So I am coming to the end of my first week as a wearer of a hat and what a week it has been. A close friend has already decided to join the millinery renaissance and has purchased his very own hat from Bates. Another friend is almost certainly going to follow suit after we met for a beer on the South Bank and he got to fondle my ‘Indi’, and I also got to take the hat to the Olympic Stadium. But to kick off this post I’d like to talk about nerves.
Even in the great cosmopolitan city of London there aren’t that many people who choose to leave their homes in the morning with something upon their head and so it was with a sense of trepidation that I set off for work on that first day. Would I be met with confused stares? Muffled sniggers? Derisive laughter? Or maybe even actual vocal abuse?
It turns out that I was met with none of these things. I think even the sight of this iconic piece of quality millinery was not enough to grab the attention of the army of zombie commuters away from their smartphones and free copies of the Metro.
This maiden voyage on the 8.25 to Waterloo was where I was to learn my first lesson. It had been quite chilly on the walk to the station, but as I stood in the carriage the temperature began to rise. I could start to feel little beads of sweat forming around my forehead.
Removing the hat and holding it would be impossible as the carriage was carrying its usual load of WAY too many people, so I decided to adopt the more casual hat tipped to the back of the head look. This was a risky move. In the movies this always looked super cool and lent the hero an element of joie de vivre, but would that translate to South Eastern Trains Coach number 3?
When I arrived at work I was to quickly learn lesson number two… hat hair!
Luckily my hair is relatively short so this wasn’t particularly a problem, a quick ruffle and it was sorted. Same goes for the forehead line, but this fades quite rapidly. I’m certain Doctor Jones never had these issues.
Another issue that I’m CERTAIN Henry Jones Jnr. never had to deal with was comments from the public. Now I realise he had much bigger problems, like evil villains trying to kill him and dodging giant boulders, but when you get that “Nice Hat” shout from a stranger you are left with a rather troubling internal conundrum that persists way beyond the time it takes you to give the stranger a simple nod of acknowledgement. Were they being sarcastic or did they genuinely think that your hat was nice?
So far I have only had to deal with this particular dilemma once and I must say that I was not expecting it so close to central London. I have a theory that the closer you get to London the less unusual anything you choose to wear becomes and likewise the chance of anyone commenting on it. Now out in the suburbs where I live I had been expecting a veritable barrage of verbal abuse, but have yet to receive a single mention. This particular comment came as I entered Vauxhall train station, now I know it’s not quite Shoreditch High Street, but it still seemed close enough to make the hat something unremarkable.
On Sunday the hat got an outing to the Olympic Stadium for a charity event. I wore it for the entire day. It shaded me from the sun and proved to be a fantastic marker for my daughter to find me in the crowd. I can also report that should you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of owning a Ford Galaxy, it is most definitely possible to drive around and still wear a hat. Headroom, it seems, was a priority to the designers at Ford. Pity they didn’t think more about build quality.
You can follow my day to day adventures with ‘Indi’ at twitter.com/stuartwitts or via the hashtag #lovemyhat, and if you feel inspired to purchase your very own quality headpiece, visit bates-hats.com and don’t forget to tell them Indiana sent you 😉