Mefites and fedoras. September 27, 2013 7:18 PM   Subscribe

About a year ago, the MeFi crowd looked to be about 50/50 for and against men's brimmed hats. Many Mefites take headdress etiquette to silly lengths. So the fact that the most recent fedora question on AskMeta is kind of a trainwreck even after substantial mod involvement isn't really a surprise, but still kind of sad.

The OP wrote: "It seems like people go out of their way to hate on people who wear fedoras. … I know that they are somewhat associated with a lot of brodown-ing at the brodeo and overall douchiness, but is that really all there is to the hate?"

Out of 79 responses remaining right now, maybe 10-12 actually address the question of where negative stereotypes about fedora-wearers come from.

The rest of the posters decided to explain, in no unclear terms, exactly how they feel about people who wear hats, and how strongly they feel about policing the appearance of others.
  • A fedora (or any brimmed hat) is an unusual headgear choice. If you made an unusual choice of headgear, it's clearly an affectation, you're trying to call attention to yourself, and you should feel bad.
  • A hat isn't a fashion choice, it's a part of inherent style, man. If you're asking about it, you're don't got it, and you should feel bad.
  • If you're wearing a brimmed hat, but don't otherwise dress like a man from the 50s, you're taking a lazy fashion shortcut and you should feel bad.
  • In fact, a man who wears a hat without full period getup is as gross as a woman who wears a dress gown, but doesn't wear makeup or shave her armpits (thankfully, this got deleted).
  • And, of course, fedoras are what the "funny-smelling guy in Warcraft t-shirt" wears. (Ctrl+F "greasy")
We've got shaming, a huge case of the narcissism of small differences, old-fashioned "smelly nerd" stereotypes, strident fashion and body policing, and so on, and so forth.

I'm sure that men's hats are both vitally important and incredibly socially divisive, but I suspect that this is just a reflection of a deeper problem. AskMe tends to attract answers that make uncharitable assumptions, take knee-jerk stereotypes for granted, and generally confuse "why is the X the way it is" with "how I feel about X."
posted by Nomyte to Etiquette/Policy at 7:18 PM (657 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

Questions that are framed "Why do people think X sucks?" are going to automatically attract "Let me tell you how much X sucks" responses. And "This is the stereotype associated with X" responses. Not super thrilled about this, but I think most of the responses were fairly predictable, I just wish people were better at separating their personal feelings about style from universal truths about the only way humans should dress themselves and/or behave.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:27 PM on September 27, 2013 [22 favorites]


The question was, in one not-particularly-out-there reading, "what are some specific ways people feel about hats?" People generally answered that question, which is fine.

It's actually nowhere near as bad, mod-wise, as the earlier thread you linked to, in which people apparently decided that it was not an AskMe thread so they could do whatever they wanted. This one has a couple of digressions and one snippy back-and-forth deleted, which is nonstandard, but not totally unreasonable for etiquette-ish questions. (Hats, man. I don't get it.)

I'm not totally sure what the purpose of this MeTa is. Are you asking "is this thread within the bounds of acceptable AskMe behavior"? Because... yeah, it is. Are you saying it shouldn't be? I'm sort of obligated to read MeTas looking for a mod request, but if you're making one here, I'm not following it.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:27 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The question was written to get the sort of answers it received. I can see the hate being over the top, but it's not problematic per se.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:29 PM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


We may be reaching peak fedora anyway, as you can now get one free with a bottle of Smirnoff.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:29 PM on September 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


I see no reason not to send mod requests to the mod contact email.

This note is about the atmosphere on MeFi not being as friendly and reasonable as it could easily be, even with regard to problems of shaming, body policing, and casual negative stereotyping, even after tens of thousands of comments working through these very issues by these very same people.
posted by Nomyte at 7:33 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Huh? You must be reading a completely different thread than me. Most of the comments directly address the reason that fedoras have a negative stereotype - it's not shaming to point out that a bunch of PUA jerks have poisoned the well for non-asshole fedora wearers. Also, it seems as though you opened this meta simply because you disagree with the prevailing view, which is weird. Reading those comments as anti-smelly nerd seems like an almost willful misreading of what people are actually saying (disliking fedoras has absolutely nothing to do with anti-nerd tendencies).
posted by Frobenius Twist at 7:35 PM on September 27, 2013 [18 favorites]


This note is about the atmosphere on MeFi not being as friendly and reasonable as it could easily be

Ah, gotcha. *shakes head* People, right?
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:35 PM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


DirtyOldTown's link has finally given me a concrete reason to dislike fedoras. Yay, I guess.

I'm not at all surprised that people replied to "what's with this attitude" with strong arguments in favor of said attitude (including arguments that are spectacularly arbitrary.) It has to be a fairly outrageously offensive attitude to keep people from doing that.
posted by SMPA at 7:37 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Reading those comments as anti-smelly nerd seems like an almost willful misreading of what people are actually saying (disliking fedoras has absolutely nothing to do with anti-nerd tendencies).

And I repeat: Ctrl+F "greasy." For some people in there, fedoras are what greasy nerds wear.

And I'm not surprised either, but it is what makes me sad, that MeFi sometimes has these little outbursts of petty, arbitrary shittiness. I want to feel like I'm safe and among friends on MeFi, not people who are ready to dispense their venom without provocation.
posted by Nomyte at 7:37 PM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


"...is that really all there is to the hate?" is not asking for cited sources of historic and established anti-fedora-ism. It's pretty much directly asking, "Why do you hate fedoras?" People are responding with the reasons they hate fedoras.

This call-out is silly.
posted by jaguar at 7:42 PM on September 27, 2013 [27 favorites]


I dunno, I thought there were a few that crossed the line, but most seemed to be "hate the hat, not the head" if you know what I mean. OP did ask why people (on mefi at least) hate fedoras, and got answers, some voluble. I don't think it's OP's problem, or ours, if the depths of that hate borders on nonsensical, or unfair. The question wasn't, "why *shouldn't* people hate fedoras?", after all.
posted by smoke at 7:42 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


For some people in there, fedoras are what greasy nerds wear.

I'm not getting what the problem is, seriously. Some people think that. They mentioned it in a question asking why some people have negative associations with fedoras. If this issue is that some people are saying that there are negative attributes that they attach to nerds, well, they'll be uncomfortable at the meetups, I guess.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:43 PM on September 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


And I repeat: Ctrl+F "greasy." For some people in there, fedoras are what greasy nerds wear.

You mean this comment? Now I'm totally confused, because that comment is exactly on-point and valid. If you're choosing to staunchly defend the Nice Guy asshole then that's your prerogative I guess, but boy is there some serious irony in claiming that objecting to nice-guy misogynists is somehow "shaming" and "body policing." In fact your appropriation of this language - generally used to describe the way misogynists attack women - to DEFEND these same Nice Guy misogynists is . . . well, let's just politely say it's idiosyncratic.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 7:43 PM on September 27, 2013 [19 favorites]


I suspect that this is just a reflection of a deeper problem.

It is, and you are right, but you are not going to get the result you want coming here. Get ready to be shamed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:48 PM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Honestly, has anyone ever met one of those "peacocking" PUA types or a greasy ponytail nerd with a fedora IRL?

Seems like the have a real outsized presence on the web, but I feel like the number in the wild must be vanishingly small and the only chance to see one would be some kind of con.

I don't even see many bros with the Timberlake trilby anymore . I think that show The League killed that.

TBH the brimmed hats I see are usually panama hats worn by bald middle aged guys so their heads don't get sunburned or cold.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:53 PM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Blazecock, you're just completely and utterly toxic. Do you have some sort of goddamn bot that desperately refreshes metatalk until it finds someone complaining about the "cabal" or a "deeper problem" or "shaming?" Because now here you are right on schedule, ready to shit the place up with a pointless passive-aggressive drive-by and then vanish.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 7:53 PM on September 27, 2013 [17 favorites]


In fact your appropriation of this language - generally used to describe the way misogynists attack women - to DEFEND these same Nice Guy misogynists is . . . well, let's just politely say it's idiosyncratic.

I'm going to be less polite and say that I don't like your insinuation. I guess you missed this comment. And in any event, using "greasy nerd" to connote someone undesirable, like a pickup artist or a Warcraft player, is a pretty entrenched negative stereotype. I thought we were all going to be better people and self-monitor. And "body policing" is not a problem that only women face: in the linked thread, both male and female users tell men in no uncertain terms what they should or shouldn't wear, and how their clothing reflects on them personally. And then there was the comment about armpit-shaving, which is literally about body policing, that was posted by a female user. I mean, these are useful and applicable terms, and I will use them here.
posted by Nomyte at 7:55 PM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Jesus, are we really going to do the men face judgment and challenges, too! thing again? The last threads that got swallowed up in that shit aren't even closed yet.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:57 PM on September 27, 2013 [16 favorites]


Well, body policing is... about bodies (as in shapes and sizes). So that wasn't actually body shaming. Clothes/fashion shaming, yeah. But no, the term is neither applicable nor useful.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 7:58 PM on September 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


Blazecock, you're just completely and utterly toxic.

Your accusing Nomyte of being a misogynist right out of the gate is toxic, I think. I see nothing that warrants that kind of talk. Nothing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:59 PM on September 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


Honestly, has anyone ever met one of those "peacocking" PUA types or a greasy ponytail nerd with a fedora IRL? Seems like the have a real outsized presence on the web, but I feel like the number in the wild must be vanishingly small and the only chance to see one would be some kind of con.

I've seen plenty. To be fair, I was working at a hotel where they actually hosted a PUA conference.
posted by jaynewould at 8:00 PM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Honestly, has anyone ever met one of those "peacocking" PUA types or a greasy ponytail nerd with a fedora IRL?

yes. many of them. i've been involved in a lot of communities over the years where that type of guy always seemed to be around (rocky horror, video gamers, table top gamers, poly, bdsm, pagans, industrial music, and more that i'm sure i'm forgetting). i even dated/hooked up with a few of them before i learned to spot the peacocking pua bs a mile away.
posted by nadawi at 8:04 PM on September 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


oh - and i've totally dated a lot of the fedora geeks. they tend to have the reproduction of frank sinatra's zippo too.
posted by nadawi at 8:04 PM on September 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


I'm going to be less polite and say that I don't like your insinuation. I guess you missed this comment.

Okay, this is my last comment because I now see that you're being wilfully disingenuous: there are 4 comments that mention "greasy" in that thread. 1 of them is the one I linked to above and 2 of them are OBJECTING to the use of the word "greasy." So the comment you linked to is the only one in that thread that uses the word in the way you're claiming. 1 comment. In the whole thread. This is the "deeper problem" you're complaining about?

And in addition now you've moved on to complaining that the poor men (just think about the men!) are being attacked by women and told what to wear in that thread (!!?!), which is so hilariously off-base that I can't even believe you said that. You're bent on taking the things that women in that thread wrote and twist them into some sort of weird anti-male, anti-nerd thing, when it is patently clear that's not what was happening.

Anyhow, after a series of threads on metatalk that have devolved into OH NO BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MEN THEY ARE SO PUT UPON AND STOP BEING MEAN TO MEN, I'm just so tired, so tired of this shit, so I'm out of this thread.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 8:04 PM on September 27, 2013 [29 favorites]


in the linked thread, both male and female users tell men in no uncertain terms what they should or shouldn't wear, and how their clothing reflects on them personally.

Because someone asked a specific question about that. People who find that sort of thing distasteful are welcome to not read the totally-optional thread. Questions that ask about fashion/looks/fitness are going to get feedback about fashion/looks/fitness. Similarly, questions that ask about religion are going to get people answering who are religious practitioners/believers/conversationalists and people who want to have "woo woo invisible sky wizard" responses are asked/told to stay out of the thread.

I feel like you're literally asking people to not offer opinions when they are specifically requested and you may be looking for a level of consideration that is not at all reasonable in a general interest website of 10000+ active users.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:05 PM on September 27, 2013 [43 favorites]


MeFi sometimes has these little outbursts of petty, arbitrary shittiness.

Conflating a person with people is a big mistake. Petty, arbitrary shittiness has a way of showing up in the darndest places, so you can't really condemn an entire community for the occasional flare-up. Judge (if you must) instead on how a community handles and reacts to petty, arbitrary shittiness. I think MeFi does just fine by that standard.
posted by carsonb at 8:05 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Most of the time.
posted by carsonb at 8:06 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The look I really hate is wearing a belt with suspenders. It's not cool! Choose one or the other, people!
posted by KokuRyu at 8:08 PM on September 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


without provocation

well, that's actually the thing - it's not without provocation. the user base was asked a question and they answered it - they didn't go to that guy or your door demanding that you listen to their opinions of fedoras - the poster sought it out and you decided to click on it.
posted by nadawi at 8:08 PM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Judge (if you must) instead on how a community handles and reacts to petty, arbitrary shittiness.

Yes, that's what this is here. The reaction is "put up or shut up."
posted by Nomyte at 8:09 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The question was why the fedora has such a bad rap nowadays. People answered, to the best of their abilities. If this upsets you shouldn't you just be upset at the fact that a lot of people don't like fedoras?
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:17 PM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think people that stereotype personalities off of fashion choices are engaging in a slightly immature behavior, but the question obviously called for a bit of it.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:17 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fezzes are still cool, right? My smoking jacket needs it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:22 PM on September 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


I can't figure out whether this is a matter of not understanding the question in the original AskMe (and the kind of answer for which it specifically called), concern trolling, or just a roundabout way of defending the sensitive feelings of fedora dudes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:31 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I get the distinct impression the Metafilter crew-in-general would absolutely hate me. Sometimes I wear brimmed hat, sometimes I wear shorts with black socks, and who the hell knows how many other fashion faux pas I commit on a daily basis.
posted by edgeways at 8:40 PM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


edgeways: "Sometimes I get the distinct impression the Metafilter crew-in-general would absolutely hate me. Sometimes I wear brimmed hat, sometimes I wear shorts with black socks, and who the hell knows how many other fashion faux pas I commit on a daily basis."

it's fine. you're fine.
posted by boo_radley at 8:43 PM on September 27, 2013 [18 favorites]


hey DirtyOldTown - i totally understand and even agree in parts - but i think that guessing at motives is the sort of thing that might bring more heat than light. i don't think there's a reason to think he's concern trolling or defending the sensitive feelings of fedora dudes.

some people really are bugged by making characterizations about other people based on their clothes. now, in my mind, that's a little like being mad that the sun rose again, but it's a real concern - not one that has to have a dark motive behind it. also, he just might really enjoy a fedora. if there were a thread about "what do you think about women who wear the same target vneck tshirt in 20 different colors nearly every single day?" and it was filled with people being negative, i'd be pretty bummed, because those shirts are just so freaking comfortable!

i know we're having that burner of a thread a little down metatalk and it's been hurtful and frustrating and i admit that i'm feeling raw from it all. i just think we can help this thread not turn into that thread if we try to not come pre-wound for the fight.
posted by nadawi at 8:43 PM on September 27, 2013 [16 favorites]


nadawi: "i know we're having that burner of a thread a little down metatalk and it's been hurtful and frustrating and i admit that i'm feeling raw from it all. i just think we can help this thread not turn into that thread if we try to not come pre-wound for the fight."

That is entirely fair and a good point. Well taken.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:46 PM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


to clarify, when i say "i don't think there's a reason" - what i mean is, i understand your reasoning - that there's been a fuckton of hearing hooves around here in the past few days and the misogyny horses have trampled through, and that this type of argument can be a cover for something else. i just think it'd do us well to wait until the argument became that instead of arming up early.
posted by nadawi at 8:47 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh good. i was afraid i had expressed that badly. feminist fist pound!
posted by nadawi at 8:47 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


i know we're having that burner of a thread a little down metatalk and it's been hurtful and frustrating and i admit that i'm feeling raw from it all. i just think we can help this thread not turn into that thread if we try to not come pre-wound for the fight.

You're absolutely right, and I definitely came into this thread doing that. Apologies to all.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 8:49 PM on September 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


Does that mean you're not going to kill all men?
posted by Nomyte at 8:52 PM on September 27, 2013


Fedoras? Why, no sir! Straw boaters are where it's at!

Why, it's the perfect thing for a nice picnic by the gazebo, or for a whiz along the promenade on your new velocipede! Not to mention taking your girl or fella out for a row down by the amusement pier!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:53 PM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Apologies to all.

Thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:58 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


to be clear. people are not wearing enough hats
posted by philip-random at 9:12 PM on September 27, 2013


What concerns me is why people started calling those narrow-brimmed pork-pie-style hipster hats fedoras, when they are no such bleedin' thing.
posted by Decani at 9:20 PM on September 27, 2013 [24 favorites]


because the people who wear them call them fedoras. now, why that happens is a whole other conversation.
posted by nadawi at 9:30 PM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow, that Fedoras of OK Cupid tumblr is really repellent. Half the posts are justifiably mocking the misogyny and casual racism of the profiled guys. The other half of the posts are gross, creepy, mean-spirited bullying, with lots of body-shaming and classism thrown in for good measure ("oh hey look at this fat loser from the suburbs who shops at the mall and thinks he's sophisticated how disgusting of him to dare to create a dating profile"). Yuck.
posted by dontjumplarry at 9:32 PM on September 27, 2013 [18 favorites]


Seriously. Those things are some of my least favorite parts of the internet.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:39 PM on September 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


OP asked why people might be giving him the stink eye when he wears a fedora in public, and also what the common stereotypes about fedoras are/what is people's deal with the whole fedora thing.

People answered that question.

Frankly, I think "Fedoras are awesome, nobody ever thinks anything bad about them and you should definitely get one and never worry about cultural stereotypes around them or what your clothes say about you, at all" is either bad advice or not really germane enough to count as an answer to the question.

OP did not ask "should I wear a fedora?" or "what are some of the advantages to wearing a fedora?" He specifically asked what the stereotypes about fedoras are and why some people might not like them.
posted by Sara C. at 9:49 PM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Honestly, has anyone ever met one of those "peacocking" PUA types or a greasy ponytail nerd with a fedora IRL?

Yes. I have two strong experiences with the Fedora Dude in real life.

The first was arguably before the Fedora Dude trope was really a thing. It was in high school, circa the late 90's, and there was this Very Pretentious Guy who was part of my social circle (and who was very noticeably on the prowl/figuring out how to make girls like him) who did the whole fedora, trench coat, slim volume of poetry thing. "Peacocking" wasn't really a thing then, but that's absolutely what he was doing. I will not pass judgment, though, because I, too, was a Very Pretentious Girl, and I had my own ridiculous affectations. (Which I think I even mentioned in the original Fedora question.)

The second was much more recently, through OKCupid. I went on one date with this guy who wore a fedora the entire time, despite most of the date taking place indoors. He even tried to make out with me in the fedora, which, no. At that point I was like, "Aren't you going to take your hat off?" to which he answered no, because then I would see his receding hairline. I still think about this and laugh even now, and it's probably the definitive moment I started to distrust Fedora Dudes. Also, it kind of boggles the mind -- I mean, is he going to wear the fedora during sex? In the shower? At our wedding? If he needs to wear the fedora so I won't find out he has a receding hairline, what does that mean for our future? Ridiculous. Also, he had a lot of other irritating Nice Guy/PUA type traits. Despite actually being a pretty nice person who I probably would have gone out with again if he hadn't been such an insecure Nice Guy/Pickup Artist.

So, yes, they exist.
posted by Sara C. at 9:58 PM on September 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


What concerns me is why people started calling those narrow-brimmed pork-pie-style hipster hats fedoras, when they are no such bleedin' thing.
posted by Decani at 11:20 PM on September 27

Exactly. Fedoras are those grainy-1940s-black-and-white-movie-in-the-mists-looking hats, and if I could ever find one large enough for my big fat head I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Pork-pie hats are those Frank Sinatra jobs with the comically tiny brims. And those are the hats that are being mocked, best I can tell, and not fedoras. Or, rather, people wearing those hats.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:06 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've always seen the Indiana Jones/40s-black-and-white-movie hats (with the wider brim and the prominently peaked front) as being the hats we are all mocking, and the multitude of other brimmed hats as being probably OK depending on the situation.

I trace it back to the reproduction Indiana Jones fedora that used to be for sale in the old LucasArts catalogues back in the 90s. I think a whole generation of geeky dudes fell in love with the idea of Wearing A Fedora Like Indy and never really got over it. I'm sure there's a female geek analogue, but nothing immediately comes to mind.
posted by Sara C. at 10:14 PM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


To my eye, the question was "I'm slightly confused by fedora hatred; please give me some detailed background on it." So people told him where their own personal fedora hatred came from. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Honest question: what kind of answers would you have liked to see?
posted by ostro at 10:15 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat. —P. J. O'Rourke
If I recall the passage correctly, O'Rourke goes on to say that no one should ever wear a baseball hat unless they are a center fielder, something to that effect.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:19 PM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


There is a hat shop downtown that is always packed with people buying deerstalkers and cloches and berets and, of course, fedoras.

My head is too large (too much bone, or perhaps gristle between the ears?) to wear any of those hats. That's probably a good thing.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:38 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Honest question: what kind of answers would you have liked to see?

Thanks! I read the question as "where do the negative stereotypes about fedora wearers come from?"

It's possible that there is no definitive answer. If this was an unanswerable question along the lines of "where do stereotypes about fat people come from," I would've preferred if people just didn't answer. No one is making anyone post responses to questions without meaningful answers. FIAMO.

I can imagine meaningful answers to questions like these, but I think they're rare. If the OP had asked about toothbrush mustaches, the answer would be "because Hitler wore one." That is an answer that points to a specific historical source.

The opposite would have been if the OP asked about a pencil mustache, like the one John Waters wears, and the answers had been "because it makes you look like a perv, like that perv I met who wore one." That's a stereotype, not a source of stereotypes.

One could point to an extremely negative historical figure, or a particularly repulsive and well-known ad campaign, or a popular fictional character.

The lowest standard of a meaningful answer would have been to say "these hats are out of style and there are many negative stereotypes about their wearers, mostly having to do with their wearers being creepy, entitled, clueless, greasy, and smelly." That kind of answer would have at least kept the stereotype at arm's length.

Instead, most of the answers just flat-out asserted whatever stereotypes occurred to the user at that moment.
posted by Nomyte at 10:38 PM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


What I learned from this callout? That people think nerds are greasy. I had no idea that stereotype existed.

The nerds I know are attentive to personal hygiene.
posted by 26.2 at 10:43 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


See, I think "because it makes you look like a perv" would be a perfectly good answer to an identical question about pencil moustaches. Especially since it turned out the original poster was actually wrong about what stereotypes his fedora might be evoking ("bro," which, as several people pointed out, is not really associated with fedoras.) It's as if he posted saying "Why do people hate my pencil moustache? I know they're associated with humorless 70s cops, but there must be more to the hate!" and people responded with "Actually, you might be getting those reactions because, well . . . I, personally, look at one of those moustaches and think 'perv.'"

After all, within the post, the actual question is:

I know that they are somewhat associated with a lot of brodown-ing at the brodeo and overall douchiness, but is that really all there is to the hate?

which to me sounds like he's wondering what else they might be associated with that would garner hate.
posted by ostro at 10:55 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


If this was an unanswerable question along the lines of "where do stereotypes about fat people come from,"

That is a totally answerable question.

The opposite would have been if the OP asked about a pencil mustache, like the one John Waters wears, and the answers had been "because it makes you look like a perv, like that perv I met who wore one." That's a stereotype, not a source of stereotypes.

But that's a totally answerable question, too, and one that doesn't reduce to "hurf durf pervs". If I were answering it, I'd say that (not unlike the fedora thing), it stems from the position of mustaches in general within American culture. A pencil thin mustache is a very specific statement, one you don't want to make because the razor slipped.

Look, Nomyte, I know you don't happen to like it, but the bottom line is that sartorial and grooming choices are a form of social communication.

Earlier today, a friend and I went to a possibly important meeting. I wore a t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of cute flats with minimal makeup and my hair pulled back. She wore full makeup, a cute dress, and heels. We were communicating very specific things about our role in the meeting, our personal style, and our way of relating to the world. Neither of us was wrong. Both of us gave off a specific impression to the other person in the meeting, which is not something easily taken back. Both of us have to own the implications of those aesthetic choices, whether it's "fair" or not.

I think one of the reasons people keep going to a Men's Rights or "All About Teh Menz" place with you is that this is something women are required to come to terms with at a very young age, and something many men have the privilege to never be aware of. I think this is part of the reason why the fedora is such a powerful symbol in current discourse about gender.
posted by Sara C. at 10:55 PM on September 27, 2013 [87 favorites]


26.2: the "greasy social misfit" trope goes back at least to the late 1940s-early 1950s. I remember it appearing in one of Enid Blyton's novels about girls boarding schools. The weird, quiet, socially awkward girl had "greasy hair" and pimples. As I recall, it resolved with the intervention of the popular girl, who befriended her and gave her a comb.
posted by dontjumplarry at 11:02 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lots of women avoid wearing makeup and choose their clothing based on comfort first and sexiness second. "We are powerless to stop it, so we are forced to perpetuate it" is kind of an odd rhetorical stance to take, but maybe that's just my "All About Teh Menz" showing.

Also, I strongly doubt that the fedora is a powerful symbol outside Tumblr and other drive-by snark communities.
posted by Nomyte at 11:03 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


What I learned from this callout? That people think nerds are greasy. I had no idea that stereotype existed.

The nerds I know are attentive to personal hygiene.


I have been to numerous nerd conventions where there were detailed instructions on using the hotel soap and elaborate begging to please do so in the convention program. I used to carry Vick's VapoRub and dab it under my nose--a tip I got from a homicide detective buddy that deals with a lot of dead bodies--because while it is terrible for your sinuses, day three of a nerd convention is even worse. I've had to shake hands with a guy whose hair was so greasy his hair was dripping on to his shirt and forming elaborate grease rivulets and flood plains. So that is out there.

(You can read this in a Roy Batty voice if you like).
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:10 PM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Lots of women avoid wearing makeup and choose their clothing based on comfort first and sexiness second.

Those women are sending a message about themselves, too. (And I'm one of them, mostly, so trust me on this.) It's not just that, by trying to be sexy, you "perpetuate" something bad.

Every single human being on the planet is part of this conversation. Period. It's part of what makes us human.

Now, affluent white straight men in developed countries get a pass. They largely get to pretend this conversation doesn't exist, unless they elect to acknowledge it by adopting a specific aesthetic.

Part of the reason the Fedora Guy is so meme-worthy is that he's a straight white affluent first-world man who is trying to have his cake and eat it too by pretending the sartorial conversation doesn't exist and yet still adopting a more specific aesthetic. The battle lines get drawn when everyone who isn't a straight white affluent first-world man decides not to help him maintain the fiction, this time.
posted by Sara C. at 11:12 PM on September 27, 2013 [49 favorites]


I am confused by the box you seem to have assigned me to.

Also, we seem to have diametrically opposite opinions on what the extremely limited range of acceptable male attire at any given time in modern history represents.

And finally, I am totally confused by your take on what coming into a thread about unusual menswear and telling other people that they look like slobs actually accomplishes in your dialectical framework. Is it a symbolic gesture to make men aware of gender privilege by reinforcing the narrowness of their fashion choices?
posted by Nomyte at 11:19 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I mean, is he going to wear the fedora during sex?

I prefer a fez
posted by The Gooch at 11:22 PM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


telling other people that they look like slobs

Clothes have rules.

Welcome to the life of the other 99% of humanity.
posted by Sara C. at 11:23 PM on September 27, 2013 [14 favorites]


I'm glad you have the rulebook to life.
posted by Nomyte at 11:25 PM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am very confused by the idea that there aren't rules for men's fashion or that men are not aware there are rules.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:26 PM on September 27, 2013 [22 favorites]


Now, affluent white straight men in developed countries get a pass. They largely get to pretend this conversation doesn't exist, unless they elect to acknowledge it by adopting a specific aesthetic.

How affluent do I have to be to get a pass?

I'm not really sure this is true for most men. Some boys are teased about their clothes, I certainly was. They are judged in high school and college by their clothes. They agonize over interview and work outfits.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:27 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]




But, I mean, that's what all this "I'm too lazy to wear deodorant" or "those weird Vibram foot shoes are totally a normal thing to wear", etc. is, right? Is the steadfast insistence that there shouldn't be rules for men's fashion, and that they ought to be able to do what they like with no consequences.

Daring to tell such men that, yes, body odor exists and is not a conspiracy by the deodorant makers, and no, Vibrams are not cool at all, is tantamount to "body shaming" them.

I mean, I personally agree that, even in the narrow confines of what usually counts as appropriate male appearance, something is being communicated. The privilege part is where one is able to be oblivious to the whole thing, until one is glared at for wearing a stupid looking hat.

People might glare at you if you wear a dumb hat. Them's the breaks.
posted by Sara C. at 11:34 PM on September 27, 2013 [36 favorites]


I'm not really sure this is true for most men. Some boys are teased about their clothes, I certainly was. They are judged in high school and college by their clothes. They agonize over interview and work outfits.

And God forbid they wear anything feminine. Men have a much easier time with clothes for the most part because society doesn't judge their worthiness as much based on attractiveness, but fashion sticks them in a pretty rigid box. The rules are much more straightforward, but strongly enforced. I'd like to see more men willing to experiment and really try and express themselves, which is why I'm not crazy about stereotyping based on fashion when it starts to sound a bit too mean. It can scare people off from trying to be unique. "Those shoes aren't cool." just reminds me of grade school.

Hygiene is a totally different thing.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:38 PM on September 27, 2013 [19 favorites]


Oh, I totally agree about men being willing to experiment and try.

But so much of it, to me, has always seemed more like not wanting to actually try, but just wanting to wear whatever and get the man pass anyway.

I think most men who dress outside the conventional male box and do so with purpose are doing great. One example that comes to mind for me is a scenic construction foreman I knew who used to wear a utilikilt to work regularly. He knew he was taking a risk, and he went for it, and he totally owned it. Despite having to do physical work and use tools and climb ladders all day.

I think men who wear basically the usual guy thing but with the addition of a Super Kewl Hat look like assholes. If you want to wear an unconventional hat, learn the social contract around wearing that type of hat. Don't just put on a hat and think you're god's gift.
posted by Sara C. at 11:45 PM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think you're muddying the waters. And I say that as a person who's gone to a huge anime convention as an outsider with a young sibling in tow. The "smelly nerds" thing is a function of (a) thousands of human bodies packed into tight quarters for long periods of time, and (b) a convenient target for bashing. Everyone loves to bash smelly nerds. Especially other nerds, in a sort-of selfish grab for basic respect: "I'm not like those other nerds! I don't smell!" Go to Otakon. There's no smell.

I'm going to say one word. Just one word. Heteronormativity. Reflected through clothes, in particular. You don't want to wear old clothes, or unusual clothes, or unfashionable clothes, because they're faggy. I mean, isn't that what we're saying, that clothes send a message about their wearer? Well, sometimes clothing says that you look faggy, because it's not new enough, or stylish enough, or expensive enough, or there isn't enough of it, or whatever the fuck.

We police each other constantly. Sure, heteronormativity is inextricably linked to classism and patriarchy. Aren't they just names for different aspects of the same society? So this is why I react very negatively to exhortations to dress normal and conform already. It's the same middle-school bullshit, except now we honestly believe in it and consider this kind of policing normal and even socially important.
posted by Nomyte at 11:45 PM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


But, I mean, that's what all this "I'm too lazy to wear deodorant" or "those weird Vibram foot shoes are totally a normal thing to wear", etc. is, right?

I am always shocked when I hear stuff like this. Is this really common? Obviously I don't ask other people about deodorant but I've noticed it on peoples desks at work etc and they don't walk around all stank.

I would anticipate a merciless mocking if I wore something like those vibram toe shoes.

I mean there are guys I work with who go off on other guys for for wearing peaked lapels or brown suits for gods sake.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:47 PM on September 27, 2013


Exactly. Fedoras are those grainy-1940s-black-and-white-movie-in-the-mists-looking hats, and if I could ever find one large enough for my big fat head I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Pork-pie hats are those Frank Sinatra jobs with the comically tiny brims. And those are the hats that are being mocked, best I can tell, and not fedoras. Or, rather, people wearing those hats.

The thin brimmed hats are called Trillbys. Pork Pie hats have a flat or slightly rounded top, no dents. Both are made fun of.

I can imagine meaningful answers to questions like these, but I think they're rare. If the OP had asked about toothbrush mustaches, the answer would be "because Hitler wore one." That is an answer that points to a specific historical source.

The opposite would have been if the OP asked about a pencil mustache, like the one John Waters wears, and the answers had been "because it makes you look like a perv, like that perv I met who wore one." That's a stereotype, not a source of stereotypes.


The fact that it makes you look like a perv is why Jon Waters wears one. Ironic celebrations of camp and trashiness are his thing.

The lowest standard of a meaningful answer would have been to say "these hats are out of style and there are many negative stereotypes about their wearers, mostly having to do with their wearers being creepy, entitled, clueless, greasy, and smelly." That kind of answer would have at least kept the stereotype at arm's length.


My personal feeling is that the thing about stereotypes is that you should try and keep an open mind and be aware that because someone matches up to a stereotype in some superficial way they might not in others.

This does not mean stereotypes are never true, and nothing can validly be inferred from an individual's apparent adherence to one. Culture exists. Everything everyone chooses to wear is type of tribal decoration, and a declaration of allegiance. Everyone will always draw inferences from what people wear. That's how you know to maybe ask the guy wearing six inch black leather moon boots white foundation and about nine pounds of rivets all over his pants what NIN album he thinks is best instead if which Lucinda Williams joint. Nothing prevents a dude who dresses goth from loving Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, but it wouldn't and shouldn't be anyone's first guess as to his taste.

It seems silly to me to expect that any and every discussion of stereotypes should be couched in some sort of phrasing that makes clear that the We Good People Of Metafilter all know that the stereotype is baseless but nevertheless this it what it consists of. If a question is basically asking "what will people think of me if I X" then a discussion if the stereotypes associated with X is not merely inevitable but entirely appropriate, whether X is going vegan or buying a crotch rocket or taking your spouse's name or wearing a fedora.
posted by Diablevert at 11:49 PM on September 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


But so much of it, to me, has always seemed more like not wanting to actually try, but just wanting to wear whatever and get the man pass anyway.

This is incoherent. A guy wearing a utilikilt is not using a "man pass," but someone wearing a fedora is? And a fedora is an example of "wearing whatever," while a utilikilt is not? I mean, we're not talking about guys who wear a fedora one day and a Burger King crown the next.
posted by Nomyte at 11:49 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am always shocked when I hear stuff like this. Is this really commom?

