I am so scared to wear this hat. Maybe scared isn’t the right word. But when it comes to hats, I feel like I need a reason. I can’t wear a hat without some sort of validation. Hats need a purpose, right? Visors keep the sun out. Baseball caps support your favorite team. Snapbacks are for douche-bros. Floppy straw hats are for girls at the beach who obviously don’t sweat as much as I do. I want to be a hat girl. I strive to be a hat girl. But for some reason, I’ve never let myself become one.
Last summer, I bought a hat. It’s the hat everyone has these days—one of those black felt, wide-brimmed, Coachella-chic, witchy hats. When these hats first piqued my interest—back in 2014, I admired from afar—so sure I could never pull off the look myself. They were for models, Jenners and those Instagram-famous girls who look 27 but are actually 14. Black hats were for the California girls that do cool things like romp around the desert eating In-and-Out burgers, always smiling because their metabolisms are so fast they’d win an Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter dash.
I grew up with the belief that there is a time period in a girl’s life where she cannot wear at hat. Maybe it had something to do with the combination of school rules and self esteem issues, but I didn’t wear hats from ages 14 to 18. Plus, my mom always told me I looked great in hats, so naturally I avoided them at all costs. Once, when I was junior in high school, I wore a visor to keep the sun out of my eyes while playing a tennis match. I was so self-conscious the entire game I ended up double faulting on every single serve. While it may have had less to do with the visor and more with my athletic ability, I still blame the hat.
After finishing my sophomore year of college, I made a promise to myself: I was going to be a hat girl. I was now twenty, I drank Pinot Grigio and I had taken public transportation to the city multiple times. If that didn’t qualify me to be a hat-wearer, I don’t know what would.
I put on every black hat I came across that summer (which would probably explain the lice! Kidding.) Yet each time I tried one on, thoughts crept into my mind as I looked in the mirror:
Fast forward nine months, give or take. I haven’t worn the hat. Turns out, becoming a hat girl takes more than owning a hat. I think I can be a hat girl. A couple weeks ago, I bought a khaki felt hat. I don’t know why I did it, I was drawn to it. I am becoming a hat girl that never wears hats, but just collects them.