Tag Archives: Baseball cap

Hats: Add Sun Protection to Your Warm-Weather Fashion Statement

8 May
sunn protection, disabled shopping, summer hats, disabled accesssories, wefly2,hats

Straw hat, no brand available, regifted from a neighbor.

Self-portrait in straw hat.

Self-portrait in straw hat.

Living in the skin cancer capital of the US (Arizona), I am always concerned with avoiding harmful rays and staying relatively cool. While using sunblock is important, donning a hat that keeps the sun off both the face and back of the neck is also helpful. For disabled women who may be waiting for public transportation or otherwise spending time outdoors in sunny climates, wide-brimmed hats are useful as well as stylish in the heat. I recommend straw or cotton for breathability.

While my own recently acquired straw hat came from a former neighbor who never wore it and  no longer wanted it, I have noticed straw and canvas broad-brims displayed in unusual places, such as Walgreens and Sprouts. When I thought about this, I asked myself, why not? These stores do cater to our health. Other venues and catalogs, of course, carry them as well.

Baseball Caps Won’t Cut It

As popular as they are, baseball caps keep the sun off only the face, not the back of the neck. Landscapers and other outdoor workers may tuck a short towel under the backs of their caps to ward off the sunlight and absorb perspiration, but if you want a more stylish look, these hats just won’t cut it. I also saw a rapper on MTV sporting a baseball cap with a hoodie pulled over it, but I confess the look didn’t do much for me. Practically speaking, however, the hoodie-cap ensemble would keep the sun off. It depends on your aesthetic, and my age may be showing here.

But I Don’t Look Good in Hats

You probably aren’t used to wearing a hat and feel more self-conscious than you need to.  But despite America’s love of hatless freedom (except for the baseball cap), fashion history has had many periods in which everybody wore a chapeau of some kind, regardless of how they looked. You are going to remove your hat when you go inside for that lunch date, movie, or sporting event anyway. If it makes you feel better, look at my pic and have a giggle. I may look as if I have fallen off a 19th-century hay wagon, but I am melanoma-free. Chortle away!

Heeding the Wake-Up Call

Bicyclists and light-rail riders in Phoenix have been putting on hats during their trips, so the trend seems to be taking hold. Good job, ladies! For light-skinned people of Northern European extraction, like me, the Arizona sun can wreak havoc with our pale complexions. A hat is a necessity as well as a fashion statement. Olive-skinned people are not exempt from skin cancer, and even those of African descent carry a slight risk of contracting it. In addition, our bright sun poses another problem in late spring and summer, no matter how you travel: visibility!  The light is so piercing that at certain times of the day, you cannot see well, even with sunglasses. The extra shade of a hat brim helps here too, especially if you don’t have a hand to put up to shield your eyes. So if you are outside during the day for any reason, you really need protection. Plop on that hat and rub on some sunblock, or have your caregiver do it, even on a cloudy day. Your skin, eyes, and hair will thank you.

To Top It Off: Some Caps Never Go Out of Style

20 Nov
ali_mcgraw_html
Actor/model Ali McGraw (Love Story, among others) in a crocheted cap with attached crocheted flower–or seashell, or abstract object. This style was popular in the early 1970s. Photo from lovemark.com.

 

The picturesque hats at Kate Middleton and Prince William‘s wedding caused quite a stir in the fashion world, as UK

millinery is apt to do. In Spain, as blogger Laura of As Time Goes…Buy informs us, the hat styles worn at the races have an extensive history. Here in the States, many of us go bare-headed, unless we need safety helmets for work. The main exception is the ever-popular baseball cap.

However, as chilly weather descends on many parts of the country, those plucky canvas toppers are not likely to protect our heads from icy winds or frostbite. Despite our liberty-loving ways–does the Constitution specify freedom from hats?–catalogs and department stores still carry winter head coverings, many of which are good-looking and easy for a disabled woman or her caregiver to put on.

A Classic Shape

My favorite by far is the knit cap. Clean, classic, and available in fabrics ranging from acrylic to angora,  the head-hugging cap flatters most face shapes and stays on your head when wind speed picks up. This style also covers the ears but can be rolled back like a cuff to suit the wearer’s comfort. Knit caps pull outfits together, too–I have seen them in Phoenix recently, although our temperatures are still in the 70s–and can be worn plain or accessorized for added verve.

From Simple Decoration to Political Expression

In the early 1970s, one fun, flirty trend entailed threading a ribbon through the holes of the front edge of a crocheted cap and tying it slightly to one side.  This look still appears modern and works on women of varying ages. Fashion jewelry, a flower,  even plastic berries have decorated knit caps.  Another trend from those late-hippie years involved attaching a political-statement pin to the cap, such as “Vote for _____” or “End ______ now!” No reason socially conscious disabled women can’t pin their favorite causes or candidates’ names on their caps before going out. Unsure about adding “stuff” to your cap?  Pick your favorite color, and wear it as you like!

Head-Hugging Popularity

From the cloche of the 1920s to ski caps worn in the Olympics, it is clear that close-fitting head wear is here to stay. For disabled women, the knit cap is one classic, go-to item that requires little thought and no alterations–a major benefit when it comes to shopping for clothing and accessories! Wear yours in good health and your own sense of style!