The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

End hat hate

Rosalyn Schwanke
Young people bear the burden of trend-setting, so as the fashion pendulum swings again, the TikTok generation takes the lead. As these young people experiment with style and self-care, hats deserve a reevaluation. Whether plumed or knitted, these creative accessories belong on the heads of the fashionable.

For centuries, hats acted like a mainstay atop the heads of men, women and children alike. An uncovered head in certain settings seemed as uncouth as an uncovered ankle. These hats came in diverse styles, with unique trends for each decade and demographic. By the late 19th century, hats reached new heights — and widths — with women parading around in feathery fashion statements. Unfortunately, as the 20th century inched along, these creative accessories fell further and further out of vogue, making their way to the back of closets and costume trunks, only resurfacing for certain outdoor activities

“The millinery trade and hat wearing honestly reached its peak at the end of the Victorian era… because the millinery trade reached its essential peak of power, peak of influence and peak of negative impact. We actually have in the US the creation of the Audubon Society, and the Audubon Society was actually created in response to the millinery trade killing off too many birds that they were worried that the species were going to go extinct… but I think just this negative press that’s coming [around] WW1, it just kind of starts to set the tone, I think, of what is to come,” author and dress historian Abby Cox said.

Hats as a creative and visually appealing accessory to everyday outfits absolutely must come back. They offer creative expression, provide shade, polish off outfits, hide unfortunate hair days and help to regulate temperatures. Frankly, hats embody all that looks fun in the world, and the fabulosity must return.

Although those closed-off to cloches — and other hat styles — express a dislike for hats due to maneuverability, heat or comfort, these issues truly depend upon the style. Although a sizable straw hat may impede one’s ability to move in and out of a car, a beret would not. Similarly, beanies may trap a greater amount of heat during the summer, but maintain a comfortable warmth during winter. Comparatively, lightweight hats crafted from natural fibers or loosely woven fabrics ensure temperate wear. With regard to comfort, each hat brings a unique feeling to the donner, whether it feels like a warm hug or hellfire, beauty necessitates pain and the wearer must decide what they enjoy and what they can stand for style.

“I just love hats because they let me switch up my style whenever I feel like it, you know? Like, I can rock different vibes depending on the day. Plus, they’re super practical. [Hats] keep the sun out of my eyes or warm me up when it’s chilly outside. [You] can’t beat that,” magnet sophomore Allore Walters said.

Whether constructed from felt, feathers or fur, a funky hat can complete any outfit. Wearers love them for their adaptability and capacity to spice up an ordinary ensemble. These hats can turn into an incredibly recognizable part of an individual or piece of pop culture. For example, former First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat became a marker of the first lady and rose to popularity as a result. Similarly, John Hetherington brought the top hat to popularity in menswear starting in the late 1790s. Eventually following this, the hat became heavily associated with President Lincoln. Generation Z needs a new icon in style with a unique take on headwear, they need “something big… something that says I’m here, Beyonce.

Hats offer one additional attribute: to highlight the wearer’s creative style. They may originate as hand-made or manufactured, but with the right outfit, they can truly heighten a look. Hats can continue the line of a monotone look past the head, add texture to something otherwise plain, add a bit of vintage glamor to a modern look and hold infinite alternative uses.  

Brimmed hats also provide shade and sun protection to anyone who wears them outside. This perfectly ties into the increased aestheticization of skincare and the upcoming summer months. Hats practically act as cancer prevention, so the revival of such an accessory follows the self-care trend so eagerly popularized by young people.

Simply put, hats belong on the heads of the fashionable, and although not everyone can carry a feathery Victorian masterpiece with them each day, a simple something on the head adds a delightful pizzazz. This zing joins health and comfort benefits, as well as the joy of supporting local businesses, and turns hats into a superior article of clothing.

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About the Contributor
Rosalyn Schwanke
Rosalyn Schwanke, Reporter
Rosalyn Schwanke is a sophomore at NC. She adores vintage fashion and music. Though she now loves reading and writing, particularly poetry, in her earlier childhood she hated anything that made her crack open a book. Her personality differs wildly depending on her environment, but she wants to learn something from her environment no matter where she is. She is a member of several clubs around the school and outside of it and is the social media manager of the NC chapter of Key Club. Her free time is dominated by music, books, journaling, creating things and makeup. While the future seems foggy to her now, she knows she wants it to hold a positive impact, no matter the size. 

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