Bobbles on bobble hats seem bigger and more flamboyant than they used to be. Are you a hat person? What sort do you favour – bobble hat, beanie, pork pie, deer-stalker, cowboy, bucket, beret, baseball cap, flat tweed cap…?

An old photo of workers traipsing across one of London’s bridges in the 1930s shows almost everyone wearing a hat. Men wore bowlers, trilbys or flat caps, depending on their work, status or habit. Today, we’re spoilt for choice.

“February has seven hats,” according to a Corsican proverb and maybe in February we need seven hats to choose from, depending on the weather conditions. There’s an old party game where a variety of hats are donned by every player except one. As music is played, the hats are grabbed from head to head. If the music stops and you’re hatless, you’re out. At the end it’s a snatching showdown between two players and one hat.

“No one person can wear all the hats all the time,” says another proverb. In the reality of busy lives there’s a tendency to think that we can.  Alas, our efforts may result in us being not only hatless, but hapless.


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