Sunday, 1 December 2013

Style Bypass: The Baker Boy Hat is Back with a Vengeance

There are some trends that you hope and pray you've seen the back of. You see them reduced to clear in the January sales and breathe a sigh of relief, knowing there are at least a few seasons' respite to recover from the onslaught of such horror. Then, just when you get comfortable, they rear their ugly heads and you know you've lost the battle once again... Enter the inexplicably in-demand baker boy hat. 

 [Image via YouTube]. Love Actually does its bit to fuel this trend... *shudders*

It's had several incarnations over the years - a nod to 90s waif chic, an accessory for Keira Knightley's insipid character in Love Actually in the Noughties, a useful hippy cover-up and a reference to Fiddler on the Roof. But never in my book has it been something to actually wear, or admit to wearing. I just don't get it, and I'm not sure I ever will. Is there something alluring about putting on what looks like a small mushroom cloud that's mated with a baseball cap? What kind of gall does it take to buy one of the even more bizarre versions, such as patchwork, giving the wearer extra quirk points (and ensuring I stay an extra five feet away from them)? The mind boggles.

 [Image via Pinterest]. Look how unhappy Barbra Streisand is with her choice of hat.

It seems not all of the fashion world is confident on this one - whilst Glamour has championed the hat, placing it on Taylor Swift's head for the November 2013 cover shot, Grazia sat on the fence and debated whether baker boy style was 'eek or chic?'. But when there are so many other types of millinery that aim to flatter and have more of a function, such as the humble beanie, the bowler or the fedora, I don't really see where the baker boy hat fits in. It's cumbersome, likely to get in your eyes at the whisper of a breeze, and seemingly designed to make your head look bigger - something which doesn't strike me as being much of an advantage. In fact, it has all the charm of parachute trousers or hair scrunchies, as far as I'm concerned.

The question is, will fashion victims fall for the baker boy and start bellowing Fiddler on the Roof tunes, or will they see it for what it really is, and run a mile? I can only hope that good taste wins out this time, as these hatters seem to be mad.

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