Hats in History: The Big Game
Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV might be the single biggest American sporting event of the year. Regardless of who you cheer for, millions will be watching it on TV and wishing they were there.
Watching people tailgate, line up to enter Cowboy Stadium or cheer their teams, you’ll notice a sharp contrast between modern fans and fans of yesteryear. In 2011, the fans are wearing an assortment of T-shirts, sweatshirts and ball caps. Yet 80, or even 40, years ago, every game was a big game. Ladies wore nice dresses, and men wore suits, ties and a vast array of dress hats and caps.
This photograph of the 1913 World Series at the Polo Grounds in New York is a priceless contrast to today’s fans. News service telegraph operators and fans are all decked out in great outfits. Just look at all the hats! Men are wearing fedoras, bowlers, newsboy caps, pork pie hats and skimmers (a.k.a. boaters). It was the same for football, except they’d add overcoats, scarves and gloves to the mix to battle the cold.
You might see a handful of stylish people wearing a hat other than a ball cap at this year’s Super Bowl, but wouldn’t it be fun to re-establish a classier look. Try it. Every trend starts with one person. Start with a nice hat at your next event and work your way down with the clothes as you feel comfortable.
As you can see, I took the first step while attending the first college football game at Wrigley Field since 1938. It was the Northwestern Wildcats vs. the Fighting Illini. (Does the purple give away my team preference?) I decided to go all out with a three-piece suit topped by a navy blue Biltmore Eleganza fedora. Let me tell ya., layers at a game near the Chicago lakefront in late November are the most amazingly wonderful thing. I was happy to see a couple other people in some nice ivies, newsboys and fedoras, but I seemed to be the only one to go all out in full retro garb.
If you are lookin’ to give it a try, basketball and hockey are still in full swing. Best of all, pitchers and catchers report for spring training in just two weeks! Our winter suffering will end soon!
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