Sunday, August 3, 2008

Row Your Boat the early 1900, there existed a reality that we do not know:  men wore hats every day outside (women, too, but that's another blog).  On the day when men officially laid their winterworn felts aside, and donned their Spring suits, they sported a straw hat.  this marvelous occurence was called "Straw Hat Day".  What a gas!  I love that there was actually a special date , and in some cities, the first day a straw hat was to be seen, to switch gears.  In New York City we're used to the catch as catch can weather, so we wear sandals in the dead of winter, and long sleeves in the summer because of air conditioning. Or not.  But the straw hat rule , as the white shoe after Labor Day rule, and the white glove rule, and the matching purse and shoes longer exists.  I recommend to my clients to do as the Victorian did:  have a darker straw hat be the transitional one for early fall, and early spring as well.  Edged in velvet, or with a bit of leather, suede, or other suggestive fabrics, the straw can carry you until your winter hats come out of the closet.  
On the designated Straw Hat Day, somewhere around May 16, the boater was the touted topper for men.  Used by private schools as their hat of uniform, and by the G-men of the 1920's as a signature hat, the boater has seen it's way through music halls, movies, Chanel, YSL, and the Amish.  A simple shape, made of plaited straw pressed into layers, the boater sits jauntily atop the head, lending an air of respectability to summer seersuckers, linens, two toned shoes, and suede bucks.  Do your homework if you don't know what I'm talking about. 
May it live long and rule!  

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