I Adore-A Your Fedora!

Eric Dregni should be congratulated on his new fedora [“Put a Lid on It,” December]. I think he’s right, too, in locating the decline of the fedora (and the homburg) from about the time of JFK’s inauguration. I think lower car headroom played a part. I remember my father always wore a hat, and so when I got my first real job in 1958, I bought a brown fedora because that’s what you wore when you were grown up. Trouble is, I never could bring myself to wear it, and it ended up on a Guy (a Guy Fawkes Day dummy) 20 years later. Then a few years ago I read Billy Collins’ wonderful poem “The Death of the Hat” which begins “Once every man wore a hat. / In the ashen newsreels, / the avenues of cities / are broad rivers / flowing with hats.” So, I too wanted a fedora. Because I could not find any in Minneapolis, I got a brown one from Lock & Co. in London. Unlike Eric Dregni, I have met only with compliments. “Wonderful hat!” from a Marshall Field’s salesperson. “Great hat!” from a man on Sixth Street. Headwaiters’ eyes gleam when I enter a restaurant (they never did before). I owe it all to my fedora. Fedoras are back.

George Soule, Northfield