It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
If you watched the Royal wedding in May, you might’ve noticed the variety and the mere gorgeousness of the female guests’ hats. I was looking at them and thinking about hats throughout history. I write fantasy, set vaguely in the imaginary past, and an occasional sci-fi, set in the future, but my characters never wear hats. Maybe they should. Maybe the hats they would wear could tell my readers something about them.
Later on, in most societies, a head covering became also a statement of social status. Often, a woman’s uncovered head would be equated with loose morals or extreme poverty. That still holds true in some cultures, but fortunately, not in the Western world.
For us, besides their simple functionality – like a knit woolen beanie in winter or a panama in summer or a bicycle helmet – hats serve more and more as fashion accessories. Furthermore, a hat might underscore its wearer’s financial situation or a quirk of character, as in the aforementioned Royal wedding. Or it could signify its wearer’s belonging to a specific group, like part of a military uniform.
An amusing factoid: in Roget’s Thesaurus, the entry for headgear is the longest of all clothing entries, three times as long as the entries for dress or trousers. Obviously, there are many more types of headgear than there are dresses.
Do hats play any part in your fiction?