Haberdashing through the… snow?

No, no, that’s not quite right.

Anyway, I’ve mentioned this before but never in any real detail: Something horrible has happened to me over the past year or two. Somehow, my dearly beloved wife tricked me into caring about clothing and fashion and stuff. I never wanted this to happen, but she wore down my defenses by subjecting me to shows like “What Not To Wear” and “Project Runway” and using subtle feminine wiles to make me self-conscious about the fact that I was a grown man wearing video game T-shirts to work (though in my defense, that’s pretty much a mandatory uniform in the industry I work in). The final blow to my resistance came last Thanksgiving when we stopped in a hat store near Nolita.

“We should stop here,” she said. “I bet you’d look good in a hat.”

“I could never wear a hat,” I said. “That’s just stupid.” Then she put this one hat on me and both she and her brother agreed it was perfect. And it kind of was. But I also realized that if I wore a nice hat with jeans and a video game T-shirt I’d be deplorable, so I promptly commenced completely replacing my wardrobe with nice clothes. Is it weird to completely change your entire closet around a single accessory? Probably, but I suppose the hat was really just the final echo that set loose an avalanche. Also, it helps that I live a few blocks away from the world’s most amazing Goodwill, where well-to-do Chinese doctors retire their very nice designer-label clothing after a season of light wear, and I can buy well-made, well-kept garments for like three bucks apiece. It’s kind of ridiculous.

Of course, the real reason I like the hat is because my bald spot has grown awfully large in the past couple of years.

Anyway, if you’d told me a year ago that I’d be pretty happy when Cat got this for me:

…I’d have called you a damn liar. Now, though, I’m like, “Hey, that’s a pretty interesting hat.” Worse, I wear ties to work. Voluntarily! With nice jackets and sometimes slacks! I don’t understand what I have become.

But, on the plus side, you can’t see my bald spot anymore. So that’s something.

30 thoughts on “Haberdashing through the… snow?

      • An insulting one, too! Good to hear people think I was promoted because I look nice, not because I was a suitable candidate for the job.

      • Perhaps “contributed” would have been a better word than “led”. I have no doubt you deserve the job; your writing skill and work ethic are incredible. I also have no doubt that your clothing helped out a bit.

  1. Yeah, I saw you wearing a hat in an 1UP vid and I thought: “Man, It’s really possible to wear a hat in a cool way”.

    Thanks for the trick explanation

  2. I think I’ve almost come to grips with personal hair loss. Almost. Maybe.

    For a long time, I didn’t understand why people who were going bald wore hats. I assumed that hair was basically like a plant, growing from the fertile soil of your scalp.

  3. Great hat.

    No really, it is – the fuzz on the top of my skull isn’t as luscious as it was a few years back, so a good hat makes all the difference to scalded scalps and other sorts of fashionable sensibilities. My wife actively encourages such things. She’s wonderful like that :)

  4. When I figured out that the best look is clothes that fit, my wardrobe of XL video game T-shirts I got as swag was replaced.

  5. Yeah, I also like wearing a tie to work.

    It helps make me feel more comfortable since this is the first non-blue collar job I’ve ever had. I’m looking forward to the weather cooling off so I can start wearing ties again.

    How thick of a tie do you wear? Skinny/narrow or regular?

  6. A few months ago I bought my first baseball cap since I was about 15. Going in the opposite direction for similar reasons.

  7. My accounting teacher wears a similar hat. It either commands respect or makes you look like a complete tool.

    I’d look like a tool. Perhaps one day…

  8. Dammit, I was hoping to get that hat unlock first!

    Actually, I don’t recall you being that badly dressed during the old 1up shows.

    • Almost never, except in big public spaces like malls or convention centers. I’m trying to take the old-school approach to manners to go along with the old-school millinery.

  9. It´s funny to read this, since yesterday I was watching this movie with my girlfriend called “Crazy Stupid Love” and after we walked out of the movie theater I end up buying two hats and a couple of shirts just because I tought “If Steve Carell could pull it off then I have a shot”…also I´m starting to get some extra hairless space in my head so…yeah, hats.

    • Funny you should mention that. Watching Crazy Stupid Love armed with my newfound comprehension of fashion was the moment I finally realized how much Hollywood uses clothing and costuming as visual shorthand for characterization.

  10. I’ve been thinking about getting a hat like Orlando’s from Catherine, but it would probably require a jacket like his to look right.

    • Plaid hats like that are really tough to pull off. You gotta be super confident to sell that look. (I’m not that confident.)

  11. I dunno, I don’t find it crazy. But then I pretty much did the same thing when I realized I liked nice shoes.

  12. “Haberdash”. I wish I could find some reference that specifically connects that word specifically to hats (instead of men’s clothing/accessories in general).

  13. I still wear game shirts because I lack the gear that’s supposed to make me understand fashion. I keep getting game shirts for free, and that means less money spent on a wardrobe.

  14. Face it, a hat is a genetic thing in this family. Your granddad and great-grand always wear/wore hats when they went out. The strangest thing for me is you wearing a tie to work. When did you finally get the hang of tying one?

    When you start wearing shirts with french cuffs w/cufflinks we’ll know you really got your granddad’s genes for sure.

    • Ha! Most of the Banana Republic shirts I have are French cuffs, and I’ve gotten quite a bit of use out of the monogrammed links Grandpa gave me years and years ago. He’s really been a big inspiration for all of this. Sometimes I catch my reflection in a window and see him reflected too, and it really makes me happy.

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