One of the odd sacrifices of our modern way of life is hats. Hats used to be everywhere. Everyone wore a hat every day. Just look at this 1940 painting by Jacob Lawrence. Do you see anyone not wearing a hat?
Why did everyone wear a hat? Because their hair was a greasy mess. Today we tend to shower more often than our ancestors, so we've dropped some of the layers of clothing that they preferred, including hats.
People still wear functional hats. Baseball players need to shade their eyes from the sun. Construction workers and football players need to protect their fragile skulls.
People also wear hats that form part of their uniform. The pope's hat is particularly famous, and the Queen's Guard wouldn't look right without their characteristic bear skin hats.
But outside of the occasional horse race, nobody wears big, fancy hats any longer. Like when was the last time you saw someone wearing hats like the ones worn by the Duke and Duchess of Urbino in this dual portrait by Piero della Francesca?
I think I'd look good in that giant red hat.
And anyway are we really better off showering every day? Between the dry skin and the lack of hats, I'm not entirely convinced.
Plus, showers are a massive waste of water and energy. I know I don't need to turn the hot knob all the way up, but I can't help myself. So the planet would be better off if we skipped a shower now and then.
And that would be much easier to do if I owned a few good hats. One artist who definitely liked a fancy hat was Rembrandt van Rijn. I had a hard time picking just the right self-portrait to feature in this post, but I think this hat with two feathers down the front would turn a few heads if someone was bold enough to bring it back.
So if you are a connoisseur of haberdashery, and you care about the planet, then do yourself a favor; buy a fancy hat and skip the shower.