Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 4 October 2016
It must... exist
Auntumn has arrived, and as sure as Cro begins to fret about what to do with all that quince, I resume my search for the perfect hat, as worn by Basil above.
Now before you ask - no, it is not easy to find this hat. I have literally scoured the world for it, and I even tried to have it made for me by a hatter, but I did not have the heart to tell her that it wasn't quite right and I never wear it.
The hat she made fulfills all the criteria if you name them out loud: Tall crown; wide, rolling brim; heavy, tweed-like material, etc. but it just lacks the overall feel of generosity and relaxed confidence that the original had. It would better suit Robin Hood for wearing in Nottingham town, not forest.
Sometime this Summer (I always keep half an eye out for it all year round) I spotted a hat which was close to perfect in a vintage clothes shop. It was about 3 sizes too small, which - unless I was a midget - would have completely destroyed the feeling of generosity which is so essential. It perched on top of my head, rather than wrapping it up with a bit to spare.
For a few weeks afterwards, I went back to the shop and looked at it again, toying with it wistfully but never putting it on my head. I triple-checked that it could not be expanded magically in some way or let-out like a beloved pair of trousers, and the girl who works there expressed her sympathy.
Although I believe that I have reached the age to be able to get away with wearing a hat like this, I am well aware that it is all too easy to look like a complete twat in anything other than the right one. I am not obsessed with self-image, but if I do stand out in a crowd, I want it to be for the right reasons. I will give a generous cash prize to anyone who finds the right hat for me, but I warn you, you may not be as fine-tuned to it as I am.
Having spent around 10 years looking for it, I am beginning to think that I will just have to make it myself. I seem to be the only person who knows what I want.
The first thing to do is find the right fabric. It must be heavy enough to hold itself up without interfacing, but not hard and stiff. It must be the right colour. It must have no discernable check-pattern. It must...