I was referring explicitly to that AskMe from a few weeks ago where a college aged dude (no idea his nerd affiliation) asked Metafilter whether it was OK for him to stop wearing deodorant, because, like, that's not really a thing, right?

The consensus, of course, was that of course wearing deodorant is a thing, and if you want to be a human in society*, you'll wear deodorant, whether you happen to enjoy doing so or not.

*With minor caveats for "unless you are part of X ethnic group or live in Y country", of course.
posted by Sara C. at 11:54 PM on September 27, 2013


I was referring explicitly to that AskMe from a few weeks ago where a college aged dude (no idea his nerd affiliation) asked Metafilter whether it was OK for him to stop wearing deodorant, because, like, that's not really a thing, right?

Oh ok. I was worried it was some kind of trend or that my own experience, you know showering and using deodorant and putting at least some effort into my clothes was way out of line with most men.I mean, I don't want to be the only guy without vibram 5 fingers you know?
posted by Ad hominem at 12:00 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The fact that it makes you look like a perv is why Jon Waters wears one. Ironic celebrations of camp and trashiness are his thing.

Being a former Baltimorean, I'm pretty sure that Waters originally adopted it as a tribute to Little Richard in the 70s, and that Little Richard had been wearing his for a long time before that. It was once considered to be a pretty slick way to style facial hair. It was a "young debonair" mustache. Errol Flynn wore it. John Waters made it into what it is today.

The consensus, of course, was that of course wearing deodorant is a thing, and if you want to be a human in society*, you'll wear deodorant, whether you happen to enjoy doing so or not.

You may find it inconceivable, but I grew up in a society that didn't use underarm deodorant. We lived on Monkey Island and put dinosaur bones through our noses. … Er, no. And even in the US, there are people who don't use artificial antiperspirants. They intersect to an extent with the "no shampoo" people. I think you're taking certain non-obvious things for granted, calling them universal, and then being sanctimonious about them.
posted by Nomyte at 12:08 AM on September 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm not getting what the problem is, seriously. Some people think that. They mentioned it in a question asking why some people have negative associations with fedoras. If this issue is that some people are saying that there are negative attributes that they attach to nerds, well, they'll be uncomfortable at the meetups, I guess.

I don't think the entire population hates fedoras, it's just the vocal nerds on the internet. And honestly, what is Metafilter if it isn't 10,000 nerds acting like kings of the jungle.

I think metafilter hates fedoras, because wearing them can be construed as peacocking. And nerds can't pull that shit off.

So yeah, that's why you'll get such heated responses from metafilter users when fedoras come up.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:17 AM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Some wear pork pie hats because Lester Young.
posted by Wolof at 12:25 AM on September 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Being a former Baltimorean, I'm pretty sure that Waters originally adopted it as a tribute to Little Richard in the 70s, and that Little Richard had been wearing his for a long time before that.

Tributes to Little Richard and celebrations of camp and trashiness seem remarkably similar to me.


It was once considered to be a pretty slick way to style facial hair. It was a "young debonair" mustache. Errol Flynn wore it. John Waters made it into what it is today.

The exact point when pencil moustaches transitioned from slick a debonaire to pervy is a interesting question. I agree that the things were fashionable for a period in the 1930s (Errol, as you mention, along with Clark Gable and William Powell, off the top of my head.) I'd say they were definitely out of fashion long before the 1970s, and my guess would be that their Chester the Molester aura was a part of why...I shouldn't wonder if Vincent Price in House of Wax isn't to blame, now that I think about it.
posted by Diablevert at 12:30 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Tributes to Little Richard and celebrations of camp and trashiness seem remarkably similar to me.

It should be pointed out that Little Richard didn't start out campy, or at least not any campier than other black male rock'n'roll performers in the early 60s.
posted by Nomyte at 12:37 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm going to say one word. Just one word. Heteronormativity. Reflected through clothes, in particular. You don't want to wear old clothes, or unusual clothes, or unfashionable clothes, because they're faggy. I mean, isn't that what we're saying, that clothes send a message about their wearer? Well, sometimes clothing says that you look faggy, because it's not new enough, or stylish enough, or expensive enough, or there isn't enough of it, or whatever the fuck.

Not really. I can't think of too many "fags" of my acquaintance who don't dress very well, or at least, who aren't aware of the image they are putting forth.

I also don't think anyone was implying fedoras, or any of the other varieties of sartorial mishaps you mention, were "faggy." I am really mystified where that came from. It is true that a man who dresses flamboyantly, or too well, will find himself the target of shouts of "HEY FAGGOT" from the occasional passing car. But nobody in this conversation has said or implied that they dislike fedoras because they are "faggy."

The point that the way we choose to dress is a powerful kind of communication is a valid one. I don't necessarily think that men get a pass, or that they are excused from the effects of that kind of judgement. I think it is unfortunate that men don't have as much choice with regard to the variety of ways they are socially allowed to present themselves. I also don't think men in general are expected to put much thought into their appearance - most the men I know have a personal uniform (this type of pants, that type of shirt, this color socks, buy five of everything, ta-da, dude wardrobe. Anything beyond that is the part of the Dude Map marked "HERE BE DRAGONS."

The problem with fedoras is that they have taken on the taint of a particularly vile social phenomenon (peacocking pickup artists) and that is something that someone might want to know when choosing headgear. It didn't used to be that way - for a long time, the fedora was a perfectly respectable chapeau. It is only in the last few years that it has taken on negative social connotations. I must admit I was unaware of the "greasy basement nerd" connotation until recently, but then, I was one of the Hat People myself (top hat, bowler, newsboy cap, and yes, fedora) so that might have just whooshed over my head.

Fedoras, and this may be even more damning, are just really, really, trendy. Bad stupid fedoras (and not-fedoras, those cheap crappy short brimmed abominations made out of cardboard and orphans) are everywhere.

But a fella looking to punch up his wardrobe with something fancy-but-not-too-fancy might not know that. So it's legit to ask.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:46 AM on September 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


For the record, I am pro dandy-foppery, and would like to see more of that sort of thing.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:48 AM on September 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


I also don't think anyone was implying fedoras, or any of the other varieties of sartorial mishaps you mention, were "faggy." I am really mystified where that came from. It is true that a man who dresses flamboyantly, or too well, will find himself the target of shouts of "HEY FAGGOT" from the occasional passing car. But nobody in this conversation has said or implied that they dislike fedoras because they are "faggy."

That was in response to comments like this one, which seem to say that men don't have to pay attention to clothes, which is part of their privilege. Or that their narrow wardrobe selection is. Or their ability to wear hats? Or the expectation that they won't be called out for wearing hats? I'm not even sure.
posted by Nomyte at 12:53 AM on September 28, 2013


Sara C., there's something really troubling to me about the gleeful way you seek to police middle class social norms around clothing, grooming and personal hygiene. I think the problem is that, while you try to paint these codes as universal social conventions that apply to "99% of humanity" (?!), in fact they are not. They're often culturally contingent, hegemonic constructions, in the Gramscian sense. We're made to feel that these codes are just "common sense" (of course you use deodorant! who wants a smelly workplace! of course you look nice for an interview, nobody likes a slob! of course you don't wear fedoras! All New Yorkers know they are uncool!). But in fact these clothing and grooming codes reflect the interests of the privileged class (of which you are a member) in maintaining class privileges, social order, social signalling and so on.

In policing these codes of dress and grooming, what you're actually doing is reinforcing the privileges of the powerful, while shitting on people who are marginalized or disadvantaged, economically, culturally or geographically.
posted by dontjumplarry at 12:54 AM on September 28, 2013 [22 favorites]


[Large corporate boardroom filled with suited executives]

Exec #1: Item six on the agenda: "The Meaning of Life" Now uh, Harry, you've had some thoughts on this.
Exec #2: Yeah, I've had a team working on this over the past few weeks, and what we've come up with can be reduced to two fundamental concepts. One: People aren't wearing enough hats. Two: Matter is energy. In the universe there are many energy fields which we cannot normally perceive. Some energies have a spiritual source which act upon a person's soul. However, this "soul" does not exist ab initio as orthodox Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved owing to man's unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia.
Exec #3: What was that about hats again?
posted by mannequito at 1:38 AM on September 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


Wow, that Fedoras of OK Cupid tumblr is really repellent.

Not least because it's full of trilbys, with barely a fedora among them.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:49 AM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


To my eye, the question was "I'm slightly confused by fedora hatred; please give me some detailed background on it." So people told him where their own personal fedora hatred came from. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Honest question: what kind of answers would you have liked to see?

I think there's a distinction between "Here's why some people hate fedoras", "Here's why I hate fedoras", and "Here's why some people hate fedoras and they're RIGHT, you fedora-wearer, you!"
posted by corb at 3:31 AM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Now, a Panama hat is really the essential thing to wear when one must leave the comfort of one's own veranda to go play backgammon and drink gins and soda with the Minister of Trade. It's the only civilized thing left to do in this dreary country, especially now that the rebels have closed the southern highway.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:11 AM on September 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


Sara C., there's something really troubling to me about the gleeful way you seek to police middle class social norms around clothing, grooming and personal hygiene.

Sara C. isn't "policing middle class social norms etc. etc." she's merely pointing out that those things exist. You don't have to like it, and you don't have to abide by it but it's there.

The first impression, and often the only impression, other people get from you is from your physical presence, primarily what you look like. How you choose to present yourself is a powerful social indicator, that tells others things about your culture, your social and economic class, your profession. Claiming to opt out of that, through defiance or neglect, is still making a choice about how you appear to others.



Is it unfair? Absolutely. But pointing out it exists isn't the same thing as endorsing it.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:19 AM on September 28, 2013 [46 favorites]


The deodorant question was from a woman, as far as I know.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:17 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yep, double checked. She's a woman.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:19 AM on September 28, 2013


this is something women are required to come to terms with at a very young age, and something many men have the privilege to never be aware of

How nice it would be if this were true. When men at a very young age became all too aware of this "something", a school risks having its Columbine moment.
posted by Tanizaki at 5:23 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The first was arguably before the Fedora Dude trope was really a thing. It was in high school, circa the late 90's, and there was this Very Pretentious Guy who was part of my social circle (and who was very noticeably on the prowl/figuring out how to make girls like him) who did the whole fedora, trench coat, slim volume of poetry thing.

That was me! (In a different high school in another part of the U.S.) I really did read and enjoy that book of poetry. That was the least phony part of the ensemble.
posted by Area Man at 5:25 AM on September 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sara C., there's something really troubling to me about the gleeful way you seek to police middle class social norms around clothing, grooming and personal hygiene. I think the problem is that, while you try to paint these codes as universal social conventions that apply to "99% of humanity" (?!), in fact they are not. They're often culturally contingent, hegemonic constructions, in the Gramscian sense....But in fact these clothing and grooming codes reflect the interests of the privileged class (of which you are a member) in maintaining class privileges, social order, social signalling and so on.

I dunno that the American obsession with deodorant is particularly class-marked. Particularly American, sure.
posted by Diablevert at 5:34 AM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I had a girlfriend, years back, named Dora. And, yes, I fed her.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:05 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I had no deeply held opinions about guys who wear fedoras until I saw in that thread, and this thread, and probably other previous MetaFilter fedora threads, that some guys who wear fedoras get REALLY ANGRY when they find out other people don't love their fedoras as much as they do.

Before that I guess I thought fedoras were pretentious and silly, because that's what I associate with wearing essentially a piece of a costume, without the whole costume. But I have sort of a soft spot for pretentious, silly partial costume wearing, because I did a lot of theatre in my younger days. I spent a lot of time around a lot of guys who would absolutely have worn jeans and a t-shirt and a large anachronistic hat. I can't remember if any of them ever did this, but they totally would have. (At least they would have done it as a conscious Damon Runyon reference, but anyway.)

In general I think wearing an inappropriate hat is a bit attention-seeking, and I wouldn't want to date a guy who feels he could only get attention through a sartorial gimmick, but other than that, I feel - or felt until I read all these MetaFilter threads - that what someone else wants to wear, even if it's ridiculous, is ultimately their business and not mine.

But now I'm thinking that a sizable portion of fedora-wearing men (not the ones who wear them with a nice suit and overcoat on rainy days) are attracted to that hat and possibly other inappropriate hats because of some personality trait which also causes them to get REALLY ANGRY about things that are (to me, anyway) trivial.

I mean, I like kitten heels. They used to be very much in fashion, now they are not at all in fashion, and they're often seen in lists of "Whatever you do, ladies, do not leave your house in these 10 fashion items!!" But I continue to wear the pair I have because I think they suit me, despite their disfavor in the fashion world. Apparently there is (was?) a really popular Facebook page devoted to hating on them. And I disagree, but that doesn't make me ANGRY. That kind of response is worrisome IMHO.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 6:08 AM on September 28, 2013 [37 favorites]


I strongly doubt that the fedora is a powerful symbol outside Tumblr and other drive-by snark communities.

you can doubt it all you want. the sneering at nerds in fedoras was well on its way in the mid 90s in the flyover states - i know because i was there (not sneering, as i mentioned, i dated them). it might have reached a sort of peak with the internet - but it's not just something that is made up for the purpose of knocking nerds.

The "smelly nerds" thing is a function of (a) thousands of human bodies packed into tight quarters for long periods of time, and (b) a convenient target for bashing.

i'm glad the anime con you went to didn't smell, but again, your experience isn't universal. i've never been to a con and i've had lots of nerdy friends who were very smelly. of course, i also hung out in punk and indie rock circles, and quite a few of those boys were smelly too (there was there a huge overlap with the nerd community in my area, though). and not just in a "i think boys are smelly" (i don't. i like a guy with a day's worth of smell on him) but in a, yes, very stereotypical way of not showering for long periods and dandruff and dirty clothes.

now there were also the nerds who were very focused on personal hygiene, but that doesn't remove the other group who aren't.
posted by nadawi at 6:30 AM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Someone beat me to it, but the "I wanted to be Joey Jeremiah" in that question was just too perfect.

Joey Jeremiah was a class-A douche.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:36 AM on September 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, people made jokes about nerds (specifically compsci and architecture majors) smelling at Carnegie Mellon as early as 1998. It's not a recent thing.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:37 AM on September 28, 2013


There are plenty of arguably unfair assumptions which go into judging people for wearing fedoras or not noticeably not wearing deodorant or whatever. It doesn't mean that these assumptions don't exist, or that you shouldn't be aware of them.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:45 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Point being, I don't know why the fedora/trilby gets to be singled out as an item of clothing with a bum rap. Lots of clothing, even clothing for men, is regarded as silly/passé/ugly/whatever.

I mean, if you're a guy, and you went out of the house wearing those really long elfin shoes with the bells on the tip, you'd get a different reaction than if you were wearing Chucks or penny loafers or trainers.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:48 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Which isn't to say that really long elfin shoes with the bells on the tip aren't totally awesome, but I only wear them because I'm a wicked sprite of the Unseelie Court who laughs like a tinkling chime and replaces babies with changelings.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:51 AM on September 28, 2013 [20 favorites]


it's been my experience that for a lot of the other outside of the norm clothing choices, the people wearing them aren't as concerned that everyone else validates their choice.
posted by nadawi at 6:53 AM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Not the case for that AskMe question, though!
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:57 AM on September 28, 2013


Point being, I don't know why the fedora/trilby gets to be singled out as an item of clothing with a bum rap. Lots of clothing, even clothing for men, is regarded as silly/passé/ugly/whatever.

The question was about fedoras. The question was about the bum rap about fedoras.
posted by dawkins_7 at 6:58 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, I get that. This MeTa was about someone expressing concern over the fedora getting a lot of hate. What I'm saying is, there's nothing unusual or especially unfair about the fedora being regarded negatively.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:03 AM on September 28, 2013


Just wait until people here find out that at least two of their moderators have olive green Crocs. Talk about the hate.
posted by taz (staff) at 7:23 AM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Hey, bottom line: fedoras are GREAT if the brim in front is turned upward. If it's not, then fedoras are, on anyone other than Humphrey Bogart, an embarrassment.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:28 AM on September 28, 2013


As we were leaving the house last night to go to iamkimiam meetup #1, gingerbeer said, honey, you should wear a fedora! But we were halfway down the stairs and I was too lazy to go back up and get one. And I was wearing a hoodie already, and to me it would be weird to wear a hoodie *and* a hat, unless the hat is a baseball cap and I am on my way to hawkwatch where it can be both sunny and cold/windy.

No one at Frjtz, mefite or otherwise, was wearing a fedora. In smoke breaks out front, I also did not see any Friday night revelers on Valencia wearing fedoras. So, yeah, whoever said above that we may have passed Peak Fedora might be right.

But maybe I'll wear one to the meetup tomorrow down in Palo Alto.
posted by rtha at 7:46 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have several fedoras. I'm 43. I started wearing one back in '87 when it was my inheritance from my great grandfather. I wore it as a sort of fuck you (along with most my 17 year old fashion choices). When I hit my 30s I pretty much quite caring what strangers thought of my appearance.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:48 AM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Look, Nomyte, I know you don't happen to like it, but the bottom line is that sartorial and grooming choices are a form of social communication.

Earlier today, a friend and I went to a possibly important meeting. I wore a t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of cute flats with minimal makeup and my hair pulled back. She wore full makeup, a cute dress, and heels. We were communicating very specific things about our role in the meeting, our personal style, and our way of relating to the world. Neither of us was wrong. Both of us gave off a specific impression to the other person in the meeting, which is not something easily taken back. Both of us have to own the implications of those aesthetic choices, whether it's "fair" or not.

I think one of the reasons people keep going to a Men's Rights or "All About Teh Menz" place with you is that this is something women are required to come to terms with at a very young age, and something many men have the privilege to never be aware of. I think this is part of the reason why the fedora is such a powerful symbol in current discourse about gender.


this is a good and correct comment
posted by a birds at 7:55 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fezzes are still cool, right? My smoking jacket needs it.

I know this is a bit belated, but while a fez makes a passable partner to a smoking jacket (and has a wonderful history all its own, although you risk looking like an Ottoman functionary or a Shriner), if you are serious about the partnering of a smoking jacket and a hat, the traditional option is smoking cap. It's a bit fez-like, yes, but fezzes are almost exclusively made of a hard felt and red, while smoking caps are made of softer fabric and can be any color, so long as it is luxurious.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:06 AM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Nomyte...

Huh.

I mean, there are thousands of active users on the site.

An ask question about "why do people hate fedoras?" was posted.

And you seriously expect every answer to fall in line with your personal bounds of acceptable askme civility?

Seriously?

Like. I think you'd be a lot happier if you didn't adopt an attitude where thousands of people must behave as you wish them to or you get upset. There were several perfectly good answers in the thread, so like, seems fine to me.
posted by kavasa at 8:13 AM on September 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


Before that I guess I thought fedoras were pretentious and silly, because that's what I associate with wearing essentially a piece of a costume, without the whole costume. But I have sort of a soft spot for pretentious, silly partial costume wearing, because I did a lot of theatre in my younger days.

At some point, probably a year or so back, I was having dinner with former mefite hermitosis, and he mentioned that he liked hanging out with one particular friend of his because that friend was helpful in pointing out when his outfits went too far out of the realm of clothing and into the realm of costume. And I was like, "I'd be into that, if only so I could really get as costumey as possible on the regular." In my ideal world, people would just wear whatever they wanted whenever they wanted, like little kids who put on dinosaur masks and capes to go to the store.

Anyway, I guess this is my way of saying that if your standard outfit is a dinosaur mask and cape, I'm gonna give you a big thumbs up
posted by Greg Nog at 8:17 AM on September 28, 2013 [31 favorites]


Anyway, I guess this is my way of saying that if your standard outfit is a dinosaur mask and cape, I'm gonna give you a big thumbs up

God, please don't encourage this, unless the wearer is under 10. Aren't there enough attention-whores, compounding daily everywhere we look? Isn't that where the hipster (sub-group: fedora-wearers) hate comes from? Can't we all just kind of live our deal without BLARING IT? Seek out and celebrate our tribes with some dignity? Must we be banging folks over the head with our otherness, our specialness?

Go ahead, pile on. It's just a new version of Metafilter, I'm working to adjust. Sue me.
posted by thinkpiece at 8:27 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


i would love if the term attention-whore just went away already. there are so many other ways to describe that.

also, if hipsters really exist (instead of being a catchall term for people the general you find overly precious), the fedora wearers are in no way their subgroup. fancy hipsters would only wear a fedora with the appropriate clothes, never with jeans and a video game tshirt.
posted by nadawi at 8:33 AM on September 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


Yeah, people made jokes about nerds (specifically compsci and architecture majors)

I can't speak for the compsci guys, but for the architecture folks it's because the jokey stereotype is that they go days at a time without leaving their desks, not really a nerd thing. And to a certain extent it's true, although I would often go home just to take a shower sometimes, which would help wake me up after being up all night, and then I'd go back to work. We did use to say that if there were showers in the architecture building, many of us wouldn't bother renting apartments. There was one time when my roommate, also an architecture major, came up to my desk and asked when the last time I was home was, and I had to sit there and think about it for a while.
posted by LionIndex at 8:33 AM on September 28, 2013


Aren't there enough attention-whores, compounding daily everywhere we look?

Not even close to enough.

By the way, most people who dress up are not seeking your attention and don't care what you think. It's not about you.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:35 AM on September 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


thinkpiece: "Seek out and celebrate our tribes with some dignity?"

I've tried that. Dignity is overrated.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:35 AM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think this is part of the reason why the fedora is such a powerful symbol in current discourse about gender.

These discussions are always a bit weird to me. If I say I don't even think about the statement I am making when I don my hat people say things like, "That's because you come from a position of unexamined privilege." If I say I am aware of the baggage and wear my hat as a fuck you to the world, I am sending a deliberate message of non-conformity. It I wear it because I am balding and insecure I'm probably now some sort of victim of unreasonable societal expectations. If it was a gift and I am trying to please the giver am I still making a larger statement? If I wear it because it has sentimental value I...well, I give up.

I could have 20 different reasons to wear a hat. Could be I didn't shower today and my hair needs hidden. Generally any motivations anyone ascribes my clothing choices are probably twenty years out of date. Now when I wear my "London Calling" shirt the message I am sending isn't that I am a rebel, but rather it's laundry day.

For the first 30 years of my life I made the conscious decision to be a non-conformist and never wear a tie unless someone was being buried or married (and even then only if I was in the wedding or funeral). Tying a tie is not a skill I ever developed. I always had to ask someone else to do this. Now when I don't wear one the statement I am making is that I wouldn't feel comfortable in one, don't own any, and wouldn't know how to pull one off. I'm sure there's a message here, but I don't think it's a greater message than I don't like ties.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:36 AM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Driving along our little state highway/rural road yesterday, I passed through one of the two-stoplight towns that dot the route. There was a high school kid unicycling along the sidewalk. Wearing an Anonymous t-shirt, and a vest, carrying a violin case in one hand and some other instrument case in the other... teetering and balancing the cases, concentrating on riding his unicycle down the old, cracked sidewalk. This is a rural area and he is very likely to be one of only a handful of weirdo kids in his school. My heart leapt for that kid, even though I get the mixed feelings people have for all of our little affectations. I hope he has friends that enjoy his unicycling ways.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:41 AM on September 28, 2013 [42 favorites]


that's just how the world works though, things have meanings and send messages and exist on a cultural level of semiotics whether you as one particular individual are intending it or not because, like, an individual level is by definition not the same as the cultural level
posted by titus n. owl at 8:41 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


And sometimes the message says a lot more about the person interpreting it than the one sending it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:43 AM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


> The thin brimmed hats are called Trillbys.

No, the trilby is basically the British equivalent of the fedora (or, if you prefer, the fedora is basically the US equivalent of the trilby). I say this as someone who has a stack of hats visible from where I sit, one of which is a trilby from Christie's of London; I guarantee that any American looking at it would call it a fedora. It is a great hat, as are all my hats (well, except that cheap-ass rain hat I got in an emergency, which is a perfectly decent specimen of its kind but I wouldn't call it "great").

I don't understand the fedora hate either, but it's a passing meme and in ten years nobody will care. I do, however, oppose the conflation of the fedora with the porkpie. (Sadly, I do not own a porkpie.)
posted by languagehat at 8:46 AM on September 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm going to say that at some level I feel similar to Nomyte in that I found some of the answers in that thread bothersome and they disturbed me quite a bit, too.

I'm also going to briefly go another direction as to why the answers in those thread could bother someone that goes beyond the choice of hats or hat stereotypes. I was a kid that for whatever reason, to save money my parent went with Salvation Army clothes that you could buy at discount. One year to save even more money, a jacket was selected for me that would likely last me until adulthood (as in the jacket went beyond my knees) and certainly didn't resemble a jacket that anyone else wore. Let me say that the elementary school kids let me know in 10,000 ways why the jacket did not conform with what the rest of the herd was wearing. As a middle school kid, I got a paper route and used some of the money to replace that jacket and try to get some other clothes that I thought would fit in with everyone else;once again, I was informed that no, it did not. To be honest, from that point forward, I decided that other than trying to blend in, I was going to give up on trying to follow the rules. I really don't even know half the rules, and I don't even know what a fedora is other than a hat.

I thought that I forgot about those things and that it was long past me as an adult, but when I read those questions and those answers, at some level, it reminds of that incident. There are numerous reasons that someone may not conform with the fashion of the herd.Maybe its money. Maybe it is lack of knowledge about the rules. There is an infinite number of other reasons,but for a moment, just for a moment, I feel like those people could be pointing at me now. Today its hats, next week it is [arbitrary item]/I don't think I even realized that until I read Nomyte's comment in that thread as to why the responses bothered me.

I don't know if this will help anyone, but I thought about that thread a bit more during the week and came to a couple conclusions that helped me be okay with it:

-Just because we think that it doesn't exist anymore (as adults), it is there. So what you are seeing is a reflection of society in general. There are people who will point at the clothes and laugh and there are people who may want to tell everyone else why arbitrary item doesn't fit with the rest of the herd. Part of it is dictated by the culture that you are in. You can't go to another culture and escape it, because other cultures also have their arbitrary rules. So it exists; you are briefly seeing the underbelly of herd mentality. Most often, being in a herd helps you survive, but there are moments when it can hurt. Why would metafilter be expected to act in a different manner since it is composed of humans, no?

-Part of what bothered me about the answer was that I know recognize some of the names. I actually follow some of the people in there to get their great suggestions or ideas for topic A,B, or C. But I have to recognize that as humans we also have our popcorn side that wants to tell us about topic 1, and may also have a side that just responds to something with their inner amygdala and perhaps, point and laugh. I think that if I met someone and they did this, I would walk (and have) walked away and never learn or listen to whatever else they have to offer, but ...both sides are there and it is part of being human. We can decide to listen to what someone offers about topic A and ignore the other parts. I also think that a better way to spend the energy is to identify whether I do this to others, too, although it may not be clothes related; I think that everyone has cultural norms and mores that are now part of us, and it is hard to recognize if what a person is responding to is that the other person is not complying with herd or group behavior.

-I'm also going to stop reading those type of posts and answers.
posted by Wolfster at 8:58 AM on September 28, 2013 [20 favorites]


Yo, Languagehat, you need to get a porkpie, man.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:12 AM on September 28, 2013


> As I recall, it resolved with the intervention of the popular girl, who befriended her and gave her a comb

Yes! She taught the unpopular girl to give her hair 100 strokes at bedtime.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:15 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Joey Jeremiah was a class-A douche.

Heh, I had to carefully rephrase that comment because it was too ripping-on-Joey-Jeremiah originally, which is fair enough, but Joey Jeremiah really does perfectly embody the stereotype, when looked at from an adult perspective.

Ironically, this thread led to an ongoing discussion with my husband about his hat choices. He has a really big jew fro and tends to put ugly baseball caps (which his family loves giving him) over it on sunny days, leading to huge wings on the side of his head, which just don't maximize the hot husbandness. He actually owns a very nice Indiana Jones-style Fedora for cosplaying both Indie and the 4th Doctor (for which the Jew fro is perfect) and I think that would look great with a winter coat and a scarf, so much better than the baseball cap, but he eschews any other hat choice (including, say, kangol hats, which I think would be fine) as "pretentious hipster jerk hats." Husband is very anti-fashion-effort. Too bad, but his choice, I guess.

Also I'm glad I now know the difference between a wider-brimmed fedora and a trilby or pork pie hat. Thanks, metafilter!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:16 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The look I really hate is wearing a belt with suspenders. It's not cool! Choose one or the other, people!

But a tightly-cinched belt gives me the comforting sensation of being constantly hugged by a short person with incredibly skinny yet strong arms, and the suspenders keep my nipples warm while still allowing my navel to breathe! It's the best of both worlds!

Also, fuck judgy people. The only thing they're good for is giving me someone to judge.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:18 AM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


that Fedoras of OK Cupid tumblr i

Those aren't even fedoras!
posted by KokuRyu at 9:25 AM on September 28, 2013


> I trace it back to the reproduction Indiana Jones fedora that used to be for sale in the old LucasArts catalogues back in the 90s

I had one of those, but it was the mid-1980s and I was 14. My parents gave it to me. I wore it with my school uniform (light blue skirt and blouse), but because I couldn't find regulation shoes in my size I wore sneakers, and because it was the 1980s the sneakers fastened with Velcro.

That's a look that's never going to be revived, isn't it. And I haven't even mentioned my glasses.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:26 AM on September 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


So is this a trilby or a fedora?
posted by dawkins_7 at 9:32 AM on September 28, 2013


That is a great story but because I am an irredeemable homestuck all I could think of was this.

okay her parents didn't give it to her, she found it in some ruins, but still
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:33 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


But a tightly-cinched belt gives me the comforting sensation of being constantly hugged by a short person with incredibly skinny yet strong arms, and the suspenders keep my nipples warm while still allowing my navel to breathe! It's the best of both worlds!

But how can you trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders? The man can't even trust his own pants.
posted by mr. digits at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes! She taught the unpopular girl to give her hair 100 strokes at bedtime.

Oh, her hair. Not as interesting now.
posted by bongo_x at 9:44 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just wait until people here find out that at least two of their moderators have olive green Crocs.

I’m out.
posted by bongo_x at 9:45 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dammit, and now this thread has me contemplating fedoras, or at least the hats that Goorin Bros. call fedoras.
posted by rtha at 9:46 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


at least the hats that Goorin Bros. call fedoras.

Is it just me, or is that a collection of hats with brims shorter than cowboy hats? I swear I see a deerstalker in there, and a panama hat, and something that looks more like a toque than anything else.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:52 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am pro dandy-foppery, and would like to see more of that sort of thing.

YES bring on the bejeweled snuffboxes!
posted by elizardbits at 9:58 AM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have a friend who used to wear a fedora all the time ~23 years ago as a college freshman, he was mocked by some of the women in the dorms for it. The next year he updated his look, and ditched the fedora. His soon to be wife Charlotte started dating him, and then found out later that he was "the weirdo hat guy" and almost dumped him. They are still together now, but I think it's pretty funny.

Many Mefites take headdress etiquette to silly lengths.

Etiquette is really contextual.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:02 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not just you, r_n. I linked to them in part to demonstrate that at least here in the U.S., "fedora" seems to have more than one or two definitions. And partly because I just really like their hats. gingerbeer got me my frst one as a birthday present a few years ago, and it's excellent.
posted by rtha at 10:06 AM on September 28, 2013


"Trilby" is a subset of "fedora". They were specifically created by English hatmakers to get a piece of the fedora craze, and the marketing strategy was followed down to the letter (of introducing them to the public by having them worn by the eponymous heroine of a popular play).
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:06 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Let's bring some focus back to this thread.
I mean, we're not talking about guys who wear a fedora one day and a Burger King crown the next.
We really should be. Because I want to know those guys. Names, numbers, etc. Anyone with multiple dinosaur hats gets automatically boosted to the top of the list.
posted by byanyothername at 10:18 AM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


(Only one or two dinosaur hats earns you "Special Consideration," which actually means nothing but wouldn't it make you feel good to have that on a ribbon?)
posted by byanyothername at 10:20 AM on September 28, 2013


Slap*Happy: "Fezzes are still cool, right? My smoking jacket needs it."

This metatalk is about brimmed hats, which excludes discussion of fezzes. Thank you for understanding.
posted by boo_radley at 10:21 AM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


In hat-related news, last winter I saw a small surly child on the cusp of a terrible tantrum, and clutched angrily in one of her little flailing fists were the pompomed ear flap ties of her hot pink fun-fur besequined ushanka. Never before have I so seriously contemplated robbing a child. Plus we were surrounded by fire trucks so the diversion was already right there.
posted by elizardbits at 10:22 AM on September 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


spoiler alert: i did not mug the baby
posted by elizardbits at 10:22 AM on September 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


that does it - i'm leaving the house naked
posted by pyramid termite at 10:25 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


It seems like people go out of their way to hate on people who wear fedoras

I think this is a bit much, for the majority it is more a 'target of opportunity' thing.
posted by biffa at 10:25 AM on September 28, 2013


Also SERIOUS HAT QUESTION: if anyone knows where to get an adult-sized human head shaped version of something like this or this, I would be sincerely grateful.

I'm asking for A Friend.
posted by byanyothername at 10:26 AM on September 28, 2013


etsy
posted by elizardbits at 10:28 AM on September 28, 2013


Well, yeah, that's true.

Actually, being tempted to buy things like this is why I had to stop looking at etsy.
posted by byanyothername at 10:31 AM on September 28, 2013




pyramid termite: "are hello kitty fedoras too creepy?"

hahahahaaaargh
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:35 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is maybe a bit late in a long-ish thread for a beanplating exercise, but I'm going to do it anyhow! I've been thinking a lot about this since yesterday and here's what I think the core issue is. Forget about clothing, fedoras, all of that stuff for a moment. It is an incontrovertible fact that we will make judgments about other people, and they about us, based on aesthetic considerations. I don't even mean "judgments" in a negative way here - I'm just saying that our aesthetic choices inevitably will be interpreted by other people, and we can't control that.

For example, my two favorite movies are Aliens and John Carpenter's The Thing (this is true). You can certainly make some valid inferences about my taste in movies based on this fact. Maybe you think I have terrible taste in movies, or maybe you're like "YES! someone else who likes the same things I do!" Regardless, I cannot control what opinions other people form about me - good or bad - based on this.

A more loaded example is someone who says that their favorite book is Atlas Shrugged (definitely not my favorite book). Many people will form certain impressions of a person whose favorite book is by Ayn Rand.

