Metrosexual – the Fedora Hat Has a Story to Tell

Sometimes it is saddening and at other times infuriating, how Kampala’s vendors will ‘bastardise’ a certain dress item by flooding it onto the street, by every traffic-hold-up hotspot.

Same way, I guess, some Harrier owners felt when one telecom decided to dish them out as raffle prizes – the same guys have now gone for the Klugger the burgeoning guy’s dream SUV before he hits his first double-digit million deal!

Anyways, back to the vendors. They have over the years demystified what would otherwise pass for trendy, rare, and of course, expensive wear, only for them to hit the streets with all sorts of varieties coming at even more outrageous prices. These guys have no limits the other day one was flashing GK underwear at me (note: the ‘G’ came off to an undiscerning eye as a ‘C’ and so it could pass for a Calvin Klein pair of undies).

Enter the fedoras! You have seen the new trend of hats in Kampala on almost every dude’s head. If you haven’t, then you haven’t been to wedding meeting launches, house parties, easy weekend bar-hopping escapades or the usual Friday chillax around town. It is the single dad’s uniform at play dates, the ‘benchers’ head cover’ when they do what they do around those girls’ hostels.

It is a permanent fixture for over 80 per cent of guys at a motor rally or any such outdoor event yes, even funerals where it is disrespectful to wear a hat. Now, of course I am not talking of the Kaguta kind of hat I am talking of the Fedora. Yes, I know not many of you who wear them even know their name and why. Guess that is why I am here.

So the Fedora, admittedly, is a stylish headwear, especially for us the balding lot with short round faces. Nothing flatters us back to life like these hats. Let us make do with a bit of history of this hat, a la Wikipedia, before getting down to when to wear them and how and which best flatters who and where to find the best bargain.

The word fedora comes from an 1882 play, first performed in the United States in 1889, by the French dramatist Victorien Sardou, titled Feacutedora. The heroine of the play was Princess Feacutedora, who wore this centre-creased, soft-brimmed hat. The hat became an instant fashion hit for women so much that the women’s rights movement adopted it as a symbol.

Years later, Prince Edward of Britain started wearing it, making it a hit among men for its stylishness and its ability to protect the wearer’s head from the wind and weather. Since the early part of the 20th century, many Haredi and other Orthodox Jews have made black fedoras normative to their daily wear.

For the movie lovers, you will recall Indiana Jones wearing them while the music fanatics of days gone by cannot forget Michael Jackson from Smooth Criminal, Billie Jean, Dangerous to You Rock My World, where he spotted this hat. Simply epic!

Now they come in more than the bold single colours of the days gone by, to multi colours and checks. Now that we know what they are, next we shall get into matching and mixing them.

But I won’t go before relating it to where I started with the vendors. Want to get yourself some really watered-down, but good-to-the-eye fedoras? Hit the next traffic jam hotspot and look outside the widow. There will be no less than four vendors selling them for the price of a song.

Forget what their asking price is it depends on what car you are driving, but by deal’s end, Shs 5,000 is all you need!

Source : The Observer

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