Why wear a hat?

It strikes me as peculiar that everyone way back when (Main Street Winfield, Kansas 1909) wore a hat. Notice the gent leaning on the Pianos and Organ Billboard in a ten-gallon hat.

Hats on Main Street, Notice the gent leaning on the Pianos and Organ Billboard in a ten-gallon hat.
Hats on Main Street, Winfield, Kansas. Notice the gent leaning on the Pianos and Organ Billboard in a ten-gallon hat talking to a man in a Bowler.

Being curious, I ask: Why does everyone wear a hat?

Pirates in Tricornes, Chaplin in a Bowler, Bogey’s Fedora, paper boys in Flat Caps, Winnie in his Homburgs, others in Panamas, even barbers in Boaters, why even  Abe Lincoln wore a Top Hat, as tall as he was.

Of course, in the West a man on a horse gets respect, only if he is wearing a Stetson and carrying a Colt 45.

Tell me the logic. Why wear a hat?

If I had to guess, I’d say it was because of the flies or the sun. The summers were hot, the winters were cold. Every good mother told her son not to go out without a cap on his head. The older one got the nicer the cover.

Hats on Main Street, Winfield, Kansas
Hats on Main Street, Winfield, Kansas

Could it be fancier still? Just ask Fred Astaire.

Just got an invitation through the mails
Your presence requested this evening, it’s formal
A top hat, a white tie and tails
Nothing now could take the wind out of my sails
Because I’m invited to step out this evening
With top hat, white tie and tails

As for me, I am no formal guy.
Don’t buy me no silk hat.
I am happiest yet in ball cap and flip flops.
At the beach with a beer within reach.

Ten Gallon Hat
Ten Gallon Hat and Bowler
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