And these same considerations apply to clothing. Now, you might object! You might claim that it's unfair to make snap decisions about people based on their aesthetic choices. You might say, "don't tell me what to do!" That's all well and good, but our aesthetic choices - especially, say, clothing choices - don't exist in a vacuum. There are other people in the world too and they will have opinions on our choices. This is the price we pay for being people and interacting with other people.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 10:37 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: We've got a huge case of the narcissism of small differences
posted by John Cohen at 10:41 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


it's like junior high school all over again - but with bigger words!
posted by pyramid termite at 10:43 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hello Kitty fedoras look great on the right person.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 10:45 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The fedora is a symbol for what, exactly?
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:46 AM on September 28, 2013


The quandary of humanity in the transition to a postindustrial economy.
posted by languagehat at 10:52 AM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


No, wait, it's a symbol for the barzakh, the barrier between the physical and spiritual worlds. Sorry about that.
posted by languagehat at 10:54 AM on September 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


wasn't there a famous essay on the subject of the cathedral and the barzakh?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:59 AM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Whatever that fucking hat Ayn Rand wore was, it wasn't a Fedora.

More like a Fez.
posted by spitbull at 11:20 AM on September 28, 2013


The quandary of humanity in the transition to a postindustrial economy.

The quantity of humandry is not strain'd?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:26 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


strained humanity tastes exactly the same as regular humanity, it's just the marketing that makes you think it's different
posted by elizardbits at 11:49 AM on September 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


The texture is totally different though.
posted by rtha at 12:07 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just came in here to say that I believe I made the first fedora post on MetaFilter and it went great.
posted by escabeche at 12:23 PM on September 28, 2013


in the linked thread, both male and female users tell men in no uncertain terms what they should or shouldn't wear, and how their clothing reflects on them personally.

It's nonsensical to suggest that clothing doesn't reflect on the wearer in any way. Maybe you are trying to convey something that is different than what people are taking away from it- that happens in every form of communication- but when you are misunderstood, you can respond in a few ways. The conservative path is to alter your communication so that what people hear falls more in line with what you want to say; a more off-the-beaten-path approach is to say "screw it" and keep saying it the way you've been saying it, with the understanding that you will frequently be misunderstood, but you're ok with that; or, finally, you can say "no, everyone else is wrong except for me- this thing means what I think it means, and if you get something else from it, you are wrong."
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:23 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I only recently started wearing an Indiana Jones'-style fedora, and I have gotten nothing but compliments at work. It kept the Seattle sun out of my eyes and now it keeps the Seattle rain off my glasses. If it annoys people who seem hellbent on being annoyed, though that's not what it is about, that's just gravy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:41 PM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Question asks why people hate on fedoars; answers explain why people hate fedoras. FILM AT ELEVEN.
posted by Justinian at 12:42 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, this thread has given me much to think about. I'm torn between the obvious truth of Sara C.'s point that clothing is inevitably social signaling, there's no way around that, and those who wrongly imagine that they exist outside of that are probably privileged men, and then on the other hand my agreement with dontjumplarry's claim that there's something gleeful and normative about how she makes that argument.

I mean, think about it as comparable to a discussion of gender roles — a lot of people would make the argument that gender roles are inevitable and basically universal. But if they also seemed to be endorsing a specific set of gender roles (say, specifically those of the culture in which this discussion is taking place) and taking some pleasure in disabusing someone's notion that they could exist outside those gender roles, that would be ... troubling.

Basically, I can't do anything other than to agree that clothing is social signaling and that if you think you're exempt from this, you're mistaken. And it's really food for thought for me to consider how men might exhibit privilege relative to women when they think that they've opted out. Because of course women are pretty much never not judged (often negatively, by someone) by their appearance, most certainly clothing, even women (like the women I think of as my peers and with whom I've been involved) who seem to dress as unthinkingly casually as I do (shirt, probably a t-shirt and jeans, we're done) are very aware that they're being judged by others for it. And if I, as a man, think I'm not being judged for it, then that's probably because I'm privileged enough to be insulated from any negative judgments.

That's all pretty undeniably true and the gender differences are worth considering at length.

But I'm not at all comfortable with accepting that this is a good way to live. A lot of this involves class stuff, and like with gender roles it's pretty unavoidable, also like with gender roles surely we can agree that the world would be a better place with more individual autonomy in these things outside a hierarchical structure where people are judged as better or worse, as individual people, for where they fit into these structures? I certainly feel this way about the expectations for women about their appearance — I find the beauty industry and the cultivation of women's insecurities about their appearance combined with elaborate maintenance of their appearance to be self-evidently onerous and something to be opposed. I can't deny that it exists and that women are involved with it, even when they think they've opted out of it, because it's built into the structure of our culture. But I don't have to agree that this is the way that things ought to be.

And so I don't think I should be expected to agree that judging people by the headware they choose is the way that things ought to be.

Finally, my partly idiosyncratic, partly class/gender/subcultural choice to mostly not think much about clothing style and wear almost exclusively ubiquitous, unmemorable shirts and jeans has, in the last ten years, changed into an economic necessity. I can't afford to buy clothing, so I don't. Most of my clothing at this point were holiday gifts and most of it is over ten years old. I have no formal clothing anymore, because what I had no longer fits me, and so "dressing up" for me is wearing one of the two pairs of khakis I have and one of the ten or so buttoned long-sleeved shirts I still have. Otherwise it's a pair of (old) jeans and one of the innumerable t-shirts I've collected over the years. I can't reach my feet to tie my shoes, so now all I wear are a pair of inexpensive slip-on boat-style shoes, I don't know what they're called. I figure that I don't look that much different than any other middle-aged man who dressed very casually, but it really isn't a choice for me in any respect, it's economic necessity. Granted, I could buy some (inexpensive) clothing with the same money that I (irresponsibly, I admit) splurged on that GoPro Hero 3 Black video camera I mentioned in another thread, which cost basically one-third of my monthly income. But I certainly couldn't do that on a regular basis. I mean, the expensive indulgence of buying that camera was a once-in-two-years sort of a thing. So, at best, I could buy a few new clothes for a few hundred dollars every other year, or so. Which wouldn't change how I appear very much.

I write all that last part to just emphasize that for some of us the idea of "choice" and "privilege" with regard to clothing style is not really so much choice. It's "privilege" to the extent that I can get away with this to a degree that a woman, similarly poor, would have some more trouble with. But she'd probably be pretty much like me, wearing cheap, casual, old clothing and paying whatever social cost is associated with it. As has been made abundantly clear by Sara C. and others, it's not that I'm avoiding being judged by what I wear. I don't really want to hear it, though.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:48 PM on September 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


When I hit my 30s I pretty much quite caring what strangers thought of my appearance.

I think this is the key to the entire dilemma.

Don't give a shit about what people think of your hat and whether it matches the rest of your outfit/is appropriate to the situation?

Great, keep wearing that questionable hat, you quirky bastard, you!

Demand that I approve of your questionable hat?

YOUR HAT LOOKS DUMB. LIVE WITH IT.
posted by Sara C. at 1:02 PM on September 28, 2013 [27 favorites]


I have a purple felt fedora, which I purchased at Target, which I wear because it keeps the rain off my face. I wish I had a better hat. It occurs to me that hats went out of fashion when we started driving everywhere, because man, if you are outdoors nearly all the time, you really need a good hat.

A woman in my church has a hat like this one, which she wears almost always. I was marveling about how perfectly suited it is to the local (Seattle) weather, which is almost always rainy and drizzly except for when it has sun that shoots exactly into your eyes. She said "Yes, it's a traditional Tulalip cedar hat, and I love it." Turns out she has a seizure disorder so she can't drive, so she is out and about in all kinds of weather. In our nine months of drizzle, a good hat makes the difference in her life between comfort and misery. I guess what I'm saying is, hats as outerwear are good and awesome and as part of a good fashion statement as rain boots or whatever. It's like an oilcloth duster or a tuxedo jacket; there are circumstances (lots of them!) where that is truly the appropriate garment, but if you persist in wearing it in circumstances where it's not appropriate, you're gonna get looked at askance.
posted by KathrynT at 1:03 PM on September 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


I don't think there's anything wrong with being able to recognize signals of fashion and taste, so long as you're able to maintain the ability to recognize these things without acting on them/letting them inform your opinion of people too much. But I also think it's a mistake to judge people too harshly for things like their personality, lifestyle choices, etc., and obviously at some point you need to start making judgments for convenience's sake. So I guess it's just a matter of "don't judge if you have the luxury of not judging", which is a nicely ambiguous guideline that lets you be extra judgey on bad days and neutral arbiters on others.

Personally I am not a huge fan of fashion, or of thinking too much about clothing, so while I try to dress nice and slowly learn rules as they're scolded in my direction the whole thing feels somewhat like a waste to me. People who dress with a level of fastidiousness above "clothes fit, colors match" make my skin crawl somewhat; I can't handle accessories at all, so hats/piercings/necklaces/even watches trigger this reaction in me. (I have learned to tolerate glasses and belts.)

At the same time, however, my tastes in various form of media are ultraspecific to the point of perceived jackassery. I am really, really bad at enjoying things, and every time I discover something new to like I feel it narrows my window of what things I find worthwhile. I pretty much don't discuss movies or music or games or whatever with people I've only just met, and I tend to have to self-censor myself even around casual acquaintances or friends, because otherwise I will become the most alienating buzzkill in the world. If I like something that somebody else dislikes, the opposite happens, of course, and then I become a completely different flavor of obnoxious. I am... not a fun person at parties.

These are both somewhat extreme reactions. Yet I tend to like people, a lot! I have a very wide range of tolerances for what kinds of company I enjoy. And those tolerances run completely contrary to my assorted tastes and preferences in ephemera like style and media, or even belief systems. The way in which a person goes about being themselves matters more to me than the specific things they are: everybody's got rhythms and patterns and a short set of moves they know, and if you care more about the fitting in than you care about what specific moves you make, it turns out most people are way more open to others, even radically different others, than they suspect themselves to be. Feeling certain ways about certain surfaces is not the problem; reacting to those surfaces as if they indicate the swirling multitudes beneath is what alienates and offends others.

Obviously there are reasons at times to be less than considerate of others, especially when your consideration might reinforce their patterns of behavior. I call people out for being grossly misogynistic, I walk out of concerts and movies that aren't doing it for me, I hint strongly that certain people look into more potent conditioners. This is not a plea for everybody to be perpetually open and sympathetic and caring, because that gets boring sometimes. But being aware that there is a spectrum of possible responses, all of which are available to you at any time, makes it so much easier to be a human being amongst human beings than it is when you act like your preferences or beliefs are somehow objective arbiters of what is Right and Wrong with the world around you.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:04 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Want to personally express yourself in a unique way but are too shy to face the harsh judgement of the mean girls?

TOUGH SHIT, THEY THINK YOU LOOK DUMB, CONFORM WITH THEIR ARBITRARY JUDGEMENT AND DRESS LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE!

And of course in ten years everybody looks equally dumb because this is a language of nonsense conformity to quickly changing random trends and not one of personal expression.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:14 PM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


All this hat-talk has made me review my latest hat purchase I think I accidentally bought a Confederate cap.
posted by griphus at 1:14 PM on September 28, 2013


What I find baffling by all this is that nobody actually judges someone entirely on their headwear. Yes, when you see someone in a brimmed hat and a video game t-shirt that raises certain alarms, but the video game t-shirt is as much a part of that as the hat. There's a combination of factors here that add up to the 'nice guy uniform' that includes the hat and a nerdy shirt and also includes grooming (e.g. 'neckbeard'), other apparel, body language and manner. Its all superficial, for sure, but the problem is not squarely on the fedora.

When we talk about 'fedoras' we're using it as a metonym for a particular kind of guy whose particular brand of sexism comes from a misunderstanding of the distinctions between platonic and romantic love, and a belief that affection is transactional; i.e. "I'm nice to her and she won't be my girl so why do bitches hate nice guys." There are plenty of nerds that are not sexist (I'd like to consider myself one of them), and there are plenty of sexists who are not nerds, or greasy, nor do they wear hats. However, people of this particular subset (for some reason best figured out in the original AskMe and not here) often wear fedoras, and have thus tainted an otherwise neutral fashion accessory.

Once pickup artist-types figure out how many beautiful women love Doctor Who, bow ties will be similarly tainted. When this happens, I'm gonna be bummed, but my anger will be directed at the people who associated my look with shitty behavior, not the people who've come to recognize it. Regardless, I'm not going to stress too much about people judging me solely for wearing one, just as the decent fedora-wearing who always raise their objections in these threads shouldn't worry about us thinking they're creeps.

[ dismantle false equivalence to racial profiling, "one of the good ones" here ]

Symbols, by their nature, are superficial, and its a mistake to confuse superficiality with irrelevance. I don't think Sparks is gonna invade Poland just 'cause of Ron Mael's mustache, but he's certainly making a statement by wearing it.
posted by modernserf at 1:25 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Want to personally express yourself in a unique way but are too shy to face the harsh judgement of the mean girls?

TOUGH SHIT, THEY THINK YOU LOOK DUMB, CONFORM WITH THEIR ARBITRARY JUDGEMENT AND DRESS LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE!


So what's the solution here? If you want to express yourself in a unique way, go ahead. But deliberately calling attention to yourself and then demanding that only positive attention be expressed to you is naive.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:27 PM on September 28, 2013 [24 favorites]


>Clothes have rules.

Welcome to the life of the other 99% of humanity.


I think this is an important point. It's unfair, but as adults (and, I suppose as high school students), we are judged by how we "present," and this includes the clothes we wear. This is an important part of getting and keeping a job, and getting promoted, that has nothing to do with how well you do your job.

As well, in love, for example, it's often said that women pay attention to a man's shoes...
posted by KokuRyu at 1:28 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


So what's the solution here? If you want to express yourself in a unique way, go ahead. But deliberately calling attention to yourself and then demanding that only positive attention be expressed to you is naive.

Recognize what the rules are and work to change them instead of embrace them is all I can think of. Little boys shouldn't have to go to camps far away from the rest of the world if they want to wear a dress just because it would otherwise get them negative attention and say all sorts of things about them they may not want to say. That's an extreme, but it's ultimately all part of the same shitty, arbitrary, judgmental system.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:34 PM on September 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Work to change them toward what? There is literally nothing a human being can put on their body that will not be ridiculed by another person if they are determined to do so. I mean, I guess I can become a famous fashion designer and then during a press conference yell out IT'S ALL FAKE, IT'S A FRAUD YOU FOOLS and then put that on a t-shirt and make some more money but that's more work than I'm willing to put into it.
posted by griphus at 1:37 PM on September 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


Toward greater tolerance for variation and non-conformity via the same social pressures we always use to move for greater acceptance of diversity or accepted ranges of behavior.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:40 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


no we must cull the herd, drive the weak and the elderly into the wicker man, dance and sing around the blaze and cherish our fruitful harvest
posted by elizardbits at 1:41 PM on September 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


i just really like autumn you guys
posted by elizardbits at 1:41 PM on September 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: We must cull the herd, drive the weak and the elderly into the wicker man, dance and sing around the blaze and cherish our fruitful harvest
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:42 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Toward greater tolerance for variation and non-conformity...

Grab a high school yearbook from each year 1900, 1925, 1950, 1975 and 2000 and tell me that isn't exactly what has been happening. I graduated high school in 2002 and even now I see kids wearing shit my friends and I wouldn't have dared at that age, and we were the kids who dressed weird.
posted by griphus at 1:44 PM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't think the comparisons to body-shaming or classism or gender roles are at all apt in this case. The reason those things are all so terrible is because they involve judging people based on factors outside their control that they can only change with great amounts of effort and difficulty. Even poor hygiene could be down to a hidden disability.

If you don't want people judging you for wearing an unfashionable hat, though, then all you have to do is take the damn hat off. If you'd rather be brave iconoclast who rejects society's arbitrary social constructs, then great, but in that case don't complain about people judging you when that's the reaction you're actively seeking out.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 1:45 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


TOUGH SHIT, THEY THINK YOU LOOK DUMB, CONFORM WITH THEIR ARBITRARY JUDGEMENT AND DRESS LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE!

The fact that the fedora part of the uniform of a certain type of person would seem to indicate that it is not the nonconformist statement you make it out to be. Just sayin'.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:46 PM on September 28, 2013


I'm wearing a top hat tonight in part because of this thread. I hope you're happy.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:48 PM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


You should wear it like this.
posted by griphus at 1:55 PM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


The fact that the fedora part of the uniform of a certain type of person would seem to indicate that it is not the nonconformist statement you make it out to be. Cf. yt

That it is apparently connected with a subgroup suggests it is part of signaling distinction by associating with a smaller group rather than the larger one. I know I would feel like I was standing out in the crowd if I wore one, which I never would because hats always make me uncomfortable because of head shape or something.

Grab a high school yearbook from each year 1900, 1925, 1950, 1975 and 2000 and tell me that isn't exactly what has been happening.

I'd say it's in progress, yeah. In part because of liberalizing social norms and also the growth of the fashion industry creating many more available options.

I don't think the comparisons to body-shaming or classism or gender roles are at all apt in this case. The reason those things are all so terrible is because they involve judging people based on factors outside their control that they can only change with great amounts of effort and difficulty. Even poor hygiene could be down to a hidden disability.

If you don't want people judging you for wearing an unfashionable hat, though, then all you have to do is take the damn hat off.

The thing is, you shouldn't be telling a straight, cis boy who wants to wear a dress just because he thinks it's pretty (and not because of unchangeable feelings about gender) that he should just take it off rather than face the wrath of arbitrary judgement. It harms both that boy and the trans girls. Obviously there are no transfedorians to take similar collateral damage but ultimately it's just as much an arbitrary judgement.

Now, you should feel free to warn him about what he is in for, but only in the context of, "But I support you 100% because judging you like that is wrong."

Everybody is free to evaluate clothes however they want, and sometimes they are going to pick up bad associations based on the bad behavior of subgroups that wear them. If I haven't been clear, allow me to clarify that I don't really have much of a problem with doing that in regards to fedoras, but I don't get the desire to judge people on things like "coolness" or "you look dumb" which are far more arbitrary.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:02 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think fedoras can be awesome, and the current cultural association is unfortunate. I count on good, hat-wearing Mefites everywhere to battle it through example.

It would help if fedora-wearers stuck to wearing them with suits. That's the best way to do it, unless you actually are Indiana Jones. And you aren't. (I'm talking about proper fedoras, of course. Straw or paper summery things are of course fine with more casual ensembles.)

And, no hate on Goorin Bro's, but if you really want a nice fedora and you are in the Bay Area you need to go talk to the fine folks at Paul's Hat Works. Be prepared to mortgage your house, though.
posted by feckless at 2:06 PM on September 28, 2013


no we must cull the herd, drive the weak and the elderly into the wicker man, dance and sing around the blaze and cherish our fruitful harvest

Movie nerd alert: an all-new restoration of The Wicker Man is playing at The Castro Theatre in San Francisco next weekend. Should be awesome!
posted by hapax_legomenon at 2:10 PM on September 28, 2013


Recognize what the rules are and work to change them instead of embrace them is all I can think of. Little boys shouldn't have to go to camps far away from the rest of the world if they want to wear a dress just because it would otherwise get them negative attention and say all sorts of things about them they may not want to say. That's an extreme, but it's ultimately all part of the same shitty, arbitrary, judgmental system.

But I like there to be rules, because sometimes I do actually want to send a message with my clothing. If I go to someone's fancy wedding in clothing that's culturally coded as "formal," for example, I'm sending a message about how highly I value their wedding as a special event that demands some deviation from my regular habits.

Obviously, individual rules can be bad -- "female-associated clothing is humiliating for men and boys," for example, or "high-heeled shoes are the only truly formal shoe option for a woman." But "this hat is associated with a certain subculture" seems pretty morally neutral to me. After all, there are other subcultures whose members want to use their clothing option as a way of telling the world something about themselves. (MeFi T-shirts, anyone?) Why should we want to throw away a useful way of communicating with each other?
posted by ostro at 2:10 PM on September 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


feckless: "if you really want a nice fedora and you are in the Bay Area you need to go talk to the fine folks at Paul's Hat Works. Be prepared to mortgage your house, though."

While I haven't yet had the pleasure of dealing with the folks at Paul's, I can highly recommend the Hat Guys in downtown Oakland, just upstairs from the 19th Street BART station. The first time I went in, I told the guy who greeted me that I was looking for a hat that was "a little bit riverboat gambler, a little bit Argentinian gaucho, and as little 10-gallon cowboy hat as possible." He got a far-away look in his eyes for a couple of seconds, then pointed to a hat hanging near the top of the rear wall. "That one," he said, reaching for the extension pole to get it down. And he was absolutely right. Damn, that was a good hat.

They have a frequent-buyer program, too: once you've purchased 5 hats, they'll add up the total cost and give you 10% of that as store credit.
posted by Lexica at 2:17 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


If it doesn't matter if you wear a fedora, why wear a fedora inside? Hats as utilitarian objects are a different question from hats as fashion statements. When I see someone on the street in a fedora, I'm inclined to think he's wearing it to keep his head warm/dry/shaded. When I see someone sitting in a non-kosher restaurant wearing a fedora, I'm inclined to think he's wearing it as a fashion statement. And people respond to others' statements.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:22 PM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


But I like there to be rules, because sometimes I do actually want to send a message with my clothing.

Yeah, change the rules to be more welcoming of diversity is the framing I would go with.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:39 PM on September 28, 2013


Has anyone here actually gotten scorn for wearing a fedora? Like, in person.
posted by modernserf at 2:49 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Evidently the person asking the question that spawned all this had or he wouldn't have asked the question. Of course we apparently should've answered "because society maaaan! Because the man can't take it! Smash the rules! Anarchy!" Which doesn't seem especially helpful to me but whatever I'm wearing a suit AND tie right now so I pretty much am The Man. *oppresses u with arbitrary fashion rules*
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:56 PM on September 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


I appreciate that people feel distinctions between types of hats are important.

But does anyone else find it a little funny to have an ongoing battle of "Well, actually..." comments right on the heels of us discussing that in the other MeTa?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:00 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only good use for fedoras is in deliberate mispronunciation as a shibboleth to identify fellow Tolksters and wordnerds in mixed company. Forth Feorlingas! To Fedoras!
posted by comealongpole at 3:15 PM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I literally do not understand the hat thing here. Y'all are really smart. There are posts on this site about astrophysics. And you will debate for hours about HATS. I don't get it. Is it a US thing? Seriously.
posted by billiebee at 3:46 PM on September 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


"These discussions are always a bit weird to me. If I say I don't even think about the statement I am making when I don my hat people say things like, "That's because you come from a position of unexamined privilege." If I say I am aware of the baggage and wear my hat as a fuck you to the world, I am sending a deliberate message of non-conformity. It I wear it because I am balding and insecure I'm probably now some sort of victim of unreasonable societal expectations. If it was a gift and I am trying to please the giver am I still making a larger statement? If I wear it because it has sentimental value I...well, I give up.

I could have 20 different reasons to wear a hat. Could be I didn't shower today and my hair needs hidden. Generally any motivations anyone ascribes my clothing choices are probably twenty years out of date. Now when I wear my "London Calling" shirt the message I am sending isn't that I am a rebel, but rather it's laundry day.

For the first 30 years of my life I made the conscious decision to be a non-conformist and never wear a tie unless someone was being buried or married (and even then only if I was in the wedding or funeral). Tying a tie is not a skill I ever developed. I always had to ask someone else to do this. Now when I don't wear one the statement I am making is that I wouldn't feel comfortable in one, don't own any, and wouldn't know how to pull one off. I'm sure there's a message here, but I don't think it's a greater message than I don't like ties.
"

So, I think that what happens is that when asked about any fashion choice, people get a picture in their head of what a typical person wearing it looks like. And with this question, we're basically asked to picture a douchebag with a fedora.

With that in mind, a lot more of the responses like, "unexamined privilege," make more sense — it's imagining that you're talking about someone who is wearing the accessory to generate attention, but doesn't want to be judged on the basis of how that attention comes through. For this other legit wearings basically become invisible — I know people who wear fedoras and it's unremarkable, or even cool. I tend to think of comments like yours as coming from people who are in that camp and are objecting to being lumped in with the douches.

But I also know people for whom wearing a fedora contributed to their douchiness. And it contributed to their douchiness for various reasons that people have outlined above, from the guy at my college newspaper who fetishized a weird brand of '50s Italian identity (mob movies and Sinatra), to another guy who I know because my friend was in his terrible ska band, to my coworker who wore a plaid one and was always trying to play Jack Johnson on the office CD player.

Something else to note is that it sounds like you've never lost a job for not wearing a tie, or gotten an inordinate amount of shit or anything. That kinda is a privilege, just given what women go through. I'm consistently amazed on public transit just how many people — women and men — will critique a woman's outfit just because, hey, why not? I appreciate that I don't have to go through that, and neither do most of the men I know.

(I will say that working in an office that's predominantly gay men, I have learned to appreciate compliments a lot more. But weirdly, at least some of that is because I'm a straight dude, so I get plaudits just for trying occasionally.)
posted by klangklangston at 3:58 PM on September 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


I literally do not understand the hat thing here. Y'all are really smart. There are posts on this site about astrophysics. And you will debate for hours about HATS. I don't get it. Is it a US thing? Seriously.

Arguing for fun is fun.
posted by winna at 4:04 PM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


No it isn't.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:05 PM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yes, it is!
posted by winna at 4:09 PM on September 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


jessamyn: "Seriously. Those things are some of my least favorite parts of the internet."

Mine too.

Sara C.: "I think men who wear basically the usual guy thing but with the addition of a Super Kewl Hat look like assholes."

So I wear a wide brimmed bucket hat similar to these fine gentlemen except in solid green pretty much all the time when I'm out (it is a great three season rain and sun hat). It's not super kewl is it? 'Cause I'd hate to have accidentally been looking like an asshole when at worst I thought it makes me look like a out of the loop dad.
posted by Mitheral at 4:10 PM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the problem in this, as is also the case with other things involving aesthetics, is the conflation of social signaling with evaluation of individual character.

As people have pointed out, there's really no avoiding social signaling, humans are social creatures. Clothing is always going to have a social signaling component and that's functional and therefore, all things equal, a good thing. In this way, as I wrote, it's just like other things such as taste in music or film or books.

But then we have two overlapping functions of this social signaling that are not benign: bourdieuian cultural capital and value-laden evaluation of personality/character. Both essentially involve people categorizing themselves and others as better or worse kinds of people and applying in-group/out-group rules of behavior. This may also be natural human behavior, but it's hardly benign.

As with cultural capital in general, most of us are happy to negatively evaluate someone's taste in a way that is also implicitly a negative evaluation of their character but protest strongly when our tastes and implicitly ourselves are similarly negatively evaluated by others. This is at the root of what Rory Marinich was writing about when he candidly discussed his habits of thought and behavior with regard to taste in the creative arts and interpersonal interactions. He recognizes the problem with the intolerance he feels he has for taste that's dissimilar to his, but he mostly can't avoid making those judgments, so he tries to avoid expressing them.

I sort of feel that centering discussion on this topic around fedoras is problematic (in the sense of "leading to difficulty") because there's clearly a strong sense shared by many that fedora-wearing is a deliberate social signal that is inextricably tied to an unpleasant personality type that they feel free to judge, as people, negatively. I share the inclination to feel justified in judging the Nice Guy PUA types negatively as people and I won't contest the claim that fedora-wearers and that group are largely congruent. But they're not completely congruent; my sense is that there's at least a couple of other groups that wear fedoras and do so from entirely different subcultures and category of social signaling. And that's most of why this is controversial, there's enough people from these other groups here to feel unfairly judged as being part of the Nice Guy PUA cohort. This is sort of a self-proving hypothesis; that is, that one shouldn't assume all fedora-wearers are those objectionable people because there's people present who are fedora wearers who aren't those kinds of people and that's statistically unlikely if there weren't a significant number of fedora-wearers who aren't Nice Guy PUA folk. Alternatively, I guess you could assume that they really are Nice Guy PUA folk, even if they claim they're not. But I sort of feel that MeFi isn't really friendly territory for that crowd these days and so this isn't that likely.

Anyway, I think those of us who have some problem with some of the negative judgments being justified in this thread are reacting to the generalized argument, not as it particularly applies to fedoras. I'm more than a little surprised to find negative judgments of character on the basis of clothing to be so strongly supported here. But then, on the other hand, I recall past discussions that erupted out of AskMe involving women who have visible nipples under clothing and visible underarm hair and how surprisingly judgmental many folk were then. It's a side of MeFi that surprises and dismays me. To be clear, I'm not arguing that organic collective rules of behavior, which includes speech and clothing and all sorts of other things, are inherently objectionable. I'm not, and I'm quite aware that they're unavoidable even if they were. But there's a much stronger tendency to judge people as people on the basis of these things than I ever would have expected. And just generally very little willingness to be critically self-aware of this tendency.

For example, in this particular case, there's no apparent awareness that, no, it's not always the case that these are truly choices. Someone mentioned wearing formal clothes to a wedding. But there are people who don't own such clothing and can't afford to buy such clothing. There are class considerations here, and these are far more involved in this in more subtle ways than people are crediting. I'd hope that were people more aware that their judgments have a large amount of class privilege built into them, they'd be self-critical of them and more hesitant to make them.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:11 PM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Gotta say I'm a little saddened by the number of those in the "non-conformist? Then FUCK YOU" camp in this thread. You've said nothing to convince me that what you're doing isn't just reinforcing your status and privilege against those with less money or cultural capital, or who (god forbid!) come from the suburbs or a flyover state and don't understand the elite signalling codes Sara C. and others are so well-versed in.

As general rule, how about trying not to judge people by how they dress, whether its because they don't know the codes, they're too poor to buy new shoes, they're from a different culture than yours, they're gender nonconforming, they're hipsters, or just plain quirky.

"Everyone else is doing it!" is not a good reason to be an asshole.
posted by dontjumplarry at 4:22 PM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm more than a little surprised to find negative judgments of character on the basis of clothing to be so strongly supported here.

Being judged for the clothes I wear by toxic people is the type of judgement I can live my entire life going without. Shaming people for what they wear is middle-school-grade bullying. It is ugly. It has no place being here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:22 PM on September 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


furthermore, people are bringing up privilege issues at the drop of a hat these days
posted by pyramid termite at 4:25 PM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


I can't wait to get in a knife fight with that monkey.
posted by planetesimal at 4:26 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I blame Bourdieu.

And Tumblr.
posted by dontjumplarry at 4:26 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Must we be banging folks over the head with our otherness, our specialness?

i don't wanna, but when a dude is this special he cant hardly contain it
posted by Greg Nog at 4:28 PM on September 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


Of course we apparently should've answered "because society maaaan! Because the man can't take it! Smash the rules! Anarchy!"

No, that would be a beret with a trench coat (unless you are an 80-year-old Frenchman or Michelle of the Resistance). You would probably then follow it up with something about base/superstructure theory, or Crass lyrics, until the person you'd cornered at the party manages to slip away somehow.

But yes, if you wear a fedora, you may be perceived as nerdy, particularly if you wear it with a t-shirt, or shorts, or similar. The solution? If you want to wear a fedora, be nerdy about clothes. Research fashion from the '30s, '40s, and '50s. Learn what sorts of suit you can wear with a fedora, what shoes go with those, when you can wear one with a sport coat, etc. Shave. Get a haircut from that period. Own it.

Me, I often wear skinny jeans and cherry 1490s. I'm a tall, lean person with very little hair, so it makes me look like a bit of a skinhead. Sometimes, that's a look I want to convey- other times it isn't, so I can soften it by doing things like wearing an untucked flannel shirt, or a canvas jacket. It still gives me kind of a mid-'80s post-punk look, but without as fixed a reference point.

There is a woman I see often who works near my office. Nearly every time I see her, she is wearing an outfit from the late '40s or early '50s, with the proper accessories, and accurate hairstyle. It must be a ton of work, but she is killing it.



Metafilter: In addition to all that, there is Jason Mraz.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:29 PM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Shaming people for what they wear is middle-school-grade bullying. It is ugly. It has no place being here.

I no rite?
posted by Tanizaki at 4:32 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mitheral-

Boonie hats are super practical, but if you wear one in the city, without accompanying fatigues, some people might wonder if you were going fishing later. Generally, though, it's a dad hat. Some might wonder if you were from Wisconsin, or Canadian.


I just checked- you're from BC. You're fine.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:42 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I no rite?

If you are not just trying to pick a random fight, you're going to need to use more words and make an actual statement. If you are, stop.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 4:43 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Must we be banging folks over the head with our otherness, our specialness?

For me, it's a way to drive away boring people who want the rest of the world to be likewise boring. Works pretty well, too.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:46 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


OMG people, a couple of days ago I googled a friend I'd lost touch with from several lifetimes ago, and guess what he's gone and done? He's become a hatter, of all things. A very high-end one. I don't care what any of you guys think, these hats are magnificent and I'm impressed as hell.
posted by tangerine at 4:50 PM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I no rite?

What was really weird there is that I was effectively being told I was morally deficient for not wearing the equivalent of this person's religious uniform. While I tried to deflect it in a friendly manner by suggesting I was happy wearing my own clothes, it is just a different manifestation of the same thing.

Anyway, I like my hat. It is a nice hat. I look good in it and it is also functional. I think strangers on the Internet who would think worse of someone for wearing a hat are using very odd criteria for evaluating people.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:54 PM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


If you can wear a hat and look good in it, but don't, you have flat-out wasted a head.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:57 PM on September 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


Gotta say I'm a little saddened by the number of those in the "non-conformist? Then FUCK YOU" camp in this thread. You've said nothing to convince me that what you're doing isn't just reinforcing your status and privilege against those with less money or cultural capital, or who (god forbid!) come from the suburbs or a flyover state and don't understand the elite signalling codes Sara C. and others are so well-versed in.

As general rule, how about trying not to judge people by how they dress, whether its because they don't know the codes, they're too poor to buy new shoes, they're from a different culture than yours, they're gender nonconforming, they're hipsters, or just plain quirky.

"Everyone else is doing it!" is not a good reason to be an asshole.


So there's two things. There is "what the majority of the world thinks" and there is "what I, personally, think."

In that thread I answered a few times, and each time I was very careful to say "this is not my personal opinion, but it is a dominant opinion and I think you ought to know about it." I was, in fact, offering my understanding on those signaling codes so that the OP might be aware of them and make use of them.

I can't help feeling, though, that many people who are objecting to these threads do not even want to know what those codes are. They resent their existence and therefore are not merely refusing to follow them, but refusing to admit that they even exist. That is counterproductive. They DO exist and you can rail against them all you want, but they will continue to exist despite this.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:06 PM on September 28, 2013 [21 favorites]


"i don't wanna, but when a dude is this special he cant hardly contain it"

what are you ray smuckles
posted by klangklangston at 5:06 PM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


YOUR HAT LOOKS DUMB. LIVE WITH IT.

