A hat-lover’s lament: how car culture, hairspray and JFK killed daily headwear

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Picture the scene: you’re watching an old film, or reading a book set in the 1920s, or maybe you’re staring at a vintage photograph taken on a bustling city street. The image is in black and white or maybe a tea-stained sepia, but there’s a crowd and everyone in it looks somehow smarter, and better, than they do outside your window.
Crowds in the street today, they’re missing something. They’re missing their hats.

Headwear has been a universal human custom across cultures since time immemorial: a status symbol, uniform, religious emblem, form of self-expression, badge of belonging and, occasionally, seduction tool.

But for the most part, in western society, hats – other than the baseball cap of course – have been relegated to utilitarian use (protection from the sun and/or baldness), special occasions such as the races or a royal wedding revival or to a small group of more daring fashion risk takers.

Most of us aren’t even of the era in which hats had their heyday, but we lament the loss of style anyway. Everyone looked so fine in their headwear – the men more dapper, the women more alluring. When did people stop caring about looking smart?

For once, it’s not the youth of today to which fingers should be pointing. It’s the youth of the 1960s. The baby boomers have not only sequestered the affordable housing and tax breaks for themselves, but also our entitlement to sophisticated style. It’s all their fault.

But in many ways, they couldn’t help it. The 60s was the eye of a perfect storm of societal changes, which together marked the demise of everyday hat wearing. So what was blowing in this wind of hat devastation?
Humans are a naturally grimy species. We’ve all have bad hair days when grabbing a hat is the only option to cover our sins, but back in the day that was every day. The first shampoos came on to the market only in the 1920s, with a recommended use of once a fortnight, and although the modern shower was invented in the 1780s it was only in the late 50s and 60s that plumbing systems were sophisticated enough to cope with widespread domestic installation. So we were dirtier back then and hats were needed to hide the daily build up of “hat hair”.

It wasn’t just shampoo that killed off the hat, but a partnership with another consumer product sitting alongside it. Hairspray, the biggest-selling beauty product in 1964. Without hairspray there would be no beehive and why make a beehive if you’re going to hide it in a hat? As hairstyles escalated to new heights in the 60s, the hat diminished in popularity.

When we relied on a horse and carriage or a train to get from A to B, wearing a tall hat wasn’t a problem – in fact it was quite useful, keeping you dry or sun-protected on your amble. But as domestic car use spread in the 50s and 60s the need and practicality of wearing hats as you cruised the streets diminished.

Once the last bastion of everyday hat wearing, the “church hat” in the US kept milliners busy well into the 60s, but from then on hats became more of a rare species in congregations. The wartime years had been restrictive and the next generation wanted to be free of the conformity of their parents. Women had proven their capability in a man’s world during the war, and with emancipation in full swing the hat was often seen as a symbol of repression (interestingly, not for Kennedy’s wife Jackie O who was a notable hat wearer). Skirts got shorter, tops got lower, hair got higher and hats dropped to the bottom of the list of freedoms. Baby boomers were just doing what every generation of youth has done since: sticking it to their parents.


The celebrated Melbourne milliner Richard Nylon says that while the casualisation of the baby boomer years was “the greatest downfall of the hat”, these days people are just too afraid to be looked at.

“Hats will change the way you think about yourself. They will change the way other people see you. You need courage to wear a hat nowadays because hats are a commitment. People will look at you – they’ve got eyes – and when they look at you with a hat on they’ll think ‘How fabulous!’ ”

Original Story located at
http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2016/feb/25/a-hat-lovers-lament-how-car-culture-hairspray-and-jfk-killed-daily-headwear

Cocktail Nation 393-Classic Comedy Rodney Dangerfield

Cocktail Nation 393- Classic Comedy Of Rodney Dangerfield

Some classic comedy this week as we headback to the early days of the career of Rodney Dangerfield, I’ve got a fantastic new tv show for you to dig, a sale of a very cool palace,plus the passing of one of the most read authors of the 20th century.

http://www.cocktailnation.podbean.com

  
Roland Remington -M’Gambo Mambo

Voodoo Organist- Chow Chow Cha Cha

Hugo Montenegro- Come Spy With Me

MoonRays-SpookWalk

Oscar Peterson-You’d Be So Easy To Love

Suzy Bogguss-Straighten Up And Fly right

Dean Martin-Canadian Sunset

Tony Bennett -Dancing In The Dark

Wendy Pederson The Late Late Show

Mambo Zombies- Autumn In New York

Tiki Joes Ocean -Alegre

Ixtahuele-Searching For Souq

So Zentner-Fugitive Theme

Combustible Edison Spy V Spy

Billy May -Mission Impossible Theme

Spy Fi -Secret Agent Man

Les Baxter-City Of Veils.

