Saturday, February 2, 2013
'Funny' hats and 'looking stupid'
I have a closet full of funny hats, winter and summer, that I've heard others say they wouldn't wear because it makes them look stupid.
I wear them, not because I think they make me look particularly smart but because they are warm or shed the sun or rain or some such reason.
The woolen helmet I'm wearing here is my warmest knitted hat. It is not only made of pure wool but is lined with fleece that stops the wind from blowing through my ears. This type of hat also has pigtails which took awhile for me to figure out their purpose. It is this: you can tuck the pigtails inside your coat which then keeps the flaps tight against your ears.
I like this system so much that I have three of these hats, all with different attributes. One, made in Nepal, has a bit of a brim which helps shield my eyes from the sun. It's good for moderately cold days as it isn't quite as warm as the above model. Another is made of alpaca. The fit varies from hat to hat and this figures greatly in their warmth.
Our former prime minister, Jean Chretien, once described this type of headwear as "a funny hat."
He was surprised at a public gathering one time by a protester wearing such a garment and Chretien siezed him by the throat.
"This guy in a funny hat was in my way, so I took him out," he said, to the best of my recollection.
I also have two winter Tilley hats. If you haven't seen these before they are woolen, relatively broad-brimmed hats with fold-up ear flaps. They even have a fold-up forehead flap. Those are my go-to-town hats. One is warmer than the other.
My absolute warmest hat is a sheepskin trapper or trooper style, made by Eglis in Dryden. This one is reserved for ice-fishing on windy days. It's the one in my blog profile photo.
I seldom wear tuques (if you're American you know these as stocking caps or knitted woolen caps or watch caps or ski caps. In Canada they are known everywhere as tuques -- pronounced two-ks). Comedian Brent Butt explains this term as one of necessity. It's so cold here we don't have time for a long name. "Hey, would you pass me my knitted wool..." I find tuques always leave the bottom of my ears exposed to the elements.
In summer I usually wear a Bow Narrows Camp ball cap but if I'm going fishing in the middle of the day I will switch to a Tilley broad-brimmed hat (I have three different models!) because it provides better shade. In really hot weather I prefer a broad-brimmed sea grass hat called the Forty Mile Per Hour Hat as it will stay on your head in a boat up to 40 mph. Instead of a drawstring under the chin it has a cord that snugs around the crown. It is a wide mesh that provides excellent ventilation although not as good of sun protection as the Tilleys.
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