I do! And it is a great hat. And I have a boyfriend and a secure social position so I wear it all the damned time. I think the people it annoys are people who think I should get more socially dinged than I do for wearing it. Which I think is what some of this comes down to. For people who are less secure (either from a personal feelings perspective or in an actual "I still have things I want to do with my life that involve a lot of real life people so I still have to learn to get along and pay attention to social cues and other stuff" way) the idea that some of this stuff is up in the air is or can be an actual problem.

My dad was the guy who wore Tevas to work at is corporate job and it drove everyone crazy but that was just the price you had to pay for having him work there and he knew how far he could go (he always came in on time, but he dressed however the fuck he wanted) and was actually pretty good at social cues he just drew the line between his own comfort and other people's social comfort with how he looked in a different place. His wife (not my mom) forever would tease him about it and he was like "That's what I wanted to wear, who gives a shit?" and it was interesting watching them talk about it. She thought it was fair game--and interesting to others for some reason--to tease him for not fitting in. Like it was a display they did for others "See how *I* know the rules of office clothing and my husband does not". He thought it was a coup that he'd reached a status level that he could wear what he wanted (I feel similar about having a job I never have to set the alarm for). But they basically didn't see the same social signalling the same way and it was partly because of their different social positions even though they worked in the same office.

The example that I think of in AskMe is the deodorant one. Many people in that thread insisted that anyone who doesn't wear deodorant is stanky (up to claiming that people who said they didn't smell had friends who were lying to them) and just couldn't get their heads around alternative views on the matter. And this, the "do you smell" thing, is something that is more objective than "Those shoes are uncool" But people have their ideas and they're hard to change and sometimes inflexible views on how other people live their lives are one of the long list of things that can put you on the "Why I spend an awful lot of time on the internet" list.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:30 PM on September 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


I just wanted you all to know that I scrolled to the bottom of this thread without reading any of it.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:48 PM on September 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


I can't help feeling, though, that many people who are objecting to these threads do not even want to know what those codes are. They resent their existence and therefore are not merely refusing to follow them, but refusing to admit that they even exist. That is counterproductive. They DO exist and you can rail against them all you want, but they will continue to exist despite this.

The sticky bit there is that you seem to be insisting that there is only one code, and that it's invariant and universal and non-negotiable. But while you're insisting that everyone must pay obeisance to some kind of transcontinental dowdy code, Bunny Ultramod over there will be rocking a wool stovepipe and leopard-print men's capris.
posted by Nomyte at 5:51 PM on September 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


you are the wisest of us all then basically
posted by elizardbits at 5:51 PM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod over there will be rocking a wool stovepipe and leopard-print men's capris.

They're called manpris.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:12 PM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]




'Cause I'd hate to have accidentally been looking like an asshole when at worst I thought it makes me look like a out of the loop dad.

I think there's an extra component here that's not quite being acknowledged explicitly, which is that a huge force-multiplier for the strength of the gut-level feelings of disgust/mockery people are referring to here and in the original thread is whether or not the person in the potentially silly attire is looking for a date.

I mean, does that gut reaction persist at all if the person in the fedora is, say, a dad walking his 8 year old daughter?
posted by nobody at 6:19 PM on September 28, 2013


I mean, does that gut reaction persist at all if the person in the fedora is, say, a dad walking his 8 year old daughter?

"I know dads are meant to be embarrassing..."

That is me, in the future.
posted by griphus at 6:23 PM on September 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


(I probably needed to specify that no teenage or adult-aged children of this hypothetical dad are present to do the scoffing?)
posted by nobody at 6:26 PM on September 28, 2013


I've been wondering where the dividing line in fashion is between "affectation" and "eccentricity" and I believe at least one such line is kids. When I get yelled at on the street or in the subway because I am wearing something odd, it will sometimes get to me, but I imagine that particular headspace will just end up being taken up by keeping (future) children alive and I will be free to wear whatever the hell I want sans any self-consciousness.

That and if my experience with assisting Punk Rock Friends with their vomiting and other substance-induced hygiene disasters applies to child-rearing, it becomes really, really hard to feel judged by someone you dragged out of the bathroom, naked and covered in vomit, and put to bed.
posted by griphus at 6:31 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been wondering where the dividing line in fashion is between "affectation" and "eccentricity" and I believe at least one such line is kids.

Oh, yes. I am attempting to segue neatly from "whimsical young woman" to "eccentric old lady" without ever having to make a more-than-brief stop at "responsible adult" in between. Let me tell you, kids are MAGIC for this: you can walk down the street wearing a flower crown, fairy wings, a tie-dyed shirt, a skirt in a length best described as "sister-wife," and bright blue mary janes with rainbow socks, and nobody will say BOO as long as you are holding the hand of a child under 10. In fact -- if that child is dressed as a pirate, you will get numerous compliments and high-fives.
posted by KathrynT at 6:46 PM on September 28, 2013 [34 favorites]


I own this hat in undyed wool except it's less shaped and the brim is narrower.

It is a magic hat for stomping around in cold rain, let me tell you. People could tell me it makes me look like an idiot (probably true) and it would make no difference to me. I doubt that people who see me schlepping through a damp wood are going to be giving me the side eye of fashion, anyway. Since they'd all fall ill because they'd lack the protection of the magic hat I'd just pity them if they did.
posted by winna at 7:03 PM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am a tall, white male. I grew up wearing a uniform to school for many years, and now I mostly wear khakis and boring shirts with button down collars: L.L. Bean almost head-to-toe. And practical shoes or maybe Docs. (Also, apparently, I have this backpack...) Yes, I am privileged.

I hate waiting in lines and being brushed off by salespeople because I am quiet and polite and diffident. So at Christmastime, I add a tie and a heavy wool topcoat before I go out to do my Christmas shopping, totally and shamelessly working the angle of looking like A Person Of Some Importance. It's a COSTUME, though. I am also patient with and friendly toward the store staff, because the costume I am wearing suggests that I will not be (even while I am certain they will respond to that costume).

Clothes don't make the man, but they do make a statement about the man -- and if he choses them carefully, then he shapes that statement.

I also wear a wide-brimmed hat, which I remove indoors. And I think it looks pretty good.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:12 PM on September 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


*strides into thread wearing a beret* Hello LADIES
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:21 PM on September 28, 2013 [24 favorites]


I just wish that I could get away with wearing a bolo tie, Tibetan boots and a stovepipe hat. Especially the stovepipe hat. I wish I could get away with that.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:33 PM on September 28, 2013


How is wearing a fedora being "non-conformist"?

Maybe I have a different take on this, living as I do in a college town, but to me the fashion fedora is mainstream. When I see someone in a pith helmet or a tricorne, that's when I think "non-conformist".
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:34 PM on September 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


The point of my VERY FUNNY joke above is that berets used to inspire the same fervor in the 80s. Griping about them became as cliched as wearing them. Meanwhile Madonna looked awesome in them. The end.

GOODBYE LADIES.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:39 PM on September 28, 2013


GOODBYE LADIES.

Nooooo!
posted by winna at 7:44 PM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


I was very tempted a few times to start a thread regarding this, but had decided against it. I have an old fedora I wear in the winter - it's an excellent winter hat. I've had it for 18 years now. Works well with my overcoat, and I never had any negative criticism about it - until I saw it coming up again and again here. (Full disclosure - I also have long hair, which sometimes, gasp - is in a pony tail)

In a broad sense, hats are great for being able to quickly judge someone's occupation. Using hats as a way to judge people in matters unrelated to that... not so great.

On the other hand, judging people by looking at, in their own words, the manner in which they judge other people seems a pretty reliable method.

Hmmm. As it turns out, I actually benefit in a way - the disparaging comments on Metafilter provide me with actual evidence to base my assertations on concerning them, while the negative commentators are left with only their original vague assumptions about me based on headwear.
posted by chambers at 7:58 PM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


From here, it sounds like almost all of 'signaling' you guys are talking about is about class. It's been emphasized over and over again that fedoras and other dressy hats are OK if you have an expensive (preferably tailored) suit to go with it and know how to wear the suit and hat properly and understand the associated etiquette, demonstrating that that's something you grew up with. The evil fedora guy is somebody who wears the hat, but doesn't otherwise 'signal' that they have the class background to go with the hat.

It's possible that there's a cabal of people who wear hats as an 'identifier' so they can identify each other as fellow hat-wearing douchebags, who also smell bad, don't bathe, refuse to wear deoderant, wear gamer T-shirts, and consider themselves pick-up artists. But I'm skeptical. I suspect that most of the people you're condemning as "fedora guys" are similar to the people I knew in college who 'inappropriately' wore hats, and 'inappropriately' wore lots of things – kids messing around with style and fashion on a limited budget the way twenty-something people frequently do – and, hey, neat hat! I think I like this!

There's an amazing amount of hypocrisy and double-speak involved in condemning people poorer than you who play around with fashion this way on basis on their alleged fucking previlege while simultaneously condemning them specifically for being poorer than you and not being able to afford the proper suit to go with the hat or knowing how to wear it.
posted by nangar at 8:01 PM on September 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


I generally don't care what anyone wears around me. However, based on personal experience, if anyone insists on being in a Datacenter wearing Vibram Five Fingers while solo man-handling a 14U, 350 LB Storage Chassis, then I will most certainly pass severe judgment.
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:51 PM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


what are you ray smuckles

generally consider myself more of a Nice Pete with undertones of Cartilage Head but i have been known to drink some Ketel One in my time also
posted by Greg Nog at 8:54 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


also Greg has a sekrit cat army.
posted by elizardbits at 9:02 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm just envious that so many of you have good hats and you like how you look in them. There are maybe two hats I own that I look good in; one I knitted and is just a winter hat, and the other is a straw cowboy hat that I love but definitely was in fashion a few years ago and isn't now. I wish I could wear other hats, but they just look bad on me. Even baseball hats. I have a big head and curly hair and just can't look good in a hat.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:12 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The people I encounter wearing fedoras indoors often have extremely well-paying jobs having to do with computers. Or are undergraduates/graduate students from comfortable upper-middle-class backgrounds.

I don't know where the idea of the blue-collar fedora comes from. Maybe it's different in other parts of the US, but in the greater Boston area, fashion fedoras are worn by financially comfortable people whose fashion statement I read as "I'm quirky and I appreciate styles of the past."

Of course one of the iconic fedora-wearers of the US was Humphrey Bogart, a wealthy Main Line preppie who made his name playing working-class paladins...
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:16 PM on September 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


So I wear a wide brimmed bucket hat similar to these fine gentlemen except in solid green pretty much all the time when I'm out (it is a great three season rain and sun hat). It's not super kewl is it? 'Cause I'd hate to have accidentally been looking like an asshole when at worst I thought it makes me look like a out of the loop dad.

Christ on a goddamn cracker, everyone.

If you wear a practical hat for utilitarian reasons, THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. Nobody thinks you're an asshole. You're using hats for their intended purpose, and unless you're trying to keep the rain off your face with a tiara or something, you probably look 100% fine. Either way, I'm definitely not going to judge, because there have been many times that I have worn suboptimally stylish headgear in the name of practicality.

The problem is the people who trying to Make A Fashion Statement, and failing, and then get REALLY MAD when people aren't impressed.
posted by Sara C. at 9:29 PM on September 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


Are you sure the problem isn't people getting really mad when someone makes a fashion statement that doesn't impress them?
posted by Drinky Die at 9:33 PM on September 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


I don't know where the idea of the blue-collar fedora comes from.

WPA photos from the Great Depression.

Those fedoras have absolutely no bearing on why anyone wears fedoras today, though, so they are completely irrelevant.

It's sort of like someone who spends too much time in tanning beds claiming that people who think that's unattractive are "classist" because, once upon a time, tans used to be a signifier of status as a laborer. Nowadays, that's absolutely not what being orange from over-tanning means, so it's completely irrelevant and people who think you look weird aren't being classist at all. They're just being honest about how weird you look.
posted by Sara C. at 9:39 PM on September 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sarah: I think your comment about people getting mad when their inauthentic fashion choices backfire is salient, however I don't track with notion of defining "weird" vs "non-weird". For me it is more like "is what you are doing something that will negatively impact my agency in some way?" if the answer no, then my default is to accept that person where they are at.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:04 PM on September 28, 2013


I suspect that most of the people you're condemning as "fedora guys" are similar to the people I knew in college who 'inappropriately' wore hats, and 'inappropriately' wore lots of things – kids messing around with style and fashion on a limited budget the way twenty-something people frequently do – and, hey, neat hat! I think I like this!

But, as I vividly recall from being a college kid messing around with style and fashion -- or, hell, my current self messing around with style and fashion -- playing with the associations of clothing is a big part of that experimentation. I mean, are kids who decide to wear a fedora picking it because of some abstract aesthetic quality, in total innocence of its associations ("this hat has attractive sinuous curves and flatters my facial structure")? Or are they picking it because of its associations ("this hat makes me look suave and debonair and nonconformist")? I think for the vast majority, it's the latter. We know it was for the OP.

(And just to be clear, I don't go around on the street rolling my eyes at people who wear fedoras. If some stranger wants to look a particular way, I have no opinion about it, because it's none of my business! And if I think he seems to be trying to look suave and debonair, but does not in fact look that way to me, I still have no opinion about it, because it's still none of my business. In this case, though, someone asked about associations. So people told him their associations.)
posted by ostro at 10:07 PM on September 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


Are you sure the problem isn't people getting really mad when someone makes a fashion statement that doesn't impress them?
posted by Drinky Die at 12:33 AM on September 29 [2 favorites +] [!]


Well, as numerous people have mentioned, the entire goddamn original thread was about one dude's concern that his fedora was not impressing people. You can keep on acting like the initial act of fedora-wearing is that of a brave individual living on the edges of society who is just too cool to care, but the original AskMe question remains there, in unaltered form, disproving that argument.

Given how heated the Fedora Defense Brigade is in this thread, I can't imagine how passionate they are over young Black men who catch shit for wearing baggy clothing. Or the mockery of "leather jogging pants" after that Kanye West interview. Or the victim-blaming of women who suffer date-rape after going to a party in revealing clothing. After you're done with this particular battle, you're carrying your sartorial crusade right over to those issues, right?
posted by schroedinger at 10:13 PM on September 28, 2013 [49 favorites]


Well said schroedinger.
posted by sweetkid at 10:19 PM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yes, as soon as someone in AskMeta posts a question about any of those things. Now quit your insinuations about the Fedora Defense Brigade's sexist or racial motivations.
posted by Nomyte at 10:19 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, as numerous people have mentioned, the entire goddamn original thread was about one dude's concern that his fedora was not impressing people. You can keep on acting like the initial act of fedora-wearing is that of a brave individual living on the edges of society who is just too cool to care, but the original AskMe question remains there, in unaltered form, disproving that argument.

I'm actually responding to Sara's need to repeatedly inform us of various things she thinks look dumb, weird, and uncool.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:21 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


my default is to accept that person where they are at.

As do I.

But if you ask what I think of your hat, I'm going to tell you.

And if you get all outraged that I don't like your hat, it's not going to make me change my mind and think you're some kind of culture-jamming avant garde hero for wearing a particular kind of hat.
posted by Sara C. at 10:26 PM on September 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


If you wear a practical hat for utilitarian reasons, THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. Nobody thinks you're an asshole.

Except, apparently, the people who don't know that that's why you're wearing the hat because they're not mind-readers. Or the people who don't agree with your definition of utilitarian.

I agree, clothing includes signifiers. But you're getting awfully judgmental and uncharitable while still trying to maintain some sort of fashion moral high ground by stating your opinions as facts.

schroedinger: Given how heated the Fedora Defense Brigade is in this thread, I can't imagine how passionate they are over young Black men who catch shit for wearing baggy clothing. Or the mockery of "leather jogging pants" after that Kanye West interview. Or the victim-blaming of women who suffer date-rape after going to a party in revealing clothing. After you're done with this particular battle, you're carrying your sartorial crusade right over to those issues, right?

Well, I did see a lot of defense of hoodies around the Trayvon Martin case. But this is also the fashion version of 'But there's starving children in Africa!/I'm sure you donate all your time to soup kitchens' argument, and is obnoxious, even if your underlying point has merit.
posted by gadge emeritus at 10:27 PM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Sara C is talking about the general cultural read on fashion and how you are expressing things in line or out of line with those when you put on any item of clothing and wear it publicly. You can't just pretend those expectations don't exist.
posted by sweetkid at 10:28 PM on September 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


But this is also the fashion version of 'But there's starving children in Africa!/I'm sure you donate all your time to soup kitchens' argument, and is obnoxious, even if your underlying point has merit.

No it isn't. I know black men who wear baggy clothes but work in white collar jobs and have worked in Investment Banking etc. It's an interesting conversation and more real world than you think.
posted by sweetkid at 10:31 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


She is defending her right to make fashion judgements when requested. While making random unrequested fashion judgements. Nobody was here asking anybody's opinion on tanning. We don't need to know she finds it weird.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:32 PM on September 28, 2013


I would just like to state for the record, that when I am walking around out and about in the world, I basically never ever express judgment about anyone's clothing choices, at all.

In fact, I am even one of those people who, if asked by a friend, will probably opt to white lie, or at least state my opinion exceedingly gently so as not to hurt anyone's feelings.

There are like five people on the planet who I'll be blunt to the point of opinionated (or even judgy) about appearance issues.

But if you start an AskMe asking what stereotypes are commonly associated with fedoras, or why people might be giving you the stink-eye every time you wear a fedora, I'm happy to answer your question.
posted by Sara C. at 10:32 PM on September 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


No it isn't. I know black men who wear baggy clothes but work in white collar jobs and have worked in Investment Banking etc. It's an interesting conversation and more real world than you think.

But it is not a conversation for MetaTalk, and it is definitely not the conversation we're having here.
posted by Nomyte at 10:33 PM on September 28, 2013


Drinky Die, do you think you never make judgements about people based on their appearance, especially clothing?
posted by sweetkid at 10:35 PM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


No it isn't. I know black men who wear baggy clothes but work in white collar jobs and have worked in Investment Banking etc. It's an interesting conversation and more real world than you think.

But it is not a conversation for MetaTalk, and it is definitely not the conversation we're having here.
posted by Nomyte at 1:33 AM on September 29 [+] [!]


What conversation? We're talking about how people are judged on their clothes. I don't see how schroedingers comment was some derailing bomb along those lines.
posted by sweetkid at 10:37 PM on September 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


I do not announce to random people that I find various fashion choices dumb, uncool, or weird. Not since grade school anyway.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:38 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sarah: I get it now! Sorry for the misunderstanding. Thanks for the clarification.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:41 PM on September 28, 2013


"Yes, as soon as someone in AskMeta posts a question about any of those things. Now quit your insinuations about the Fedora Defense Brigade's sexist or racial motivations."

I just imagine you typing this naked except for a fedora.
posted by klangklangston at 10:44 PM on September 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, I am a cat.
posted by Nomyte at 10:45 PM on September 28, 2013


With an eyepatch.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:46 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


But seriously, schroedinger asking if I'm going to write anything about "young Black men who catch shit for wearing baggy clothing" or "the victim-blaming of women who suffer date-rape after going to a party in revealing clothing" is a really transparent way of saying that I don't care about black people or women. Which is just disingenuous mud-slinging. Come on, people. Do better.
posted by Nomyte at 10:49 PM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


The funny thing is that so far every single questionable fashion/grooming choice I've mentioned has been almost comically hedged and sort of held at arm's length from what I, personally, feel about such things.

I went back and read every comment I've made and so far I have:

- Vibrams aren't cool. (They are not. You can wear them if you like, but I can objectively prove to you that they are not currently considered fashionable among people who care about such things.)

- Sometimes people wear clothes that are different from each other and those different aesthetics socially communicate specific things about them. (Also a 100% true fact.)

- Among mainstream American culture, it is pretty much mandatory to wear deodorant. (Uncontroversial, AFAIK, and again nowhere in there did I say anything about what I personally think about body odor.)

- People think it's weird when other people spend too much time in tanning beds. Again, hardly a unique opinion, and also I did not actually state that I think so, personally. Just that this is a thing that exists.

- Sometimes people wear questionably appropriate hats, and that's fine.

- Sometimes people wear unusual-yet-practical hats, and that's great!

I think the most potentially judgy thing I said was that clothing has rules. Which it does. Again, still said nothing about my opinion about said rules.
posted by Sara C. at 10:50 PM on September 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


Again, still said nothing about my opinion about said rules.

*roll eyes*

I guess we are just left with a mystery about what you really think about DUMB HATS, uncool weird not normal vibrams, and just honestly weird orange people.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:00 PM on September 28, 2013


(Eh, this is getting dumb and into assumption of bad faith territory. Sorry! Will leave it there.)
posted by Drinky Die at 11:05 PM on September 28, 2013


For those not following the discussion, we're talking about people making judgements concerning people simply by hat choice.

There is a difference between saying

"I don't like that hat"
and
"Oh, he wears one of those, that means he's one of them!"

Some people who wear the hat in question are OK with the former, but take issue with the latter.

Also, seriously, are we a brigade now? Wow, that was easy.

OK, first order of business: I have an idea for the uniform, and you are going to LOVE it...
posted by chambers at 11:06 PM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


For those not following the discussion, we're talking about people making judgements concerning people simply by hat choice.

No, the discussion was about an AskMe question wherein someone asked the stereotypes associated with fedoras, commenters dutifully responded, and someone decided to create a Metatalk because the answers to the question weren't "there are no negative stereotypes associated with fedoras whatsoever and everyone thinks you look like Humphrey Bogart." If I posted a question that said "Could my clown wig be hurting me at my job interviews" and the responses were "Perhaps leave that at home," I guess this would be further proof Metafilter is full of judgmental mean girls trying to perpetuate a fascist fashion empire.
posted by schroedinger at 11:13 PM on September 28, 2013 [37 favorites]


guys this is what happens to societies that eschew human sacrifice

chaos

hats indoors

shoes with toes
posted by elizardbits at 11:19 PM on September 28, 2013 [27 favorites]


It's bloody annoying when people you have some measure of agreement with go full-bore bad faith. In that spirit, because I've seen the mods warn posters about this before, I'd suggest, schroedinger, not recasting the points of others simply so that you have an easier target to rail against, and instead stick with what has actually been said; moreover, don't conflate all the positions you disagree with into one undifferentiated, hyperbolic viewpoint. Neither is good for conversation.
posted by gadge emeritus at 11:26 PM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: full of judgmental mean girls trying to perpetuate a fascist fashion empire.
posted by philip-random at 11:36 PM on September 28, 2013 [4 favorites]




I do not announce to random people that I find various fashion choices dumb, uncool, or weird. Not since grade school anyway.

Not even if you were specifically asked about your opinions regarding those fashion choices? Because that is what that thread was about.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:24 AM on September 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


guys this is what happens to societies that eschew human sacrifice

chaos

hats indoors

shoes with toes



you can't build that wicker man fast enough.


Seriously, before they figure out how to make them with hair.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:27 AM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Frankly, I think it's gross to claim that "dislike of fedoras" is equivalent to "class hatred." No one on earth is wearing a fedora purely because of economic necessity. You want to wear a weird hat? Fucking own it. Don't hide behind appropriated social justice language. It's a hat. You like that hat. It's not an issue of class or race or anything beyond PERSONAL AESTHETIC PREFERENCE, and people who think hats are dumb are not equivalent to racists.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:28 AM on September 29, 2013 [25 favorites]


Not even if you were specifically asked about your opinions regarding those fashion choices? Because that is what that thread was about.

To clarify, my opinion on the thread was here. In the recent comments I was discussing some issues circling it that popped up in the Meta. Sara looked back at the comments and clarified what she was saying and I don't think we really disagree on the general idea of not being aggressively judgmental, so there isn't much more to say from my perspective on that at this point.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:31 AM on September 29, 2013


shoes with toes

Tell you one thing, the Japanese socks with toes ROCK.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:32 AM on September 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


OK, I do like socks with toes. They keep my deformed from multiple fractured little toe from attacking the toe next to it.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:36 AM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


You mittenfoots can suck it, see? I oughta give the lottayas a toeknuckle sammich right in the keister. Howdya like THEM fivefingers?
posted by perhapsolutely at 12:50 AM on September 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


metatalk is really good if you're new or just started paying attention to usernames and who posts what, lemme tell you.

it's like everyone you want on your Don't Even Bother Replying To This Person list comes out wearing big neon signs
posted by a birds at 2:39 AM on September 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


>I think it's gross to claim that "dislike of fedoras" is equivalent to "class hatred." No one on earth is wearing a fedora purely because of economic necessity. You want to wear a weird hat? Fucking own it.

I'm pointing out that a lot of the rhetoric has focused on the appropriation of a high-status clothing item by people who don't have the status to go with the item. What does "fucking own it" mean if not 'have the class background to go with the hat, or at least act like it'? Haven't people been pretty explicit about explaining that that's what it means?

(Disclaimer: I personally do not own any hats.)
posted by nangar at 3:59 AM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The OP wrote: "It seems like people go out of their way to hate on people who wear fedoras. … I know that they are somewhat associated with a lot of brodown-ing at the brodeo and overall douchiness, but is that really all there is to the hate?"

Can I just interrupt to say how totally American English those sentences are, and how much I love them? It annoys me that I see things here that I can't pilfer and pass off in the UK. If I said "brodown-ing at the brodeo" to anyone I know, I would just get concern that I was displaying symptoms of a stroke.
posted by billiebee at 4:22 AM on September 29, 2013 [21 favorites]


Except fedoras aren't a particularly high-class item, and the social stigma they have acquired has very little to do with economic status, and more to do with them being adopted by .. well, for me, the association with pick-up artists stands out in my mind. People don't dislike pick-up artists because they are poor or oppressed, they dislike them because they are douchebags.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:24 AM on September 29, 2013 [9 favorites]


> Except fedoras aren't a particularly high-class item

If you need a suit to wear with the hat not be considered a fedora-wearing douchebag, it kind of seems like it.

Maybe pick-up artists wearing hats to signal their 'I'm sexist asshole' status is totally a thing nowadays, and I'm just too out of touch to be aware of it, but I'm a bit skeptical. The hat wearers I knew (admittedly decades ago) weren't like that. Reports from MeFites who've actually met and talked to or dated guys who wear hats with T-shirts have been a mixture of 'I knew this hat guy who totally was a douchebag' and 'I knew this other hat-wearing guy who totally wasn't like that' – about what you'd expect if the association between wearing a hat and acting like an asshole were actually pretty much random.

Mostly I'm just listening to the rhetoric people are using.
posted by nangar at 5:21 AM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't understand any of the magic clothing code stuff and fashion magazines never helped even a little. I hate hats with a brim too small to shade your face or protect you from the rain because they remind me that you are saying something with your clothes that I am not equipped to understand and I resent that.
When I am World Dictator, everyone will wear onesies or Slankets when it's cold, and performance-fiber togas or nakedness with sunscreen when it's hot, and expressing yourself through clothing will only be permitted if you can show you really are saying something different. Otherwise, it's Slanket Conformity Time for everyone.
posted by gingerest at 5:25 AM on September 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


This thread is awful and I wish I hadn't read it.
posted by mochapickle at 5:42 AM on September 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have a number of male musician friends. Some of them are starting to lose their hair. Originally sports caps were their only option if they wished to cover rather than shave their pates, but now a few of them own an assortment of idiosyncratic hats. A couple of these are what people call fedoras. I didn't respond to the original AskMe because I don't really know why fedoras garner derision from (quite a lot of) people, so I had no answers for the OP. That said, I now understand why some guys I've seen in public who otherwise present as Men I Do Not Wish To Know (sleazy-expressioned, flashy jewelry-wearing, "whatever-that-embroidered-and-bedazzled-tiger-emblazoned-t-shirt-brand-is"-wearing guys) occasionally will be wearing a hat I normally associate with my charming (balding) musician friends. So, cheers for that. And I'm fairly sure that "own it" means "it's a charming hat, so please be charming - because if for all other outward appearances you're sleazy, then the hat will hold no magical properties" - but I may be wrong. It has happened before.
posted by pammeke at 5:50 AM on September 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


When I am World Dictator, everyone will wear onesies or Slankets when it's cold, and performance-fiber togas or nakedness with sunscreen when it's hot, and expressing yourself through clothing will only be permitted if you can show you really are saying something different.

I will plot a revolution with the most wondrous uniforms, yesyesyesIwill.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:34 AM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I own a Borsalino *and* a pair of Crocs. Just to spite Metafilter, I think I'll start wearing them at the same time.

But only indoors. I'm fucked if I'm going out dressed like that.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:30 AM on September 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


shoes with toes

Run in a pair for a mile before you judge!

I am not brave enough to wear mine other than to run, but if I were I would. It's like being barefoot without getting your feet disgusting. I would if they had more neutral colors instead of most of them being patterned after nudibranch color schemes.
posted by winna at 7:48 AM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


What, now you're going to criticize the fashion choices of other species? Jesus, people. Let the nudibranches wear whatever they like.
posted by rtha at 7:53 AM on September 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


While we're talking about appropriation of social justice language, can I say it's really weird to call the negative connotations around fedoras a way of enforcing heteronormativity? Because there is nothing I can think of that's really as aggressively heterosexual as a fedora. Think of the masculine, heterosexual characters it is associated with - Indiana Jones comes to mind. It references back to a time when (white) "men could be men" and "women knew their place" (i.e. When sexism ran rampant). Why do you think the MRA movement champions it so much and claims wearing a fedora makes you "alpha"?

So what's why it's weird when straight white men wear it - it is a piece of clothing that upholds traditionally heterosexual roles that we've kind of moved past. It calls back to an era when white men were incredibly, incredibly favored and privileged, even more than they are today, and when things were shitty for every other person. So when you put on that fedora as a white man, people are understandably going to be wondering if you're romanticizing that era, and if you realize how shitty it is for everyone else to call those days "the golden days". Even more so when you pair it with other symbols embellic of stereotypical masculinity - including poor fashion.

Meanwhile, women get a free pass with the fedora. The negative associations don't really extend to them, and it looks kind of trendy on them precisely because they're inverting a heterosexual construct. Hell - even queer men kind of avoid the trope provided that they do it to juxtapose how the heterosexual statement looks on them. And everyone pretty much averts the trope if it's clear that it's being done for practical reasons, and if it's not paired with any other symbols of aggressive, sexist heterosexuality.
posted by Conspire at 7:56 AM on September 29, 2013 [14 favorites]


I was born with a birth defect that makes me permanently look like I'm wearing a fedora. Sometimes we don't always have choices about what sort of hats we wear in life, and it hurts me that so many people in this thread have judged me on this permanent fact of my existence.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:04 AM on September 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


That is maybe not the most helpful direction to take this in.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:05 AM on September 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


Ok, I'll try again without the snark.

I think it's ridiculous that people get upset over the people having opinions about the choices they make.

If you drive a car that's purposefully been modified to be louder than other cars in an unflattering way, I'm going to judge you on that. If you wear a hat that's specifically louder than other hats in an unflattering way, I'm going to judge you on that too. I'm going to think "this person would present themselves better in my subjective reality with absence of that one thing."
posted by oceanjesse at 8:21 AM on September 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


yeah, we should be working on a unified felt theory that will explain fedoras, ukelele plectrums and puppets
posted by pyramid termite at 8:24 AM on September 29, 2013


... that MeFi sometimes has these little outbursts of petty, arbitrary shittiness. I want to feel like I'm safe and among friends on MeFi, not people who are ready to dispense their venom without provocation.

posted by Nomyte at 10:37 PM on September 27


Mods, can I get some clarification on this? Is Metafilter supposed to be considered an online "safe space"? Because that's the only way I can see to avoid the venom Nomyte is talking about.

I don't mind if it is, mind you, but I feel like I missed a memo or something.
posted by magstheaxe at 8:58 AM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


MeFi is not a "safe space" but we do ask people not to be assholes. But Nomyte, as I understand it, is not asking for mod intervention here.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:03 AM on September 29, 2013


I own a Borsalino *and* a pair of Crocs. Just to spite Metafilter, I think I'll start wearing them at the same time.

So do I, and I have--including doing so while shopping in Morrisons (other supermarkets do exist).

I couldn't say for sure but I probably completed the ensemble with sweatpants (bright red), a padded red check lumberjack shirt, a denim waistcoat of many pockets and, quite probably, odd socks one of which may or may not have had Hong Kong Phooey on.

Not so much a fashion statement as laziness.
posted by titus-g at 9:30 AM on September 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just started to type something about hats and typed "hates" instead. This thread is getting in my head!
posted by limeonaire at 9:34 AM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


It would definitely be good if people weren't parading around, all proud of their idiosyncratic attention-getting hates.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:35 AM on September 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


And I'm not surprised either, but it is what makes me sad, that MeFi sometimes has these little outbursts of petty, arbitrary shittiness. I want to feel like I'm safe and among friends on MeFi, not people who are ready to dispense their venom without provocation.
posted by Nomyte at 10:37 PM on September 27 [6 favorites +] [!]


Be the change you wish to see.
posted by kimberussell at 9:47 AM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


So what's why it's weird when straight white men wear it - it is a piece of clothing that upholds traditionally heterosexual roles that we've kind of moved past. It calls back to an era when white men were incredibly, incredibly favored and privileged, even more than they are today, and when things were shitty for every other person.

And why it's especially incongruous to see one worn with a t-shirt, jorts, and crocs. It's like the wearer is saying, "Times may have changed, and social rules may have drastically loosened, but MEN ARE STILL MEN AND WOMEN SHOULD STILL KNOW THEIR PLACE." It's like wanting to enjoy all the freedoms that have come from the huge social shifts of the second half of the 20th century, but not want to extend those freedoms to anyone else.

Not that I assume people wear the things out of an overt desire to communicate that -- hell, most people wearing them cannot agree on what a fedora even is -- but it's definitely part of the cultural baggage around them.
posted by Sara C. at 10:17 AM on September 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's like the wearer is saying, "Times may have changed, and social rules may have drastically loosened, but MEN ARE STILL MEN AND WOMEN SHOULD STILL KNOW THEIR PLACE."

Every guy I've met who's worn a fedora (or other permi-hat) appears to be simply hiding hair loss. Occam's fedora.
posted by mochapickle at 10:21 AM on September 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Every guy I've met who's worn a fedora (or other permi-hat) appears to be simply hiding hair loss.

I own a fedora because once I forgot to put the guard back on after cleaning the clipper blades. Naked scalp is not a good look on me.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:27 AM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


OK, Goorin Bros, Paul's Hat Works -- what other online sources of truly high-quality hats (including ladies' hats) do y'all know of? I really do need a good hat, or probably two; one for sun, one for drizzle.
posted by KathrynT at 10:38 AM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


No no no do not link to other places to get hats (especially in the Bay Area) no no please don't I don't need the temptation please won't you think of the rthas.
posted by rtha at 10:46 AM on September 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


I forgot to put the guard back on after cleaning the clipper blades.

