Objects have a story: when all men are forced to wear hats

Les objets ont une histoire: quand tous les hommes étaient obligés de porter la casquette

The hat is a hat that evolved with a visor. We are in Ireland in the 14th century. Farmers and workers wear flat wool hats like a beret. This hat was called a flat hat. Gradually, however, it came to be known as the “Irish hat.” This headscarf, which can be considered the ancestor of the hat as we know it, only existed in popular circles.

In 1571, the English Parliament seized the Irish hat … To revive the Irish wool trade, he passed a law forcing all men 6 (!) To wear the famous Irish hat on Sundays. The offender will be fined 17 pence. Nobles and deserving citizens are exempted from wearing this Irish hat. It anchors more in popular circles.

The law was repealed by the English Parliament in 1597, but the Irish hat, meanwhile, became a symbol of the social classes that opposed the nobility and the powerful. Not only the workers but also the farmers wear it with pride and it is more of a challenge than respecting a particular tradition.

And the visor? It appears a little below 300 years later. By the end of the nineteenth century, a hat made of thick wool had developed rapidly in Europe and the United States. It is wider and ends in a visor. She descended into the working class and, in France, was soon called “Gavroche”, the prototype of the working class that appears in Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables”, referring to the Parisian titi. This name still exists today. This hat invaded the United States, especially imported by many Irish people who had fled their impoverished country. In New York and the big American cities, hats are worn by children selling newspapers. It was quickly called the “Newsboy Cap.”

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At the beginning of the twentieth century, a beautiful hat made of tweed and quality fabrics spread into the world of leisure, which is becoming more and more developed every day (golf, hunting, horse racing, car driving …). Wealthy landowners in England and Ireland are becoming their symbol. The cap is no longer reserved for the working class.

Even today, its popularity remains. It is a fashion accessory that has become very popular among many celebrities, including women, in the following decades: the Beatles in the 60s, Robert Redford in the 70s, Madonna, Beyonc,, Brad Pitt, Michael Schumacher or Johnny Depp.

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