When you start looking into old photographs (probably the ones in black and white), or the old classic movies, you will see almost all men wearing hats. You will get to hear this quite often from the elderlies of the household saying that men do not dress the way they used to in the olden days. Hats were really a part of the overall get up in the 1900s. It was as important as your shirt and pant in these days. The question that pops up in one’s head is why did men stop wearing hats? Was it only because of fashion change or some other factors leading to this. Well, till date there has not been any definite answer to this. But a lot of possibilities have developed to showcase why the downfall of hats had occurred.
1. Personal Transportation
In the 1900s most people used to walk or use public transport to reach their destinations like office or store or so. So as to keep the head covered due to cold or dirt, people preferred wearing hats. But when people started owing their own vehicle, which generally was low roofed, the requirement of wearing hats diminished. Also, due to the low roof, the headspace really would crunch if a person wore hat. Even with these points, cultural shift played an important role.
2. Advent of a strong leader
Presidents prior to John F Kennedy, wore hats. But he hardly wore hats. He changed the trend of wearing hats. He was considered to be one of the most charismatic personality of that time. People wanted to follow him, his style and so. People replicated him and hats were off the table.
3. Generation change
In the 1970s, many young people started to change and protest the hard and stringent rules and regulation of the early days. When evergreen people like the James Dean, The Beatles, Elvis and other fashion icon was in the that time, people idolized them and wanted to look like them. This was the time when the older fashion was undergoing change and a newer trend was hatched. The trend included no more use of hats, men started having long hair, experimented their look with mustaches, beard and other hairstyles. The old fashion was just not fitting to put these new pieces together. So, it was completely replaced for a fresh and fun fashion trend.
Personal hygiene became an important focus on the late 1900s. It is said that earlier people used to wash their hair only once a week. This became a key point of poor hygiene. Since hair washes was not done as often as we do it these days, people wore hat to keep the dust and dirt away. When people started to worry about hair care, and hair washes, treatments and styling of hair became important in terms of hygiene or get up, the requirement of hats became redundant.
With the ever changing game of fashion, you never know when hats will be popular and trendy again. Just like old days!