Oh hey, I did that last week, just one stripe up the back before I noticed. Ironically I haven't been wearing hats out in public so much, I figure most people won't notice, and those that do won't comment.

and crocs

I hadn't actually realised crocs were hip, that could very very well be a difference between urban N. America and rural N. Europe. Over here their primary signifier is 'older person who likes to potter around in the garden comfortably' (as I do), they are essentially wellies for when it isn't actually raining [I have also worn a fedora with wellies].

KathrynT:

For a good lightweight, reliable (and cheapish!) outdoor bonce protection the tarp hat is worth a look. They are unfortunately a bit trendy now (damn you Woody Harrelson!), but should outlast anything similar in the same price range. It's probably also worth picking up some nikwax or fabsil for occasional re-waterproofing. Good for both sun and rain (real proper rain).
posted by titus-g at 10:53 AM on September 29, 2013


yesssssssssssss give me all your wonderful online hat store links, I still don't have a hat that I really really love
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:54 AM on September 29, 2013


Over here their primary signifier is 'older person who likes to potter around in the garden comfortably' (as I do)

I'm pretty sure that's true everywhere.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:10 AM on September 29, 2013


Oh, and the tarp hat really does need the 'optional' wind strap, otherwise you are going to get blow offs (it's a lot lighter than it looks).

Speaking of cultural contexts, in Europe the fedora is (still if you get out in the country) quite traditional peasant wear, see for e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6_9EwajOo0

The only thin brimmed 'fedora' I still have (the rabbits ate the other one) was from Morocco, where they're fairly ubiquitous (yes, I have also worn a fedora with a djelleba, and would even go as far as to suggest that for hot weather it's an unbeatable combo).
posted by titus-g at 11:15 AM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hadn't actually realised crocs were hip

They're not. That's the whole point.

In addition to the "older person who likes to potter around in the garden" association, crocs in the US had a surge of popularity a few years ago among bourgie suburban types and were absolutely ubiquitous in every store for a while (possibly even now?). So nowadays they also signify "person who cares not a whit what is on their feet as long as it's comfortable, cheap, and available at Costco."

Which makes them especially incongruous with a fedora, which in its ideal sense is trying to communicate that one is debonair and Knows Things About Old Fashioned Hats And Stuff.

(I'm not even touching "but what about people who wear them to hide their baldness".)
posted by Sara C. at 11:24 AM on September 29, 2013


You wear hats or don't. Most people don't go both ways. I don't much like fedoras or their pork pie cousins. I guess that's because I can't see myself ever wearing one. When I grew up, the guys who wore those things were either NYC movie detectives (the fedora), or else (wearing the pork pie hat) the creep who gets killed by the mob for squealing on the cop's brother-in-law, who happens to be the undercover agent, but you don't find out about that until the last reel. The women all wear push ups, capri pants, and fuckme pumps.

Anyhow, that's why I don't like fedoras. I also don't like berets, but that's only because they are pretty much useless.

When I was an infantryman I wore a bush hat that looked a lot like a fedora. It had the same narrow brim, and I thought it looked pretty stupid. (See the movie "The Green Berets" and look at those little hats John Wayne and his buddies wore--not the berets, the jungle hats.)

Out on the trail in the back country I wore a "cowboy" hat. In camp I generally put a wool watchcap on, and wore not only around camp, but when I crawled into my sleeping bag. When I was working the farrier's trade I wore a gimmie hat. Usually it had some feed store or car maker's logo on it. I turned it around backwards when I was bent over under the critter. I wore it frontwards other times, because the bill kept the sun out of my eyes. During my truck-driving days I wore a gimmie cap because the bill was useful as a sun-visor.

I still wear a gimmie cap. My foster brother kept giving me one every year, each with a 173'd patch on the front of it. I have enough of these goddam hats to last me the rest of my life.

For the rest of it, I suppose that I'm not immune to conventions, but for me the rules have always been more or less inductive, and I haven't thought much about them since I was in high school. The operative notion here is "high school."

Nowadays I notice some of the more outrageous fashion trends, for example the low-rider pants on men, with the underwear showing. I have seen some ensembles of this sort that looked sort of neat, but most people doing this just look silly to me. It seems to me that for most young folks, fashion is about experimenting with imagery, plus inappropriate affectations. I guess that's how one figures it out. It turns out to be as much about politics as it can be: clothes are badges, and the things a person chooses to display can be subtle as well as blatant. Back in the day, my uniform was the long hair, beard, and denims associated with the counter-culture.

I like the bare midriff fashion on women. I've always found a woman's belly appealing. I hasten to add that I don't stare and salivate when I go to the local Walmart to get catfood--this is where I see this stuff most of the time--but I do notice.

I'm not immune to eccentricity. I make the grandkids take off their goddam hats when they sit at our table. They don't seem to know why, but they do it anyhow. I can't teach the little bastards respect, but I can make them go through the motions.
posted by mule98J at 11:47 AM on September 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well, FWIW, I have worn hats congruously before: vintage silver mohair zoot suit*, embroidered slate gray Joseph Abboud shirt, white Brooks Bros. silk tie, and stupidly expensive patent leather (dark burgundy and black) Johnston and Murphy brogues...

Then someone rudely pointed out that Northern Soul wasn't a thing any more, and I felt a bit silly.




* I really miss that suit, nothing sez bass player like silver mohair.
posted by titus-g at 12:02 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty super poor, have always been poor, and I don't like fedoras. Have never liked fedoras, and I'm a pretty big fan of cheap and thrift store fashion. I like a lot of period and vintage fashion, but I like it to be done skillfully, which you can still do while poor. I think a guy who wore a knock-off fedora with a thrift-store button up & blazer and decent pants would get points from me just for effort, even though I'm not a big fan. I guess that's the thing. You can wear a ball gown with Converse every day of your life and I'm not gonna judge you for it, but I'm also not going to like the look very much. I might like what it says about your spirit, but aesthetically it's not my thing.

Not even saying that as a concession, I have much respect for people who go all out, especially when they put some thought into it, even if it's not my taste. The thing I like about high-fashion is that while it's a somewhat terrifying industry, it does have ideas about clothes and color and silhouette that you can borrow in your own discount-store style.

It has really bothered me historically around here when people try to make things about class that are totally not about class. Like dressing-- you can be very poor and still dress well. If you have a washer and dryer and access to a thrift store, you can still look neat and trim. It might not be your priority, but looking groomed and together is possible at most levels of income in America. I don't say this to make it out that fashion is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, just that I think it's a source of pride for a lot of working class people to present a nice appearance from day to day, and they can still enjoy the art of fashion to boot. (No, they probably will not have a tailored suit laying around, but that's kind of next-level stuff that's not significant to fashion as we're discussing it here.)

My dad wears Crocs around the yard. It gives me warm fuzzy feelings to think about them. My sister always steals them when she steps out to have a smoke.

I'm not a big "rules" person about fashion-- I've been all over the spectrum from tomboy to consciously gender-bendy to consciously very feminine to sort of a vintage melange and it's all been fun. I look back on certain clothes I used to wear now and shudder, but that's life. I don't judge people very often for their clothes, but I do find that a lot of men--usually "nerdy"--really balk at the idea that there guidelines about style, and I do find it a bit confusing at times. As a (nerdy) girl, I was RELIEVED when I realized that good conditioner would make my hair silkier and easier to manage. Relieved when I figured out how to match clothes well. Relieved to learn the "rules" in as much as they'd let me improvise within formal guidelines in a way that got respect from other amateur thrift-store fashionistas. A lot of men who are probably similarly socially awkward to me seem to find these rules more an affront than something that heightens their game.

Recently a girl at work told me she never knows what to do when her top is too long for a high-waisted skirt and makes it look mashed. I was like "tuck it in!!" because I love the high-waisted tucked-in look, and she tried it and now loves it. Before she had cute clothes but didn't feel confident about them, now she's been rocking all kinds of new looks that play with silhouette and waistline. It's just fun, I guess. And it can make you feel very positive about your body.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:05 PM on September 29, 2013 [20 favorites]


Also calling this "fashion" stuff middle-class or mean-girl is just kind of bizarre to me when I think of my very working-class dad (of the Croc-wearing, above), and how he accidentally wore his Crocs to the grocery store once and went ! and spent the whole time jovially making fun of himself for looking a little dorky. Fifty-year-old working class men are capable of fashion policing too!
posted by stoneandstar at 12:08 PM on September 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


"person who cares not a whit what is on their feet as long as it's comfortable, cheap, and available at Costco."

I'm wearing them right now. They're not available at Costco, not usually. Knock-offs are. I know it can be difficult to get your head around the idea of people caring about brand-name Crocs, some people do. I am not one of them, but this whole broad brush thing gets sort of tiresome. Around here they are beach shoes. Even in the US this stuff is really location-dependent.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:09 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


"This thread is awful and I wish I hadn't read it."

There is something upsetting about it, there've been enough comments mentioning this to make it undeniable. And it's not about the AskMe thread — repeated insistence by some that the context is exclusively the question in the AskMe post is sort of weird given that the discussion here has been fairly wide-ranging.

There's this very funny and on-target mod comment from LobsterMitten: "It would definitely be good if people weren't parading around, all proud of their idiosyncratic attention-getting hates."

There's a way of thinking about other people exhibited in this thread and, sure, there's no one writing "Hey, I think it's GREAT and AWESOME that there is social signaling in clothing that functions as a hierarchical sorting mechanism and a reason to make value-judgments about others!"

But you can point out the reality and inevitability of a social structure while implicitly endorsing it, implicitly opposing it, or implicitly doing neither. What's evident in this thread is a lot of emphasizing the reality of this with what seems to me to be an almost smug endorsement of it.

The question of "choice" has come up, with the assertion that clothing necessarily is a choice, and so it's not an injustice to be judged by it. Well, I'm not so sure about that, but even if this is true, it's been accompanied by the assertion that any choice of clothing sends a message. But then, really, one doesn't have any choice about participating in this structure and so if one cannot opt out of it, is this really a "choice"?

And I see a gender divide in this, which I think I understand but find disturbing. It's absolutely crystal-clear that women are especially judged by their appearance, and very much by their clothing, from a very young age and I completely understand their frustration at men being obtuse about these issues. And it's also the case that how it functions for women is very much a part of sexism, and this aspect is not present for men, so the two aren't quite comparable. But what is comparable is that, as has been repeatedly mentioned, this is ubiquitous and basic, and people are judged, both individually in value-laden ways and in groups, also in value-laden ways, on this basis. All sorts of systemic injustice is perpetuated by this stuff. Schroedinger made this clear when she sarcastically asked if we were as upset about people judging young black men for wearing baggy clothing. And I was kind of amazed at that, because my personal response was "yes! I am very upset at that and the other things you mention and, in fact, do speak out against people being judgmental on the basis of those clothing choices, too!" The amazement came from her apparent certainty that this wouldn't be true for anyone, that everyone she challenged would answer, uh, no, you're right and I'm only concerned about fedora-wearers. And with regard to the gender and sexism stuff, I happen to be very strongly in opposition to how women are judged by their appearance, including both grooming and clothing, and am frequently outspoken on this matter.

I think on the side of the argument I'm on, there's been expressed a lot of sentiment in this thread that judging people — that is, making value-judgments about them — is a Bad Thing and shouldn't be presented as being natural and inevitable parts of human existence. I feel like the same people making these sorts of arguments here would be hotly contesting this kind of argument in other contexts. There's something deeply conservative about saying this is just the way things are, deal with it.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:10 PM on September 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


I also don't like berets, but that's only because they are pretty much useless.

I do love a hand-knit beret in the winter, though. Not really a popular military look, though.
posted by Sara C. at 12:11 PM on September 29, 2013


yesssssssssssss give me all your wonderful online hat store links, I still don't have a hat that I really really love

I didn't see that anyone linked the delightfully-named Hats in the Belfry so you might explore that. I don't know about their merch as I am not a hat person but their name is magnificent.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:45 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm, so I wonder if there's a market for fedoras for babies.. www.hatsinthecradle.com Free silver spoon with every purchase!
posted by titus-g at 12:58 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's just a hat, folks.

Remember, hats don't stereotype people, people stereotype people.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:15 PM on September 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Say what you want about berets, but when you need to keep your head warm in the Pyrenees, they can't be beat.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:23 PM on September 29, 2013


"Meanwhile, women get a free pass with the fedora."

Women in fedoras makes me think of two different looks: Stylish butch lesbian, or dorky anime nerd. Oh, and the girls who go costume-y as everyday dress. I'm friends with people who do all three, but fedora still makes me think of types, even on women.

(I do think that the dorky anime nerd with a fedora is a unisex look, usually with, like, a tucked-in Appleseed t-shirt or something.)

But I went to L.A.'s hipster conclave, FYF, in an outfit perhaps best described as bandit stoner park-ranger, and I was one of the most comfortable people there, so I tend to assume people wear first what they're comfortable with. (Who knows whether the fact that PUA encourage wearing clothes you're not quite comfortable in plays into that.)
posted by klangklangston at 1:29 PM on September 29, 2013


There's something deeply conservative about saying this is just the way things are, deal with it.

I think a good rule of thumb here is that when someone says "I'm sorry, but that's just how it is," they are very seldom actually sorry.
posted by escabeche at 1:33 PM on September 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


I live in a beat-up straw cowboy hat. I wear it so often because it keeps the sun of my face and neck, it's lightweight, it keeps my head cool, it fits well, it doesn't need to be babied, and it's the best hat I've found that does all those things.

I wear it because it is functional. I bought it because I deluded myself into thinking the hat would transform me into Lucinda Williams. And that's no different than the kid who wants to be JT, Indy, or even Heisenberg.

I give exactly zero fucks what people think of me or my hat, but I can promise you that if you don't like me, it has nothing to do with the hat. I think the problem here is people are saying: People who wear a [TYPE OF HAT, PLURAL] are sometimes [ADJECTIVE]. It really should be: People who are [ADJECTIVE, PLURAL] sometimes wear a [TYPE OF HAT].

Meanwhile....


Paul F. Tompkins wept for humanity over a very specific hat with a very specific name.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:37 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


when someone says "I'm sorry, but that's just how it is," they are very seldom actually sorry

And, often, also a sign "that" is not really how it is, but how they want it to be. "That's how it is" is a conservative retort to newly contested norm-formation, far more often than it is just restating a truly uncontroversial existing norm. If "that" were truly and universally just how it is, then you probably wouldn't have to yell at people to "live with it." The kind of policing that's going on in this thread is a symptom of anxiety about the norms, not a sign of a strong existing consensus. A true consensus doesn't have to be enforced this way.
posted by RogerB at 1:41 PM on September 29, 2013 [9 favorites]


There is nothing less threatening/norm-anxiety-inducing to me than a poorly worn fedora.
posted by stoneandstar at 2:01 PM on September 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


We had eight college kids, our sons and their friends, here over the weekend. Four of them were wearing Vibrams with their jeans (three guys and one girl). Having taken them on vacations to the mountains with us as well, I know they prefer them not out of any fashion sense or calculated affectation, but because they like to hike and also bike around campus and Vibrams are the closest you can get to bare feet without actually going bare-footed.

One of our son's friends also came over to the house wearing a boating captain's hat he scored in the thrift store. He is the closest to the group guru we have--very mellow, laid-back and accepting guy. He also loves theater, so the hat might have been an affectation, but we are all cool with it. Oh, and he took his hat off once he was in the house, out of the sun, but it made the rounds of the other kids when they made a late-night snack run. Of course, by that point, they had all donned stick-on mustaches in the evil villain vein, too, so...

Which reminds me that I still need to get the story on the Mustache Adventure.

Sorry, that's all I got. No hate here on anyone in the thread for their various and sundry sartorial expressions, just another data point.
posted by misha at 2:02 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


How do you guys feel about jughead hats?
posted by entropicamericana at 2:06 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


There was a little girl in my Sunday School class who refused to take off her pink "kitty-cat" ear headband for anything. My understanding is that it was a battle to get her to remove them for bathing and swimming - even the argument that the ears would get ruined was inadequate. Sometimes she apologized after her tantrums (she had a lot of them, not just about the ears,) and I never really believed she was sorry. Now I associate pink "kitty-cat" ear headbands with tantrum throwing and really exhausted-looking moms.

She wasn't trying to send any message beyond "I LOVE MY KITTY-CAT EARS THEY ARE MINE AND I SHALL WEAR THEM," but the message most people received was "trust me, things will be so much worse when I'm a teenager." Though it's fair to say she also killed the enthusiasm for all manner of animal-themed headwear in the entire body of Sunday School attendees.

My understanding is that she really knocked off the tantrums by late elementary school. This is one of the very few things I like about peer pressure.
posted by SMPA at 2:07 PM on September 29, 2013


I love all these hat shops with punny names (and normally I hat puns...). I kind of want a whole genre of highly specific hat shops with puns involved in the names:

-A Bird In the Hat Is Worth Two In The Bush: magician's hats

-Hatbreed: hats for aging hardcore aficionados

-Hatshepsut: hats for drag kings

-She Hat Me: hats featured in obscure Spike Lee movies

-Kwisatz Haterach: hats depicting allegorical scenes from Princess Irulan's Collected Sayings of Muad'Dib and The Wisdom of Muad'Dib



...that's all I've got
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:08 PM on September 29, 2013


I started the Anti-Fedora-Defamation League, to defend the good name of fedoras. I think they are stylish hats that look good on most people, which is why they have been popular for men and women for over a century.
posted by jb at 2:20 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love all these hat shops with punny names (and normally I hat puns...).

Hats enough!
posted by Room 641-A at 2:38 PM on September 29, 2013


> How do you guys feel about jughead hats?

Just what is the deal with Jughead's weird crown cap? As I said in that thread: This is one of the best things I have ever seen on the Internet.

> The word “fedora” comes from the name of the title character in a play written for the famous French actress, Sarah Bernhardt, and first produced in 1882. The actress popularized the style when her character, Princess Fedora, wore such a hat, at the time a new fashion.

Yes, but did you know Fedora (Федора) is the female version of the very common Russian name Fyodor (Федор) and thus is the Russian equivalent of Theodora?
posted by languagehat at 2:47 PM on September 29, 2013 [19 favorites]


That article is worth it for the picture of Jeff Goldblum in a Jughead hat.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:55 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


How do you guys feel about jughead hats?

Those are fedoras too.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:00 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't wait until the capture of social justice rhetoric is complete and "fedoraist" is nonironically used in one of these threads.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 3:04 PM on September 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


The only hat I've ever worn regularly was a white Kermit the Frog cloth cap with a bill, used by my (then) spouse as a painter's cap, that I guess was originally a child's cap ... I don't know how long she'd had it. I appropriated it from her and wore it regularly for a few years, from about 1991-1995, when I was in my late twenties. Other people loved that cap, I wore it in college, people complimented it all the time and people knew of me as "the guy that wears the Kermit cap".

It was a bit of an affectation, of course. But it was also pretty comfortable.

I've gone mostly bald since then and it's ironic that I don't wear a hat now, when I ought to when going out in the sun. Though I'm not often out in the sun. I have a baseball cap shoved back in a drawer that I can wear if I need to, though it never occurs to me and I end up with sunburn.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:05 PM on September 29, 2013


Yes, but did you know Fedora (Федора) is the female version of the very common Russian name Fyodor (Федор) and thus is the Russian equivalent of Theodora?
posted by languagehat


Eponysterical
posted by billiebee at 3:05 PM on September 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


I wore a tan camelhair hat (similar to this one, but grubbier) for most of high school. It was definitely a statement, although a statement of what, I'm not sure. (Probably "I don't like my haircut," which statement I made after high school mostly with the aforementioned clippers.) When I moved out, my new girlfriend tolerated it, but when the kitten peed in it, she did not bother to hide her relief. (Neither did anyone else who had ever seen me in it.)

Were I male, and ten years younger, I might have tried the fedora thing. I desperately wanted to be memorable - even though I was completely incapable of being fashionable. I still affect some weirdo clothing choices, like Vibrams (which are super comfortable and help my knees, and there weren't as many options when I started as there are now for barefoot-style shoes) but as I've said more than once, I'm kind of huge dork and trying for anything else is false advertising.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:19 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, but did you know Fedora (Федора) is the female version of the very common Russian name Fyodor (Федор)

Wait, so why "Fedora" and not "Fyodora"? Or actually come to think of it why is Федор pronounced "Fyodor" and not "Fedor"?

(And here I finally thought I'd gotten my head around the difference between e and ё...)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 3:47 PM on September 29, 2013


(And here I finally thought I'd gotten my head around the difference between e and ё...)

Because e and ё alternate a lot in Russian. So the formal Fyodor turns into the informal Fedya, the feminine Fedora, and so on. It's just one of the many different phonetic alternations Russian has. It's got retrograde devoicing, lenition, frication, vowel reduction in unstressed position, and also weird qualitative changes in iotated vowels when inflection and derivation come into play.
posted by Nomyte at 3:55 PM on September 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mandatory Musical Break
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:45 PM on September 29, 2013


Du Hats Me - VERY LOUD hats that go surprisingly well with lederhosen.

Hats Orff - Replicas of 11/12 century hats for wearing down the pub, but somehow infinitely more sinister than the originals.

Haterodyne - Hats that are created by morphing two existing hat styles into a new one.

Hattifattener - Hats for very tall thin pale people who are stranded on a small island.

Hat's all folks - ALL OF THE HATS!


RogerB: If "that" were truly and universally just how it is, then you probably wouldn't have to yell at people to "live with it.

Which is kinda the thing: this here and previously (on MeFi) is actually the first time I've actually felt truly judged and disparaged for what I wear since I was at secondary school*.

I've certainly had looks, and at least twice gained the excited attention of small children in the supermarket (once when in full mutant ninja turtle bike leathers, and once when wearing a denim shirt with the denim waistcoat and leather fedora ["mummy, mummy! *tug*tug*tug*, look, a cowboy!!" - also the 4th greatest moment in my life: it was so hard to remember that I R serious shopper and not just collapse into giggles (manly cowboy giggles)].

I mean being a white couple wearing Djellebas (and fedoras) in the Jemaa el-Fnaa certainly gets you an everloving metric fuckload of attention (mostly acquisitive) but it's all "AAiiihey!! Mohammed, Aisha! are you looking for a table?, forget about your table, I have a better table!".

Still, it may be that everyone was just being polite, the only place I've ever had random people come up and compliment me (it was kinda weird) on my hat choices was in New York, and to be fair, that's probably just because they are just a bit on the friendly side there (I mean that seriously, not facetiously).

In Albania I suspect I probably drew more attention hatless (it's a great country, you should go there (you may not want to now, but read some Ismail Kadare and see if you don't get the urge, I recommend a subdued panama or straw hat when you do).

There are donkeys everywhere, you'll be sitting on the bus, and they'll be in front of you, they'll be in the shaded corners of the road, and they'll be there looking out at you on the roofs of half built buildings along the way, but you won't notice them at first because your attention will be caught by all the stuffed animals nailed to poles in the front garden of the house (what's with that?).


---
two different looks: Stylish butch lesbian
---
This may be why the majority of my RL friends are, well, not butch per-se, but sensible-shoe/farm-girl lesbians.


* Charity shops are great for bargains (it's where I got my most beautiful mohair suit from: ~£3 back in the late 80's), but not so much when you're 15 and it's all your parents can afford as an ersatz school uniform is corduroy trousers several sizes too big and several shades wrong, rolled up and held in place with safety pins with a big ribbed wooly sailor jumper {awesome clothes, not popular}. Also FWIFW some people don't wear deodorant because it's a luxury item, and they don't wash their hair so often because it may not be as easy for them as it for you [water from the burn, boiled in a kettle, washed in the kitchen sink with washing up liquid, possibility that you might wake up with frozen hair in the morning in Winter]. **

** I know it's not about me, it just hit a lot of the pins on the way down.

but hey you laugh, you dance. I also use 35mm film in box brownies, it's incongruous but it works.
posted by titus-g at 4:47 PM on September 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Mustn't grumble, Stewart Lee has it worse, no hat required.
posted by titus-g at 5:46 PM on September 29, 2013


Some fashion choices are associated with particular subcultures. Shaved heads and black boots, for instance, tend to be worn by neo-nazi skinheads. Men's wear combined with ultra-feminine touches with indie folk artists, apparently.

Clothes tell a story. In the same way that you might find that your online comments are not generating the response you're expecting, you might one day find that the clothes you're wearing are not generating the response you're expecting. You can, at that point, (a) rail against the whole idea of norms and continue posting in text-speak, or language heavily peppered with profanity, or whatever your usual thing is, and continue to get annoyed when people react badly; or you can (b) decide that the message is more important than the medium and adjust; or you can (c) recognize the norms, decide you don't care, and go about your business realizing that others might misinterpret you from time to time.

From what I'm reading, most of the anti-fedora comments in the AskMe thread were mainly advising against Option A. In this MeTa thread, pro-fedora comments seem to be conflating C and B.

If someone asks for advice about why their sartorial message isn't being communicated correctly, B & C are both good suggestions; A is not. If someone is already at Option C, pretending to be at Option A is a big disingenuous.
posted by jaguar at 6:03 PM on September 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think you're right, jaguar. I never really knew about all this stigma attached to the hat until it came up being repeatedly marked as a clear symbol for such negative personality types.

I never minded the association of it being somewhat dorky/geeky or what have you (option c), it was the idea that it branded you a 'bad person' - some sort of odd hodge-podge of misogyny, greasyness, douchey-ness, and such that bothered me. The fact that it was so readily accepted as OK from many people on a site that generally seems to take issue with assumptions like that about people just baffled me. That when a number of people disagreed with those negative associations they were now a 'defense brigade' seemed petty and unproductive, and did not help the situation. Add to that some claims that due to my gender, race, and orientation I am not supposed to wear said hat, and it seems reasonable that I might take some level of offense to those claims.

Since I feel that the manner in which I wear that hat to be in a reasonable, semi-formal, dignified manner, and feel that with or without the hat I do not behave in a manner that is indicated by these new stereotypes, I'm just going to keep with option C, and move on, still a bit confused about the whole matter, but fairly certain that I'll get by just fine being me.
posted by chambers at 6:45 PM on September 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Right now, the roof of the building next door is host to a bunch of folks having a party. Some of the dudes are wearing fedoras and also shooting a BB gun. There's a picture linked on my profile page.
posted by rtha at 7:06 PM on September 29, 2013



I think on the side of the argument I'm on, there's been expressed a lot of sentiment in this thread that judging people — that is, making value-judgments about them — is a Bad Thing and shouldn't be presented as being natural and inevitable parts of human existence.



Except it really is, and we all do it, whether we admit it or not.

When we are in situations where we are going to interact with someone, we make a number of calculations to predict how that interaction is going to go, how that person is going to treat us. We watch their body language, we watch the way they interact with their environment, and yeah, we look at the way they present themselves visually, including the way they dress. Based on our past experiences and the experiences that others have conveyed to us, we make choices. At the most basic level, this is a survival skill - I have to try to determine if you are going to try to kill me or not, and the further away you are when I figure that out, the better.

I wear a uniform at my job: in fact, it's an integral part of my job. Before they see my nametag or my lapel pin, people know that I am one of the security staff. They see other people dressed like me, and know that we are watching the art. They may also infer from the uniform that I know first aid, or, if the person is a child, that I am a trusted adult they can approach if they are lost.

The uniform also conveys a lot of negative associations. People may assume that I have some kind of power trip. They may assume that I am racist. They assume that I am armed. They assume that I am uneducated. They assume that I am some petty bureaucratic little martinet.

Some base these assumptions on their previous experience with security guards, some on popular cultural images, some on stories they have heard from others. None of those things have anything to do with me as a person, but when I talk to people I have to brace myself for a wide variety of reactions, some of which might be very negative, all of which are based, in that immediate moment before I say a word, on what I am wearing. All of those people bring their own experiences and perceptions to our interaction, because what I am wearing means something very specific.

Here is another example. My friend has a beautiful vintage leather coat. It is a high quality coat. It is a warm coat that fits him very well.

This is the coat.

Isn't that a nice coat? It's a WWII German officer's coat. A Nazi uniform coat.

He gets bummed out when people think he's a Nazi. A skinhead once gave him a rather too joyful "Sieg HEIL!" outside of a show. To people who know what it is, that coat means something. Some of those people might be people who approve of what the coat symbolizes, some of them may be people who associate such a coat with racially or religiously motivated violence.

Whenever he wears the coat, no matter much he personally likes it, he has to deal with and acknowledge the fact that there are people who are going to make judgements about him based on what that coat symbolizes. When he decides whether or not to wear that coat, he is making a choice about the message that he is sending to others, and acknowledging that he has to deal with the consequences of that choice.

Most of the clothing items we've discussed in the thread are pretty much socially neutral. Even the impetus for the thread, the fedora, was for a long time a neutral piece of headgear. In its heyday, it was a very standard middle class hat, many men wore them. Up until recently, the worst thing a fedora said about you was "I am trying to gain social credibility by wearing a vintage hat. Ask me about my hat!" Even now, most of the people who wear them IRL are really just men who like hats, including unfairly maligned hat nerds with whom I have no problem.

Unfortunately, the fedora, as I have said before, a fine and respectable hat, has gained popularity with the sort of man who thinks of women as being lesser people, and inside, I have to brace myself for that. Because part of my social and survival calculations depend on me accounting for men who do not think I am human.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:08 PM on September 29, 2013 [14 favorites]


Right now, the roof of the building next door is host to a bunch of folks having a party. Some of the dudes are wearing fedoras and also shooting a BB gun. There's a picture linked on my profile page.

He's gonna shoot his eye out.



Nothing to do with the fedora. More to do with booze and ricochet BBs.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:16 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


> I'm glad you have the rulebook to life.

The rule, and the only rule, is "Would Bing Crosby or Fred Astaire have worn this thing that I propose to wear?" Finding the answer takes about a (resting) heartbeat, given that an image search takes about that long.

Astaire is usually seen hatless. When Fred is wearing a lid it is most often a topper (and is always part of the full white tie/cutaway/striped trousers/patent leather pumps ensemble), somewhat less often a straw boater, very rarely a fedora (always with a suit), and about equally rarely a soft white sailor's cap (always with full blue USN enlisted man's uniform, some role must have required it.)

Bing is also usually hatless. We do find him in fedoras, though, more often than in top hats--Bing is generally a more informal guy than Fred. The top hat does turn up now and then, though. Lastly, you quite often see Bing shown in a red Santa Claus stocking cap. It's always the same picture, namely the one on the cover of "White Christmas". This is always a head-only shot, so whether he is also wearing the rest of the standard Santa Claus outfit is not known.

In conclusion, then, here is the full list of hats acceptable as general wear for men (general=when not dressed for some special purpose, e.g. baseball cap with baseball uniform, backwards if catcher wearing catcher's mask): 1. No hat (most occasions) 2. Top hat (with white tie/cutaway, not otherwise) 3. Straw boater 4. Fedora (with suit, not otherwise) 5. White sailor's cap (with blue sailor's uniform) 6. Santa Claus stocking cap. These are all you need. They will see you through any occasion. N.b. no hat is cheapest, start your hat collection with that one.
posted by jfuller at 7:18 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


7. A lovely vintage feathered fascinator, but maybe only if it goes with your dress.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:34 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Isn't that a nice coat? It's a WWII German officer's coat. A Nazi uniform coat.

He gets bummed out when people think he's a Nazi. A skinhead once gave him a rather too joyful "Sieg HEIL!" outside of a show. To people who know what it is, that coat means something. Some of those people might be people who approve of what the coat symbolizes, some of them may be people who associate such a coat with racially or religiously motivated violence.


With the irony that it's not - according to my military historian SO - actually a German military coat. (The epaulettes are the wrong shape, for example). It's probably just a civilian coat that happens to resemble a Nazi uniform.

Also, unlike a Nazi uniform, the supposedly reputation of the fedora isn't based on a horrific crime against humanity, but a stereotype that viewers are projecting on to the wearers. It's lazy stereotyping - and for every PUA, there are hundreds of perfectly normal men - and women - wearing fedoras.
posted by jb at 8:07 PM on September 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


And there are hundreds of perfectly normal men and women who have shaved heads and who like Doc Martens. That doesn't mean the neo-Nazi association doesn't exist. Again, it may not matter to any particular individual who has a shaved head and who likes black boots, but it's nonsensical to assert that there's not a message there. Ideally, someone who encountered someone who dressed in a way that indicated an allegiance to a subculture would talk to that someone long enough to determine if the supposed allegiance were true, but it's not any one individual's duty to do so.
posted by jaguar at 8:11 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


My bad. That's not the exact coat - it's a similar one I found on eBay. His is genuine, or at least genuine enough to fool Nazi sympathizers.

I also wasn't equating Nazis and fedora wearers,which is something I knew after I posted I should have been very explicit about, but didn't want to edit the content of my post.

My point, which apparently got lost, was that

a) It is really basic human nature to use visual cues, including clothing as a way to attempt to predict how people will behave and how they will treat you. Everyone does this, even if they claim they do not.
b) The ways that people react to what you wear are a combination of their subjective experience and the symbolism of what you choose to wear, and may have very little to do with who you are as a person
c) If you wear an article of clothing that bears strong cultural symbolism, people will react to that symbol, even if the symbolism is not something that is something you agree with.


A fedora is not equivalent, no, no. In fact, as I said, it's really fairly neutral. But it has gained a particular kind of symbolism that may have negative connotations for some people.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:42 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


here is the full fucking list of fucking hats fucking acceptable as fucking general fucking wear:

Any fucking hat, with any fucking outfit, for whatever fucking reason you fucking feel: because fuck: whether for fucking work, or for fucking pleasure or because, fuck; It's your fucking best fuck hat! or even just.. fuck-it to fucking fuckery, why the fuck fucking not (it could be fucking fun) fucking reason at that particular fucking moment in fucking time.

Fuck Bing fucking Crosby and fuck Fred fucking Astaire and any fucking rules in their fucking name (and srsly fuck the fucking rat-pack, fucking entitled fuckwit fucknozzles), they are all fucking dead and, fucking ditto, fucking gone. Fuck. Even were they the fuck fucking not they were a fucking fairly fucking irrelevant fucking minority of fucking two, and there's been a fuck load of fucking people wearing fucking hats before and fucking after. Like how the fucking fuck is it fucking OK to fucking play olde fucking timey Derek fucking Acorah and fucking magically and magnificently channel their fucking wishes as if it were the fucking word of [deliberately left blank] deity.

Just sayin' (in my peppery way)
posted by titus-g at 8:49 PM on September 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


"You'll pardon me for mentioning it Sir, but I discovered this article on our hat rack. I can only assume a tradesman left it."

