Saturday, April 30, 2011

Straw Hats-Linen...and Sunscreen

Last Monday was a somber day for me. LFG was back in school after one of our typically great weeks of vacation debauchery. Debauchery defined as less than rigorous hygiene demands, no curfew and bad food. But at some point we all have to re-engage in more structured and responsible deportment. And I re-engaged Monday morning in linen…with the pastiest ankles to accompany my favorite fabric. It’s only April so the ankle color is similar in shade to the trouser.
And the rest of my rig needed to be a bit less fuzzy in keeping with Monday’s somber nature. Earth tones topped off with a brown polka dot pocket square.  One of my house-model Flussers… 3/2 rolled open patch pockets… seemed appropriate.
Which brings me to the other driver of Monday’s somberness…my skin. I’ve abused it in every way possible since I was old enough to seek the sun and it now shows. I’ve seen sixty year old sun avoiders with healthier, younger skin than mine. I get rather pasty in the winter but can get brown as a berry in the summer…and I always have until now. Sunscreen? Cursory daubs from time to time but I spent my life from birth till now doing all the summertime things that damage your skin. I wore a porn star mustache briefly in 1979 but no sunscreen. 

So I took the Metro on Monday morning to a Dermatologist office in D.C. I knew the lashing I was gonna get before ever meeting this very nice and almost too young to be out of her residency, Dermatologist. I had, luckily, only a few pre-cancerous little visitors that needed to be looked at and all will be fine…if I avoid the sun. A little zap here and a couple of prescriptions later and she’ll see me in a couple of months…right in the middle of sun tan time. Oy.
Which brings me to the issue of hats. I’ve never worn a straw dress hat. My spiritual and pragmatic mentor Toad is the hat king. But as soon as I saw this picture of Tommy Hitchcock in his straw pork pie hat, I declared that if I could ever find one of that caliber, I might give it a go. I love the dichotomy of straw and madras topping off Hitchcock in his camel hair Polo coat.  
But even with my level of not giving a shitake about rules and my love of all things fuzzy, I’ve never peered over into the straw-dress hat realm. Some people were born for hats. Toad seems as straw hat-esque as anyone.
Some people can sport esoteric straw hats with panache and aplomb. People ask me about this picture when they visit but I have nothing to provide. I don't know anything about this fella other than I bet he'd be fun at cocktail parties.
Some folks should leave straw hat esoterica to those who can execute on eccentricity.
So I’m walking to the Dermatology office and the sun is beating down on my head and I can feel it. Really feel it…the hair back there ain’t what it used to be. I encounter the windows of J.Press at about the same time and their hats are appropriately sitting in the windows. I’d already decided to stop in on them during my walk back from the Derm office. I needed to get a gift for a buddy.
This guy was having lunch at a place right beside J.Press and I immediately saw his rig as more ADG centric than if he’d had a straw hat on. Seersucker and a baseball hat…certainly more my speed.
So I go for my scolding and my medicine and sulk back over to J. Press. Gift shirt and a couple of grosgrain watch bands in hand and I’m ready to roll. And then I begin looking at hats. Not these. I’ll wear baseball caps before I don these Trad yet goofball looking things.
But the little modified brim Porkpie provokes me a bit. Coincidentally, it matches my outfit and it isn’t one of those, albeit perhaps aptly priced, three-hundred dollar things. It’s fairly cheap. And I don’t think it looks too absurd when I give it a go.
So I’m now headed to the Farragut North Metro stop in a Porkpie straw hat.
 I’m good with it. Really, I mean how much more self-conscious could a guy like me become after donning this straw topper? None actually. Remember, I’m the guy who wears slippers, outside of the house. Shut up.
So I’m thinking...even with a Dermatologist slathered red nose, that I’m pulling this look off ok.
 Let me know if I’m hallucinating.
And finally, just another shot of my complementary Flusser/Polo/Edward Green contrivance. Open patch pockets always get my attention.
Two inch cuffs. Don't argue this with me. Coarse-weave linen, flat front Polo togs and my EG Koss charity shoes.
Ok, off to soccer. With sunscreen. And a purple nose.



Gretchen said...

