Mad Cap?

This article – by Nick Curtis – first appeared in the London Evening Standard…

“It’s not often I find myself applauding David Beckham’s mad sartorial spasms, but pictures of him wearing a fedora deserve an emphatic thumbs-up.

Men look good in hats. It is one of the few items of masculine apparel which is both practical and affords scope for dandyism. A hat keeps you warm, looks stylish, and is a far more effective tool for keeping the rain off, without injuring fellow pedestrians, than the unpredictable umbrella.

Think of Leonard Cohen, unfeasibly dapper on his latest tour in a double-breasted suit and trilby. Or Gilbert and George in their hand-made fur numbers. Or Barack Obama in his jaunty boater.

Instilled with an early love of hats by the snap-brim swagger of William Powell in The Thin Man and Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, I now own more titfers than I know what to do with. There’s the black fedora brought back by my parents from Chicago when I was 20. The parchment-coloured Panama. The fake-fur Russian-style number with ear-flaps that I bought on a cold day from Hornets, the purveyors of vintage gentlemen’s clothing in Kensington.

All of these are worn when the weather demands, or permits. But there are others. The Home Guard helmet that belonged to my grandfather. The Kofia purchased from a persuasive African in Lanzarote. And the deerstalker I bought, also from Hornets, on a whim (I had been drinking).

I wouldn’t quite dare wear these, or the Christy’s cream topper (made by Steve Cossey, the last apprenticed hatter working in the UK), also on sale at Hornets. But who knows? If Beckham wears one, so will I. How about it, Dave?”

www.hornetskensington.co.uk

Hornets Vintage the Online Shop

Hornets Hire & Stock Catalogue

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