What hat should a stylish, poor musician/poet wear?
September 12, 2013 6:38 AM   Subscribe

Asking for a character. I'm a chick and sartorially challenged when it comes to hats. Surely not the infamous fedora?

The guy is a love interest and the hat impresses the protagonist. It is something that a stylish guy who primarily shops at thrift stores for clothes. Also, I would like to describe an interesting kind of band around the hat. Is that called a hatband?

posted by angrycat to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (26 answers total)
Sorry, the time is the 2006
posted by angrycat at 6:39 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

How about a porkpie?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:41 AM on September 12, 2013

This question has some confusing antecedents!

To clarify, the stylish thrift-store-shopping man is the one who is wearing this hat to successfully impress a lady?
posted by emilyw at 6:43 AM on September 12, 2013

Just have him wear a flatcap like these from Kangol.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:50 AM on September 12, 2013

I think you want a porkpie, like Rock Steady says, if you want it to have an interesting band. Other options are a bowler or a newsie type hat, (also called a coach cap) but that doesn't have a band.

GQ had a good guide to men's hat styles that I can't find right now, but I remember it was linked in an Ask a while back.
posted by catatethebird at 6:51 AM on September 12, 2013

Sorry, I forgot you wanted a hatband (yes, that's what they're called).

I've always thought a porkpie looks a bit goofy, lacking a crown. I'd vote trilby, which is a cousin of the Fedora with a stingy brim.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:55 AM on September 12, 2013

Definitely a flat cap, but not from Kangol. That's too... Samuel L. Jackson. Think tweed and slightly shabby; those are more something that would come from a thrift store. Trilbies, fedoras, and the ilk are all too douché.
posted by The Michael The at 6:59 AM on September 12, 2013

Turtleneck, newsie cap, really old brogues.

Stylish and fedora are mutually exclusive.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:09 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

A trilby is a sort of fedora-lite option that would have the band element you want.

Overall, though...the thing is, I feel like a modern hats no longer signify dashing and masculine in a Humphrey Bogart kind of a way. They signal quirky and idiosyncratic, with a touch a femininity or goofyness --- Duckie in Pretty in Pink, Mick Jagger in the Waitin' On A Friend video. I don't know if you can use a hat anymore to signal mysterious, brooding alpha-male sensuality, thought think you could evoke goofy-cute or countrified cute.

If you're going in the latter direction, you could do a Stetson or a slouch hat, for a kind of Dylan on the cover of Nashville Skyline, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros vibe. That look basically demands a scraggly beard, though.

On the other hand, if he's cool in a hip hop way you could maybe do a Kangol or a bucket hat. Or more rarely, a Dwayne Wayne biker cap, but that's a sort of early 90s neon vibe.
posted by Diablevert at 7:12 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

yeah, sorry, the thrift-store man is wearing the hat.

thanks so far, all! Will have to consider all answers carefully.
posted by angrycat at 7:20 AM on September 12, 2013

- A mesh-backed baseball cap with "FUNK" emblazoned on the front and a "Ninja" enamel lapel pin attached to the side: every hipster band ever.

- A wool Irish cap: Bassist for a Hot Jazz ensemble
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:25 AM on September 12, 2013

What kind of musician is he? That's going to affect his hat choices. Musician/poet sounds like jazz, maybe? Hiphop? If you have an idea of who his musical influences would be, then you could look at the hats they wear and assume he would want to copy them/look like them.
posted by emjaybee at 7:39 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

Ask Tom Waits?
posted by longbaugh at 7:53 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]

Agreed that type of music should dictate the kind of hat, or at least it will give you a sense of what each style of hat denotes.
posted by wemayfreeze at 8:11 AM on September 12, 2013

Hm. 2006? Musician? Thrift store?

While the boater/pork pie/flat cap look has become ubiquitous to the point of not sticking out *now*, in 2006 I think it would stick out a little more. Every guy with a banjo busking on the street had on some version of a boater/pork pie/flatcap, and you can put crazy/interesting stuff in the band. A Boater screams "I would like to live in new Orleans and play American traditional music, come let us brew our own beer together." A flat cap is more conservative but still hits the "I probobly own at least one vest" note, along with the vague Celtic-y associations they have.

