I've been balding since my junior year of high school. My mom was the first to notice and immediately bought me Rogaine. After a year or two of squirting the junk onto my still-thinning hair, I realized that I was fighting a losing battle. It was time to embrace going bald, which meant: 1) getting married young to have hair in the wedding photos; and 2) buying hats.
For those of us who have hair that looks like a forest stricken by disease, hats aren't just an aesthetic choice - they also keep one's scalp from burning and peeling. That said, it isn't easy. Having never been a "hat person" before, where do you begin? How do you avoid looking like that creepy guy in a fedora? Where's the middle ground between a top hat and a trucker hat?
The first hat I ever owned was a faluche, a velour beret covered in pins and ribbons, worn by some French students, which I received when I studied abroad in Lyon. However, the faluche, despite its obvious charm, isn't the most versatile hat.
Next came the "Che hat." Really just a military-inspired cap, this hat is a workhorse, an excellent companion for months-long backpacking trips.
Once in Colombia, though, I had to go local. In the old part of town, La Candelaria, there's a small side street filled with nothing but hat shops. It was time to buy a Panama hat, made in Colombia.
Next, I plan on visiting a 65-year-old hat company in Bogotá called Barbisio and see what else Colombia has to offer.
This will be something of a recurring series under the heading "Dressing Up," where I expand upon a particular point or nuance in "my sartorial evolution."