Friday, July 6, 2012

Fedora Friday

There was a time when men wore hats*. Real hats, trucker and baseball caps don't count, fur skinned caps either, unless you can pull it off, which means you are a mountain man somewhere between the Rockies and Hudson Bay.

What's a real hat then?
Fur felt(wool felt is okay), straw and for more casual attire the newsboy/ivy cap (in the West at least). Even some of the ecclesiastical head wear of clergy is fur-felt, but the majority of clergy don't wear hats anymore either.

The following photographs are from 1940s Puerto Rico, in the sugarcane fields and farms.

Sugar cane workers, vicinity of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, (LOC), Jack Delano
These gentlemen are wearing fur felt brimmed hats, the fellow on the far right has the distinctive fedora with the pinch front and flipped brim.

FSA borrower who is a member of a sugar cooperative, vicinity of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
(LOC), Jack Delano
Indiana Jose? Nah, this guy worked harder for less pay

FSA borrower and member of Yauco tomato cooperative, planting tomatoes on his farm in the hills,
 vicinity of Yauco, Puerto Rico (LOC),  Jack Delano
 Planting tomatoes, got my fedora.

Man in a sugar cane field during harvest, Puerto Rico (LOC), Jack Delano
 No felt for this guy, but the straw works just as well, even better maybe in the heat of the tropics.

Sugar cane workers resting, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico (LOC), Jack Delano
Some more fedoras. The fellow second on the left is wearing a campaign hat with the distinctive Montana peak. I wonder where he got it. I wonder how many were floating around after the military quit using them as standard issue. Could it be a Boy Scout campaign hat? Hmm.

FSA borrower? in a sugar-cane field, Puerto Rico (LOC), Jack Delano
His hat is definitely felt, possibly a campaign hat that has seen much use in the hot Puerto Rican sun.

...and yes, I do wear baseball caps and also mil-spec boonie hats, but I would never use them outside of a casual or work environment. At the moment I do not own a fur felt hat but I do use a wool ivy hat and a mighty handsome panama straw fedora during the hot season. One day I might become a full fledged hat snob.

* I have been conditioned to refer to hats as 'covers' as in 'campaign covers', so it was kind of hard for me to continually type hat... just kidding, not really... no, I'm for real... psych... no really... I don't know.

1 comment:

  1. I wear a genuine, tightly weaved, straw sombrero when I'm working in the yard. It provides me shade in the hot Texas sun. And by shade I mean SHADE... not one beam of sunlight touches me wearing that thing!