There was a gag in the Marx brothers film The Big Store that I’ve always enjoyed. Groucho is narrating a fashion show of sorts, verbosely detailing the stunning colors of the gowns, etc., only the film was black and white. After a point he turns to the camera and says something to the effect of, “Sorry folks, Technicolors costs too much.”
I am a huge fan of classic noir cinema. I love the smoke, the sass, the shadow, the dames, and of course, the hats. Trilbies, derbies, pork pies, fedoras, toppers, they were once as important a part of a wardrobe as a belt, but a disease has slowly been gnawing away at us since World War II. We lost more than our innocence in the war to end all wars. We lost our style.
My dad bought me a black Bailey (in a Dobbs box, oddly enough) a few years back, and I’ve worn it proudly, doing my humble bit to reverse the past half century’s progress. But, time comes when a man needs to change, so I began looking for a new hat. After much searching, I settled on a design by Borsalino.
Incidentally, I spent several days debating the color. Brown and I get along well, but grey is more agreeable with a versatile wardrobe. I called Kate, as she’s the kind of gal a guy can rely on to say what’s what, but of course she didn’t answer. In the end I chose brown, if for no other reason than I plan on wearing grey in old age.
Of course the brown hat is still black in the three-color comicscape, so unless you pay close attention to the size of the band, you’ll never know for certain just which hat I’m wearing. Sorry folks, but Technicolor is expensive.