Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Felt hats are useful things and I would wear them more often if they were suited for travel in cold climes. Sadly, there is just no infrastructure around for their support. A felt hat placed in an airplane's overhead compartment is unlikely to survive the experience and hat boxes are a lot to lug around (the packable fur Astrakhan has a distinct advantage for winter travel, being formal enough to wear with a suit).
At home, felts are worn principally for shade while driving with the top open as well as to stay dry in a light rain. We do have plenty of rain here in the Bay area, heavy as well as light, and its time is just a month away. Even so, hat wearing is anything but a daily occurrence. Three felts seem to provide enough variety for once or twice a week donning: I rotate a porkpie, a small fedora that was supposed to be a cavalier and a homburg that is looking as though its best days are behind it.
And so I am thinking about a replacement, a lord's hat in black, or midnight blue beaver if Optimo Hat Company has the felt. The lord's hat, a version of the homburg with pinches and an unbound brim, looks like the hat on the right in the Fellow's illustration, one of his better-known works that helped popularize the wearing of a light sweater as a vest under a suit in this country.
The thing about the color is that midnight blue is more handsome in my opinion, but a black hat would better accompany the black and brown herringbone overcoat that Peter Harvey is making for me. On the other hand, the coat is too heavy to wear in California, and there is that question as to whether the hat would accompany us on trips (the coat and I, that is).
It remains a matter to be resolved.