The Mad Hatter


When I got back to work Wednesday the first thing I asked the boss after he shook my hand and said welcome back was “did I finally get a uniform?”

“Yes, it’s in a box in the shop.” He answered.

There were two boxes, actually, a big one with:

One size 46 wool overcoat.

Two wool jackets.

Two wool pants (partially lined).

There was another box, which contained a hat.

When I was a doorman before, we had no hats, but just as I was in the process of becoming the building handyman the new super ordered hats for all the doormen, except for me, because if all went the way he wanted I wouldn’t be needing it. I laughed at the other guys when the hats came.

But now the joke’s on me, I got the hat and I’ve got to wear it. I took it out of the box and put it on, and it didn’t fit. It just sat on the top of my head; the crown is not deep enough.

I have to pull it down hard to get it to stay, but then it pops back up after a few seconds and falls off if I lean over just a bit. Carlos, the day man, said, “maybe if you get a haircut it will fit better.” Maybe; but I don’t plan on cutting my hair for another week or so.

One of the tenants saw me and said, “You’re not a hat type of guy.” I usually look ridiculous in hats, just about any type of hat, but I love hats. I have a whole shelf of hats at home that I don’t wear because after I bought them and looked in the mirror at home I thought I looked ridiculous.

I do look OK in my old army patrol cap; it’s from the 80’s so it’s OD green instead of some weird modern camouflage pattern; and I still have the AIRBORNE tab sewn onto the crown. I took off the jump wings, no need to hit people over the head with it.

I also have a great fur hat that looks pretty good, but I can only wear it when the temperature dips below 20°.

Image  My Coyote hatImage Danusia’s Raccoon hat

I bought Danusia one first, hers is Raccoon and mine’s Coyote, both varmints before you PETA people get all up in arms about it.

About nine years ago I was having a birthday and one of my friends asked me what I wanted. I told her I wanted some kind of trucker hat, something country. She gave me a John Deere hat, which I still have and wear on occasion. That and the patrol cap are my rain hats.

A few years ago I got it into my head that a straw trilby with a stingy brim from J. Crew would be just the thing, they had vintage ones for $200 on their website. I wanted the tan one, but they were out of tan in my size and I had to settle for black. I would look really cool and Williamsburgey in my new stingy brim trilby, augmented by wayfarer style Ray- Bans. When I got the hat I tried it on, and instead of looking cool I looked like one of Papa Doc Duvalier’s Tonton Macuotes.

ImageJ.Crew trilby

That wouldn’t do. I wore it to a picnic that summer, and it’s been on the shelf ever since. Maybe I’ll donate it to Housing Works.

This summer, I ran across a straw fedora at a Scotch and Soda sample sale, pre-distressed and misshapen.

It was only $15 so I said what the hell. I wore it on our Long Island vacation, it looked pretty cool, but nobody asked if I lived in Williamsburg. I’m pretty sure all of the North Fork people correctly pegged me for a city guy, though.

When we came back we went to a friends barbeque on the Upper East Side, a woman asked where I lived and I told her Williamsburg.

“But where’s your cool straw hat?” She asked as way of a joke.

“It’s on a shelf at home with the rest of my goofy hats.” I told her.

ImageScotch and Soda fedora

My dad always wore hats, he wore Stetson fedoras all the time. Actually, in the summer he went hatless. In the winter he wore those cheap vinyl trooper hats, and I thought he looked ridiculous in them. The black plastic hats, that is, he looked pretty cool in the fedoras, like a Mexican gangster. I still have his last fedora, a brown Stetson. It’s too small for me; otherwise I’d wear it. It’s a nice hat.

In the spring I came across a vintage herringbone wool fedora on Etsy, a Stetson. It was my size and only $19. I had also scored a wool herringbone overcoat from J. Crew for a third of the original price. The hat matches the coat, and it is getting cooler, so now it won’t be long before I can wear them both. My dad wore those long wool overcoats too, so I’m beginning to look more and more like him.

Image Now that’s a nice hat!

About xaviertrevino

I like to write, take things apart and put them back together. Also our cat Snookie, turtles, and my lovely wife Danusia.
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4 Responses to The Mad Hatter

  1. lindabee says:

    So, what did you do about the work hat? Get a haircut? Or just wearing it too small? Maybe you can add a chinstrap! Or maybe try it at a jaunty angle….hip hop style? 😉

  2. They took it back to stretch it.

  3. janetgzinn says:

    There’s nothing like a hat to complete the look. Can’t wait to see you in one, of course, one that’s the right size. Perhaps the next BBQ.

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