I do not wish for simpler times. Frankly, I don’t believe in a previous golden age or better time. But I do miss the practical fashions of the past. Among the things I miss the most are men’s hats, vests, and pocket watches.
I’m a bald man and I don’t just love wearing hats, it’s required to protect my head. But I see the looks of others and hear their comments. Wearing a hat outside of casual wear is considered an affectation.
“How many hats do you have?”
“Not nearly enough,” I tell them.
Until the mid-sixties a hat was a critical part of men’s fashion. A man would never leave the house without a hat, regardless of their occupation or dress. I’d love to see that come back, especially as the sun beats down on all of us with new intensity.
The vest, either as part of a three piece suit or on its own, is also supremely useful, as well as a great look for men and women both. A vest can cover a world of ills, from a wrinkled shirt to a slightly bulging waste line. And the pockets! I rarely wear a vest, but I love them so.
And the pocket watch. Yes, this is an affectation, but it’s a lovely one. I don’t even need to wear a wrist watch when I carry a a fully functional computer in my pocket, but I still do. I feel naked without a watch on my wrist. But having a watch in my pocket is both impractical and comforting at the same time, especially if it is a complex, fully mechanical watch. It’s something that you must wind and care for. Nowadays almost anything can tell you the time, but a mechanical pocket watch is a thing of beauty that you can carry with you, hold in your hand. It is a supremely human thing. Some person made this, not some machine or factory.
I sit here writing this in gym shorts and a t-shirt, but I feel most comfortable well dressed. I don’t need a necktie, but let me dress in a jacket, vest, and hat, put my watch in my pocket and I’m feeling dapper and ready to take on the world.
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