The Indispensable Hat

| 6/30/2014 8:55:00 AM

Tags: Hats, Baseball Caps, Straw Hats, Felt Hats, Cowboy Hats, Summer, Winter, Renee-Lucie Benoit,

Renee-Lucie BenoitThere’s nothing as indispensable for an article of clothing as a hat. Gloves, rugged jeans and good boots are also indispensable, but hats have a special place. Certain types of clothing are really part of your tool kit, but they also make a statement and add panache. This is a hat. Life is good but not as good without a hat. I think this is true everywhere but it’s especially so on a ranch. Doubly so on a ranch in triple-digit weather.

Now within the hat genre is a wide range of brand and construction. Different types are useful for different jobs. One thing that is not negotiable about a hat is that it must have a brim. A brim is mandatory. The elements are always exerting themselves on you and the brim of a hat shields you even better than a good pair of sunglasses. Your eyes can function better without that visual barrier. Unless of course you’re nearsighted and, if that’s the case, what can I say? You have to do what you have to do and wear glasses. I’m kind of on the cusp. I can sort of see close up. So I’d rather wear the hat and no glasses. I’ll put them on only if I have to. My distance vision is pretty good so all in all I’d just as soon wear the hat alone. If I sit on my hat, I can re-shape it. If I sit on my glasses, it’s quite annoying.

I have a bunch of hats in different styles for every type of weather or job and fashion statement. I have the Maine lumberman, kind-of-backwoods, red-plaid wool baseball cap with the sewn-in earflaps lined with shearling. This is good for the sub-zero temperatures when you have to make a trek to the woodpile. And because it’s red, I can find it quickly. Not only that but people can see you a mile off and not mistake you for the odd caribou or wild pig that they may be hunting. I feel like Elmer Fudd when I wear it.


(image courtesy of Wilderness Woolies)

I have another fleece-lined ear-flap hat. Ear-flap hats make me very happy on cold winter days. This particular one is the kind of hat that snowboarders use. I use it every morning in winter. It attaches under my chin with Velcro so it stays put on my head and ears. It covers most of my neck, too, which is an added benefit. The wind can’t get in when I’m up on a hay wagon and the wind is blowing something fierce. I wish it looked more like this hat. Or that hat.

7/7/2014 11:10:45 AM

I completely agree with you! I have a few of those toasty warm "aviator" hats with the ear flaps that I couldn't live without once the razor sharp winter winds kick up. And my straw hat is like a best friend during the hot months. The way I figure it - once I sweat into that old straw hat enough, the sweat line will disappear completely leaving me with a completely different colored hat! Same goes for logos and advertising. If a company made a high quality hat, I'd probably consider wearing it, but since most often a company is simply using your head for free advertising, they provide shoddy or low-quality merchandise. I'd prefer NOT to advertise and wear something that suits my style. Come to think of it, isn't it just plain strange that a logo would appear on an article of clothing? I mean, we don't sit down to tables for dinner that have logos in the middle of them, and our pillows don't have logos on them. In a way, it's just bad fashion to paste a nasty old logo on a hat. Great article. I look forward to more!

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!