Sir, while the hat is stunning and the overall look quite fetching, there's one problem. The brim won't actually keep the sun off your face, ears, or neck. Spool, sun damage will continue to accrue. It takes some major getting used to, wearing hats, so perhaps this one can be your "starter" model?

Sam W. said...

You pull of the Porkpie quite naturally. It's the less stingy Dick Tracy brimmed ones I'd be wary of (even if they're more practical in the way of sun protection).

Anonymous said...

Ed Norton lives!

Oh grief, I would never have selected this for you, I'd have selected a pith helmet before a porkpie, and a panama before a pith. But then, this is your point proven in "Hey Momma, let's buy Daddy a Hat," is it not. As Gretchen says, it ain't gonna cut the sun's rays; and I will add, no, not one bit. I'm most troubled by the fact that Sinsayshun would love this hat, and why not, she has seen enough of it at the truck stops. Darling: if you aren't just kidding the heck out of us, then find the receipt and get that thing out of the house, and for God's sake do not let it into the vintage Mercedes.

Anonymous said...

Porkpie hats..........when 75% of the tattooed hipsters in the lower garden district sport them, when Britney Spears wouldn't be caught dead without one, jeeez, if Charlie Sheen wouldn't have a tryst with any of his porn star gals without donning one....when Meyer the Hatter cannot keep them in stock, it is time to reconsider, to think really, really hard about balance, sensibility, etc.

James said...

I'm afraid I'm highly prejudiced.I think most men look dashing in a hat. And you certainly are that! Like Toad I love to wear hats for any and all occasions. I don't look as good as our Mayberry Guru, but I'll bet I have as much fun.

Anonymous said...

"when 75% of the tattooed hipsters in the lower garden district sport them, when Britney Spears wouldn't be caught dead without one, jeeez, if Charlie Sheen wouldn't have a tryst with any of his porn star gals without donning one....when Meyer the Hatter cannot keep them in stock"


Silk Regimental said...

Rakish for sure! You remind me of a crack reporter for Daily News or Dustimus Dawson, 5th Avenue Private Eye -- Wear it in good health sir.

Toad said...

I think I'd pay to never see another picture of you in a baseball hat. The straw becomes you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Flo. You're very kind.

Anonymous said...

For serious skin protection, I recommend a Brent Black Panama; not at all inexpensive but provide great protection and style.

T said...

Sorry to wax vulgar, but that hat is completely t*ts. It just had to be said.
I always envied people who were able to tan...apparently my forbears spent the bulk of their time humping around bogs though, so the best I can hope for is "British Lop with a mild case of jaundice" as far as bronzing is concerned.

ADG said...

T-Bone...You aren't waxing vulgar. Just waxing.

jrandyv...I knew Brent Black Panama...back in '73.


SilkReggie...thanks. LFG is working on a pair of paint splatter pants for you.

Flo...I can take it.

Anon...Balance? Sensibility? Tattoos?

Flo...everything I do is for Sinsayshun.


Sam W. ... thanks.

Gretchen...I realize it won't protect my face. I have new salves for that. It's my bald spot that was burning.

Main Line Sportsman said...

"It looks good on you though"

Summer is a Verb said...

The hat looks smashing Thurston. Now, pick up the coconut phone and order that Skinceuticals SPF 30 I recommended! XXOO Lovey

Anonymous said...

I have a tan Father and a very white Mother (Welsh, Irish and English mix). Three sister who turn a lovely shade of brown in the sun and then there is me, a total albino. Growing up in San Diego I used to envy my sisters as my Mother would just turn them loose as soon as we got to the beach and me, well, she would make me stand still for 5 minutes while she slathered me from top to bottom with the highest spf she could find. Sigh. Of course now that we are all in our thirties and forties... Well, I may not be the youngest, but I am the only one who has not had botox. Does that sound braggerish? Sorry. But there is so little to brag about when everyone else is such a yummy brown and my legs are blinding.... BTW, you look very nice in the hat. I like it.

David V said...

