Mid-Century Found Photos of People Wearing Hats

Headwear was once compulsory for men and women. Now it’s only de rigueur in places of worship, at times of arcane ritual (Morris Dancing; the Changing of the Guard; swimming laps in the public baths) and whenever one of the upper classes wants to transmit a message, whither Prince Harry or Donald Trump’s basbeball caps to show their respective connection to the common people. Most of us adhere to P.J. O’Rouke’s opinion: “A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.” The hat’s halcyon days are over – much like chivalry and being in the presence of a ‘lady’ –  but a lid can still signify fun, madness, neuroses, job, belonging and rank.

Here are found photos of people enjoying hats and headgear in the mid-20th Century.

 

retro hat, vintage hat, 20th-century hat, mid-century fashion

 

“Some hats can only be worn if you’re willing to be jaunty, to set them at an angle and to walk beneath them with a spring in your stride as if you’re only a step away from dancing. They demand a lot of you.”

Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys

 

old hat

 

“Take off your hat,” the King said to the Hatter.
“It isn’t mine,” said the Hatter.
“Stolen!” the King exclaimed, turning to the jury, who instantly made a memorandum of the fact.
“I keep them to sell,” the Hatter added as an explanation; “I’ve none of my own. I’m a hatter.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

 

 

hats 1964

 

“Wide brimmed and narrow, some tall, some not, some fancy, some colorful, some plaid, some plain. She doted on changing hats at every opportunity. When she met the Prince, she was wearing one hat, when he asked her for a stroll, she excused herself, shortly to return wearing another, equally flattering.”
William Goldman, The Princess Bride

 

retro hat, vintage hat, 20th-century hat, mid-century fashion retro hat, vintage hat, 20th-century hat, mid-century fashion

 

“Why should anyone be frightened by a hat?”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

 

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“I know some good games we could play,”
Said the cat.
“I know some new tricks,”
Said the Cat in the Hat.
“A lot of good tricks.
I will show them to you.
Your mother
Will not mind at all if I do.”

– The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

 

 

retro hat, vintage hat, 20th-century hat, mid-century fashion retro hat, vintage hat, 20th-century hat, mid-century fashion

 

Baby, take off your coat…(real slow)
Baby, take off your shoes…(here, I’ll take your shoes)
Baby, take off your dress
Yes, yes, yes
You can leave your hat on
You can leave your hat on
You can leave your hat on

You Can Leave Your Hat On, by Randy Newman

 

retro hat, vintage hat, 20th-century hat, mid-century fashion retro hat, vintage hat, 20th-century hat, mid-century fashion

 

Well, you look so pretty in it, honey, can I jump on it sometime?
Yes, I just wanna see if it’s really that expensive kind
You know it balances on your head
Just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine
Your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat

Beck, Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat

 

retro hat, vintage hat, 20th-century hat, mid-century fashion retro hat, vintage hat, 20th-century hat, mid-century fashion

 

She wore a
Raspberry beret
The kind you find in a second hand store
Raspberry beret
And if it was warm she wouldn’t wear much more
Raspberry beret
I think I love her

– Prince, Raspberry Beret

 

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