"Oh Jeeves! We're not going to have a difference of opinion about that hat are we?"

"I'm not yet in a position to say Sir."

"This is what is known among the fashionable elite as a 47th Street Skimmer Jeeves."

"Gentleman do not wear straw hats in the Metropolis Sir."
posted by timsteil at 8:57 PM on September 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


Just sayin' (in my peppery way)


Oh dear. Looks like somebody put fuck in the pepper shaker again.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:08 PM on September 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


All I can say is you guys seem really creative at coming up with reasons to hate people.

Hatred, lies, bigotry and hypocrisy also tell a story about the person telling them. The rest of us can chose not to be around people like you because we don't like hateful people.
posted by nangar at 9:46 PM on September 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


And yet, I'd hypothesize that if asked if you wanted to be around "analytical people," you'd say yes. Because analytical people are intelligent people. You're just somehow trying to remove "clothing choice" from the slate of things to be analyzed.
posted by jaguar at 9:51 PM on September 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


Any fucking hat, with any fucking outfit, for whatever fucking reason you fucking feel: because fuck: whether for fucking work, or for fucking pleasure or because, fuck; It's your fucking best fuck hat! or even just.. fuck-it to fucking fuckery, why the fuck fucking not (it could be fucking fun) fucking reason at that particular fucking moment in fucking time.

Sure, just don't expect me to think you look dapper or sexy or manly or appropriately dressed for the situation.

You will wear whatever hat you like, and I will think whatever I'd like to think about it, and we will both get on with our lives.
posted by Sara C. at 9:51 PM on September 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


Hatred, lies, bigotry and hypocrisy also tell a story about the person telling them. The rest of us can chose not to be around people like you because we don't like hateful people.

Wait, sorry, me thinking that X hat doesn't go with Y shirt is "bigotry", now?
posted by Sara C. at 9:52 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, no, I don't think so, but "Stop judging me for being judgmental, because I'm right and you know it" is probably not going to get you all that much traction.
posted by gingerest at 9:58 PM on September 29, 2013 [18 favorites]


Manly: having or denoting those good qualities traditionally associated with men, such as courage and strength.

So what do clothes that denote courage and strength look like?
posted by Drinky Die at 10:02 PM on September 29, 2013


I mean, to me the clothing choices here speak to courage and strength and screw the arbitrary rules that say otherwise.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:13 PM on September 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


The rest of us can chose not to be around people like you because we don't like hateful people your stupid hat

see what i did there
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:20 PM on September 29, 2013


So what do clothes that denote courage and strength look like?

?
posted by The Gooch at 10:34 PM on September 29, 2013


No, not a hat. I was thinking more like the guys in the background of this photo. That's what we think of for the outward appearance of courage and strength, right?
posted by Drinky Die at 10:42 PM on September 29, 2013


But it has gained a particular kind of symbolism that may have negative connotations for some people.

And this is a fait accompli? I've read Bourdieu, I love him like some sort of large wicker hamster.

And once again: There are more people wearing fedora type hats who aren't pick up artists or 'fedora douches' than are. It's one thing to work from a generally true statement to a general rule, it's quite another to generalise from an anecdotal minority observation to a general rule. It's quite possible that if your entire experience of fedora wearers is based on mostly interacting with mostly white mostly middle class people on the North American continent, then your generalisation may, for the most part, hold true. But, if you abstract even one of those factors then it's bollocks. My original hat wearing, whilst partly hattenstance, was probably in large part due to a prior deep and abiding love of soul (stax/motown) music, and whilst their purloining of the look of The Man was a deliberate and radical statement, I realise that my aping of it (on a hilll farm where the only black people were sheep) wasn't so much, and was, and is an affectation. But it is an affectation with an entirely different etymology, and just as valid a one. The anti-populist in this case share the same habitus and in a way act as implicit and mechanic part of a moity: the loud critiques they issue works as a prestation giving value to their own particular etymology favouring it against all others (sadly the critique of privilege from the same place of privilege reinforces it). Middle class white kids tilt at middle class white demons. This isn't unnatural or 'wrong', it's just the way things are, people favour interpretations of reality based on their own nurtured understanding of it. They can't help it.

(see what I did there :P )

I hate this thread, it made me break both my 3rd and 1st rule (the 1st if more of a guideline things like Pygmy music threads aren't included) of talking to people on the internet.)
In reverse order.

3. Never let saying things on the internet lead to drinking [Really not going to feel good tomorrow :/]
2. Never let drinking lead to saying thing on the internet.
1. Don't.

[Analysis: when dealing with other humans/animals/perennials/cucurbits empathy is an important part of the analysis. For me, generally the most important part is first do no harm (unless harm will come of it) let people be wrong, and let them be wrong without prejudice, don't be precious about [from here on you means me, not you] your own special things in preference of those things other people hold precious. And, you know, maybe, just maybe learn from those things that are precious and special and distinct to you that other things can be equally so for other people. You are not the sum total of your fashions and fetishes (original and new usage), and neither are others. There are reasons for prejudices and preferences and, unless they are harmful to others, then it's generally more interesting to try and understand them than throw rocks on the off chance that the shape of them is a shadow you've met before.]


Sure, just don't expect me to think you look dapper or sexy or manly or appropriately dressed for the situation.

You will wear whatever hat you like, and I will think whatever I'd like to think about it, and we will both get on with our lives.



sorry, that comment was meant in no way to be a reply to you (or anyone really, except circumstantially). There is a reason I prefer to start my walks up the hills at dawn or dusk, and take the less travelled paths, and limit my interactions with the world to buying groceries. It means I'm always appropriately dressed. It means I don't meet people and they don't have to think things about me, one of the great things about wide brimmed hats is you can avoid eye contact, which is kinda like electric shocks to me. I should shut up now, so I shall. g'night all.
posted by titus-g at 10:44 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


This whole thing started off about disrespect for a Fedora.

By the time it's over I fully expect the OP has nailed himself to some IKEA shit he freecycled from an alley behind Whole Foods, a Kickstarter will be started, and in 4013 some really big headed yoga pants motherfuckers will be eating Kale on Friday nights, refusing to recycle tattooed people into the stock feed machine on Saturday, and Sunday shall be reserved for board games and banjo lessons.

Or, as I have decided to call the scenario in my new dystopian novel;

"The World Became Williamsburg."

Blow me Heinlein.
posted by timsteil at 10:46 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, sorry, me thinking that X hat doesn't go with Y shirt is "bigotry", now?

Be the change you want to see.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:01 PM on September 29, 2013


"Hat's all folks - ALL OF THE HATS"

So, in the strip mall near me, next to Jon's, there was this shoe store called, "That's Shoe Biz!"

This summer, they had posters up saying they were going out of business, everything must go.

The whole time, I wanted to walk in, point to the signs, and say, "That's shoe biz!"

But it was all women's shoes, so why would I be in there? And how the hell would I leave? Just turn around and walk out?
posted by klangklangston at 12:53 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


hey guys what's going on in here
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:12 AM on September 30, 2013 [31 favorites]


Yeah I mean I've never understood why strangers in the street get upset when I tell them they're ugly, it's like they're really judgemental of differences in opinion or something. And honestly, I only really do this to objectively ugly people, so it's not like I'm WRONG.
posted by vanar sena at 1:42 AM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


C'mon, it's not like anyone is running up yelling, "Your hat sucks! High five bro!" This is internerds who responded to, "What's wrong with my fedora also I kinda already know the answer 'cuz it was a teenage affectation based on a character that seemed cool at the time but now is kinda douchey in retrospect?"
posted by klangklangston at 2:28 AM on September 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


I went through a phase five or six years ago where I was headwear-curious: I bought some flat caps, and some brimmed felt hats: a Borsalino fedora, a Trilby and a Pork Pie hat. The fedora felt the most comfortable of them all on my bulby head, but alas it didn’t and doesn’t suit me. I can’t deny that there was an element of affectation in my seeking out these headgear choices, but I came to appreciate that they are also practical articles of clothing: wearing a peaked cap or brimmed hat one perceives the umbrella as the superfluous and unwieldy contraption it is. I often still wear a cap, and I sometimes even don the fedora, if only when I go out walking the dog in the rain. I also own a World of Warcraft t-shirt that my late wife bought for me. I am vain enough that I feel the need to point out that I have never played World of Warcraft myself, but not so vain that I can state it is entirely possible that I have worn this t-shirt (albeit concealed by a jacket or coat) and the fedora at the same time while strolling around Amiralitetsparken and elsewhere in foul weather.
posted by misteraitch at 2:38 AM on September 30, 2013


The real reason people have dogs is exactly so you can walk out any time in just-whatever. WoW t-shirt and fedora? No problem. Footie pajamas and rain poncho? No problem. Bathrobe and showercap? No problem. Because DOG NEEDED WALKIES OKAY?

Canis lupus familiaris: the only accessory you really need.
posted by taz (staff) at 4:04 AM on September 30, 2013 [17 favorites]


yeah I mean I've never understood why strangers in the street get upset when I tell them they're ugly, it's like they're really judgemental of differences in opinion or something. And honestly, I only really do this to objectively ugly people, so it's not like I'm WRONG.

the original guy asked for our opinion

he asked for our opinion

HE VERY SPECIFICALLY ASKED FOR OPINIONS ON FEDORAS

If you cannot handle people giving their opinion after being asked for their opinion, then do not read questions involving requests for opinions on subjects near and dear to your heart. Like fedoras, apparently.

If a Metatalk thread is setting off drinking problems then the issue is not the Metatalk thread, the issue is you and a serious need to re-evaluate your coping skills and sensitivity towards interpersonal interactions.
posted by schroedinger at 5:23 AM on September 30, 2013 [17 favorites]


Sure, just don't expect me to think you look dapper or sexy or manly or appropriately dressed for the situation.

You will wear whatever hat you like, and I will think whatever I'd like to think about it, and we will both get on with our lives.


I too have opinions about the clothes people wear and there is no reason to apologize for having those opinions. But what I've learned over the years is that when I think "X looks stupid, I and everybody I know would snicker at X," it often turns out to be the case that "everybody I know" is not really that representative of a class. I mean, good lord, I learned in the Kanye thread that wearing leather sweatpants is not actually ridiculous, but in fact looks great.

I guess what I'm saying is, when I'm not on MetaFilter, when I'm out here in the wide, wide world, I cannot even conceive of seeing a dude wearing a fedora and thinking "that guy might be a pick-up artist." I think these associations are not as universal as the people who experience them think they are.

(That said, answers of the form "this is the cluster of associations me and my friends have with a fedora" are 100% good answers to the question "why do some people have negative perceptions of fedora.")
posted by escabeche at 6:14 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


My bad. That's not the exact coat - it's a similar one I found on eBay. His is genuine, or at least genuine enough to fool Nazi sympathizers.

Actual Nazi-era German military coats are rare - and very expensive. (Sadly) There is a collectors' market which pushes up the prices. Unless your friend paid a great deal for authenticity (and I can't imagine that he would want that kind of authenticity), it's probably a coat that just happens to resemble a German coat in colour/shape. Also, neo-Nazis are not exactly terribly well-informed about history.

As for the fedoras: "These are a cluster of associations" can be and often is just stereotyping. I have a cluster of associations with hip hop clothing, from being an unpopular nerd kid in a hip hop neighbourhood -- but I try not to let these associations affect the way that I relate to people in hip hop fashions, because they deserve to not be stereotyped.

And I certainly would never say, "Well, they shouldn't dress like that, they should know what kinds of associations people put on clothing like that ..."

which is an argument that could just as easily be used against women wearing hijab, or men wearing kippot. (Which they want to ban for public employees in Quebec).
posted by jb at 6:41 AM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


If I said "brodown-ing at the brodeo" to anyone I know, I would just get concern that I was displaying symptoms of a stroke.

I told my boyfriend last night that the top lad of all the diplomats was Banter-Ki Moon and he threatened to leave me.
posted by mippy at 6:47 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel for the people who wear hats to keep off the rain and are catching the fashion-hat hate. I always get a little pouty when folks rail about Vibram wearers. They're goofy looking. I know they're goofy looking. I wear them because I can walk comfortably for longer in them than in just about anything else, and they make my balance is slightly better.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:49 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


schroedinger: "If you cannot handle people giving their opinion after being asked for their opinion, then do not read questions involving requests for opinions"

You're right, I'm just venting my opinion on the cluster of threads on this topic, in which many opinions skirt dangerously close to People of Walmart-style pointing and laughing. Then again, fedora wearers are probably not poor, just awkward and nerdy, so I suppose it's okay to make fun of them.

[...] on subjects near and dear to your heart. Like fedoras, apparently.

Does it matter that I've never actually worn a fedora? Should it?
posted by vanar sena at 6:51 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


How do you guys feel about jughead hats?

TBH, I would love one. (Me looking dorky bring my kids joy, which is what I am all about.) MeMail me if you are making a serious offer.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:05 AM on September 30, 2013


fedora wearers are probably not poor, just awkward and nerdy

Well there it is

You've done it

You've expressed an opinion (also yeah, judgement) about a fashion choice

Which is what the original thread is about and what people are trying to explain as a thing that everyone does all the time
posted by sweetkid at 7:13 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


They're goofy looking. I know they're goofy looking.

The conversation I have with my well-put-together-and-sometimes-a-little-judgey sister about these sorts of things (Birkenstocks top the list) usually goes something like this.

Her: "Ugh, those shoes make you look like some sort of grubby fashion-agnostic hippie with hairy armpits"
Me: "That's great because that's actually pretty much exactly who I am, only maybe a little cleaner"
Her: "ಠ_ಠ"
Me: "I love you"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:15 AM on September 30, 2013 [30 favorites]


sweetkid: "You've expressed an opinion (also yeah, judgement) about a fashion choice"

Nope, it's not actually my opinion, on either thing in fact. I'm just parroting what people have said about fedoras here. I suppose I should have mentioned "potential PUA" too.
posted by vanar sena at 7:17 AM on September 30, 2013


How do you guys feel about jughead hats?

TBH, I would love one. (Me looking dorky bring my kids joy, which is what I am all about.) MeMail me if you are making a serious offer.


I hesitate to post this factoid as it may serve as an incendiary in this thread, but I seem to recall a Blue thread on this history of the Jughead hat which revealed it was simply a fedora, turned inside out and with the brim hap-hazardly snipped away.
posted by Diablevert at 7:21 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


You're sure you don't make judgemnts about people and fashion/clothing choice? I'm not so sure you don't.

Fedoras are a fashion choice. Kate Spade and cute heels is a fashion choice. Birkenstocks are a fashion choice. Sorority sweatshirts with Greek letters, cutoff shorts and Sperry Top Siders is a fashion choice.

"I don't care, I just want to be comfortable" is a fashion choice. Other people are going to read all of these a certain way.
posted by sweetkid at 7:22 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


There's making decision about your own fashion choices (because you literally can not choose not to wear clothes) based on your own set of priorities, and there's making judgments about other people's fashion choices in a public way where they then have to interact not just with their choices but with other people's judgement of their choices. These choices, incidentally, may or may not be as universal as any one person thinks they are.

So in the thread, I think a lot of the people who answered may have had private judgements about fedoras that wouldn't come out in any sort of polite conversation but since the question was asked, they shared them. Other people seemed more into "Let me tell you about my judgements" lines of discussions. I have my own opinions about what people's clothing choices say about them, but that's basically something I keep to myself unless someone asks or it comes up in conversation. So that's another layer of etiquette again, in my culture it's rude to disparage people's fashion choices and talk shit about people you don't know because of how they dress. Other people are more like this or less like this. I don't think people should be like me, it's just one of those "Different people are different" sorts of things.

These opinions are only informed by my own knowledge on the subject which is where words like "fashion" can be tricky. I don't know what Kate Spade is (google tells me it's a handbag) and so someone who was signalling something with that choice would not be signalling to me. Which is fine, they probably didn't want to be, but there are levels of opting in and opting out of some of this. It's one of the reasons I live where I do, people's attention to this level of stuff is about the same as my own so I am comfortable there. It's like the way that sneakers and baseball caps can be, in a lot of the US, sort of a fashion-neutral choice (meaning you'll fit in in a lot of average scenarios) but absolutely set you apart as an American if you go to Europe because the "this is my average outfit" outfit is quite different and sneakers signal something different.

It's good to understand that this framework exists and how it operates; it's also equally useful to understand that different people interact with it at dramatically different levels.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:36 AM on September 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


escabeche: "it often turns out to be the case that "everybody I know" is not really that representative of a class."

I'm pretty aware of this but every onec and a while a comment will get posted that really highlights this for me personally. Like this one:
titus-g: "This may be why the majority of my RL friends are, well, not butch per-se, but sensible-shoe/farm-girl lesbians."
I mean I know a few lesbians but not nearly so many that I can classify their clothing choices and certainly not rising to the level of the majority of my RL friends. And I imagine there are entire swaths of classes where I know no one.
posted by Mitheral at 7:47 AM on September 30, 2013


> Wait, so why "Fedora" and not "Fyodora"? Or actually come to think of it why is Федор pronounced "Fyodor" and not "Fedor"?

What Nomyte said, but a simpler way to look at it is that ё is always stressed, so if inflection or derivation produces a form (like Федора) in which the stress goes on a different syllable, it becomes plain е by default (or is reduced even further, as in лёд 'ice,' genetive льда, where it becomes a mere soft sign, which once upon a time was pronounced as a very short vowel).

> Sure, just don't expect me to think you look dapper or sexy or manly or appropriately dressed for the situation.

You will wear whatever hat you like, and I will think whatever I'd like to think about it, and we will both get on with our lives.


Sara, your original point—that clothes are signifiers, and that one cannot expect to wear whatever one wants and not have anyone think anything about it—was well taken. But you seem to have devolved into just spewing contempt for people who don't share your fashion sense. You might want to check whether the pushback you've gotten (much of it unwarranted, at least initially) has caused you to go into fighty mode, which is perfectly human but not helpful to the thread.
posted by languagehat at 7:47 AM on September 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


> I cannot even conceive of seeing a dude wearing a fedora and thinking "that guy might be a pick-up artist."

Only because I didn't know about it, and now thanks to mefi I do. I already have a long and guilty history of prejudgement, seeing some guy with a bluetooth thingie sticking out of his ear and thinking "That guy might be a space alien."
posted by jfuller at 7:48 AM on September 30, 2013


I find it fascinating that the moustache went from posh>breakfast TV presenter>gay signifier>scouse scally>unfashionable and possibly paedo>steampunk>hipster.
posted by mippy at 7:55 AM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


I also find the idea of the working class not fashion policing to be bizarre. I grew up in a very working class area where the average wage is £18k a year (UK average is £26k - and when you think about all the people who work in shops and call-centres and as cleaners you begin to realise just how very rich some must be to make that the average). When I go home to visit, nearly everybody seems to be wearing branded sportswear, or carrying a fake logoed bag, or wearing something that signifies either taste (that you know what labels are in) or money (those trainers you are wearing are understood to cost £60). When I go home to visit, people will see my unbranded or unusual clothing (I like vintagey things) and presume that I am either unfashionable or unable to spend money on the 'right' brands, even if my jumper is cashmere or my bag is an expensive leather one with the logo on the inside. I had no desire to dress like that when I lived there and if you were a teenager who did not, people would assume that your parents were too poor to buy the 'right' clothing.

I have younger nephews and all of his friends appear to be clones of one another, with the same haircut and the same tracksuit in different colours. And if they were to go to, say, Mayfair or the Upper West Side in their chosen fashionwear, people would not look at them and think 'there's a hard-working young man who has some expensive and cool trainers' but would find fault with their clothing, believe them to be gauche or inappropriate, or even believe them to have criminal tendencies, because that's what that clothing style conjures up in the minds of some.

Mind you, you would seem like a blazing non-conformist if you wore a fedora there.
posted by mippy at 8:04 AM on September 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


I also find the idea of the working class not fashion policing to be bizarre.

The idea is bizarre, but did somebody actually say that?
posted by nangar at 8:09 AM on September 30, 2013


I'm sure we have seen that here - lots of talk about how it's a class privlege to say fedoras make you look like a ninny. Also, deodorant has been described as a class priviledge. Which it is in the sense that buying any consumer good requires the money to do so.

I dunno. I have a headache and I'm being distracted by rage against government policy announced today, so if I'm wrong, don't poke me with sticks or anything.
posted by mippy at 8:13 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorority sweatshirts with Greek letters, cutoff shorts and Sperry Top Siders is a fashion choice.

At least say "hello" the next time you see me. Come on.
posted by griphus at 8:23 AM on September 30, 2013 [13 favorites]


I have my own opinions about what people's clothing choices say about them, but that's basically something I keep to myself unless someone asks or it comes up in conversation. So that's another layer of etiquette again, in my culture it's rude to disparage people's fashion choices and talk shit about people you don't know because of how they dress. Other people are more like this or less like this.

Well, here's the thing, to me --- and I'm quoting the above because I think it was an excellent point --- I think part of the weirdness with this whole meta is tied up in that.

That is, on the one hand, and certainly to varying degrees, lots of people think it is rude to talk smack about someone's clothing choices. And on the other hand, clothing and other forms of adornment are extremely powerful social signals which everybody constantly uses to assess the relative class, status, personality, gender identity and ethnic and regional origins of the person wearing them. Unconsciously, most of the time. I mean, I'd bet even a person like Jessamyn who doesn't think of herself as a follower of fashion could glance at someone walking around her town and tell if they were non-local just from the clothes they wore and the way they wore them, a lot of the time.

So in that question there's this weird collision in which these judgements which are constantly being made are explicitly expressed, and people are appalled, because it's rude, because it can be hurtful. Because on the whole the members of this website value being considerate and open-minded, to some merely speaking aloud these unspoken things feels like a cruelty...

For my money, especially when a question is framed as "give me your opinion on" it seems better to be honest, even if the answer is "yes, I have a negative association with that which is thus-and-such". Because i tend to think one of the virtues of the green is that you can get frank answers from strangers about things people who know and care about you would be hesitant to say to your face.
posted by Diablevert at 8:26 AM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Porwk chawps and apple shauce, amirite?
posted by slogger at 8:27 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


I always get a little pouty when folks rail about Vibram wearers. They're goofy looking. I know they're goofy looking.

Literally the only group judgment it is possible for me to make about toeshoers is that they are a diverse array of people with pretty much no other universal characteristic who enjoy shoes with toes that look funny to me. I think a reasonable number of the people who say LOL VIBRAMS OR SIMILAR are really just saying LOL THIS THING and not LOL THESE PEOPLE.
posted by elizardbits at 8:27 AM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


What Nomyte said, but a simpler way to look at it is that ё is always stressed, so if inflection or derivation produces a form (like Федора) in which the stress goes on a different syllable, it becomes plain е by default (or is reduced even further, as in лёд 'ice,' genetive льда, where it becomes a mere soft sign, which once upon a time was pronounced as a very short vowel).

Aha! Thank you.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 8:27 AM on September 30, 2013


Seriously, guys. Sara C. has been really careful to distinguish the difference between her personal opinions and societal-wide judgments of clothing that she has no control over; she has repeatedly clarified this point and says that she thinks everyone is perfectly entitled to wear what they want so long as they don't expect that other people will not form impressions and opinions on them based on their clothing; and the mods have even added further clarity to her point at this stage.

It feels weird that people keep piling on to her because she has demonstrated nothing but persistent good faith in like a billion and one accusations of being a bigot, oppressing "working-class people", and enforcing "heteronormativity" for simply expressing why a fedora might be looked down upon in popular culture and society.
posted by Conspire at 8:30 AM on September 30, 2013 [28 favorites]


HATLESS ALL MY LIFE!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:52 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


It feels weird that people keep piling on to her because she has demonstrated nothing but persistent good faith in like a billion and one accusations of being a bigot, oppressing "working-class people", and enforcing "heteronormativity" for simply expressing why a fedora might be looked down upon in popular culture and society.

You must be new here.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:58 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


"I'm sure we have seen that here - lots of talk about how it's a class privlege to say fedoras make you look like a ninny."

Someone else said — which I repeated — that someone else's argument that wearing a fedora was only appropriate if one wore all the other more formal clothing that properly accompanies it was classist.

And I found pretty noxious someone's fairly comprehensive comment — I can't really stomach re-reading it, so I don't recall who wrote it — about how any claims that there's class privilege involved in fashion standards is nonsense and an insult to all those poor people who make the effort to clothe themselves properly. I even think it was a woman, amazingly, who wrote this and who somehow has been mysteriously sheltered from hearing the laments of many poorer women who work somewhere at a low-paying that requires nice clothes of reasonable variety, such as a receptionist for a law office or teller in a bank. Dresses and shoes, not to mention cleaning, all consume a lot of income that could be saved or used elsewhere.

And let's not even talk about clothing for children — because this is when we all learn this inevitable way the world works, right? and kids ridicule those who don't have the right clothes.

Do different classes have their own fashion standards? Of course they do. But that only proves the point that these folks are trying to dispute — to the degree to which those fashion standards are particular to a lower class is the degree to which they are marked as a lower class and discriminated on that basis (hey, that's just the way the world works, people judge other people on their appearance, get used to it). And the degree to which they might aspirationally function across those class boundaries is the degree to which they will bear a disproportionate economic burden in clothing themselves for those contexts.

So, yes, there very much is classism involved in this.

With fedoras, no. With fashion in general? Of course. Fashion is at the heart of class markers.

Also, how one speaks. Do you speak a regional dialect of English that is low-status? Such as african-american vernacular english or with a strong Texas drawl? Well, people are going to judge you negatively for it, that's just the reality. And you can change it. Or choose not to change it. Whatever you do, how you speak is a core part of how you choose to present yourself to others. There's no use railing against those who think you're less intelligent because of your AAVE or Texan dialect, you should spend the time and effort ridding yourself of the accent if you want to make a better impression on those folks, or just decide you don't care. But don't complain that it's not fair, that there's something wrong with this. It's just people doing what they do. They judge other people.

I think that paragraph doesn't sit right with most of us because although its essential point is quite true — this is how things are — it's something that most of us see as unjust and not to be endorsed. We'd approach that essential message carefully, being sure to say that it's wrong, but unavoidable, that people will judge others on that basis. And, frankly, there'd probably be someone who would come along into such a thread and say the same thing except say it in a way that is somehow weirdly satisfied at this state of affairs; they'd be explaining the way of the world with that tone, almost as if they were pleased that it's this way.

I'd like to repeat that in my case, with certainty, this has very little to do with fedoras. Someone said earlier that if you don't like someone judging fedoras, don't read an AskMe thread where someone asked about negative judgments of fedoras. But I didn't read that thread. I read this thread. And this thread has been about the larger issue of being judgmental about other people's choices of clothing. And the arguments presented in this thread which pound on this theme of "people are going to judge you on your clothing, it's life" are arguments which apply to pretty much every example of judging people as "better" or "worse" in whatever value-laden respect (more trustworthy, less trustworthy; more responsible, less responsible; more sexist, less sexist; more hard-working, less hard-working; more confident, less confident; more respectable, less respectable) based upon appearance and other superficialities.

And it's pretty clear when you consider all those other cases, that this is a bad thing, not a good thing. Is generalizing a permanent part of human psychology? Of course. But someone on the other side of the argument mentioned that they think that people are less judgmental now than they have been in the past. And that's clearly true with respect to clothing in North America. There was more broad conformity thirty and sixty years ago, and deviations were more harshly sanctioned. The point is that if we can be more tolerant and diverse now, more willing to read variations on clothing less strongly and strictly as badges of affiliation and more as idiosyncratic, then we can be even more this way than we presently are.

"It feels weird that people keep piling on to her because she has demonstrated nothing but persistent good faith..."

No, I disagree. She hasn't been careful in exactly the way that you claim. She's conflated normative judgments with her own personal judgments.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:13 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, how one speaks. Do you speak a regional dialect of English that is low-status? Such as african-american vernacular english or with a strong Texas drawl? Well, people are going to judge you negatively for it, that's just the reality. And you can change it. Or choose not to change it. Whatever you do, how you speak is a core part of how you choose to present yourself to others. There's no use railing against those who think you're less intelligent because of your AAVE or Texan dialect, you should spend the time and effort ridding yourself of the accent if you want to make a better impression on those folks, or just decide you don't care. But don't complain that it's not fair, that there's something wrong with this. It's just people doing what they do. They judge other people.

I strongly disagree that how a person speaks and the clothes that they wear are equivalent in this way.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:16 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ivan: I grew up in Texas and consciously un-trained my texas accent after going to Washington D.C., so, I hear ya on that and clear. People are amazed I grew up in Texas. They say "But you sound so smart!"
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:17 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


The point is that if we can be more tolerant and diverse now, more willing to read variations on clothing less strongly and strictly as badges of affiliation and more as idiosyncratic, then we can be even more this way than we presently are.

To the point of answering the question "why do people hate fedoras?" with "pshaw, man, fedoras are awesome and I'm sure you're awesome. Just, you know, rock on with your bad self and fuck the haters."

That's the only kind of acceptable answer, on the green? If we're going to be all Being the Change We Want to See?

Because it's not, actually, an answer. It's a white lie.
posted by Diablevert at 9:33 AM on September 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


I think I have clarified this in my mind a bit, what's bothering me about some of the perspectives in the thread.

Many of us do see people whose fashion choices we question, sure. For me, that usually takes the form of, "Those jeans are NOT flattering for her body type, I would not have gone there if I were her," or "His pants are all frayed on the bottom, what a waste, someone spent good money on those." Thinking a hat is better worn with a suit because a hat is a dressy accessory to you is that type of fashion policing.

What crosses the line for me, personally, is when the fashion policing turns into fashion profiling. Fedora hat? You are obviously a pick-up artist wannabe. Woman wearing comfortable shoes? You are a militant man-hating lesbian. Person of color in a hoodie? You are a dangerous thug (and, in my state, at least one poor kid got murdered by a racist asshole who was using just that kind of logic).

All of which goes to argue that, when you see young men wearing fedoras, maybe you should consider their fashion choices in terms of comfort, practicality or even fashion obtuseness instead of jumping to the assumption that their headwear reflects a deliberate indicator of tribal alliance with a group you abhor.
posted by misha at 9:33 AM on September 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


And I found pretty noxious someone's fairly comprehensive comment — I can't really stomach re-reading it, so I don't recall who wrote it — about how any claims that there's class privilege involved in fashion standards is nonsense and an insult to all those poor people who make the effort to clothe themselves properly. I even think it was a woman, amazingly, who wrote this and who somehow has been mysteriously sheltered from hearing the laments of many poorer women who work somewhere at a low-paying that requires nice clothes of reasonable variety, such as a receptionist for a law office or teller in a bank. Dresses and shoes, not to mention cleaning, all consume a lot of income that could be saved or used elsewhere.

If you're talking about my comment, then that is absolutely not my point. My point regarded fashion conformity and ideas of what is and isn't beyond the pale. It was indeed about kids ridiculing those who do not wear the right clothes, and that the aesthetic choices can be confused for economic ones. Fashion in my particular working class community was not so much an aesthetic choice as wearable Veblen goods. I did NOT say it didn't exist. I said that, in my particular experience, it took a considerably different form.

A friend I grew up with chose not to go to secretarial school because it would involve buying a whole bunch of office-friendly clothing. The charity shops are not useful because their stock is mainly fast fashion which is not designed to be handed down. I have been on a temp's salary and struggled to get clothing to fit my non-average figure - I literally cannot buy trousers long enough or shoes big enough to fit me in my home town from a retail store, because these are stocked in bigger branches or more expensive chains, and none of those want to open there, and 'thrifting' offers even less choice- clothing that looked far more unprofessional than something that wasn't polyester and fitted properly. And if this were XOJane and not Metafilter, then we could talk about bra size privilege and how we can't all go and pick one up from Primark for £3.

I can also tell you about how the JSA folk complain that those from working class estates 'do not know' how to dress appropriately (there is some truth to this in that if your parents do not work in office jobs then you have few guidelines for what exactly is appropriate) and that their thicker accents make them present as less employable. So please do not presume to tell me what I know and I assume, thanks.
posted by mippy at 9:34 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I grew up in Texas and consciously un-trained my texas accent after going to Washington D.C., so, I hear ya on that and clear. People are amazed I grew up in Texas. They say "But you sound so smart!"

I am sad that you had to do this. I can sympathize because it's not uncommon for me to end up in situations where my southern accent seems to run into the same type of problem that the aforementioned coat causes.

It's a shitty problem, no doubt, but I've come to realize that despite the all-too-common perception* that the intersection of the venn diagram of two circles of "has a southern accent" and the other being either "uneducated" or "downright racist" is somehow larger than the same intersection with "southern accent" replaced with pretty much any other accent (or geographic or, really and truly, social identifier) there's a lot to be gained by being the person that speaks with a drawl. Even in corporate/educated/white collar/food service/whatever settings.

I completely respect your decision to train out your accent, really. I'm just sorry you had to. That's all I really had to say I guess.

* I say perception because I think it's bunk for the most part or, at best, suffers from a terrible case of selection bias or selective blindness. But anyway...
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:36 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah, it's the opposite way around here - the Northern accent tends to be looked down on, and let's not even go there with stereotypes about Scousers. I do not have a pronounced accent local to the town I grew up in - my parents were not local - and that really made me stand out as a child - I got teased a lot for being 'posh'. It was only when I moved South and became part of a very very middle-class industry that I realised how silly that was.
posted by mippy at 9:38 AM on September 30, 2013


I know the Red Pill post has been mentioned here already, but I just want to call this fact out again: the reason that a lot of people associate the fedora with PUA douchebags trying to get laid is because a writer for the Red Pill told a bunch of PUA douchebags that the first thing they should do to increase their chances of getting laid was to buy a black fedora, saying it would automatically make the wearer look like more of an Alpha Male. So when I, personally, see a guy who is wearing a fedora but making no other attempts to look sharp or protect himself from the weather, I presume that there's a better-than-tiny chance that he's one of these guys, taking the Red Pill's advice wearyingly literally. And since I've never in my life had a good time from interacting with one of those guys -- they range from obnoxious to scary -- my default association is therefore "Avoid."

If you don't want to send that message, then don't send that message. If you don't care whether you send that message or not, then don't care! But you can only control one side of that interaction; don't claim that you don't care, but then complain when people make judgments you don't like. You don't have the right to assume that people will always give you a pass when they have good reasons not to.
posted by KathrynT at 9:40 AM on September 30, 2013 [25 favorites]


To the point of answering the question "why do people hate fedoras?" with "pshaw, man, fedoras are awesome and I'm sure you're awesome. Just, you know, rock on with your bad self and fuck the haters."

That's the only kind of acceptable answer, on the green? If we're going to be all Being the Change We Want to See?

Because it's not, actually, an answer. It's a white lie.


It's not the only acceptable answer, but I'd argue that it is an acceptable answer for sure. Why do you think it is a white lie? Some people look fantastic in fedoras!

For that matter, why do you think a white lie is never an acceptable answer?

If someone close to you asks if they look fat in those tight white jeans, do you say, "Hell, it's not the jeans doing that, it is your fat ass?" Or do you maybe suggest that tight white jeans are not the most flattering choice for someone with their concern?

If they then wear the white jeans and someone says something crushingly nasty to them, are you going to be all "I told you so, fat ass," or encourage them to "fuck the haters"?

Because to my mind, the second answer is still the better one.
posted by misha at 9:42 AM on September 30, 2013


...saying it would automatically make the wearer look like more of an Alpha Male.

Man if I had the time, I would start some sort of black flag PUA campaign to convince the dudes over at Red Pill (which is so fucking hateful that I have no compunction about branding the entire userbase as assholes) that covering themselves in male wolf urine is the ultimate way to be an Alpha. Women dig pheromones, right?

That way, if you see a dude wearing a fedora and he doesn't smell like dog piss, that'll be a signifier of potential human decency.
posted by griphus at 9:47 AM on September 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


a writer for the Red Pill told a bunch of PUA douchebags that the first thing they should do to increase their chances of getting laid was to buy a black fedora, saying it would automatically make the wearer look like more of an Alpha Male.

I'm reminded of a comment I read once on a men's wear blog from someone describing how whenever the writer wore his double breasted blazer men reacted with visible fear and women barely restrained themselves from jumping him. The obsession in that community with shortcuts to being a strong commanding person would be funny if the people themselves weren't so creepy.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:48 AM on September 30, 2013


If someone close to you asks if they look fat in those tight white jeans, do you say, "Hell, it's not the jeans doing that, it is your fat ass?" Or do you maybe suggest that tight white jeans are not the most flattering choice for someone with their concern?

If they then wear the white jeans and someone says something crushingly nasty to them, are you going to be all "I told you so, fat ass," or encourage them to "fuck the haters"?

Because to my mind, the second answer is still the better one.


I would never want someone to lie to me like that! There's definitely a middle ground between calling someone fat, and lying to them about how they look when they asked you for their honest opinion.

Man if I had the time, I would start some sort of black flag PUA campaign to convince the dudes over at Red Pill (which is so fucking hateful that I have no compunction about branding the entire userbase as assholes) that covering themselves in male wolf urine is the ultimate way to be an Alpha.

I swear I've seen websites where guys were mixing animal pheromones sold for hunting with colognes, and then going out and trying to pick up women. I can't find a link but it was pretty amazing.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:51 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not the only acceptable answer, but I'd argue that it is an acceptable answer for sure. Why do you think it is a white lie? Some people look fantastic in fedoras!

For that matter, why do you think a white lie is never an acceptable answer?


Because this thread isn't int the context of standard interpersonal reactions, it's in the context of someone asking a question on AskMe looking for the negative stereotypes of people wearing fedoras. A white lie in this case isn't helping the person find the correct answer, because there is effectively empirical evidence (the "fedoras of OKC blog) that people harbor negative stereotypes of fedora wearers, and that stereotype is fairly consistent. Telling the white lie in this case is not the answer the person asking the question is looking for.
posted by LionIndex at 9:53 AM on September 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


If you don't want to send that message, then don't send that message. If you don't care whether you send that message or not, then don't care! But you can only control one side of that interaction; don't claim that you don't care, but then complain when people make judgments you don't like. You don't have the right to assume that people will always give you a pass when they have good reasons not to. (emphasis mine)

I think the point of giving people the benefit of the doubt instead is that the majority of people in the world, or probably even the U.S., have no idea what a PUA is or that they are, be default, apparently not caring that they're sending a message that they didn't even know existed.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:54 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


I swear I've seen websites where guys were mixing animal pheromones sold for hunting with colognes, and then going out and trying to pick up women.

Wait, did it specifically say picking up women or the oft-used term females because I am now suspecting a frighteningly literal reason why that species-neutral term is so popular.
posted by griphus at 9:55 AM on September 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


In other words, I don't think the majority of fedora-wearers say to themselves, "I know this hat makes me look like an asshole but I don't give a shit." I think they think they're just putting on a hat.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:58 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


think the point of giving people the benefit of the doubt instead is that the majority of people in the world, or probably even the U.S., have no idea what a PUA is or that they are, be default, apparently not caring that they're sending a message that they didn't even know existed.

The thing is, I don't really have that luxury. You've heard the egg analogy, right? We don't eat raw eggs because (among other reasons) we don't want to get salmonella. Well, the risk of any individual egg being contaminated with salmonella is about 1 in 30,000. The risks of Fedora Guy (where "Fedora Guy" is as defined above, as "Guy wearing fedora but making no other effort to protect himself from the weather or look sharp") being a rapey creeper are a lot higher than that, thanks to that Red Pill post and other similar works within the PUA community. So regardless of a guy's intent, it behooves me to behave with caution. In this particular case, the OP of the AskMe asked "Why do people hate fedoras?" and the answer is "Because a particular class of creepy douchebags adopted them as their GetLaidNow token." The fedora isn't to blame any more than oxblood Doc Martens are to blame for their skinhead associations in the 70s and 80s, but the associations are nonetheless present.
posted by KathrynT at 10:01 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, did it specifically say picking up women or the oft-used term females because I am now suspecting a frighteningly literal reason why that species-neutral term is so popular.

Oh... here we go.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:01 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


"If you're talking about my comment, then that is absolutely not my point."

I wasn't talking about your comment because your point is pretty much exactly opposed to the point of the comment I had in mind. Your story is the retort to it.

"You don't have the right to assume that people will always give you a pass when they have good reasons not to."

I really am agnostic on this fedora question, but I'm having a really hard time believing that a recommendation on a reddit board means that you have "good reasons" to believe that any given person you meet who's wearing a fedora (but not as part of a coordinated outfit or if it's raining) is a PUA asshole.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:05 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I see no reason not to send mod requests to the mod contact email.

This note is about the atmosphere on MeFi not being as friendly and reasonable as it could easily be, even with regard to problems of shaming, body policing, and casual negative stereotyping, even after tens of thousands of comments working through these very issues by these very same people.


When you wear an old school hat, you ought to take it off indoors, because not doing that is insulting people according to the rules of wearing that hat. I'm sorry if people disagree with me, but they asked me why I find fedora wearing an issue. That's why. You're entitled to disagree with me. But to call me out for my opinion when solicited? nuh-uh. That's lame.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:06 AM on September 30, 2013


"Wow! This stuff rocks! Not only did Pherx arrive on my doorstep within 2 days, I got laid the first night wore it and had a threesome in the same week. Can my game really be that good? Well I’m no rockstar I can tell you that!"

My mum once warned me that if I went to a festival, I should not buy 'those Viagras' because 'they won't know where to go'. I'm now curious whether, as a straight woman, putting these on would make me turn pathologically narcissistic.
posted by mippy at 10:06 AM on September 30, 2013


Sorry Ivan, I withdraw my aggression. Fedoras for some and snarky expressions for others!
posted by mippy at 10:07 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not the only acceptable answer, but I'd argue that it is an acceptable answer for sure. Why do you think it is a white lie? Some people look fantastic in fedoras!

Because the question was "why do people hate them" and the answer pretends that they don't, or at least elides that fact.

For that matter, why do you think a white lie is never an acceptable answer?

There's lots of occasions where a white lie is not only acceptable, it's downright desirable, starting with the on the lips of any friends I happen to be clothes shopping with.

My question was the opposite: Nomyte started this thread because he felt like some of the answers the asker in the green was getting were too negative, that the general tenor of the site should be to avoid any potential endorsement of negative stereotypes. Ivan, too, was suggesting that regardless of how people in general are or act or think, we ought to proactively encourage open-mindness, non-judgementalism, and counter-act negative stereotypes when we can, including in answering AskMe questions. (NB: I don't think either was asking for an official mod policy on this.)

In in other words, in case where a negative stereotype exists, ignore that fact and give a white lie.

There are a lot of AskMes where the OP's looking for encouragement and aid. But there are also some where they're looking for an honest answer. I feel like in those cases it's better to be honest, even if the honest answer is discouraging.

If someone close to you


That's the crux, to me. An AskMe poster is not someone close to me. The whole point of having a big site where people can psuedonomynously ask strangers questions about something is to get the kinds of answers people who are close to me wouldn't give. Including a "yes" to the question "will people think wearing this hat makes me look douchey?"


If, of course, yes is the honest answer. Opinions vary, that's why we let more people than one answer.
posted by Diablevert at 10:08 AM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


> ... a writer for the Red Pill told a bunch of PUA douchebags that the first thing they should do to increase their chances of getting laid was to buy a black fedora, saying it would automatically make the wearer look like more of an Alpha Male.

OK. So that's where that comes from! That's very helpful. Thanks!

I would still like to point out that a lot of us participating in this thread were totally unaware of that, and probably a lot people who wear hats, like the OP of the original AskMe thread, are unaware of this too. (In other words, some, maybe a lot of, hat-wearers may not be intentionally trying to signal allegiance with a group they don't know exists, or don't know much about.)

Anyway, a lot of comments here make a lot more sense in light of that explanation.
posted by nangar at 10:12 AM on September 30, 2013


KathrynT: "The risks of Fedora Guy (where "Fedora Guy" is as defined above, as "Guy wearing fedora but making no other effort to protect himself from the weather or look sharp") being a rapey creeper are a lot higher than that, thanks to that Red Pill post and other similar works within the PUA community. So regardless of a guy's intent, it behooves me to behave with caution.

I could see how, if you're getting bad vibes from someone in or around your personal space, that you might say that in addition to these other signals, the hat isn't helping any. But seeing some guy at the market in a fedora and assuming there's something rapey about him? It just wouldn't occur to me.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:21 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Nangar: a lot people who wear hats, like the OP of the original AskMe thread, are unaware of this too.

Absolutely I believe that the OP was unaware of this too. That's why this is the right answer to the question. And FWIW, the whole "wear it with a suit" and "observe the Old School Hat rules" and "wear it to protect from the weather" etc. . . it's all really saying "Wear it in such a way that it's clearly differentiated from the guy who believes that the fedora alone will bring all the girls to the yard."

Room 641-A: But seeing some guy at the market in a fedora and assuming there's something rapey about him? It just wouldn't occur to me.

I don't assume there's something rapey about him. I am aware by his sartorial signalling that there's a greater-than-average likelihood that there may be something rapey about him. Just like I don't assume that every egg DOES have salmonella; if I did, I wouldn't eat them! But I know that any given egg MIGHT have salmonella, so I don't eat them raw.
posted by KathrynT at 10:25 AM on September 30, 2013


But I know that any given egg MIGHT have salmonella, so I don't eat them raw.

You should buy pasteurized eggs. You could also pasteurize them yourself if you have a sous vide device. Raw egg yolk is far too delicious to go without.
posted by Tanizaki at 10:48 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I swear I've seen websites where guys were mixing animal pheromones sold for hunting with colognes, and then going out and trying to pick up women.


It's called Sex Panther by Odeon, and 60% of the time it works every time.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:15 AM on September 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


I dunno, I'm not entirely willing to go to "rapey" territory with the fedora thing.

To me, the message sent by a white presumably hetero guy wearing a fedora indoors with casual/frumpy clothing is that he's a dork in a silly hat.

That said, I feel like single women in certain subcultures where pickup artists are likely will use fedoras, among other cultural cues, as evidence of whether someone is likely to be a PUA. I wouldn't say that I scan a room for a fedora and then put the guy on some kind of no-fly list, but if a dude approaches me wearing any number of whimsical fashion accessories and also exhibits some signs of being a PUA, a fedora (or other whimsical accessories) might inform my judgment of the situation. I don't go to a "rape" place, more likely a place where I'm perfectly cool to just bluntly shoot him down. Because it's a numbers game, right?
posted by Sara C. at 11:38 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


You should buy pasteurized eggs. You could also pasteurize them yourself if you have a sous vide device. Raw egg yolk is far too delicious to go without.

At first I thought this wasn't relevant to the analogy being made. Like, at all.

But then I realized: yes! You CAN make PUA/MRAs less capable of making you physically sick by microwaving them!

Thanks, dude! You learn something new every day!
posted by Conspire at 11:38 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


At first I thought that said, "You could also pasteurize yourself" and I was trying to work out what that meant in terms of the analogy.
posted by Ouisch at 11:45 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's like they said in my old Food Safety & Computer Graphics 307 course: you better pasteurize yourself before you rasterize yourself.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:48 AM on September 30, 2013 [31 favorites]


guys guys

i need help

where can i buy a really big microwave

i mean really big
posted by Conspire at 11:49 AM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]




When you have doubts about the person you're seeing — Rapiscan. Like the ones in airports.
posted by Nomyte at 12:01 PM on September 30, 2013


I think it's totally reasonable to avoid people you think are likely be PUAs.

I don't think it's reasonable to claim that people are morally responsible for the stereotypes other people have about them even if they're unaware of the stereotypes, as Sarah C. has claimed, and I don't think it justifies the gleeful mocking of all hat-wearers, and the 'I like making fun of people who dress funny, so stuff it' comments that have dominated this thread.

But, yeah, the tone and content of my comments would have been different if I'd realized there was some concrete reason for associating fedoras with PUAs.
posted by nangar at 12:01 PM on September 30, 2013


I don't think it's reasonable to claim that people are morally responsible for the stereotypes other people have about them even if they're unaware of the stereotypes, as Sarah C. has claimed

Um, what?

Where did I ever say that?

I also think that using phrases like "morally responsible" is not really called for. You seem to think that folks who don't love fedoras think that people who wear fedoras are bad people, or should be imprisoned or something.

Seriously, it's just a hat. About the strongest reaction to it I've seen in all this fedora talk has been "they are dumb looking" or "people might think you're a dork", or at the absolute strongest "you might be associated with pickup culture."

We're not talking about people who wear swastika arm bands.
posted by Sara C. at 12:17 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


You CAN make PUA/MRAs less capable of making you physically sick by microwaving them!

Thanks, dude! You learn something new every day!


I don't particularly have a problem with PUAs or MRAs. The microwave probably doesn't work on third-wavers because they avoid the kitchen. Hey-o!

P.S. Please don't call me "dude"; I'm not a stoner.
posted by Tanizaki at 12:20 PM on September 30, 2013


P.S. Please don't call me "dude"; I'm not a stoner.

Bro, I hate to tell you this, but if you keep saying that, there's pretty much no way you avoid getting called dude all the time.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:25 PM on September 30, 2013 [13 favorites]


Plus, seeming not to remember that you said something already is not the best way to chase off the hanging-with-maryjane rumors.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:28 PM on September 30, 2013 [18 favorites]


It's more likely a set up for some of those "I know you are but what am I?" games. Dude.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:30 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


the laments of many poorer women who work somewhere at a low-paying that requires nice clothes of reasonable variety, such as a receptionist for a law office or teller in a bank. Dresses and shoes, not to mention cleaning, all consume a lot of income that could be saved or used elsewhere.

And to add insult to injury: in my experience, my highest-paying jobs also had the lowest standards of dress and grooming. A gal could stroll in in flipflops or Crocs or the much-maligned Vibram FiveFingers, and still pull down a fat salary.

(How do the clerks at stores like Nordstroms pull off that level of polish at their hourly rate?)
posted by nacho fries at 12:30 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't assume there's something rapey about him. I am aware by his sartorial signalling that there's a greater-than-average likelihood that there may be something rapey about him.

Okay, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on those what those averages are.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:34 PM on September 30, 2013


(How do the clerks at stores like Nordstroms pull off that level of polish at their hourly rate?)


Don't have an answer for you, but the question reminded me of this
posted by The Gooch at 12:35 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think a general rule is if you have to ask if your fedora looks good, or why people don't like your fedora, it most likely does not look good on you.

I think a fedora is like a Philip Treacy style hat/fascinator. In certain limited contexts, they are appropriate and fabulous if you know exactly what you are doing. If I'm going to a royal wedding or the kentucky derby, sure, that's the limited context for which it's appropriate. You don't try and deploy something like this at a bar on a Friday with a pair of jeans, because you will look ridiculous.
posted by inertia at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


In the popular press of the 1880s and 1890s, "dude" was a new word for "dandy" – an extremely well-dressed male, a man who paid particular importance to how he appeared. The café society and Bright Young Things of the late 1800s and early 1900s were populated with dudes. Young men of leisure vied to show off their wardrobes. The best known of this type is probably Evander Berry Wall, who was dubbed "King of the Dudes" in 1880s New York and maintained a reputation for sartorial splendor all his life. This version of the word is still in occasional use in American slang, as in the phrase "all duded up" for getting dressed in fancy clothes. (wiki)

Behold the King of the dudes. Now go forth, and carry the news.
posted by jquinby at 12:41 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


This thread reminds me of Go Dog Go.
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:41 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


You don't try and deploy something like this at a bar on a Friday with a pair of jeans, because you will look ridiculous.

But if I look ridiculous, all the pretty ladies will want to talk to me. Then I can casually insult (or "neg") them until

wait how does this work again
posted by griphus at 12:41 PM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think it involves ZZ-Top muscle shirts?
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:43 PM on September 30, 2013


(How do the clerks at stores like Nordstroms pull off that level of polish at their hourly rate?)

I dated a guy who sold clothes at Saks. It's a combination of a few things: they sell on commission, so some of them actually make pretty great money, and the nicer their department the more money they make; they get huge employee discounts; they are often given freebees by clothing manufacturers so that they will wear them to work and provide free advertising; and they just generally care more about fashion than the average person, meaning that more of their disposable income than average goes towards clothing, they are skilled at pulling together a fashionable look for not too much money, and they take great care of their clothing.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:44 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


What if I wear an actual peacock on my head?
posted by inertia at 12:46 PM on September 30, 2013


Then you will likely get attention, but not the kind you seek.
posted by KathrynT at 12:47 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Where did I ever say that?

I was thinking of this comment, but, yeah, you didn't exactly say that.


> We're not talking about people who wear swastika arm bands

The neo-Nazi paraphernalia comparison's been made and discussed in the thread already. The person who first made it backed off a bit.
posted by nangar at 12:49 PM on September 30, 2013


Annika Cicada: "I believe this is what you are looking for, conspire?"

"It adopts Hertzian waves radiation shield technology to control the Hertzian waves radiation to low level of high security."

I once owned a tin foil fedora that did that.
posted by zarq at 12:50 PM on September 30, 2013


If you full-screen the photo I took of the neighbors having a party, you can see that the guy firing the gun is: wearing a fedora-type hat; a t-shirt; skinny jeans; big sunglasses. If his friends think he looks awesome, then he's hanging with the people he should be hanging with and more power to him. I reserve the right to roll my eyes at his nonsense, especially since I can see it from my damn kitchen.
posted by rtha at 12:50 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"It adopts Hertzian waves radiation shield technology to control the Hertzian waves radiation to low level of high security."

...or else it gets the hose again.
posted by griphus at 12:51 PM on September 30, 2013 [11 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos: "Bro, I hate to tell you this, but if you keep saying that, there's pretty much no way you avoid getting called dude all the time."

And whatever you do, don't complain about your MeFi spouses.
posted by zarq at 12:53 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


And to add insult to injury: in my experience, my highest-paying jobs also had the lowest standards of dress and grooming.

Oh this is largely the case for everything.

Despite all the grar on here about doing whatever you want and fuck the haters maaaaaan you look great FUCK THE MAN, people following the codes for what they are displaying can get away with so much more. I currently live in a very nice condo complex in a zip code where houses start at $500,000 and go rapidly up from there (that makes it a very nice neighborhood as this is not California) and the application process was as simple as filling out a form on the website and giving them a copy of my tax return to show my income. That was it. That was all I had to do to get the keys to some investor's very nice rental property in a rich part of town. They didn't want to call an employer or call a previous complex/landlord or do any of that. They didn't even run a credit check. Why? Because there was the tacit assumption that the nicely-groomed gentleman and his wife in nice clothing are One Of Us and The Poors wouldn't find their way up here anyway. (One of the people I dealt with said as much, though phrased it so carefully you'd never get a complaint to stick).

Likewise, I work in a much nicer job than I did when we lived in the bad part of town and my boss good-naturedly hassles me for dressing too nice, because he is a firm t-shirt and jeans even to client events kind of guy. By contrast, I used to have 5 pages of dress code protocol to consider for a job that paid me about a quarter of what this one does (and I don't make six figures or anything).

I'm still prone to being a slob that will stay in his pajamas all day if given the opportunity but because I know how to present myself when it counts, people think I'm a dashing professional and they should give me the keys to a rich guy's condo without verifying my 1040 or even doing a credit check.

And that's sort of the point a lot of people were making, though it's been drowned out by GRAR STOP JUDGING ME FUCK THE MAN YOU ARE CLASSIST AND HATE POOR KIDS EXPERIMENTING WITH PRESENTATION OR SOMETHING WHERE THEY HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR A FEDORA BUT NOT ENOUGH FOR A SUIT ANYWAY SOCIAL JUSTICE WORDS: You can say the rules are unfair and arbitrary and stupid--and they are!--and you won't play by them, but everyone else is still playing by them and judges you accordingly.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:54 PM on September 30, 2013 [16 favorites]


What if I wear an actual peacock on my head?

They are quite aggressive and you will likely experience regrets about your sartorial decisions.
posted by elizardbits at 12:56 PM on September 30, 2013 [11 favorites]


However it will be entirely worth it if you can train the peacock to say IT'S SO STIMULATING BEING YOUR HAT
posted by elizardbits at 1:00 PM on September 30, 2013 [14 favorites]


Must be all the peacock urine mixed with CK One.
posted by griphus at 1:00 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


The neo-Nazi paraphernalia comparison's been made and discussed in the thread already. The person who first made it backed off a bit.

If by "backed off a bit" you mean "made the point I wanted to make and then went to bed," that's fine. The way you phrased that, however, makes it sound as if I bowed down to your superior wisdom or something. I still hold my initial opinion, which is that this callout is ridiculous.
posted by jaguar at 1:03 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


What if I wear an actual peacock on my head?

looks best with purple
posted by pyramid termite at 1:07 PM on September 30, 2013


That hat will be part of the national dress of my totalitarian socialist utopia.
posted by elizardbits at 1:10 PM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


but i also have a serious question - why are so many here getting obsessed with the MRA/PUA crowd? - aren't they kind of like a fringe cargo cult that very few pay attention to in real life?

---

hmm, on preview

That hat will be part of the national dress of my totalitarian socialist utopia.

*dons cowboy hat*

"it's time to head those commie peacock wearers off at the pass!"
posted by pyramid termite at 1:13 PM on September 30, 2013


...aren't they kind of like a fringe cargo cult that very few pay attention to in real life?

Perhaps it depends on where you are and who you hang out with and so on? Many, many of my friends (including my fiancee) have related at least one story where they were at a bar and a dude just came up to them and started with the passive-aggressive insults. And every single time the story is "I could not for the life of me figure out what was wrong with this person that they considered this appropriate behavior and then I read about PUAs and it all made sense: he wasn't mentally ill, he was an asshole who read how to do this on the internet."
posted by griphus at 1:18 PM on September 30, 2013 [19 favorites]


That hat will be part of the national dress of my totalitarian socialist utopia.

I would advise anyone interested in such endeavors to consider how headwear evolved over time in a socialist state through the influences of other government uniforms and interdepartmental rivalry by looking at my own brief examination here.

With this knowledge hopefully we can prevent the creation of giant, 10-gallon fedoras to be standard dress in your country in the decades to come.
posted by chambers at 1:21 PM on September 30, 2013


Yeah my first experience with the entire situation was in like 2006 or so when some dude who was inexplicably dressed like a guest star on Headbanger's Ball, except with a fedora, interrupted my conversation with the bartender friend of mine I was speaking with to inform me that my favourite band sucked. Literally that was his conversational opener.
posted by elizardbits at 1:21 PM on September 30, 2013


It took me about 4 years to realize he had been attempting a masterful seduction.
posted by elizardbits at 1:24 PM on September 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


Very sorry, jaguar, I got you mixed up with louche mustachio who said "I also wasn't equating Nazis and fedora wearers, which is something I knew after I posted I should have been very explicit about". You didn't back off at all. Sorry to have insulted you.

I also don't think louche mustachio "bowed down" to anyone's "superior wisdom" (certainly not mine), they just had second thoughts about the way they phrased their comment after they posted it.
posted by nangar at 1:24 PM on September 30, 2013


he wasn't mentally ill, he was an asshole who read how to do this on the internet.

I remember the good old days, when the internet was teaching us how to make free phone calls through homemade electronic boxes and small improvised explosives out of household items. I mean, that stuff didn't get us laid either, but at least we weren't being assholes to women while doing it.
posted by chambers at 1:25 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


However it will be entirely worth it if you can train the peacock to say IT'S SO STIMULATING BEING YOUR HAT

I will reward my hatbird with delicious treats and sips of my beer.
posted by inertia at 1:35 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


but i also have a serious question - why are so many here getting obsessed with the MRA/PUA crowd? - aren't they kind of like a fringe cargo cult that very few pay attention to in real life?

I feel like they're getting more and more real life traction. I know I can use the term peacocking around random people I know in real life with a general expectation that they'll be familiar with it. I also notice a fair bit of negging amongst people hitting on my female friends at bars. I also once had a female friend respond to a guy trying to pick her up by saying "Yeah, I suppose you're conventionally attractive" which is a pretty great neg. I have no clue if she picked up the idea from PUA circles or not.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:35 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


jquinby: "In the popular press of the 1880s and 1890s, "dude" was a new word for "dandy" – an extremely well-dressed male, a man who paid particular importance to how he appeared. The café society and Bright Young Things of the late 1800s and early 1900s were populated with dudes. ... This version of the word is still in occasional use in American slang, as in the phrase "all duded up" for getting dressed in fancy clothes. (wiki)"

I can confirm this usage made its way into the 20th century. I experienced a wealth of mirth when I found an old photo of my father and discovered from the caption on the back that he was nicknamed "Dude" in high school due to his sharp fashion sense.

chambers: "I remember the good old days, when the internet was teaching us how to make free phone calls through homemade electronic boxes and small improvised explosives out of household items. I mean, that stuff didn't get us laid either, but at least we weren't being assholes to women while doing it."

I remember that time. Some of y'all were being assholes to women, but it wasn't so much a primary goal as just one of those things. I do recall boys trying to impress me with their phreaking skills, and also being very anxious to "voice validate" me, because they figured I must be lying about being a girl. Ah, the 1980's.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:45 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I do recall boys trying to impress me with their phreaking skills...

I would love to hear any stories about this you would be willing to share.
posted by griphus at 1:48 PM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Pick up artistry has been around for a very, very long time--I have books going back at least to the 60s--but in its current incarnation, it goes back at least to the 90s and had a fair amount of crossover from the hacker community.

And, for better or for worse, decorative headwear in general and fedoras in particular are part of their uniform.

It's not fair, of course, to the fedoras, but fashion is fickle. I mean, mullets used to be cool! Things go out of fashion all the time for aesthetic reasons, but also sometimes, a particular piece of clothing or something becomes associated with a specific subculture. I know. My favorite shoes became associated with racists when I was a young person. It sucked! I wasn't a racist, and I bought those shoes for reasons entirely unrelated to racism! They were comfortable and practical!

But what was I going to do? Demand a personal audience with everyone who gave me the side-eye or entertained an uncharitable thought about me? Insist on my right to a fair trial in the court of public opinion?

It wasn't an unreasonable assumption for someone to make, that a young white girl wearing clothing associated with a racist subculture might identify with that culture, though. As much as I liked those shoes, I could acknowledge that this wasn't some individual injustice being visited upon me.

So when I realized that they'd picked up those associations, I sucked it up and stopped wearing those shoes, because shit happens.
posted by ernielundquist at 1:57 PM on September 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


Inertia, from personal experience I can tell you a hatpeacock rewarded from a pocketful of live snakes will roost in your rafters for life. Beer may be better deployed settling your own nerves because--pocket full of live snakes.
posted by perhapsolutely at 1:59 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Raphaël Poulain n’aime pas : Pisser à côté de quelqu’un. Il n’aime pas surprendre sur ses sandales un regard de dédain. Sortir de l’eau et sentir coller son maillot de bain.
posted by perhapsolutely at 2:03 PM on September 30, 2013


I once drove up through east Texas with my grandmother, my large dog, and three peahens and a very young peacock in the back seat. Aunt Babe, Grandma's sister, lived in Eagle Lake and raised peacocks and guinea fowl and bluetick hounds, and my uncle between Memphis and Nashville wanted some peacocks, and I was on a long driving trip so I got Grandma in Memphis and drove us down to visit my folks and then go see Aunt Babe and pick up the birds for my uncle. Uncle Sonny (Aunt Babe's son) was building a cage but we had to leave two days early because Grandma woke up after our first night there and found a 4-ft.-long freshly shed snakeskin next to her bed, so the cage wasn't all it might have been. Jupiter (the dog) was pretty uninterested in the birds because he was intent on reclaiming his place up front; he'd gotten used to riding shotgun before we picked up Grandma and he never really got over being demoted to the back seat. Over a cycle of twenty minutes or so, he'd use his big Akita-chow head as a wedge, jamming it in between the bucket seats or over Grandma's shoulder, and slowly skootching more and more of his dog self up front, until one of us shoved him back into the seat. Meanwhile, the birds in their cage seem to be fine, except for occasional peeping noises that sounded like they might be expensive things about to go wrong with the rear suspension. So there's some anxiety-producing stuff going on but I'm enjoying the time with my grandmother and hearing more from her, about her, than I'd ever been privy to in my life, and we've just started talking about menstruation when Jupiter makes a bold lunge forward, scrabbling at the cage for a toehold, which sproings the door off and releases the birds. The peacock flies straight at my head, where he promptly gets tangled up in my hair and beshits us both, copiously. I pull into one of the roadside fleamarkets that line State 59 and we all leap out of the car, two of the peahens bolting for the woods and the peacock on my head flapping and screeching and me flapping and screeching and Jupiter barking and suddenly deciding he needs to savage the seatbelts and my grandmother laughing herself into a fit. The man who lived there was very nice and helped us round up one of the peahens so we left with two, plus the peacock, and the dog. And he let me rinse my hair with the hose.

But no, he did not seem all that interested in me as a sexual partner.
posted by dogrose at 2:04 PM on September 30, 2013 [36 favorites]


Can metatalk comments make the sidebar? That's easily the funniest thing I've read in awhile here. How you all weren't killed in an accident is beyond me.
posted by jquinby at 2:08 PM on September 30, 2013


KathrynT:
the Red Pill told a bunch of PUA douchebags that the first thing they should do to increase their chances of getting laid was to buy a black fedora, saying it would automatically make the wearer look like more of an Alpha Male.
Back when I was twelve my grandfather took me to Macey's during a visit to New York. He said I could buy anything within reason to take home with me. For some reason I chose a Carolina Crusher felt fedora. Grandpa grumbled that it made me look like an old man - that made me happy.

I wore that damn hat everywhere. On long bus trips for marching band and drum corps it could be rolled up and used as a small pillow. Protected me from rain and sun. Was part of my Rory Manwich-esque embarrassing behavior in high school.

It has a Kool-aide stain. It used to be brown and is now some sort of light pea green. It doesn't really have the same shape after all these years. Kinda smells like valve oil. I stopped wearing it years and years ago after I calmed down and decided I didn't want anyone to notice me for anything ever.

Lately my wife has been trying to dress me up more. She's bought me a cabbie hat and one of those tiny brimmed hats. I don't mind the cabbie hat too much but the latter one has been associated with hipsters so much on MetaFilter that I really feel self-conscious about wearing it.

The other day my wife said, "You never wear that old fedora in the closet. You would look good in that."

Today I will go home and put on my fedora.

ALPHA AS FUCK.
posted by charred husk at 2:08 PM on September 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


Behold the King of the dudes.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:25 PM on September 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


I wore a black fedora all through high school, with a peacock feather and a bundle of flowers sewn onto the brim as decoration. It was red roses and white stephadoria, or something like that - these little white flowers. I loved that hat. Now I wear hair combs on my head instead, and constantly get comments on them and on my shirts, which are semi-professional Ren-Faire types.

The conflation of fedora and suit is less a class thing than a history thing, though; the time when a lot of people were wearing fedoras was also a time when almost every man would have at least one suit, for funerals and church, and dress in general was significantly more formal, even among the poor.

US fashion now tends toward the casual, with an interesting thread of hostility against people who like fashion - for men it seems to relate to being "unmasculine" and for women it seems to relate to being "frivolous". I sometimes wonder how much this is related to the social status conventions of high status people behaving "cool" and as if their behavior came naturally to them. I know when I was younger I had very strong sartorial opinions (ah, the summer my step-mom tried to yuppify me) but I would have never admitted it, because that would have been "uncool".
posted by Deoridhe at 2:32 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just took a picture of me in my old fedora!
posted by charred husk at 3:00 PM on September 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


You could at least trim that scraggly beard, man.
posted by jquinby at 3:02 PM on September 30, 2013


i was like I DON'T GET IT THAT'S A CORN and then like 5 minutes went by and i suddenly felt stupid
posted by elizardbits at 3:06 PM on September 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


so well played indeed, sir
posted by elizardbits at 3:07 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


That hat will be part of the national dress of my totalitarian socialist utopia.

So, when I'm strapped into my chair in the darkened stadium with the others, and the Clockwork Orange thingie is peeling back my eyelids, and the 24-hour-loop of Golden Retriever puppies gambolling in a field is on the mammoth screen, will there be lemonade?

I like lemonade.
posted by Diablevert at 3:16 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just took a picture of me in my old fedora!

"willie nelson announces new tour and album in 2178"
posted by pyramid termite at 3:16 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


oh, and i guess the whole MRA/PUA thing isn't as fringe as i thought - i don't get out much, you know
posted by pyramid termite at 3:19 PM on September 30, 2013


Totally how I pictured a Maize Rights Activist.
posted by perhapsolutely at 3:20 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


What if I wear an actual peacock on my head?

No. Straight up, peacocks are assholes. I was at a wine tasting once and there was a sculpture garden at the winery, and I went outside for some fresh air and a stupid peacock was out there and that little bastard chased me around a whole bunch of reproduction Rodin pieces and then I fell and broke my sweet vintage Tuxedosam watch. I am still mad about it. Up yours, peacock.
posted by palomar at 3:22 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


But no, he did not seem all that interested in me as a sexual partner.

That's because you forgot to insult his shoes.
posted by jaguar at 3:28 PM on September 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


> And he let me rinse my hair with the hose.

