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People don’t wear hats any more.

Except for baseball and stocking caps, men have foregone the headgear of yesteryear. Forgotten the fedora; banished the bowler. And women (except those attending the wedding of William and Kate or the opening of Ascot) have given up their heritage of head finery as well. This is just one more loss that I’ll have to accept with age and infirmity.

As an eBay addict, I can tell you there are a butt load of real photo postcard portraits of people up for auction, most of whom are tragically unidentified by either name or location. I can also tell you most of them are wearing hats!


Turn-of-the-century hats astound us with their audacity. This woman’s hat and car-length coat suggest an outing in the chevy roadster. Let’s hope her hatpins are firmly set; it would be a shame to lose such a finial. It would also be interesting to photoshop her into the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion. I suspect her anonymity will be shortlived; that she is destined to have been an Agincourt resident and to have a story worthy of that hat.

Then, of course, there are people and situations where chapeaux would only get in the way, as in this second card. There’s something going on here that cries out for explanation. Who is this happy hatless mono-bosomed woman? 


Fortunately, the card reveals her name, Etta, and the Presbyterian social she’s just served. I’m guessing the pies were delicious.

Oh, and more people need to be named Etta.

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