May 2, 2021
"You know the photo. Like in the old Shepler's catalog: hire a model, put him or her in the clothes, and say 'and here's your hat...' and the hat is right out of the box unshaped, red and yellow chicken feather tuft in the hatband and all. 'Oh boy, that looks great,' says the photographer. 'Now hook your thumb in your belt loop. Good, good. Now put your hand on the hat like you're about to tip your hat. Good, good.' Gaaag. As if anybody who wears jeans and a hat as their regular dress has their thumb in their belt loop and is touching the brim of their hat.
"Nothing, and I mean nothing wrecks a hat faster than tugging the hat up or down by the brim. Nothing mangles the fibers of a crown faster than lifting and mashing on it. Does all that mangling on a good hat make the wearer look "authentic?" Nope. Makes the wearer look like an uninformed newbie. Does a person who's accustomed to daily hat wearing have a work hat that's dirty and maybe a little knocked out of shape? You bet. Did they make it that way on purpose? Nope.
"Here's the quiz. An experienced hat wearer touches their hat:
a) Putting the hat on (and they handle it by the base of the crown, and not by the crown or brim to do so.)
b) Taking the hat off (same handling)
c) While giving their hat a "snug-down" when the wind picks up, or as a rider heads into a higher level of activity. (same handling)
e) All of the above.
"If you answered 'e' you're probably not going to get hired to do that gunsel photo shoot. Breaks yer heart, don't it?"
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