal, so THAT won't work.
You live in SoCal. *Anything* could work. Wear a pie plate on your head and tell your coworkers you're recycling...start a trend.
Sadly, I'm being only marginally sarcastic.
Great post Chuck! And my the sound of the piepan comment, you've done time in LA. I've lived in Texas 2x in my life and I do envy the easy way to get away with cool hats. I'm thinking a huge shady lid just like Brian Denehy wore in Silverado.
But, above all else, the fair skin is what I need to protect - basicly, my coloring is like vanilla yogert with body har.
I'll agree, the Panama hat is the most obvious choice. The fedora or the trilby would be the most logical shapes to pursue. Or, as round as your face is, the gambler style. And, I still believe that the cowboy hat would be a good choice.
In fact, WRT the cowboy hat, you've lived in Texas twice. You know, first hand, why we're so awesome. Grab a hat, and maybe a nice pair of boots while you're at it, and embrace it. Just be sure to have the crown and brim professionally shaped to fit your head and face, properly, by someone who genuinely knows what they're doing. It makes all the difference in the world.
OR, you could do something totally unexpected, totally bizarre, and call it eccentric. I found this striking Peruvian hat on the web. Since it looks ethnic, noone in SoCal would DARE say anything negative about it. And, talk about a conversation starter! Just imagine it with a nicely tailored suit. I think the tassels are the perfect complement for any outfit.
With all respect, if you decide to wear a hat other than a gangsta ball cap no matter what you do or say some people will think of you as a paramilitary survivalist (boonie hat), cowboy (Stetson) or European eccentric (Trilby). You're 50 years old and a big guy so the secret is not to worry about what people think. I'm pushing 60 and have a number of hats in my collection that I wear depending on the season and occasion.
For hot weather I've got a white straw cowboy hat that goes well with casual wear (jeans and cowboy style shirt or even a polo). Its okay to wear with dressier clothes, even a lightweight sport coat. For more casual hot weather dress I've got a couple of US Army style patrol caps that I picked up in Wally World a few years back. They are not ball caps and have a nice outdoorsy military surplus look which fits my style of dress quite well. I also have a couple of boonie hats that I wear for lawn work. I wore a tiger stripe boonie hat for a few years as a golf hat. I got some strange looks but it helped to cultivate an image that I wanted.
When the weather cools down I often wear an Indiana Jones style fedora. I think that the fedora takes you back to the classic days of Humphrey Bogart and Chuck Heston. All of the guerillas in the Phillippines wore fedoras as part of their uniform. They ran around in the jungle with 03 Springfields, Tommy guns and machetes and put the hurts to the Japanese and that's about as manly as you can get. I also have a silver gray Stetson that I wear on more formal occasions. For casual cold weather wear I'm partial to the classic black wool USN style watch cap.
I think that high quality cowboy hats are acceptable almost anywhere in the US. I'm not talking about the exaggerated "goat roper" styles but rather a subdued conservative stockman's hat that projects a distinctly American image. And make no mistake, hats are all about image.
(Cross posted from a similar question a while back)
I wear one alot like this. A milan weave straw fedora (mine is a Stingy brim, Biltmore Torino). Breathes well, stays on my head. I've had it about 4 years now - it has held up well in weather and regular wear. I love it.
They make wider brim variations. I just tend to look like crap in them.
I don't do ironic when it comes to my hats.