Magazine December 20, 2010, Issue

Hats Checked

A man with an elaborate hat poses at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset, England, June 27, 2019. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)
John Derbyshire puts a lid on it

The other day I stepped into an elevator while wearing a hat. Seeing ladies in the elevator, I removed my hat. One of the ladies, who was of a certain age, complimented me on my manners. “Not many men would know to do that nowadays.”

Not many men need to. As someone or other has noted, ours is the first civilization since antiquity in which the generality of people do not dance and do not wear hats. This common hatlessness seems to have started around 1960, like so many other malign developments. I have heard it blamed on John F. Kennedy,

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