First: Congratulations on wearing a real hat. I hope to never see you in another.
Second: Looks very good. Nice balance. A wider brim, 1 7/8" to 2", would afford more sun protection but all in good time.
Third: Ain't a pork pie. Its a C Crown. A very nice shape. keep that in mind when looking for your next one.
Forth: There will be a next one. Hat buying is a slippery slope. Enjoy the ride.

Chuck Hatt said...

My dermatologist has been scolding me for five years. She abrades me with dry ice and I look like I've done a gym floor face plant. This is the year she will probably start cutting so I'm giving up on the much-loved ball cap. I'm thinking about a gen-u-ine Panama.

Cannonball said...

The Greenbrier carries a nice Sam Snead so..

Anonymous said...

I miss the ball cap.

yoga teacher said...

I vote yes on the hat; it looks great on you! And I know you'll never accompany it with horrible outfits (B.S) or annoying rants (C.S.) But, it's true that hat-buying is a slippery slope. I love mine. Wear 'em all the time, except not in class.

CeceliaMc said...

Flesh tones are so overrated... It wasn't easy being a milk-skinned goddess in the land of peaches n' cream, but all that caution has its dividends later.

You look great in hats (and I love the one you bought), but I'd bet you'd be especially yummy in ones that play against type.

A gaucho hat for suits, maybe? A jockey cap for casual. A skull cap for jeans.

Makes a woman wonder what sort of risky business lies beneath that polished surface.

CeceliaMc said...

"But there is so little to brag about when everyone else is such a yummy brown and my legs are blinding...."

Did you find too, that there's always a fan base for that. And that it's not entirely composed of admirers of seventeenth century art.

ilovelimegreen said...

I've often wondered why you've opted for a baseball cap rather than some acquisition or another from a fine hattery. Now that you've taken the plunge and made your inaugural purchase, please exhange it for a Panama hat or a boater. And use some sunscreen- my father started to lose his hair when he turned thirty (or, as he is fond of saying, when he met my mother) and his two best friends on sunny days are hats and sunscreen.
Now what does LFG think of your new hat?

ADG said...

David V ... NEVER new how quick it'd be before I bought another one. I just ordered a madras banded straw number.

Cecelia...the risky bidness herein would scare you. 'specially when I've got a Jockey cap on.

Yoga...I just ordered another straw hat from a place in Houston.

Flo...I have a ball cap on right now. From Hatch Show Print in Nashville.

MainLiner...I'm wearing it to the Vesper....with an asbestos suit.


JAC said...

Love the hat. I love hats, but I don't wear them that often because of the product I have to use to keep my hair in check, Do you wear any hair product? If so how do you compensate??

Young Fogey said...

Hats are great. I loved the literature above about stingy-brimmed hats, which I never cared for in the first place and so don't have any of. Your first hat looks much nicer than those found on the typical d-bag who wears a stingy brim, so you are highly unlikely to be mistaken for one of them.

Not to mention you're quite a bit older than the typical stingy-brim demographic.

Glad you got a second one. Pace whoever said it above, hats are not such a slippery slope. I have two felt fedoras in everyday rotation, a casual one for tieless times & travel, and a straw hat (fedora style) for summer. I would like another fedora (in another color), and a felt porkpie (casual), and a straw barbecue hat (i.e., with a wild band, or perhaps a two-tone straw), but that's about it. When I assemble a black tie ensemble, I will acquire a black Homburg.

So how many is that? You have more ties than I have hats!

P.S.: Love the weave on those pants. And I thought you were wearing pink socks.

ADG said...

FogeyYoung...sounds like you've got the hat thang DOWN. I'd love to see a pic of your fedora. Don't know that I'll ever get there but the warm weather straw strategy I think, will work for me.

And thanks for the comment re my little attenuated brim not being in the same crowd as the tawdry crap ... almost brim-less toppers that THAT group wears. products? Nope.

Johnny said...

Love it!

fedricsonya said...

My airy and businesslike coach Toad is the hat king. But as anon as I saw this account of Tommy Hitchcock in his harbinger pork pie hat, I declared that if I could anytime acquisition one of that caliber, I ability accord it a go.


Nun Ya, what of it? said...

Photo's 1-2, damn I love chiz you come up with. Man I need to work on breaking some of the rules.