A few years ago I read a fascinating book titled Hatless Jack: The President, the Fedora, and the History of American Style, which attributed the demise of previously ubiquitous male hattage to the dashing JFK, who never sported the standard presidential fedoras.
This week's Sepia Saturday theme involves hats, so I offer here a selection of hats that my grandfather Bentley wore. Most of these photos I've previously posted in their full state, and have cropped them a bit for this post...
Here is George, center, in a youthful flat cap. The year is most likely in the 'Teens. He's standing in front of the Bentley Bros. general store and gas station, with his brother Clyde to his left and an assistant on his right, both of whose hats look peculiarly Russian. There appears to be snow on the ground and roof, so you can hardly blame them.
Here are the brothers more formally posed (Clyde again to George's left) with their more summery straw boaters.
George continued wearing a boater well into his middle age. Here he stiffly stands, all gussied up with his wife Jessie beside their house in Elm, Michigan.
But he also had a fedora, similarly pale. That's my father Nelson and his sister Margaret, circa 1930.
Here's George a few years earlier in what I daresay is a Homburg, brim conservatively curled. That's an interesting style of jacket my father is wearing along with his newsboy cap.
(George's father also favored fedoras, even while gardening. That's Nelson in the fetching sun dress and, er, Easter bonnet?
George also reverted to flat caps on occasion. Here he is in about 1919 with baby Nelson and his older sister Dorothy.
Your grandfather, like mine, wore many hats. :)) I think it's too bad, really, that men don't wear hats very much any more. Somehow a nice fedora or homburg does something for a man. Also a smart black felt cowboy hat which is what attracted me (in part) to my husband. After wearing fedoras & Panamas (I don't remember him ever wearing a homburg) for much of his working life, my Dad, in his later retired years began wearing a white straw cowboy hat and I thought he looked quite nice in it.ReplyDelete
A super collection. I've always wondered how men of the earlier generations chose their hat styles. Was it a local fashion based on the variety at the town haberdashery? Did national or ethnic background have an influence? When traveling through western US, I've been surprised at how many men still sport cowboy hats, which no one would wear here in the east.ReplyDelete
I really like the look of men's straw hats. I wonder whether anyone still wears those.ReplyDelete
Oh these photos, with or without the hats, are wonderful!ReplyDelete
I have no photos to show what my grandfather and father wore, but I can remember my father in a flat cap and an army hat during the war. The straw boaters look best for me and they were worn for best by the boarders at my school in the early 50s.ReplyDelete
I do miss hats, but I have to confess that I miss suits and ties more! Good post!ReplyDelete
Very handsome photos...the second of Clyde and George shows a big difference between their heights. Oh yes the straw boaters, had not heard that term in a long timeReplyDelete
There's something about boaters that always makes me sort of laugh. They're an interesting hat, but I do wonder why they became so popular.ReplyDelete
Interesting theory, although I suspect that hats were on their way out over here long before we had heard of JFKReplyDelete
A nice array of hats - bring back boaters I say.ReplyDelete
I have my grandfather's boater, but it's broken at the brim.ReplyDelete
A museum of hats.ReplyDelete