I’ve always had a thing for hats. Perhaps it’s because I usually couldn’t be bothered to do anything with my hair (random fact – I didn’t own a brush for 10 years). Or maybe it’s because I’m a very special kind of translucent “burst into flames” pale. I’m a Millennial, so there’s that possibility too. Whatever the reason, I’ve always owned a some sort of peak-cap. A cap, however, doesn’t really lend itself to a mid-30’s woman working in the corporate world and a few years ago I decided that I was in need of a more adult hat. Enter the fedora.
I’ve never exactly been trendy. I walk to the beat of my own drum, so to speak, so it figures that I would really love something that is widely regarded as “the single most hated fashion accessory money can buy” (according to this hilarious Vice magazine article, fedoras are not only disliked but cursed and evil too). Imagine my excitement when a colleague mentioned to me that she’d bought a few Amarula “gift packs” and now had supply of fedoras which had come free with her purchase. She offered me one which I readily accepted.
It was a really lovely hat. Stretchy and comfortable, it was made out of some sort of synthetic material that could be slammed down into an extremely tiny ball and simply bounce back to its original shape, thus making it perfect for travelling. It accompanied me on several work trips while fulfilling the general sun-protection mandate at home too. Essentially, it was glued to my head anytime I was not at the office.
Unfortunately after a while things started to itch. It got to a stage where I could only keep it on for a few minutes before that horrifying “prickle” started. Something had to be done, but I was faced with a problem – how the hell do you wash a faux-straw fedora?
“In the washing machine” was my answer, so in it went.
Something happened during that 35 minute quick-cycle and my poor old hat has never really been the same since.
I still have it and it’s used with alarming frequency. Every time I put it on I can’t help thinking that I am a bit like my now slightly shrunken fedora. No longer in pristine condition. Warped and looking a bit worse for wear. Doesn’t bounce back like it used to and in need of several minutes of vigorous stretching before being able to function effectively.
In the case of the fedora, it’s still a hat and the reason for which it was created can still performed – it shields my eyes (well, to be fair it’s more like 1.5 eyes since the wash) and prevents my face from spontaneously combusting when I’m exposed to the sun. Life has put me through the wash in a lot of ways (albeit on the “delicates” cycle compared to a lot of other people). But I still feel that I am useful and able to contribute to the world in my own small way. Mrs Megamalist hates the thing and often drops hints about chucking it away. But I feel that while perhaps something may no longer be in its original condition, if it can still serve a purpose surely it’s worth keeping? Battered doesn’t necessarily mean defeated.
At the end of the day, in a way are we not all just fedoras in a washing machine?