25 August 2005

Crooked Cowboy Hats

They've exploded onto the scene; you can't escape them; they shade the eyes and burn the ears—those damned crooked, straw cowboy hats.

I used to think they were sexy. The occasional gal would sidle on by looking like she wanted to scream "Save a horse, ride a cowgirl." The occasional guy would mosey through looking like he wanted to scream "Save a horse, ride a cowboy." Now, those occasional moments have become a bombardment.

One day while waiting for the bus, I saw three groups of people that had at least one person wearing those accursed hats.

I go online, and both my email accounts sport pictures of ladies wearing them.

I wonder whether the hat has a technical name, like fedoras or bowlers. Where are they all coming from?

These hats feel like a good song that's overplayed on radio stations.

These hats feel like the bumpkin we call president has taken hold of our Gross Domestic Culture, although the hats definitely have more of a metropolitan flavor. Of course, most "real" cowpokes would call him a poser.

I can't deny the hats make the people wearing them look sexy, but when does the sex appeal lose its power due to posers. It's like those hot tattoos women get on the small of their backs. Pornstars and truly sexual women used to be the only ones to sport these tats; they used to symbolize a particular "sluttiness." Now, too many non-sexual women have them, possibly to accessorize their lowrider jeans.

The cowboy hats aren't necessarily quite as loaded with sexual connotation, but imagine the shape of them in contrast to a standard cowboy hat; they're streamlined, resembling a human form with its back arching across the top of the skull. They don't only shade the eyes, but draw attention to them, the portals that share our desires, our lusts. They aren't particularly functional either, because they lack proper coverage of cheeks, ears, and necks. They're just fashionable.

So yes, the look is hot, but it's been tainted by sheer numbers. Those crooked cowboy hats, how long before they wind up in closets to resurface with the next generation who think that sporting their parents old clothes meets revolutionary fashion requirements?


Anonymous said...

Well said!

Remember the awful Australian hat fad of the 1980s? It seemed like every third person was wearing hats with one side tied up, like Mel Gibson in Galipoli.

Okay, I admit it, I was one of them. Hey, I was a teenager, whatcha gonna do.

As for weird So. Oregon fashions, what's up with the women who wear pants AND a skirt at the same time? What in the world is that all about? ;-)


Kyle Stich said...

Pants and skirts at the same time = couldn't make up their mind when they got dressed?

I'm thinking about sporting a sarong, as enough guys walk around town wearing them. It's gotta be comfortable. Come to think of it, pants for men have to be the equivalent of bras for women: restrictive.

theresa said...

We have two cultural principles constantly clashing in our every day lives.
1.) Express your individuality
2.) Conform to the group

We see this most dramitically played out amongst our adolescents. After all, part of the job of growing up is learning to become autonomous.

So with every new fad
Be one of the first!
Express your individuality
Stand out in the crowd
... just like everybody else.

J. Breedlove said...

I find that I kinda like the pants and skirt thing even though it makes absolutely no sense to me. I think that most fashions require that we don't think to hard about them. How else can I explain M.C. Hammer pants and flat-tops?

I haven't considered wearing a sarong before, but I have been seriously considering a kilt for a couple of years.

Kyle Stich said...

Theresa—Ah yes, the sweet paradoxes of life. What you say makes me recall the Beatniks, so unique scattered throughout a cafe sporting the same black turtlenecks and berets.

Jimmy—I too enjoy the look of the pant/skirt combo, but I enjoy poking fun at them anyway. Funny you should mention the kilt. I always wished I was Irish or Scottish, Scottish mostly so I could wear a kilt.

Anonymous said...

Crooked cowboy hats inspire poetry.

Why wear a crooked hat
Upon a crooked, crooked horse?

Of course--
You want cowboys to dismount you
And re-mount you--
By force.


Kyle Stich said...

Thanks for that shot of poetry, WDH. Those hats must inspire many folks, as they've multiplied so fruitfully.