A great book to celebrate Hats Week here on The Hornet.
By Neil Steinberg (2004)
Neil Steinberg’s 2004 book Hatless Jack has the good grace not to bill itself as a “style bible” – too classy a book for that. Besides, it’s a history book, too. A very stylish one at that.
The Jack in question is JFK, 35th President of the United States and the first one not to wear a silk hat (a “topper”) on his inauguration day. As a much-copied style icon of his day, did JFK, therefore, single-handedly (or, rather, single headedly) kill the hat making business? This oft-repeated conspiracy theory is the diving off point for an incredible journey through headgear from the Roman god Mercury’s winged helmet to the shapeless beanie (no, Hornets stocks neither, go away please).
The main business of this book is the journey of the hat from its absolute de rigueur status in a man’s wardrobe to 21st Century style choice and statement garment. And Steinberg’s analysis is nothing if not comprehensive: did the changing design of the automobile do for the titfer? Was it the indignity of having to chase after one’s headgear on windy days that men grew sick of? (Among the book’s best advice is: Never run after your own hat.) Or was the hat’s assassin really Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev rather than Kennedy? The cool, carefree young President may well have set an attractive bareheaded example, but the aged, saggy Khrushchev was never seen without his beloved Homburg. Perhaps, in this case, there was such a thing as bad publicity.
Constantly surprising and informative, if you want to get ahead…
On Sunday 2nd December there’s 20% off ALL HATS at our shops here in Kensington. Click below to view our Three Days Of Christmas film for more details.