I am making boater hats happen. Not the stingy, almost brimless straw fedora that’s so hip right now, or the soft and sunny panama, but the flat topped, flat brimmed, braided straw boater with the grosgrain band. I’m making them happen because that’s what FDR would do.
So far, 90% of the compliments I’ve received on mine have been from black men who would never look at me if I weren’t wearing the hat they never realized they always wanted. One man stopped me at a street corner to congratulate me, and as he was leaving, an English man approached and asked if I had been getting compliments on my boater. I could see in his eyes that he thought I was yet another fashion-whore vulgar ironic preppy shitbag American, and I was like, “look, Peter Fallow, no one cares that you’re too cool to wear a tie unless the pattern is too small to see. This is America! We are not subtle! (!)”
It matches everything. It looks equally at home on Tom Wolfe and a street musician beating on upturned paint buckets.
I can take it off indoors and use it to fan my dewy face. It’s vintage and awesome, but there is nothing hip about it. You can’t wear it ironically. Is FDR ironic? Anne of Green Gables? Fred Astaire? No one could be more sincere about this hat. I’m a Gibson Girl with a short skirt. I’m Alice in Wonderland. I’m a suffragette. I’m doing a shameless walk of shame home from the Kennedy campaign.
I’m F. Scott Fitzgerald serious about this hat. The other day I saw a woman wearing a boater, a yellow tennis sweater and chinos, and I hurried over to say, “Oh my God, are you Jordan Baker??” but then I ran into a window because it turned out it was my own reflection.
A few words of warning:
1) Ladies, you will need a sizable forehead to make this hat work.
2) You shouldn’t wear it with flip-flops.
3) It perches up high on your head, so you can wear it with a ponytail.
To be honest, I’m torn about bringing back this resplendent 100+ year old unisex fashion answer. Part of me wants to see everyone finally recognize that this is the thing that’s been missing from their head, and part of me wants to keep it all for myself.