The Adelaide Show Podcast putting South Australian passion on centre stage

309 – If the hat fits at Adelaide Hatters

309 If the hat fits at Adelaide Hatters - The Adelaide Show Podcast

In this week’s episode of The Adelaide Show, we explore the wearing of hats in 2020 – who does, who doesn’t, who should, who shouldn’t.

Our two special guests are milliner, Penny Horwood and Tess Bartsch from Adelaide Hatters.

The SA Drink Of The Week is 2018 Basso Garnacha.

In the Musical Pilgrimage, we hear a new song from Professor Flint about Mary Anning.

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Running Sheet: If the hat fits, wear it

00:00:00 Intro

Introduction to the show.

00:02:50 SA Drink Of The Week

2018 Basso Garnacha from SC Pannell, McLaren Vale.

00:06:39 Penny and Tess from Adelaide Hatters

Marilyn Munroe is quoted as saying, “There are many times when a woman will ask another girl friend how she likes her new hat. She will reply, ‘Fine,’ but slap her hand to her forehead the minute the girl leaves to yipe, ‘What a horror!

And this is where I’m at on my journey towards wearing hats; how do you know what suits you?

Penny Horwood has been a milliner for around 30 years and Tess Bartsch is the manager of Adelaide Hatters, welcome.

It’s funny, how this episode came about. I have long heard people raving about their love for Adelaide Hatters and it was on my list of places to explore. Then, two weeks ago, had my first skin scan and the doctor said I’m all good BUT I need to start wearing hats ASAP because should I get any skin cancers on my head, they are very difficult to cut out because scalp doesn’t stretch like the rest of our skin does. So hear I am.

What’s the mix of reasons people come to see you – fashion vs health?

Penny, what drew you to millinery?

What was hat culture like 30 years ago?

What is hat culture like now?

Do TV shows and movies influence hat styles?

What were the best styles in history?

What are the worst, eg, caps worn backwards?

How do you find your hat style?

For my business, Talked About Marketing, it is based on Oscar Wilde’s saying – there’s only one thing worse than being talked about and that’s not being talked about. I would love to wear a Wilde hat but he favoured a larger, floppy hat and was often dressed in morning suits and dapper outfits, which I am not, so how do I get my bearings?

Hat and hair – this is an obstacle.

Hat and hair wax.

Are horse racing festivals still peak periods for milliners?

Any tips for wearing hats – how should they sit, should you take them off when inside, etc.

Favourite hat sayings?

Here are some hat-isms from Village Hat Shop

To talk nonsense or to lie. c1885. [In an interview in The World entitled “How About White Shirts”, a reporter asked a New York streetcar conductor what he thought about efforts to get the conductors to wear white shirts like their counterparts in Chicago. “Dey’re talkin’ tru deir hats” he was quoted as replying.]

There is no such thing as a sure thing, but that’s where this expression comes from. If you tell someone you’ll eat your hat if they do something, make sure you’re not wearing your best hat-just in case. [The expression goes back at least to the reign of Charles II of Great Britain and had something to do with the amorous proclivities of ‘ol Charlie. Apparently they named a goat after him that had his same love of life which included, in the goat’s case, eating hats.]

Old, dull stuff; out of fashion. [This seems to come from the fact that hat fashions are constantly changing. The fact of the matter is that hat fashions had not been changing very fast at all until the turn of the 19th Century. The expression therefore is likely about 100 years old.]

Totally demented, crazy. [Hatters did, indeed, go mad. They inhaled fumes from the mercury that was part of the process of making felt hats. Not recognizing the violent twitching and derangement as symptoms of a brain disorder, people made fun of affected hat-makers, often treating them as drunkards. In the U.S., the condition was called the “Danbury shakes.” (Danbury, Connecticut, was a hat-making center.) Mercury is no longer used in the felting process: hat-making — and hat-makers — are safe.]

A demonstration of humility. For example, “I come hat in hand” means that I come in deference or in weakness. [I assume that the origins are from feudal times when serfs or any lower members of feudal society were required to take off their hats in the presence of the lord or monarch (remember the Dr. Seuss book “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins”?). A hat is your most prideful adornment.]

Literally to pass a man’s hat among members of an audience or group as a means for collecting money. Also to beg or ask for charity. [The origin is self-evident as a man’s hat turned upside down makes a fine container.]

