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Who Killed Men's Hats?
NPR ^ | May 4, 2012 | Robert Krulwich

Posted on 05/13/2012 7:42:53 PM PDT by Eyes Unclouded

...

So what happened? Why did guys stop wearing headgear in midcentury America?

The turning point, most people say, was John F. Kennedy's inauguration. Before Kennedy, all presidents wore top hats on their first day at work. Kennedy brought one, but hardly ever put it on. Fashionistas say Kennedy, one of our most charismatic presidents, made hats un-happen. And, chronologically speaking, after JFK, guys everywhere, even balding ones like astronaut John Glenn, went topless.

But I am the son of a hat designer. And my father, Allen S. Krulwich, had a different explanation. The president who de-hatted America, he thought, was Dwight Eisenhower.

Here's my dad's logic.

In the 1950s — and this was one of Ike's grand accomplishments — he built a vast highway system across America. Interstates went up everywhere. Cities extended roads, turnpikes, highways, and suburbs appeared around every major city. People, instead of taking a bus, a tram, a train to work, could hop into their new Chevy or Ford and drive.

Before Eisenhower, many more people used public transportation. After Eisenhower, they used a car. That, my father thinks, created the critical Head-To-Roof Difference.

A person of average height standing in a bus, tram or subway car has, roughly, three feet between the top of his head and the roof.

(Excerpt) Read more at npr.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: fashion; hat; hats; males; npr; stetson; trends
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To: Salamander

Oooh! Eye candy! Thank you for the ping.


41 posted on 05/13/2012 8:36:56 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: Eyes Unclouded

Ike never wore a hat.. and I cannot imagine Harry Truman in a top hat so I did not bother to look for an image of his inauguration. But what the hell..

I looked and damn, there he and VP Barkley both with top hats.

"Eisenhower was the first president to eschew the top hat and tails. . . . "

42 posted on 05/13/2012 8:37:15 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: Errant

No, I know who he is. I see other people doing the same ‘shtick’. All hat and no cattle. It reminds me of the gansta outfit sop.


43 posted on 05/13/2012 8:37:34 PM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: Snickering Hound

She was one ofthe first girls I looked at and thought she needed to eat a few burgers.


44 posted on 05/13/2012 8:37:58 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: Eyes Unclouded
Who Killed Men's Hats?

The long hairstyles for men of the 1960s and 1970s.

45 posted on 05/13/2012 8:39:42 PM PDT by Will88
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To: Eyes Unclouded

I wish the the fedora hat would come back for men. So classy and a style for every man and taste.


46 posted on 05/13/2012 8:40:01 PM PDT by OSHA (One despises and wants to destroy the United States, the other is a dead terrorist.)
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To: Theoria
You don't know what you've missed...

Larry the Cable Guy!

;)

47 posted on 05/13/2012 8:40:33 PM PDT by Errant
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To: Eyes Unclouded
"You got a problem with my hat? Well, do ya, punk?"


48 posted on 05/13/2012 8:40:54 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: Eyes Unclouded

Men who didn’t have the guts to wear hats despite what the culture said.


49 posted on 05/13/2012 8:42:47 PM PDT by InvisibleChurch (I am the margin of error.)
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To: Eyes Unclouded
Until cars became the dominant mode of personal transport, there was no architectural reason to take your hat off between home and office.

More on the connection between hats and being regularly out in the weather:

People who take trams to work walk several blocks to the metro station, and then the several blocks from the metro to their office.

And they do it every day, whatever the weather, rain, shine, snow, sleet, whatever. So, the hat has a practical purpose. When you start driving, you're out of the weather from your front door to the parking garage to the office. Average office workers simply aren't out in the weather for longer than it takes to walk from the parking lot to the lobby door. That killed the hat.

50 posted on 05/13/2012 8:45:35 PM PDT by marron
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To: Errant
Funny. Minus, schtick. ;)
51 posted on 05/13/2012 8:45:35 PM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: Cicero
No longer.

Good.

Clothing ought to be practical, not overly fanciful / idiotic. Function over fashion.

52 posted on 05/13/2012 8:47:14 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: Theoria

Touche :)


53 posted on 05/13/2012 8:48:45 PM PDT by Errant
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To: agrarianlady
I suspect it was better hair hygiene.

I think you might have a point there. It wasn't until the latter part of the 20th Century that washing your hair daily was something most people did. I guess why bother if nobody is ever going to see it.


54 posted on 05/13/2012 8:51:18 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: agrarianlady
I suspect it was better hair hygiene.

I think you might have a point there. It wasn't until the latter part of the 20th Century that washing your hair daily was something most people did. I guess why bother if nobody is ever going to see it.


55 posted on 05/13/2012 8:51:18 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: James C. Bennett
Clothing ought to be practical, not overly fanciful / idiotic. Function over fashion.

I couldn't agree with you more! And one usually leads to the other.

56 posted on 05/13/2012 8:54:03 PM PDT by Errant
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To: SamAdams76

Flavor Flav ...; http://www.google.com/imgres?q=flavor+flav&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1015&bih=626&tbm=isch&tbnid=nOs5B5r2Cek38M:&imgrefurl=http://www.metrolyrics.com/tags-flavorflav.html&docid=N3MXjLhKYuL7VM&imgurl=http://netstorage.metrolyrics.com/artists/large/1162700707/flavor%252520flav.jpg&w=466&h=698&ei=cYKwT_LxMZTPiAKMm_SEBA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=518&vpy=227&dur=5451&hovh=275&hovw=183&tx=103&ty=160&sig=113888895948478504498&page=2&tbnh=137&tbnw=104&start=19&ndsp=24&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:19,i:188


57 posted on 05/13/2012 8:59:39 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: Eyes Unclouded

Kennedy & Eisenhower, I believe.

58 posted on 05/13/2012 8:59:49 PM PDT by Errant
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To: Errant

59 posted on 05/13/2012 9:09:34 PM PDT by Errant
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To: bigbob

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2QJvc_SxFQ&sns=em


60 posted on 05/13/2012 9:10:10 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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