Saturday, November 9, 2013
WHAT IS A BOBBLE HAT?
You say tomato and I say tomato, you say trilby and I say fedora. I say cuffed knit cap with a pompon and you say it's a bobble hat but lets agree not to call it a Tea Cosy!!
A bobble hat or bobble cap is a knit cap that has a yarn "bobble" or pom-pon upon its top. It is similar to the tuque or watch cap; however, the tuque does not have a bobble on its top.
The term was coined as a mistaken British term of abuse ("you bobblehat," directed towards a middle-aged man who has lost his charisma) in German playwright Botho Strauss's play Der Park: Schauspiel (1983). The play is a reworking of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream; it is set in 1980s England.
Bobble hats were traditionally considered utilitarian cold-weather wear. In the late 20th century, in the United Kingdom they (like the anorak) were associated with utilitarian unfashionability or with older football supporters, as they had been popular in club colors during the 1960s and 1970s. Along with the pin-on rosette and the football scarf, the bobble hat was seen as traditional or old-fashioned British working-class football regalia.
Since 2000, the bobble hat has become popular with some female celebrities, and this has contributed to its having become a fashionable item.According to the Financial Times, Styles section there is a hat BOBBLE (pardon the pun) in the making for winter 2013.
“You can’t pull a fedora down around your ears,” observes London-based tailor Richard James. Yes, after a brief flirtation with classic felt hats – fedoras included – cutting-edge menswear has embraced what can only be described as the “luxury bobble hat” this winter.
Look online and in store and there are countless variations on the big-label cosy knit hat; from Dior Homme’s beanies (£110) and Dolce & Gabbana’s cashmere styles (£235) to Ralph Lauren’s red-and-black snowflake designs (£85), Rick Owens’ ribbed numbers (£166) and Moncler’s branded pom-pom affairs (£115). Indeed, there is a bobble hat for all tastes.
“We see men of every age buying knit hats,” says Jeevan Singh, men’s accessories buyer at Selfridges. “They have become a true essential rather than an accessory. Go for simple styles in luxury fabrics and a sophisticated colour palette, and you won’t go far wrong.”
Even London’s most sartorial street, Savile Row, has got in on the trend. “Knitted hats certainly feel right this winter,” says James of his hats, which sell for £120 and above. “We have been producing hand-knitted hats on the west coast of Ireland for many years,” he adds. “We know exactly who makes them and each one has a character of its own.”
What’s more, these hats are apparently not just destined for chilly weekends away and après-ski; be prepared for sightings on the streets of the Square Mile. “I’ve noticed a lot of our customers wearing our bobble hats during the week with a suit,” says Richard James.
Thelma Speirs, one half of hat duo Bernstock Speirs, whose knit styles start from £90, agrees: “The addition of a bobble hat can make a smart look seem more contemporary. I think it’s a great mix with a tailored suit. Like the anorak, men’s bobble hats used to be something of a joke but now men of all ages are wearing them. Seriously.”