Three consecutive successes in a game or another endeavor. For example, taking three wickets with three successive pitches by a bowler in a game of cricket, three goals or points won by a player in a game of soccer or ice hockey, etc. [From cricket, from the former practice of awarding a hat to a bowler who dismissed three batsmen with three successive balls.]

Entering a contest or a race e.g. a political run for office. [A customer wrote us with the following: “I read in “The Language of American Politics” by William F. Buckley Jr. that the phrase “throw one’s hat in the ring” comes from a practice of 19th Century saloon keepers putting a boxing ring in the middle of the barroom so that customers who wanted to fight each other would have a place to do so without starting a donnybrook. If a man wanted to indicate that he would fight anybody, he would throw his hat in the ring.At one point, Theodore Roosevelt declared he was running for office with a speech that included a line that went something like, “My hat is in the ring and I am stripped to the waist”. The phrase “my hat in the ring” stuck, probably because “I am stripped to the waist” is a little gross.]

HATS OFF . . .
“Hats off to the U.S. Winter Olympic Team” for example. An exclamation of approval or kudos. [Origins must be from the fact that taking one’s hat off or tipping one’s hat is a traditional demonstration of respect.]

A special achievement. [I assume that the origins on this expression hail from the days when, in fact, a feather for one’s cap would be awarded for an accomplishment much like a medal is awarded today and pinned to one’s uniform. A feather, or a pin, add a certain prestige or luster to one’s apparel.]

A warning that some excitement or danger is imminent. [When riding horseback or in an open-air early automobile, the exclamation “hold on to your hat” when the horse broke into a gallop or the car took-off was certainly literal.]

An indication of agitation or an idea that you can’t let go of and just have to express. [A real bee in one’s bonnet certainly precipitates expression.]

This of course is a metaphor for having many different duties or jobs. [Historically, hats have often been an integral, even necessary, part of a working uniform. A miner, welder, construction worker, undertaker, white-collar worker or banker before the 1960s, chef, farmer, etc. all wear, or wore, a particular hat. Wearing “many hats” or “many different hats” simply means that one has different duties or jobs.]

To commit to something (or not), or stake your reputation on something (or not), like an idea or policy. For example “I wouldn’t hang my hat on George Steinbrenner’s decision to fire his manager.” [Origin unknown. Can anyone help with this one?]

Fast. [Dropping a hat, can be a way in which a race can start (instead of a starting gun for example). Also, a hat is an apparel item that can easily become dislodged from its wearer. Anyone who wears hats regularly has experienced the quickness by which a hat can fly off your head.]

An endorsement of respect, approval, appreciation, or the like. Example: “A tip of the hat to American troops for the capture of Saddam Hussein.” [This is simply verbalizing an example of hat etiquette. Men would (and some still do) tip their hat to convey the same message.]

Keeping a secret. [People kept important papers and small treasures under their hats. One’s hat was often the first thing put on in the morning and the last thing taken off at night, so literally keeping things under one’s hat was safe keeping. A famous practitioner of this was Abraham Lincoln. The very utilitarian cowboy hat was also commonly used for storage.]

To put on your “thinking cap” is to give some problem careful thought. [Teachers and philosophers in the Middle Ages often wore distinctive caps that set them apart from those who had less learning. Caps became regarded as a symbol of education. People put them on (literally or figuratively) to solve their own problems.]

Black hat tactics, black hat intentions, etc. refer to nefarious actions or designs. [Black hats in Western lore and literature were the bad guys.]

Although I don’t see or hear this expression as much as “Black Hat”, it simply is the opposite of the above. [Good guys wore/wear white hats.] Both Black Hat and White Hat have new meanings in the context of Internet/IT hacking.

This is a lot like Cinderella and the glass slipper. We’ll know the truth if and when the hat, or cap, fits. [Origin likely centuries old.]

00:52:32 Musical Pilgrimage

In the musical pilgrimage, we have a new song, Mary Anning, by Professor Flint.

Mary Anning was an English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist who became known around the world for important finds she made in Jurassic marine fossil beds in the cliffs along the English Channel in the county of Dorset in Southwest England.

Mary lived in the 1800s and many images of her have her wearing a bonnet. What’s happened to bonnets?

Here’s this week’s preview video.

SFX: Throughout the podcast we use free sfx from for the harp, the visa stamp, the silent movie music, the stylus, the radio signal sfx, the wine pouring and cork pulling sfx, and the swooshes around Siri.

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