When did hats get so big?

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Viewing 34 posts - 1 through 34 (of 34 total)
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  • #619238

    huju
    Participant

    If you look at photos of yeshivish Jews from 30 or more years ago, you will notice that men’s hats were not always black and much smaller than the black hats that are worn currently. In particular, big black hats have gotten expensive. Modestly sized felt or wool fedoras are available at prices much lower than the Borsalino that seems to be de riguer today. When did frum hats get so big, and why? And, given the expense, why not downsize?

    #1216878

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    They started getting bigger about 30 years ago. They’re getting smaller now. You should have started this thread 30 years ago.

    #1216879

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Maybe because houses and shul got bigger.

    Closets too. More storage to fit those hats.

    Maybe also heads got bigger.

    With more access to food and such. Maybe hats are less heavy now that bones are stronger.

    Aren’t the children of immigrants often taller too?

    #1216880

    Joseph
    Participant

    huju, and when did Sephardic men stop wearing turbans? Shouldn’t they go back to turbans, being they’re cheaper than Borsalinos?

    #1216881

    Litvos
    Member

    It could be that some wear fedoras and some homburgs. Many fedoras are larger than the homburgs and thus you might have thought they have gotten bigger. I could be mistaken, but I think it is a valid point.

    #1216882

    golfer
    Participant

    This thread is all mixed up.

    It’s chassidish ladies who wear turbans.

    And black hats are shrinking these days, their brims compressing to precariously thin proportions, as prices rise in inverse increments.

    #1216883

    huju
    Participant

    Reply to Joseph: I’m Ashkenaz. I don’t know anything about Sefardim wearing turbans. Ask them.

    I don’t know whether the hats are getting bigger or smaller today, but why does the size change. Torah hasn’t changed. Talmud hasn’t changed.

    #1216884

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    What happened to that poster looking for a hat in Lakewood?

    Maybe he can clue us in, as he seemed to be investigating hats

    #1216885

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    I thought any mention of a hat brought an automatic response from Charlie Hall about a fedora.

    #1216886

    yungermanS
    Participant

    brims on hats are getting SMALLER today with added designs like feathers or needle that used to only be on hats that werent fetedoras

    #1216887

    catch yourself
    Participant

    Apparently, the hat malach has been eating too much cholent.

    #1216888

    Geordie613
    Participant

    huju, It’s called fashion. If Joe Borsalino decides to make a wider brim, within about 3 years all bochurim will be wearing wider brims.

    #1216889

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Maybe people’s heads have gotten bigger.

    #1216890

    yitzy99
    Member

    “If you look at photos of yeshivish Jews from 30 years ago.. “

    30 years ago they were called frum Jews.

    I don’t “yeshivish” was used then.

    #1216891

    Geordie613
    Participant

    yitzy99, of course ‘Yeshivish’ was used then.

    #1216892

    akuperma
    Participant

    The only change is that fedoras became more popular as a dress hat, which began when hats started to go out of style (attributed to President Kennedy losing his top hat for his post-swearing in walk down Pennsylvania Avenue). Since they were a “dress hat” (fedoras were traditionally an un-dress, weekday hat), they tended to get nice. Other hat styles seen in the community (Streimels, Homburgs) are unchanged. In the past, people wore caps more often, but they were never Shabbos-dik (and remember, the pictures you see in the past were of weekday hats only, for obvious reasons). Also most frum Jews tend to be more affluent, and dressing better is part of that (in the past they were dominated by diamond workers and sweatshop workers, now we have lots of lawyers and accountants)

    #1216893

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Because more people realized that they’re really dressing to stand before the King and decided to boost their kavod to a wider brim

    #1216894

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Because of the Eiruv. Is that not obvious?

    #1216895

    huju
    Participant

    I thought fashion was assur, but some posters openly embrace fashion, and others just seem to go along with whatever Mr. Borsalino wants to sell. My next fedora will be felt, might not be black, will be much smaller than the current Borsalinos.

    And speaking of black, why not light-colored hats for warm weather? Should one be schvitzing like a pro athlete while standing before a king?