Cocktail Nation Evenings At The Penthouse-It Swings Dad

Join Koop Kooper for this special mid week edition of the Cocktail Nation as the Lounge Leader spins Cocktail Jazz from the Sydney Penthouse.
Each wednesday night the happy hour kicks off in the penthouse as we forget all about China building it’s defences in the south China Sea, judicial appointments and all the other rubbish that goes on in the world.
so kick back and grab a martini and take in the view from the Penthouse with a good dose of Cocktail Jazz !
www.cocktailnation.podbean.com
Bill Evans Waltz For Debbie
Chet Baker-What A Difference A Day Makes
Beegie Adair -In The Wee Small Hours of the morning
Beegie Adair All The Way
Allen Smith Quartet -Alone Together
Gene Gaffer Trio-Blues For Alice
Peter Paulson Trio -Time Remembered

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Cocktail Nation 392 Charged With Seduction

A long time ago a Lounge Lothario was in danger of imprisonment due to a “charge of Seduction”, yes it was a real thing so this week on the show we talk about this very old law and name a famous singer who had this charge against him in the thirties. And speaking of seduction, all the songs chosen this week have a seductive theme or title.
http://www.cocktailnation.podbean.com
Out Of Abingdon-Three Piece Suit

Barry Morgan -The Touch Of You

Frank Sinatra -The Tender Trap

Narco Lounge Combo -Seduction

Les Baxter-Afternoon Affair

Jackie Gleason-I’ve Got a Crush On You

Tiki Lounge Crew-Cocktails With Armando

Audrey Morris-April Fool

101 Strings-A Man And A Woman

Reg Owen-What Is This Thing Called Love

Kaylene Peoples-How Insensitive 

Karen Souza- Tainted Love

Janice Borla Group-Run For Your Life

James Spencer-It’s So Good To Want You Bad

Mel Torme-Midnight Swinger

Louis Prima-Just A Gigolo

  

Cocktail Nation Evenings At The Penthouse-The Cure

Join Koop Kooper for this special mid week edition of the Cocktail Nation as the Lounge Leader spins Cocktail Jazz from the Sydney Penthouse.
Each wednesday night the happy hour kicks off in the penthouse as we forget all about unlocking bad guys iPhones, Presidential debates and all the other rubbish that goes on in the world.
so kick back and grab a martini and take in the view from the Penthouse with a good dose of Cocktail Jazz !
www.cocktailnation.podbean.com

 

Howard Roberts Between The Devil And The Blue Sea
Audrey Morris -April Fool
David Carbonara -Bossa Du Monatvani
James Spencer- A Kooper Kocktail
Jackie Gleason Once In A While
101 Strings New York New York
Nathan Haines -Cocktails
Jerry Costanzo- Penthouse Serenade
Quincy Jones -Exodus
Dolores Gray-You’re My Thrill

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Cocktail Nation 391 Taboo Island

 
This week we introduce you to a cool exotica artist called Roland Remington and play a track from his new album Taboo Island, there’s the passing of a legend of animation plus I have a cool book on femme fatales for you.
 
 
Mike Bardaesh-Late In The Game
Wendy Pederson and Jim Gasior Besame Mucho
Roland Remington- Martinique
Mr Ho’s Orchestrotica-Maracatune For Chalco
Robert Drasnin- Farewell To Tuvalu
Oscar Peterson-Triste
Les Baxter-Deep Night
Perry Beekman -But Not For Me
Chaino-Bongo Samba
New Morty Show Destination Moon
Astrud Gilberto and Marty Paich -Vivo Sonhando
Tony Bennett -My Heart Stood Still
Acca Daiquiries- Witchcraft
Nat King Cole-I’m Shooting High
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Cocktail Nation Evenings At the Penthouse-Forgetting The Day

Join Koop Kooper for this special mid week edition of the Cocktail Nation as the Lounge Leader spins Cocktail Jazz from the Sydney Penthouse.
Each wednesday night the happy hour kicks off in the penthouse as we forget all about the Election and all the other rubbish that goes on in the world.
so kick back and grab a martini and take in the view from the Penthouse with a good dose of Cocktail Jazz !
www.cocktailnation.podbean.com

 

Aker Bilk I Left My Heart In San Francisco
Anita O’day You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
Bob Thompson Do It Again
Bobby Hutchinson Skj
Arthur Lyman Group Magic Island
Cocktail Inn Blue Monk
Jackie Gleason -Ales Vouz And Go Away
James Morrison I Fall In Love To Easy

 

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