Trilbys never ever good good on anyone. Ever. Not even trained professionals who have spent their lives working on this. Just don't.

Bowlers have a mess of connotations for UK readers as they are something of an arch-traditionalist costume trotted out for nationalist celebrations. A bowler on a young guy would have the same effect on me as seeing a young kid with a briefcase, "This person probobly has very strange ideas about authority and tradition." But it depends on context.

Also, as mentioned before, the hat could be personalized, a big cheap puffy hat all decorated with stunds and spikes and multi-colored design elements like he raided the costume department of the Super Mario Brothers movie - that would totally read as "hip, arty, connected to upcoming trends" to me.
posted by The Whelk at 8:24 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have seen hipster-musician-thrifter types wearing hats akin to these civil war style hats.
posted by fancyoats at 8:49 AM on September 12, 2013

Surely this chap would look dashing in a panama.
posted by BenPens at 8:50 AM on September 12, 2013

I can speak form experience that Panama hats really only work if you're committed to the whole "I may or may not be Arms dealer" white linen suit deal or "Drunk dad on vacation" Hawaiian shirt and shorts deal. A Panama on it's own is just kind of random (although eye-catching for sure, but not what I'd call "dashing" by itself.)
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]

Flat cap.

That said, I think 2006 is a little before the recent hat obsession among the style conscious. Certainly trilbies, pork-pies, and panamas were not really a thing in '06 unless you're trying to establish that this dude is EXTREMELY fashion forward.

Definitely nothing that seems kinda 19th century -- that whole "the dream of the 1890s is alive in Portland" aesthetic is very 2012.

Honestly it could even be a knit toque or some kind of beret, though you say you want a hatband.
posted by Sara C. at 9:30 AM on September 12, 2013

If the look can be casual, how about a beanie with a small pin or diy patch on it as the detail of interest? That's a fairly common look and would have been in 2006 too.
posted by susanvance at 10:21 AM on September 12, 2013

I've rarely seen flat caps in US thrift shops: that may be a regional thing for the SE, but it's all brimmed here, ranging from cowboy hats to various fedora/porkpie/trilby styles.

I'm actually going to suggest something like a ushanka, or a sheepskin cap, if your characters are in a climate with chilly winters. Ear flaps, but tied up. No hatband, but plenty of room for a badge/emblem. Whatever furry creature gave up its pelt for it died a long, long time ago.
posted by holgate at 11:18 AM on September 12, 2013

I think you would first need to define "stylish"; a lot depends on the particular age & subculture.

In 2006, one group of men would have considered fedoras stylish, while another would have considered them douchey. Similarly with flat caps, though I think the objection might be less douchey-ness and more mainstreamy-ness. Some kinds of baseball caps, I think, have been consistently in style for the last 10+ years. Large-weave knit caps are an option to consider, too, as are unusual hats that one might come across in a thrift store or grandparents' attic. Think: hunter's cap, costume hat, cop hat, Gilligan, etc.

YMMV, IANAFashionBlogger.

Personally, I don't think there are any really great ways for a man to wear a hat and be stylish. Best advice I got when polling friends about what kind of hat to get: "Don't get a hat."
posted by univac at 1:25 PM on September 12, 2013

Just re-read the question and saw the thrift store part. Go with unique, like a sea captain's hat or Little Mermaid baseball cap or furry pink ears or something. Part of the motivation with wearing things like that is to demonstrate that you have the confidence to do it without fear of looking "weird." Hence, your protagonist is impressed.
posted by univac at 1:29 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Well, a musician could certainly have fixated on the pork pie hat at any time in recent memory, whether they were fashionable or not. But a http://www.natashascafe.com/html/sailorcap.html is exactly the sort of thing our down-at-the-heels musician would have fixated on at that thrift store.
posted by mr vino at 2:46 PM on September 12, 2013

In 2k13? BUCKET HAT. trust
posted by puppetsock at 2:52 PM on September 12, 2013


The character will wear a porkpie hat. Because of music reasons.

And I'm marking all of your answers best answers. Thank you.
posted by angrycat at 6:52 AM on September 13, 2013

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