Was this an easy task? No, it was not. For although it is plain to see that the British winter is still upon us, the shops that line the average high-street are convinced that it is in fact high summer. You can buy shorts, halter-tops and bikinis by the score. You can buy sarongs, beach bags and factor 45 suncream. But can you buy a winter hat for the cold wind outside? Nope. You can buy a straw beach hat, a pink party stetson or a flouncy white confection for a June wedding, but a nice warm woolly thing is harder to find than a bacon sandwich at a vegan convention. As you might imagine, this was a very annoying state of affairs, so I decided to vent my frustration into this week's ILLUSTRATED Sunday Six, which is devoted to....
Six Hats That I Didn't Buy Yesterday... and One That I Did
1. The Feathery Confection
Good points: Certainly very distinctive, and almost bound to turn a few heads on the bus.
Bad points: Not warm, not waterproof, not subtle, not practical in any way and also colossally expensive. All in all, a hat designed for occasions other than the daily slog to work.
2. The Fake-Fur Coalscuttle
Good points: Definitely very warm and will stay on in a high wind.
Bad points: Absolutely enormous and looks like I've got my head shoved up a cat's arse.
3. The Chavtastic Burberry Knock-off Trilby
Good points: Currently very fashionable.
Bad points: Unsuitably small, so perches on top of my big head in a wobbly way, not warm or windproof, and makes me look like either a) someone who considers Victoria Beckham a style icon or b) someone down Walthamstow Market who wants to sell you a used motor, one lady driver, cheap at the price, guv'nor, nudge, nudge, knowworramean?
4. The Sk8ter Boi Special
Good points: Probably quite warm.
Bad points: Aimed almost uniquely at 14-year-old boys who like to hang around concrete bollards all day with their trousers falling down around their knees. And like those 14-year-olds, tends to look pretty stupid.
5. Le Beret
Good points: Classic styling, more subtle than some headgear I saw.
Bad points: Perches on top of head in precarious fashion, makes me look like a member of La Résistance. Ça ne va pas du tout, n'est-ce pas?
6. The Rainbow Pixie Yak-Herder's Hat
Good points: Not so much a hat as an entire hairstyle made out of wool. And certainly stands out in a crowd.
Bad points: I am not standing in a crowd, nor am I in a field near Glastonbury in 1991, about to take my doggy on a string to listen to the Levellers. And it just looks silly.
But finally, from the very end of the day....The One I DID Buy
Good points: Acceptable looks, nice colour, warm-ish, slightly fluffy. (Rather like me, in fact.)
Bad points: On the borderline between acceptably retro and just plain old-fashioned, and probably will get very droopy in the rain. But at least I won't mind if it ends up getting lost on the Victoria Line...
There you go, readers. Lots of angst, but a happy ending. If only all things were so satisfying....