Social influence is an amazing thing. Even skinny jeans are in style…seriously.
Think about any fad that you’ve ever fallen into. Think about how quickly you fall out of them. Everyone loves to think that they have their own style, but chances are, there was someone doing it before you were. The seemingly contradictory nature of human beings to want to both fit in and stand out at the same time is fascinating.
Most people can attribute their sense of style to a single person or group. I grew up in Jersey City, NJ. Whether they weren’t important enough for me to notice, or they simply were not around, I almost NEVER saw people wearing hats. There were baseball caps, which eventually evolved into fitted ball caps & flat brims, but no fedoras or pub caps. Six years later, hats are a regular part of my style. I’m a little older, more mature than I was back then, but I am basically the same person. Yet my style has changed dramatically since then. Why?
I’m sure maturity played a part in it. My surroundings and social situations have changed as well. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t attribute working in the fashion business to my evolution in style! Still, something in the fashion and pop culture world has definitely changed in recent years. People like Brad Pitt, Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blige, etc. have all made it cool to wear hats again. Don’t get me wrong, the Run DMC’s and LL Cool J’s of the world were doing it before these guys, but hats weren’t nearly as mainstream back then as they are now, and you can see it in every mall that you walk into today. Athletic stores like Lids and Nike have made room on their shelves for classic style over fitted ball caps. MetroPark, H&M, and Urban Outfitters are pushing hats as a part of the contemporary and urban chic appeal. To these companies, selling style is essential, and hats have become a staple part of that movement.
I flip through some pubs and ivy caps to find one that coordinates with what I’m wearing. The first time I ever walked into a hat store and tried one on, something didn’t fit when I looked in the mirror. Nowadays, it all seems to blend so nicely. Style is cyclical. Who knows how long this trend will last. What I’ve come to find out about hat wearers, though, is that once you’ve sold them on one hat, they’re going to be hat wearers for life. It’s not because hats are cool. It’s because hats are cool to us.