Lost in London

A look at London and life in general through the eyes of someone who sometimes can't bear to watch.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Leave your hat on

The weather has been teasing us lately, in London at least. By rights it should be absolutely freezing but on stepping outside, it's become necessary to disrobe in the middle of the street, shedding layers of hoodie, scarf and jumper and thrusting them into my ever-bulging manbag. It won't last for ever of course, and when the cold really sets in, it's time to think about hats.

Hats and I have always had a very odd relationship. When I was a child I had a grey corduroy flat cap but growing up in a part of the country where wearing anything that didn't come from BHS was seen as outré, I was relentlessly mocked by my 'peers'. Reader, I cared not a jot outwardly, but inside I knew that hats are bound to get a reaction one way or another, so best to avoid them if you're not feeling up to defending your sartorial choices.

The biggest decision you have to make when thinking about shoving a hat on your bonce is whether you are willing to sacrifice having a hairstyle for the sake of style and/ or warmth (does anyone actually care about warmth over style? Surely not). Sadly, in the majority of cases, hat hair does not a good look make. There comes then the quandary: do you get a hairdo that won't look like a birds' nest every time you take your hat off, or do you brave the elements and miss out on an amazing accessory because you simply can't part with your Jedward mega-quiff?

For the last two years, I've had to go hat-free, as my barnet has got in the way. Long before those impish Irish twins were murdering pop classics on TV every week, I too had something of a quiff, held in place by ozone-hostile hairspray, industrial strength gel, wires, scaffolding- I'm sure you get the picture. Endless backcombing, primping and product application went into producing that hairstyle, and I was darned if I was going to see it crushed like Jedward's X Factor ambitions just for the sake of a tatty old titfer.

This year, however, my statuesque hairdon't has gone and has been replaced by a much more hat-loving style. I can neither confirm nor deny that this is due to short hair making one look younger, but I digress. I had a train driver style cap a few years ago when I had neck-length hair, and they're great, but when you've got short hair, those hats make your head look like a little pea rolling around your shoulders.

The answer then is the trusty flat cap. While I'm unlikely to ever recreate the amazingness of my childhood grey corduroy number, I'm looking forward to planting one firmly on my head and then, of course, whipping it off in full confidence that I don't look like I've stuck my fingers in a plug socket. Hats off to winter, indeed.

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