Talk to the Hat!

“Where’s your sense of adventure?”
“Er… I left it in my other pair of trousers!”

Anonym Erzherzog Karl II

How often do we do this? We mentally imbue a garment with a particular feeling, often the way we feel when we wear it. And then – and this is the part that I find particularly fascinating – we wear that item in order to recreate the feeling when we need it.

This post suggests assuming the persona of someone who would not be intimidated by whatever is intimidating you. Clothing, I believe, can be a very useful tool in doing this – even if you don’t have a specific person in mind.

For example, one might wear red to feel confident or powerful, when what one really wants to do is curl up under the covers with a sympathetic teddy bear.

Attributed to William Scrots - Elizabeth I when a Princess (1533-1603) - Google Art Project

Or a swishy dress to feel feminine, when one feels either bloated or brickish. Or a long coat when awesomeness is called for – and awesome is the opposite of what one feels.

Hats, I find, are particularly useful in this regard, as they are less tied to practicality – which is to say, they often don’t need to be getting another job done and can simply focus on producing the desired effect, whatever that may be.

Frivolous, intimidating, classy, mysterious, historical, “pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral” or indeed very nearly anything else. There is a hat for every mood.

Behold! A tragical-comical-historical-pastoral hat!

Similar, but slightly different, are what you might call superstitions about clothing. E.g. this is my lucky hat; these are the socks that won the America’s Cup; and so on. I don’t go in for it myself, because what if you lose the item? (Or your socks run pink in the wash?) You’re just going to psych yourself out.

Do you go in for mood- or mind-altering substances clothing? Are you superstitious about your socks? Would you dare to wear the t-c-h-p hat? Tell all!

5 Replies to “Talk to the Hat!”

  1. Having written the referred to piece, you alerted me to the mind altering clothing idea. I hadn’t used that one before as I pointed out. But then I thought well actually in some ways we use it all the time sub consciously. How about when we put on that great business suit and grow a few inches taller admiring our sharpness in the mirror? Or if you did something like Judo. I am sure the stance changes to a strong positive one when the garb goes on and one prepares for ‘battle.’

      1. I think the latter was her interpretation; from memory, I think she made the comment during (and with reference to relevant events in) a class immediately after a break, rather than first thing in the morning.

What do you think?