Hats are cool. They just are. From the gravity-defying fascinators spotted atop the crowns of the British elite at the royal wedding to the slouchy beanie slung precariously from the pink-dyed tresses of your local barista, hats make a statement. They radiate both confidence and style. They reflect a woman so meticulously, yet effortlessly put together that not even her head is left without an accessory.
Yet not a lot of women wear hats on the regular. Part of it has to do with an exasperated and flawed belief that they just don’t have a “head for hats.” A bigger part of it, I think, is that hats make us look quite conspicuous. A woman in a hat isn’t hiding anywhere or blending in to the background of anything. So, really, when you get down to it, I think wearing hats feels intimidating–like we worry we’ll be on display for others to notice and judge.
I’d like to see hats normalized again. Call it a throwback to the early 20th century, when not a self-respecting soul alive would leave home without both hat and gloves. But my current call-to-action has nothing to do with propriety; this century let us wear hats because:
- Your hair needs a break. Half the reason I wear hats at all is to camouflage my three-days-since-last-washed hair. I was not blessed with the kind of hair that looks better dirty, that achieves tousled, wavy locks reminiscent of long days at the beach. No, no, I have the kind of hair that falls flat and greasy by 5 o’clock, looking reminiscent of a haggard sewer rat. But I’m also human, and I just don’t feel like washing my hair every gosh-darn day. So, when the dry shampoo residue has built up a good two-inch barricade on my head, and I really want to stretch things into one more day so that I can get 15 more minutes of sleep, that hat is my saving grave. No one gots to know about the hot-mess scalp underneath it.
- You deserve to be noticed sometimes. Being a mom is hard. No one rewards you for keeping children alive, bathed, and fed all at the same time. Working full-time is hard. No one compliments you on how efficiently you managed to enter your grades or create a lesson plan. Being married is hard. No one congratulates you on how brilliantly you avoided confrontation by taking out the damn trash yourself. Adulting is hard. No one applauds you when you pay your bills on time or calculate how to set aside 10% of your paycheck for savings. We live in a world without sticker charts and positive reinforcement. Maybe it sounds petty and superficial, but sometimes, it’s just nice to be noticed for something. And hats are noticed. Every time I have ever put a hat on in my life, someone has complimented me on it. Every. Single. Time. On my honeymoon, another woman came up to me at the end of the week and said, “I just love your collection of beach hats. Every morning I come down to the pool wondering what hat you’d wear that day.” Call me sad and pathetic, but this is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. And we need nice sometimes.
- It’s important to feel confident. Part of being a mom is consistently questioning whether you’re doing it right. Breast or bottle? Plastic or glass? Crib or co-sleep?Montessori or public school? Pacifier or thumb? Spanking or time out? Wine or vodka? We spend half of our time researching and evaluating our options, and the other half of our time worried sick that we made the wrong decision. We go to bed every night convinced that we’re the worst parents of all-time, which takes a huge toll on our self-esteem. And then we wake up in the morning and realize we have to put clothes on a body that has been stretched and pulled into unrecognizable shape. And again, our confidence is shot. This is why, although looking confident is great, feeling confident is better. We need one thing, no matter how insignificant, to remind us that we are strong and make sound choices. And, for me, hats do just that.