    #1216896

    Geordie613
    Participant

    No, people don’t buy BECAUSE it’s fashionable. But you buy what’s available, which happens to be what’s in fashion.

    On the subject, is it true that bochurim in Chabad yeshivos davka wear hats with smaller brims?

    #1216897

    zusha
    Participant

    It’s simple, with smaller hats you become tanned & if you are tanned, people will think you haven’t been spending all day inside studying. Solution: bigger hats.

    #1216898

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    I think zusha wins an award. That was a pretty awesome answer!

    #1216899

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Actually, I was a bit bothered by it. I am not sure if this is how he meant it, but it sounds like it could be implying that Yeshiva bochurim aren’t really learning. Maybe that wasn’t how it was meant, but it seems to me that it could be taken that way.

    #1216900

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    I didn’t read it that way.

    I read it that if a Yeshiva bochur (who obvious studies) walked around, esp in Israel, with a smaller brim, then he could tan easily and quickly (like just the walk to shul in the sun) and thus no one would believe that he spends all day studying.

    But now that I read it the way that you thought that it was, it’s like that picture with the Vase and the Two Faces.

    I only saw a Vase. But then someone points out the Two Faces. Life is never the same afterward.

    #1216901

    zusha
    Participant

    Don’t worry Lilmod Ulelamaid I didn’t mean it that way! I meant it in the lighthearted way that they do it so no one could get the wrong idea 🙂

    #1216902

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    k – sorry for misjudging you – I wasn’t sure how it was meant and realized it could be meant either way.

    #1301701

    huju
    Participant

    I think zusha is on to something.

    #1301736

    DovidBT
    Participant

    New product idea: A “reverse sunlamp” that makes you paler.

    #1301740

    yytz
    Participant

    I like bigger hats, since they protect against the sun better. Small hats with barely any brim don’t really serve much of a purpose.

    Perhaps bigger hats have also become more popular because they are a bigger statement against assimilation. A small hat suggests you’re trying to be lower profile. A big hat suggests you don’t care about sticking out with your huge headwear, since you’re proud to be a frum Jew and totally out of step with American popular culture. The more loud and distinctive to Jews the hat is, the better it is in terms of assimilation and group pride. (I guess we can’t take that principle too far — otherwise we’d be wearing gigantic top hats with huge neon yellow stars of David all over them.)

    Also, the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s use of a big wide hat for decades may have influenced even non-chassidim to adopt similarly full-sized hats. Reportedly, asked by a chassid whether the chassid should wear a traditional chassidic-style hat according to his specific local minhagim, the Lubavitcher Rebbe replied that no one nowadays is going to be impressed with such a hat — just wear a Borsalino (a basic dressy hat that at the time (a few decades ago) was the mark of a respectable middle-class person in America).

    #1302105

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Bigger hats do offer more sun protection.

    Are bigger hats more likely to go airborne?

    Do any of these bigger hats come with those side straps that wrap under the chin, to prevent them from flying off?

    #1302633

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    If you look carefully at the photos of some Chassideshe courts from the Alte Heim, the Shtreimlach have actually been getting smaller over time from the much large ones worn by Polish nobility; most likely because the cost of fur has been rising as a result of the Endangered Species Act and a recognition that the smaller Shtreimlach provide a smaller profile target for some antisemitim throwing snowballs.

    #1304794

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Big or less big, maybe hats today have more safety features, like cars.

    #1304858

    akuperma
    Participant

    One should note that the “dress” fedora came into existence when Americans stopped wearing fedoras as part of regular male clothing. That would have been in the 1960s. Before that, fedoras were an un-dress hat, or as we call it a weekday hat. Americans are apparently starting to wear hats again, and one wonders if the growth of small non-fancy fedoras will impact on out choice of hats (perhaps shifting more to hamburg or even back to top hats???).

    A dress hat among Orthodox Jews would tend to “big” since we don’t use cars on Shabbos, and the argument against a big hat is its inconvenience in cars or other motorized transit.

    #1306073

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Big hats are also inconvenient in crowds

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