This proves yet again (if proof were needed) that it is a mistake to judge a thread as pointless and silly merely on the basis of the first 500 comments.
posted by jfuller at 3:45 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


A peacock actually tried to attack my daughter at the zoo. I had to smack it in the head with my backpack. It was really scary. In conclusion, peacocks are NOT a land of of contrasts, they are just straight assholes.
posted by KathrynT at 3:47 PM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


We used to have free-roaming peacocks at the Washington Park Zoo back when it was called the Washington Park Zoo, but then one of 'em mauled some kid and that was pretty much that. Turns out that velociraptors are kind of a bad thing to let run around your public places even if they've got some dope plumage.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:50 PM on September 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


peacocks are straight up dicks and we had to rescue some girl from a horde of them at the kunming zoo when they charged her and her boyfriend and he flat out just ran away and left her to die

i had to fucking throw away the LAST SHITTY KNOCKOFF BUBBLE-O-BILL THEY HAD AT THE STAND at a goddamn jerkface bird i was so mad
posted by elizardbits at 3:55 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was born with a birth defect that makes me permanently look like I'm wearing a fedora.

this
posted by Tom-B at 3:58 PM on September 30, 2013


There's a peacock at one of the canal inns in Oxford with a peacock. Magnificent feathers, and oh, does he know he's a pretty dude! The best thing though is that during summer Pimms season, he sneaks his pretty head around and sneaks it into all the empty pitchers and munches all that alcoholic fruit and then sort of waddles around in a genteel, drunken way, befitting his gentry status as lord of the inn.

Basicallynow whenever I think of a jerk (in a fedora or no), I will now imagine Mr Wibbly Peacock instead, and it'll be better now!
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:11 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


They still have free-roaming peacocks at the Bronx Zoo and I'm 75% sure it is not for lack of trying.

Also I generally dislike linking to my own comments but I'm still going to because peacocks.
posted by griphus at 4:14 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


We still have free-range peacocks at the San Diego Zoo as well, but people seem to somehow know to give them space so I haven't heard of or seen any incidents. Total asshole birds, though.
posted by LionIndex at 4:19 PM on September 30, 2013


Sad to see that titus-g's account is disabled. Hope he returns.
posted by RogerB at 4:20 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would just like to say that all these stories about peacocks are making me like you all a lot more, which is ironic I suppose.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:21 PM on September 30, 2013


OK thread's been derailed for some time now, but I got a sincere question regarding fedoras and fedora-hate, hope it's not too late:

This is just a US thing, right? Or do people hate on fedoras in other parts of the world too?
posted by Tom-B at 4:33 PM on September 30, 2013


"titus-g's account is disabled."

In my head, I always hear the "disabled account" notes in Brandt's voice. That doesn't make it any less of a bummer, though.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:38 PM on September 30, 2013


"There's a peacock at one of the canal inns in Oxford with a peacock."

There's peacocks with peacocks? Is this some depraved English thing that Rick Santorum was warning US voters about?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:39 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


You guys aren't reading this on the professional metapeacock background of recursive peacocks? Just me? (No, silly typing error, though I wish I had better things like pints of cider to blame it on!)
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:46 PM on September 30, 2013


peacocks are straight up dicks and we had to rescue some girl from a horde of them at the kunming zoo when they charged her and her boyfriend and he flat out just ran away and left her to die

I hope after that he was her ex boyfriend because seriously.

Animal terror related birdness: other jerks in the bird kingdom are Canadian geese, who apparently never got the message that Canadians are supposed to be nice and genteel. At my old job we had a mafia of them who ruled the parking lot with iron beaks, but most of all in nesting season. I was not afraid of them because I am staunch and brave, but also because I know that like many bullies they are straight up cowards. So every day I had to escort half the people on my shift out to their cars because everyone was afraid the geese would mug them.

The geese I guess got sick of my reckless gallantry and so one day I came out to my car (I may have been swaggering slightly like Errol Flynn I am not immune to hubris) and beheld the most perplexing sight. A throng of the evil beady-eyed thugs had decided to perch on my car.

Now, you may say that if you are unafraid of them on the ground, winn, what fear should you have of them on top of the car surely your courage is now revealed to have all been a sham, and I must confess it may be so. Something about the sight of six of the beasts at head height, all hissing and giving me triumphant menacing glares reduced me to pudding and I had to feebly flap my messenger bag at them from a safe distance until they got bored with proving who was the boss of me and went their wobbling way to the lake to honk at me derisively.

There is no moral to this tale.
posted by winna at 4:50 PM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


people seem to somehow know to give them space so I haven't heard of or seen any incidents.

This peacock CHARGED us from like a dozen feet away.

Turns out that it was being observed by an animal handler because they'd had reports that this particular peacock was being a dick, but without evidence they were just keeping a close eye on him. Because I guess you never know if a peacock's being a dick because it's a dick peacock or if it's being a dick because some dumb ass teenager tried to pull out its feathers or scare it or whatever. Immediately after the Ensmackening, though, the animal handler ran over and hit it in the head with a big pair of leather gloves and radioed for backup, and they came and hauled the peacock away. The animal handler told my daughter it was going to go live on a peacock farm where there were no little girls to scare, but personally I have my doubts.
posted by KathrynT at 5:00 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


KathrynT: "The animal handler told my daughter it was going to go live on a peacock farm where there were no little girls to scare, but personally I have my doubts."

And now I get to quote one of my favorite essays from one of the bestest writers ever:

A man selling fence posts tarried at our place one day and told me that he had once had eighty peafowl on his farm. He cast a nervous eye at two of mine standing nearby. “In the spring, we couldn’t hear ourselves think,” he said. “As soon as you lifted your voice, they lifted their’n, if not before. All our fence posts wobbled. In the summer they ate all the tomatoes off the vines. Scuppernongs went the same way. My wife said she raised her flowers for herself and she was not going to have them eat up by a chicken no matter how long his tail was. And in the fall they shed them feathers all over the place anyway and it was a job to clean up. My old grandmother was living with us then and she was eighty-five. She said, “Either they go, or I go.’”

“Who went?” I asked.

“We still got twenty of them in the freezer,” he said.

“And how,” I asked, looking significantly at the two standing nearby, “did they taste?”

“No better than any other chicken,” he said, “but I’d a heap rather eat them than hear them.”


- Flannery O'Connor, "Living With A Peacock"
posted by jquinby at 5:25 PM on September 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


peacocks are straight up dicks

FACT.

Also, if you are going to wear a peacock on your head, be aware that they SCREAM BLOODY MURDER all the time.

Our neighbors in South Austin had peacocks that liked to scream at random intervals, starting at about 4 AM. They rival guinea hens in their dickishness. Peacocks are fucking jerks.

It would definitely be a fashion statement, though.

STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME I HAVE A NASTY SCREAMING THING ON MY HEAD THAT WILL TRY TO PECK YOUR EYES OUT I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD


And if that is the message you want to send out to the world... come to think of it, sometimes an actual peacock would make an excellent hat.


*opens tabs, looks up peacocks on Amazon and eBay*
posted by louche mustachio at 5:35 PM on September 30, 2013


I have been considering investing in that $10 tub of 1,500 live ladybugs you can get from amazon and carrying it in my pocket at all times so I can throw handfuls of them on people who annoy me irl. Crickets would be more effective but there is just no way I am putting my hand in a tub of crickets.
posted by elizardbits at 5:38 PM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Fun fact: that was the senior prank the kids at my local high school decided to do. It is now known as "the ladybug caper" and would have gotten pricey if they'd gotten into the HVAC system.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:43 PM on September 30, 2013


I try as much as possible to avoid cruelty to animals, and generally live in a more mindful and peaceful way, but I will straight-up punch a Canada goose.



Fuckers.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:45 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


But with crickets you can threaten that boils and seas of blood and the wrath of god is next.
posted by griphus at 5:46 PM on September 30, 2013


Swans. They're beautiful and all but they are mean and scary and they bite very hard. They might not be as big jerks as peacocks but they come awful close.
posted by rtha at 5:48 PM on September 30, 2013


Irritated ladybugs will excrete a smelly and very persistent yellow fluid on your skin. Crickets will not.
posted by Nomyte at 5:48 PM on September 30, 2013


Some varieties of ladybug also bite and it hurts.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:51 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


WHAT NO you have spoiled my dreams!

Also don't crickets spit gross brown goo? Or is that grasshoppers? I remember scritchey legs and trauma.
posted by elizardbits at 5:51 PM on September 30, 2013


There is a small park near me with a small lake. Twenty or so Canada geese stop over annually, and while they are nesting it's basically their lake. But two years ago a pair of swans turned up among the migrants and nested down near the dam. Just the two of them, but that year the geese pretty much made do with half a lake.
posted by jfuller at 5:55 PM on September 30, 2013


For some reason, I have a soft spot for Canadian geese. They're not pretty or cute, they're giant assholes who hate people and everyone hates them. But I kind of like them. They're such dicks.

Maybe they're really good at negging and I never noticed.
posted by inertia at 5:59 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


You can buy ladybugs and take them home and put them on your roses, though. And pretend that the roses are people who annoy you. And pretend you are killing them with kindness by treating them like beautiful, beautiful roses. But also are putting bugs on their faces.

Basically find your inner Betty Draper.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:02 PM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Maybe they're really good at negging and I never noticed.

CANADIAN GOOSE: "Yeah, I totally bread-closed three times today."
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:02 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


I had some other fashion-related observations I was gonna talk about but I am enjoying this mean-birds and ladybugs derail so much. Do carry on.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:05 PM on September 30, 2013


Also don't crickets spit gross brown goo? Or is that grasshoppers? I remember scritchey legs and trauma.

Brown goo, scritchey legs and trauma is totally grasshoppers.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:17 PM on September 30, 2013


Consider the bombardier beetle.
posted by Nomyte at 6:27 PM on September 30, 2013


For some reason, I have a soft spot for Canadian geese. They're not pretty or cute, they're giant assholes who hate people and everyone hates them. But I kind of like them. They're such dicks.


Except that I think they are cute, that is why I like guinea pigs. They are hateful and evil and apparently unaware that they are small and relatively poorly equipped for battle. The fact they're adorable as well as evil is just icing.

Also you have to give Canadian geese credit they have a very attractive color scheme.
posted by winna at 6:45 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Consider the bombardier beetle.


I'm from Buenos Aires and I say KILL 'EM ALL!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:50 PM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


I am a woman who regularly wears a fedora. I do this for two reasons:

1) It's cold as hell in Detroit and I need a hat to keep my head warm.

2) Fedoras fit my facial shape (breaks up the symmetry of my square jaw line).

It might surprise people to know that I am neither a douche (I hope) or a PUA, and I'm not trying to make any statement except "warm person with a faux oval face."
posted by Shouraku at 7:23 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Canadian geese are perfectly well equipped for battle, and will engage with little provocation. Do not underestimate them. They are perfectly capable of.. well, if not fully kicking an adult human ass, at least inducing serious fear and trauma.

And they leave humungous green poops everywhere.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:27 PM on September 30, 2013


Canada goose humongous poop is vastly preferable to peacock humongous poop. If there was as much peacock poop down the docks as there is goose it'd be a superfund site. If you foie gras force-fed a cat Limburger, durian, gym socks, and live snakes (do not attempt), you'd still have a fragrant perfume by comparison to attar de peacock.
posted by perhapsolutely at 7:53 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Basically find your inner Betty Draper.

What? Betty Draper doesn't put bugs on faces.
posted by sweetkid at 7:59 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


(do not attempt)




YOU NEVER LET ME DO ANYTHING FUN.




YOU'RE NOT MY REAL DAD
posted by louche mustachio at 8:41 PM on September 30, 2013 [11 favorites]


I already have a long and guilty history of prejudgement, seeing some guy with a bluetooth thingie sticking out of his ear and thinking "That guy might be a space alien."

No, they were once human. But they've been tragically killed and then "upgraded".

but labyrinth reference wins the Internet.
posted by jb at 8:50 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Canada goose humongous poop is vastly preferable to peacock humongous poop. If there was as much peacock poop down the docks as there is goose it'd be a superfund site. If you foie gras force-fed a cat Limburger, durian, gym socks, and live snakes (do not attempt), you'd still have a fragrant perfume by comparison to attar de peacock.
posted by perhapsolutely


Really?

This is making me wonder whether they might have the ability to make their own protein, conferred by nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
posted by jamjam at 9:08 PM on September 30, 2013


They lean towards the carnivorous side of omnivore, so protein is not in short supply. They subsist happily on dog food, but if you are within half a mile, you won't be able to miss the joyous caucophony when a pack of them trees a snake or lizard. I don't mind watching snakes swallow things. I have trouble watching a peacock swallow a snake.

Having on different occasions stepped barefoot in goose, peacock, cat, dog, cow, and horse shit (I don't mean to brag...) I can definitively say peacock is far and away the vilest.

I do not own a fedora, pork pie, or a trilby, but despicable as they apparently are I would sooner wear any of those than peacock shit. My heart goes out to poor dogrose.
posted by perhapsolutely at 9:32 PM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


(I do own shoes. I was just a very free spirited child of the earth. And inattentive, it seems.)
posted by perhapsolutely at 9:39 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]




if found contact me unless you are angry and covered in crickets


A bold and idiosyncratic fashion choice, to be certain.

I tried "scared shitless and covered with wood ticks" but it was more like the ticks were wearing me.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:23 AM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Have you ever tried "demented and covered with scarab beetles"? It's a bold look, to say the least, but it does get attention.


Note: some attention may be from elder gods. Results may vary.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:46 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


me @ corb's wedding this weekend. Suck it, haters.
posted by Eideteker at 12:14 PM on October 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


For some reason, I have a soft spot for Canadian geese. They're not pretty or cute

I defy you to look at the ones in the links linked in this link, and say that to their faces!
posted by infinite intimation at 12:37 PM on October 1, 2013


me @ corb's wedding this weekend. Suck it, haters.

Who could possibly hate on that hat, though, that is a pretty nice hat. I don't think anyone is against that hat, unless it's committed declawing crimes or left inflammatory I/P comments that we don't know about...

(ps congrats, corb!)
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:52 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I will note, though, that when he came inside, Eideteker's fedora was GONE. Coincidence? I think not.

(also, thanks!)
posted by corb at 12:57 PM on October 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Well, I wouldn't call this goose cute, I would say dapper.

Oh, baby geese are definitely cute. I retract my former statements. And they're called goslings How cute is that?
posted by inertia at 12:58 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


And they're called goslings How cute is that?

"hey girl. HONK!"
posted by sweetkid at 1:01 PM on October 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


me @ corb's wedding this weekend. Suck it, haters.

. . . whoa. Damn.
posted by KathrynT at 2:35 PM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


That should of course be read as "WHOA! Daaaaaaaaaaamn you look good."
posted by KathrynT at 2:41 PM on October 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


KathrynT, always a treasure.
posted by sweetkid at 8:05 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


And they're called goslings How cute is that?

You know what else is from Canada and is called a Gosling and poops on everything?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:33 PM on October 1, 2013


Oooh, peacocks are a fraught topic chez gaspode at the moment, not for violence reasons, but because my 5yo is super pissed, and I mean SUPER, that the boy peacocks are the pretty ones. Last time we were at the Bronx Zoo - and we go there often - the peahens had babies (so cute) but kiddo refused to believe that all of the colorful ones were the boys and we actually had a meltdown in progress because it WASN'T FAIR and WHY WERE THE BOYS THE PRETTY ONES and she got interested for a while in sexual selection and female mating choice that I was trying to explain to her but then more peahens and their babies led to WHY DO THE GIRLS HAVE TO DO ALL THE WORK AS WELL, which, yeah. We went and did a camel ride and avoided all colorful birds.
posted by gaspode at 8:03 AM on October 2, 2013 [19 favorites]


gaspode--that reminds me of when I took my brother to the Museum of Natural History in NYC when he was five and dinosaur obsessed. He absolutely loved it, until we got to an exhibit of dioramas of dinosaurs with feathers. He had a meltdown, called the whole thing stupid, and tried to lecture me about how dinosaurs DEFINITELY DID NOT HAVE FEATHERS, he knew because he read ALL THE BOOKS.
posted by inertia at 12:36 PM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


but BIRDS are DINOSAURS

is what you should have said
posted by sweetkid at 12:47 PM on October 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Baby platypi in fedoras
posted by cjorgensen at 6:23 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, there you are, Perry.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:56 AM on October 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Baby platypi in fedoras

Meta
posted by radwolf76 at 9:14 AM on October 3, 2013


Platypuses take their name from Greek. It is not a Latin noun of the second declension. If we are going to be hypercorrect, it would be platypodes. (likewise, "octopodes")
posted by Tanizaki at 9:23 AM on October 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


And accent in Greek exocentric compounds is recessive, so if you want to be HYPERhyperhypercorrect it's gotta be pronounced "ock-TOP-puh-deez." And presumably "pluh-TIP-puh-deez" for all you monotremes out there.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 9:41 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, that is the best way to accent something because it makes it sound like a senator from antiquity:

"Vespasius Titus Platypodes would like to declare his plan for the annexation of the Peloponnese."
posted by griphus at 9:55 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


so if you want to be HYPERhyperhypercorrect it's gotta be pronounced "ock-TOP-puh-deez." And presumably "pluh-TIP-puh-deez" for all you monotremes out there.

The Greek being πλατύποδες, it would be "pla-TI-po-thes" (δ is pronounced as "th" in "father"). Octopodes would be οκτάποδες or "ok-TA-po-thes", but this is actually a common misspelling of χταπόδι, which would be pluraized as χταπόδια ("chtha-PO-thi-a") (the χ or "ch" sound is like the "ch" of "Bach").
posted by Tanizaki at 10:03 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


You got to here from discussing fedoras? Excellent work.
posted by billiebee at 10:09 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Greek being πλατύποδες, it would be "pla-TI-po-thes" (δ is pronounced as "th" in "father").

Yeah, but when English borrows from Greek the pronunciation gets all half-Latinized and ass-backwards anyway. Like how we've got cephalopods and not kefalopothes.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 10:30 AM on October 3, 2013


Yes, that is the best way to accent something because it makes it sound like a senator from antiquity:

Well, Plato was halfway there: his name is the same root as the "platy-" in "platypus," and it meant something like "big" or "broad." Dude got the nickname from his wrestling coach due to "his robust figure."

So you can also enjoy the fact that one of the great minds of classical antiquity was apparently this burly no-neck motherfucker who everyone called Wide Load.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 10:54 AM on October 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


The Greek being πλατύποδες, it would be "pla-TI-po-thes" (δ is pronounced as "th" in "father").

In Modern Greek, sure. But platypus is not a Modern Greek word. (Well, it probably is now, but it wasn't at first.) It is an English word invented by an English person using his knowledge of Ancient Greek (where δ=d) to lend an air of pretentious hoity-toityness to a ridiculous animal.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:58 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am also on Team δ=d, though perhaps this varies depending on the country you learn Greek in (the vowels I learned in Italy were very different than my American classes...)

mainly, though, this is why I love Metafilter, baby animals in hats and Ancient Greek fisticuffs
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:16 AM on October 3, 2013


So I was curious about the Aboriginal name for the platypus and came across this:

Early written records suggest that indigenous people were aware that the platypus was both egg-laying and venomous – facts that were only confirmed by European scientists after many decades of study. Traditional names for the species included "mallangong" and "tambreet" in New South Wales. Among the Wurundjeri people (who occupied much of Victoria) the name for the platypus was “dulaiwarrung”
posted by jquinby at 11:48 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


> The Greek being πλατύποδες, it would be "pla-TI-po-thes" (δ is pronounced as "th" in "father"). Octopodes would be οκτάποδες or "ok-TA-po-thes", but this is actually a common misspelling of χταπόδι, which would be pluraized as χταπόδια ("chtha-PO-thi-a") (the χ or "ch" sound is like the "ch" of "Bach").

You're talking about Modern Greek, which is irrelevant here. (You're not one of those people who thinks Ancient Greek was pronounced like Modern Greek, are you?)
posted by languagehat at 12:52 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


You're talking about Modern Greek, which is irrelevant here. (You're not one of those people who thinks Ancient Greek was pronounced like Modern Greek, are you?)

No, I'm not one of those. I'm not even one of those who thinks there is something hard about the Arabic alphabet and its representation of sounds.

In this instance, no westerner ever saw a platypus until a little over 200 years ago, long after the last speaker of Ancient Greek went the way of the dodo. The word πλατύποδας was unknown in Ancient Greek, so it is beyond me why Ancient Greek pronunciation would enter the picture for this rather new word. Our "platypus" is a latinization of the Greek neologism, and δ gets latinized as "d". But, you knew that. (like you also knew that δ has spent the majority of its life representing "th" rather than "d")

The odd tangent about insistence on Ancient Greek pronunciation is rather odd. It's not as if biological Latin nomenclature uses classical pronunciation. Don't believe me? Call your favorite cetacean institute and see how they answer the phone.
posted by Tanizaki at 5:40 PM on October 3, 2013


> The word πλατύποδας was unknown in Ancient Greek, so it is beyond me why Ancient Greek pronunciation would enter the picture for this rather new word.

It's not so much Ancient Greek pronunciation as not-Modern Greek pronunciation. Scientific terminology is not borrowed from Modern Greek, it is put together from a kit of Greek and Latin roots (often combined in barbarous ways, but we won't get into that). There is no reason to know or care how modern Greeks pronounce a word they happen to have preserved or borrowed from the same kit; in other languages, d is pronounced d, end of story. But you knew that.

> like you also knew that δ has spent the majority of its life representing "th" rather than "d"

Well, yeah, given that the change to fricative pronunciation took place in the first few centuries AD, but so what? That's only true because the Greeks didn't borrow the Phoenician writing system until around the seventh century BC. They had been pronouncing d as d for thousands of years before that (depending how far back you want to go; d goes all the way back to Proto-Indo-European).

> The odd tangent about insistence on Ancient Greek pronunciation is rather odd.

Odd things are often odd, aren't they?
posted by languagehat at 6:03 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Though even sets of odd things are even, oddly enough.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:05 PM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


But odd sets of even things are even odder!
posted by KathrynT at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


George Shaw, the guy who named the platypus, was a graduate of Magdalen Hall (now Hertford College), Oxford. He certainly would have learned Greek -- Ancient Greek -- from an early age in order to read the Classics. There is absolutely no reason at all that he would have learned Modern Greek.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:35 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Ancient/Modern greek derail is not only the best derail ever, but has justified the entire existence of this thread.
posted by corb at 5:56 AM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I vote that we just call them mallagongs.
posted by jquinby at 6:14 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not so much Ancient Greek pronunciation as not-Modern Greek pronunciation.

Koine is my idea of "not-Modern Greek" and the shift of δ to "th" had already occurred. Is there a point?

By the way, how to you pronounce "cephalopod" or anything that begins with "hydro"?

d is pronounced d, end of story. But you knew that.

Like I said, δ gets latinized as "d". That we follow this convention is not remarkable because we use a latin alphabet. How "other languages" do it is quite beside the point.

PS I prefer "full stop" to "end of story", as is MetaFilter tradition
posted by Tanizaki at 6:19 AM on October 4, 2013


it's pronounced duckmole and the plural is duckmoles
posted by pyramid termite at 6:39 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Life is like a hurricane
Oh shit
Duckmoles
posted by griphus at 7:10 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Moleduck, pron. "maul-eh-duk'k"
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:35 AM on October 4, 2013


polecat, pron. "paul-eh-cat"
posted by pyramid termite at 7:38 AM on October 4, 2013


The Old-Timey Spanish is "ducamole".
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:39 AM on October 4, 2013


When I say that it rhymes with guacamole.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:40 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


geoduck?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:05 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Geoduck is pronounced Throatwarblermangrove, I believe.
posted by rtha at 8:26 AM on October 4, 2013


Or is it pronounced quahog? I always get those mixed up.
posted by rtha at 8:27 AM on October 4, 2013


> When I say that it rhymes with guacamole.

You heard about the explosion in the warehouse owned by the inventor of Guac-a-Mole, right?
posted by ardgedee at 8:52 AM on October 4, 2013


Life is a highway I'm gawna ride it all St. John (pronounced Snnjnn)
posted by h00py at 9:15 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Flagged for Tom Cochrane.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:16 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
guacamole
posted by pyramid termite at 9:18 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


> Koine is my idea of "not-Modern Greek" and the shift of δ to "th" had already occurred. Is there a point?

Koine goes back to the fourth century BC. The shift of δ to "th" took place, as I said above, in the first few centuries AD (reference: Geoffrey Horrocks, Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers (2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2009; ISBN 1444318926, p. 170: "The shift of the voiced plosives /b, d, g/ to voiced fricatives was complete for the majority of literate speakers by the 4th century AD..."). You will have to answer your question for yourself.
posted by languagehat at 9:21 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whack-a-mole?
posted by gingerbeer at 9:21 AM on October 4, 2013


Worcester!
posted by h00py at 9:21 AM on October 4, 2013


The aristocrats.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2013


You will have to answer your question for yourself.

This is rather easy. I do not know where this idea came from that somehow Attic or other "non-Modern" Greek pronunciation is preserved in scientific terminology when that claim is demonstrably false. That's why I asked (and you did not answer) how you pronounce "cephalopod" or anything that begins with "hydro". You can also add terms like "psychology" or "pneumonia" to that list.

The more obvious (and correct) explanation is that δ gets latinized as "d", just as κ is latinized as "c" e.g. "cardiac" and "cephalopod". Do both terms preserve the "non-Modern" pronunciation of κ?
posted by Tanizaki at 9:42 AM on October 4, 2013


just as κ is latinized as "c" e.g. "cardiac" and "cephalopod". Do both terms preserve the "non-Modern" pronunciation of κ?

Both of those words were filtered through Latin before getting to us. Platypus wasn't.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:53 AM on October 4, 2013


Really the better question is how many of us are jerks about pronouncing hoi polloi and worse, who does/doesn't put a "The" in front...

...but seriously maybe deltas gonna delta, because I don't think this is ever going to be one true, correct answer.
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:57 AM on October 4, 2013


Platypus were completely unknown to the Ancient Greeks, exisiting as they did (and continue to do) only on the other side of the world, you fuckers. Ask the Aboriginal Elders, they'll tell you how to pronounce it.
posted by h00py at 10:01 AM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Both of those words were filtered through Latin before getting to us. Platypus wasn't.

I am waiting to meet the person who retains the ancient pronunciation of that first upsilon when saying "platypus".

I'd also add that the pronunciation of "cephalopod" does not comport with classical Latin pronunciation, so the Latin filter doesn't help that much.
posted by Tanizaki at 10:38 AM on October 4, 2013


Tanizaki, I don't know if I can make it clearer than I already have, so I'll just cut and paste:

It is an English word invented by an English person using his knowledge of Ancient Greek


There is no reason at all for the rules of Modern Greek to apply, and what Ancient Greek there is is vestigial at best, such that applying its rules doesn't make any sense either. Bottom line: It's English. It's pronounced like English is pronounced. It's pluralized like English is pluralized. It's used in other languages, where it is likely to be mispronounced, as would any other loanword from English.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:40 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tanizaki, you're being rude, supercilious, and a petty pedant. Which is annoying enough, but when you're wrong, as you sadly are, it's unforgivable.

You were wrong from your first comment. You wrote:

"Platypuses take their name from Greek. It is not a Latin noun of the second declension. If we are going to be hypercorrect, it would be platypodes."

No. Platypus is not a Greek word. It is an English word. It was never a Greek word. So the "hypercorrect" version is still platypus. Furthermore, πλατύποδες is a Greek word that means "flat-feet", not the animal. There is no sense in which πλατύποδες is equivalent to the English word platypus and therefore no Greek pronunciation, ancient or modern, is relevant.

Everything that followed is maneuvering for minor position when you'd already lost the argument with your first comment.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:49 AM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: maneuvering for minor position when you'd already lost the argument with your first comment.
posted by asterix at 11:59 AM on October 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


I am waiting to meet the person who retains the ancient pronunciation of that first upsilon when saying "platypus".

If you pinky-swear to be annoyed by it, I give you carte blanche to imagine my every typed instance of the word 'platypus' is being pronounced in whatever the hell way you are describing.
posted by griphus at 12:00 PM on October 4, 2013


No. Platypus is not a Greek word. It is an English word. It was never a Greek word.

I did not say that it was. Did you miss where I said it was a neologism?
posted by Tanizaki at 12:08 PM on October 4, 2013


There is no reason at all for the rules of Modern Greek to apply, and what Ancient Greek there is is vestigial at best, such that applying its rules doesn't make any sense either. Bottom line: It's English. It's pronounced like English is pronounced. It's pluralized like English is pluralized. It's used in other languages, where it is likely to be mispronounced, as would any other loanword from English.

I agree with everything you just said. I say, "platypuses". I was merely remarking on the hypercorrect "platypi" by taking to 11. MetaFilter did not disappoint in its reaction.
posted by Tanizaki at 12:11 PM on October 4, 2013


YOU ARE METAFILTER
posted by Sys Rq at 12:16 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


You've always been MetaFilter. I should know sir - I've always been here
posted by griphus at 12:18 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


LINGUISTIC PEDANTRY DANCE PARTY! WOOOOOO!
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 12:26 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


THROW YOUR LIDDELL-SCOTTS IN THE AI-IR
AND CITE EM LIKE YOU JUST DON'T CAY-YER
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 12:33 PM on October 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


Though for pronunciation it should probably be Smythe instead. Or W.S. Allen? But those guys don't scan.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 12:36 PM on October 4, 2013


MetaFilter did not disappoint in its reaction.

It's better that you're trolling people on purely pedantic, rather than personal, grounds, but it's not good.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:37 PM on October 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


"I agree with everything you just said. I say, "platypuses". I was merely remarking on the hypercorrect "platypi" by taking to 11. MetaFilter did not disappoint in its reaction."
+
The word πλατύποδας was unknown in Ancient Greek, so it is beyond me why Ancient Greek pronunciation would enter the picture for this rather new word.
=
I was wrong BLAME METAFILTER.
posted by klangklangston at 12:40 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


> I agree with everything you just said. I say, "platypuses". I was merely remarking on the hypercorrect "platypi" by taking to 11. MetaFilter did not disappoint in its reaction

In modern English, this is also pronounced "smarmy trollish git."
posted by planetesimal at 12:43 PM on October 4, 2013


I'm confused. I thought the joke was that "platypi" doesn't make any sense as a plural for "platypus", not that there's anything amiss with the word "platypus" itself. Either way, "platypi" is not an English style of pluralization.

why did this thread get so serious about this
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:48 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]



THROW YOUR LIDDELL-SCOTTS IN THE AI-IR
AND CITE EM LIKE YOU JUST DON'T CAY-YER



<3 <3 <3
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:53 PM on October 4, 2013


why did this thread get so serious about this

BECAUSE THIS

IS


METAAAFIIIIILLLLTTEEERRR
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:54 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hope everyone gets nice Christmas boni this year.
posted by Tanizaki at 12:56 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nice-making words only count if you quit the behaviors that upset others.
posted by planetesimal at 12:57 PM on October 4, 2013


The only friend of mine who speaks Ancient Greek has worked in professional wrestling for about a decade now.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:58 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hope everyone gets nice Christmas boni this year.

So do I, Tanizaki, so do I.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:58 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


platypony

it is a marsupial pony with a duck bill
posted by elizardbits at 1:07 PM on October 4, 2013


"The only friend of mine who speaks Ancient Greek has worked in professional wrestling for about a decade now."

They call him Plato the Fistosopher.
posted by klangklangston at 1:08 PM on October 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


My only friend who speaks Ancient (and Koine) Greek now works as a short-order cook.
posted by klangklangston at 1:09 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


i had a friend who traded ancient greek coins for bitkoines
posted by pyramid termite at 1:36 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


but now we tie this thread all together - i present to you

A PLATYPUS WITH A FEDORA
posted by pyramid termite at 1:39 PM on October 4, 2013


Like some sort of moo-bay-oos strip.
posted by griphus at 1:41 PM on October 4, 2013


hmmm - was moo-bay-ous early or late holstein?
posted by pyramid termite at 1:45 PM on October 4, 2013


elizardbits: "it is a marsupial pony with a duck bill"

In Soviet Australia, platypony gives you the spurs.
posted by jquinby at 1:49 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, they have venom in them. TMYK
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:58 PM on October 4, 2013


Tanizaki: " I was merely remarking on the hypercorrect "platypi" by taking to 11. MetaFilter did not disappoint in its reaction."

I think you accidentally grabbed the wrong volume knob.
posted by desuetude at 2:06 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Man, I have been known to tell some shitty jokes but I never blame others for it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:23 PM on October 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


This thread is getting too serious again.

WE NEED MORE MONOTREMES.

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE ECHIDNA IS A VERY MYSTERIOUS ANIMAL?


Echidnas are difficult to study. Echidnas are almost impossible to trap. Echidnas can dig straight down. Echidnas travel great distances. Echidnas are natural escape artists. Echidnas can live into their 50s. Male echidnas have four-headed penises. Male echidnas also form "love trains" in order to mate with females. Young echidnas are called "puggles". After one hatches, it lives in its mother's pouch for a few months.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:56 PM on October 4, 2013 [4 favorites]




During the Australian winter, as many as a dozen males form slow-moving mating trains, shuffling silently along in a lethargic parade led by a pheromone-emitting female. Trains can persist for more than a month, with males dropping out and rejoining, according to Rismiller, who first observed this behavior in detail. A receptive female may end up clinging to a tree trunk with her forelimbs while the males dig a circular trench around the tree as deep as ten inches. (Like crop circles, these tree trenches had mystified Australians for years.) The males then compete for mating honors.

"There's no aggression at all," says Rismiller. "The males just push each other around, head to head. As each one is pushed away, it leaves."

posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 4:55 PM on October 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


When I learned basic facts about platypuses and echidnas as a kid (from Ranger Rick magazine!) I thought they were pretty neat. Now that I'm no longer a child I find them not just neat but disturbingly strange and wonderful.
posted by rtha at 4:59 PM on October 4, 2013


Baby platypi in fedoras

So, it seems croc shoes are modelled after duckmole beaks?
Duckmaule (the least beloved Lucas character).

Platypie (because of the venom, it is like eating pufferfish, 8/10 eaters will die).

When I learned basic facts about platypuses and echidnas

Is this like the "Birds and the Bees", only with puggles, larvae, spurs, venom, milk patches and spined tetrarch junk.

This seems to be one of the neatest Echidna facts: Half of an echidna's brain is made up of neocortex - the so-called grey matter that allows mammals to reason, learn and remember. A human brain is about one third neocortex.
posted by infinite intimation at 6:48 AM on October 5, 2013


Just going to leave this here.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:40 AM on October 8, 2013


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