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As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, trends and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the hat rack.

In a few weeks, it’s going to be fedora weather—but something tells us we won’t see many of them on the street. And while plenty of bloggers have taken up the classic hat banner, it’s going to take more than just encouragement to make this happen. In particular, we place the blame for the non-resurgence of the hat squarely at the feet of the hat rack.

Allow us to explain.

If you’ve ever hit the town with a hat in tow, you may have noticed the problem: it’s hard to find a place where it won’t get crushed. They’re piled under coats, precariously balanced on hangers and stuffed into bags, for the simple reason that the modern night out doesn’t have any good place for a hat. When you add in the fact that you’ll be taking it off every time you step inside, you’ve got quite an inconvenience on your hands.

Of course, this wasn’t an issue in the Eisenhower era, when everyone in the office was bringing a hat. Accommodations were made—specifically in the form of hat racks on the walls of most public places. If you brought a hat to a doctor’s office, they’d have a place for it because you wouldn’t be the only one. It’s an issue of critical mass. Now that hat-wearers are a niche group, they don’t have it anymore.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. A few more hat racks in a few more offices and restaurants, and the Mister Morts of the world will feel a whole lot more accommodated. Their friends might even decide to get back in on the action, putting hat-wearers well on their way to the mainstream.

Even if they don’t make it, we’re firm believers in catering to niche tastes. There’s no shortage of them, these days.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom