[Trendzilla] Fedora Explorers

Is it over yet?

Ever the cyclical phenomenon, fashion sometimes has a sense of humor. And no, I’m not talking about Jeremy Scott hamburger-and-French-fries-ensembles sort of funny, or even Chanel-hawking-unaffordable-handbags-that-look-almost-exactly-like-the-paper-shopping-bags-from-their-31-Rue-Cambon-flagship-store (and charging $1,525 to $2,995 a pop for them) funny.

What’s funny, at least right now, is how fashion inevitably annoys.

Yours truly hasn’t been too interested in or inspired by any new collections, directions or trends for a couple of seasons now. Nothing seems to be so innovative and great anymore, plus hey, this whole recession thing hasn’t been too awesome for the career and bank account anyway. I’m bored.

What’s even worse, though, is how fashion inevitably backfires on itself. Things that were once classic staples can be rendered into played-out train wrecks within a matter of months or even weeks (see: the fake-vintage T-shirt, ’90s-grunge revival, cowboy boots), never to be seen again for decades.

Blame the hipsters if you want—everyone always does anyway—but like I said: It’s inevitable once Urban Outfitters and the American mall grab hold.

A perfect example would be the fedora. Once the ultra-cool, indispensable accessory in pop culture for smoky film-noir types, guys named Humphrey and men who favor timeless style, class and pocket squares such as Tom Wolfe, the fedora has become a victim of the anything-old-is-new-again mentality. For at least a couple of years now, fedoras of all types—straw, pinstriped, plaid, feathered, banded, plain—have become as common to see on the streets as, uh, scarves. Or shoes. You’ve seen shoes before, right? And they are worn with every ensemble imaginable, from board shorts in Huntington Beach to polo tees and suits in Newport Beach.

The charming thing about the hat, though, is the blithe, devil-may-care outlook it helps to exude. After all, it takes a man (or woman) with a certain level of confidence and attitude to wear the damn things. Confidence? Always a good accessory.

This guy, photographed in downtown Pomona, wears his black fedora with a rust-colored button-up, black pegged pants and brown boots. Simple enough. And really, not bad or offensive at all, since the hat is not paired with anything too overtly trendy.

While, yeah, I gotta admit it’s still way better seeing kids pick up refined pieces such as the fedora over a trucker hat worn sideways, there’s nothing more annoying to longtime fedora-wearers than a hipster in a fedora.

Oh, look, there’s that whole hipster-blame thing again.

It’s just too easy.

And true.

vchang@ocweekly.com

 
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