09 April 2007

Flat Cap Fever

According to The Bolton News, flat cap sales are booming in southern England. I cannot help but notice that this trend has curiously coincided with the recent arrival of a certain flat-cap-wearing American on these shores...

Here I can be seen setting my fashion focus on the Vatican. The Pope needs to move past the beanie and get down with the flatness:

Me In Castel Sant'Angelo

In learning of this trend, I finally figured out of all the fuss being made over my cap. Many people I know in London seem to comment about my cap, whereas back in the States it always seemed rather unremarkable. Wikipedia shed some light on the matter for me: "In British popular culture, the flat cap is associated with working class men in northern England."

Ah, so that's it. I'm a middle class foreigner in the south. I seem to have crossed a class line. It was bound to happen, eh?

A chain-reaction of class-conscious questions ensued. Am I even middle class? Isn't that the great myth, that all Americans are middle class? Maybe I'm upper-lower-middle or lower-upper-lower? What other behaviour gets casually and silently scrutinised on a daily basis?

If I go to a an old formica-countered cafe in Soho and call it a "caff" instead of a "cafe", given that I'm university-educated, what does that communicate? Personally, I just like bacon, I don't care what you call the place that makes it. If I shop at Somerfield, will that be seen as ironically "slumming it". Hm, no, actually that would just be a bad idea. Somerfield is shit.

This photo here was taken from my former life as a half northern working class man, half chav:


I can't recall whether I was watching over my sheep or contemplating dope beats and/or knives.

UPDATE: I just returned from a holiday in the town of Glastonbury. Although in the southern county of Somerset, I saw many old men wearing flat caps on the way. I then remembered that I first wore a flat cap as a young boy. It was given to me by my uncle. He wore flat caps all the time. Granted, he was in his sixties, but this never struck me as a reason not to adopt his keen fashion sense.

I don't think my present readoption of the flat cap has anything to do with class politics, rather, I think I'm just an old man trapped in a 30-something's body, much like I used to be a geriatric junior high schooler. And I guess I don't even really believe that my current donning of the flat cap has anything to do with age. I may be 32-going-on-78, but I'm often simultaneously 57-going-on-12 and 25-approaching-7.

Caught in the age flux, I kinda like it here.


Edgar said...

Loving the Tron suit as always! Didn't take me long to get used to the flat cap, it seemed to fit your personality once I got to know you.

Leave it to Dave to cause political uproars because of his clothing choices. Nice one!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but toffs wear them too, You know, gentlemen farmers and the like.