Liberal Arts Blog — Hats (I) The Golf Cap, The Newsboy Cap, The Irish Cap, The Scottish Cap, The Flat Cap, The Beret

John Muresianu
5 min readFeb 16, 2024

Liberal Arts Blog: Friday is the Joy of Art, Architecture, Design, Film, and All Things Visual Day

Today’s Topic: Hats (I) The Golf Cap, the Newsboy Cap, the Irish Cap, the Scottish Cap, the Flat Cap, the Beret

How do you feel about hats? Do you have a signature hat? Do you have a “thing” for a certain type of hat for certain occasions? On the flip side, do certain hat styles rub you the wrong way?

Have you noticed the proliferation of newsboy caps? Leonardo di Caprio, Brad Pitt, Idris Elba, Ryan Gosling, David Beckham?

Or do you prefer to call them golf caps? What message do they send? Do you like them in tweed? wool? cotton? leather? linen? corduroy? Do you associate them with a particular profession? cab drivers? train engineers? longshoremen? Or more one country than other? Ireland? Scotland?

Wales? Or one era? Say, the 1890s? the 1910s? the 1920s?

THE 1571 ACT OF ENGLISH PARLIAMENT, THE SCHOOL UNIFORMS IN THE 1920s, REPLACEMENT FOR THE FEZ IN TURKEY (below Chilean poet Pablo Neruda)

1. In 1571 an Act of the English department designed “to stimulate domestic wool consumption and general trade…decreed that on Sundays and holidays, all males over 6 years of age, except for the nobility and “persons of degree”, were to wear woolen caps or pay a fine of three farthings per day (equivalent to £1.19 in 2021). The Act was not repealed until 1597, though by then the flat cap had become firmly entrenched as a recognised mark of a non-noble person such as a burgher, a tradesman, or an apprentice.The style may have been the same as the Tudor bonnet still used in some styles of academic dress.”

2. “In the 19th and early 20th centuries, when men predominantly wore some form of headgear, flat caps were commonly worn throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Versions in finer cloth were also considered to be suitable casual countryside wear for upper-class Englishmen. Flat caps were worn by fashionable young men in the 1920s. Boys of all classes in the United Kingdom wore caps during this period; a peaked school cap of prescribed colour and design, of more rounded shape than men’s flat caps, was part of the normal school uniform.”

3. “In Turkey, the flat cap became the main headgear for men after it became a replacement for the fez, which was banned by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1925.”

THE BASQUE-STYLE BERET — from Picasso to Che Guevara to Prince (below portrait of “Guerillero Heroico” by Alberto Korfda, 1960)

1. Origins in the mountains of the Pyrenees between France and Spain, worn by Aragonese and Narvarrian shepherds. Commercial production began in southern France in the 17th century. First factory with records — 1810.

2. “By the 1920s, berets were associated with the working classes in a part of France and Spain and by 1928 more than 20 French factories and some Spanish and Italian factories produced millions of berets.”

3. “Military berets were first adopted by the French Chasseurs Alpins in 1889.”

NB: In the 1960s, black berets became the fashion among revolutionary groups such as the Black Panthers, the Basque ETA, and the Irish Republican Army.

AND BERETS ARE DEFINITELY NOT JUST FOR GUYS

1. As a child, I had a strong attachment to a navy blue beret.

2. I felt very sophisticated when I wore it.

3. Especially when ice skating.

NB: For Halloween, I would dress up as a Parisian artist from Montmartre and have a cigarette butt dangling from my lips.

https://www.thecut.com/2019/11/celebrities-wearing-newsboy-caps.html

Flat cap — Wikipedia

Newsboy cap — Wikipedia

Tam o’ shanter (cap) — Wikipedia

Beret — Wikipedia

Tudor bonnet — Wikipedia

Liberal Arts Blog — Manet (Part II): “Masked Ball at the Opera,” “Self Portrait with Palette,”…

Guerrillero Heroico — Wikipedia

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

My spin — then periodically review, re-rank, and exchange your list with those you love. I call this the “Orion Exchange” because seven is about as many as any human can digest at a time. Game?

LAST FOUR YEARS OF POSTS ORGANIZED THEMATICALLY

Updated PDFs — Google Drive

ATTACHMENTS BELOW:

#1 A graphic guide to justice (9 metaphors on one page).

#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, (11/17/20)

#3 Israel-Palestine Handout

NB: Palestine Orion (Decision) — let’s exchange Orions, let’s find Rumi’s field (“Beyond all ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. Meet me there” Rumi, 13 century Persian Sufi mystic)

YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned recently or ever related to art, sculpture, design, architecture, film, or anything visual.

This is your chance to make some one else’s day. And to cement in your own memory something cool or important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that is close to your heart.

--

--

John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.