Hey, there! Log in / Register

Effete New York publication declares scally caps 'polarizing'

The Wall Street Journal is warning its readers that what it called "the polarizing flat cap" is back, but that not everybody can pull them off. Illustrated with photos of a couple of actors wearing scally caps, of course.

Ad:

Comments

If you're above 5' 8".

up
Voting closed 21

I disagree... I think I look ridiculous wearing most hats but when I wear a flat cap/news boy etc style hat it fits me well. I always get compliments and I'm 6'1.

On the other hand some of those compliments say I look like an old style Charlestown gangsta (I'm a large frame Irish German background with a Boston accent) but in these parts we chalk that up as a compliment too lol.

I can't pull off a baseball hat or most knot caps no matter what I do.

up
Voting closed 27

Ya prentendah?

up
Voting closed 12

I think I had a knock off when I was like ten.

Not a pretender, never claimed to be any of those things. Don't aspire to either. I just like the hats and when it's chilly it's nice to have something on your head that isn't a knit cap. It's also not weird for me because I grew up around the hats. Do you call other cultures pretenders for wearing something their parents, grandparents or neighbors wore in their youth?

up
Voting closed 13

No!

up
Voting closed 2

and flat caps (of which the scally is a sub-type.) The Journal article shows Brad Pitt and Assane Dio (of the Netflix series Lupin) wearing the former, with Leo DeCaprio and Idris Elba in the latter, though Lupin wears both styles on the show.

Lots of different names for the various members of the two schools, but the big distinction is that a newsie is seamed into six or eight panels (like a sliced pizza viewed from above, often with a covered button in its center), has a more rounded, softer shape, and usually features a more visibly separate brim. The flat cap's crown is distinctly stiffer, more seamless and usually flatter, with a very short brim. Both styles sometimes feature a snap closure connecting the crown and brim.

Bostonians wear both styles (as do I on occasion), and they've never waned in popularity here, but I'd say the flat cap predominates. The welter of associations the Journal makes with them ("old-timey", "dressy", "pretentious", "divisive", "sophisticated") is pretty comical, at least around these parts.

up
Voting closed 44

Class! Your assignment is to write a WSJ-worthy paragraph using all of the following adjectives to describe a flat cap:

old
brown
ragged
farcical
barbaric
strange
wholesome
scaly
sedimentary
radical
antipodean
salacious
parliamentary
oviparous
digital

There is one more constraint; the adjective "flat" is not allowed. You have five minutes.

up
Voting closed 19

so I said 'Thanks!', as I didn't want her to think I was stupid because I don't know what that word means, but I'm pretty sure it's good, right?"

up
Voting closed 14

I attempted to move gradually in the direction of adjectives that could not reasonably be applied to a scally cap, but found it more difficult than I expected. Oviparous, for example, means "egg-bearing", but I realized only in retrospect that there are certain heads for which "he looked like he was wearing an oviparous hat" is a pretty brilliant description.

up
Voting closed 14

reminds me of kangol.

up
Voting closed 23

Grandmaster Flash ! Yes!!

up
Voting closed 13

That's what I was wondering, because Samuel L Jackson never stopped wearing Kangols, I've never called them any of names used in this article. Idris seems to be wearing a Kangol in the article header.

up
Voting closed 15

Neither did the Kangol Kid, obviously.

up
Voting closed 11

And sending to Kangol Kid. He’ll get a laugh out of it.

up
Voting closed 10

Kangol is not the flavor of the month anymore.

up
Voting closed 10

Fedoras are kind of going too far to make a statement, baseball caps make you look like a little kid, standard winter hats are depressing in the way that winter can be depressing. In the book "All Souls" the author described the scally cap as "worn by Boston tough guys and wannabes" (to paraphrase) and I've been a little wary of wearing them ever since I read that line....it sort of struck a nerve.

up
Voting closed 16

Plenty of other hat options - cowboy hats, sombreros, helmets of all varieties, top hats, stovepipes - the sky is the limit!

up
Voting closed 18

religious section of a department store in Kuala Lumpur, a Bukharan kippah my bud got me in Israel, a no-tassel fez, and a pricey Panama I picked up in Ecuador, where it probably took some little old local lady three months to weave by hand: you can roll it up tightly, pack it in a suitcase, and then restore it to its original shape like magic under a damp towel in about three minutes.

And I have a dozen fitted baseball caps I never wear, except for a camo Pat Patriot number that I last wore as a rally cap in the Pats' Super Bowl LI comeback and thus may get another airing someday, as that was a frickin' miracle. My favorite hat to actually wear is probably a black felt docker cap, which I don with a three-day beard when I want to feel like Léon from The Professional.

Alas, the stench of the mid-Oughts "m'lady" fedora revival may take decades to wear off, so my stack of vintage snap-brims in all brim widths and materials that I started collecting in the 80s will probably lay fallow for my lifetime.

up
Voting closed 22

Effete Universal Hub declares Wall Street Joural "effete".

up
Voting closed 22

I don't know HOW Gaffin finds the time in between private jet trips to exotic locales?

up
Voting closed 15

The Cuffley has many of the characteristics of the scally and newies, but is a single, stiff piece of felt, without seam. It can't easily recover from being packed or bunched. The mistaken notion the scally being of "dressy," "pretentious," or "sophisticated" may come from it being confused with the Cuffley, which is also called the Ascot or Driving Cap.

Also, baseball caps are distinctly not hats.

up
Voting closed 13

flat caps have a similar construction.

I guess I see the distinction between a hat and a cap that goes, "Hats have a brim that goes all the way around, not just in front (in which case it is a visor) or not at all", so okay there.

I will opine that a baseball cap should never be worn backwards by anyone over the age of 18, except while actively playing the position of catcher in a game of hardball, softball, Wiffle ball, stickball, and possibly backstop in rounders. The worst is a snap-back cap worn backwards. Were I still a bartender, that would be an instant carding, however wizened you looked otherwise.

up
Voting closed 11

Thank you for that insight into the world of fashion. Apropos of nothing, I wonder what Vogue has to say about the financial markets?

up
Voting closed 26

This website smells like mothballs and licorice .

up
Voting closed 19

As far as I am concerned, it never went away.

up
Voting closed 28

If someone is going to come on here decrying cultural appropriation about these hats.

up
Voting closed 15

Like, the past?

up
Voting closed 12

The British Isles?

up
Voting closed 11

My grandfathers weren't of British or Irish ancestry and yet they still wore them. Like, maybe they were just popular then and some of their descendants just liked the hats.

up
Voting closed 4

How can you discuss that hat in Boston without reference to the 1970s culture wars especially over busing? No Yankee would have been caught dead in that hat; no son of Southie would have stepped out without one.

up
Voting closed 16

Especially the gratuitous hostility and the “screw you New York Times” response to an article published by the Wall Street Journal.” I imagine that for some it re-enforces the stereotypes they associate with that hat.

up
Voting closed 16

But he did add a follow-up tweet telling the WSJ what they could do with their headline.

up
Voting closed 11

spelling it "New Tork Yimes".

up
Voting closed 11

up
Voting closed 14

Last time I was in there, a couple of years ago, I afterwards raved about how good the salesperson was. She made it clear that each hat I tried on made me even more charming and handsome in her eyes. It was truly an ego-gratifying experience. My buzz-kill friends pointed out, "She's not *that* good a salesperson, because you didn't actually buy a damn hat, ya cheapskate!" They do have nice hats and knowledgeable sales help, though.

up
Voting closed 14

Does that help prevent a sunburn if you're bald?

up
Voting closed 14

My dad. My brothers. Me since I was about 10. Secret Agent Man. We've all always worn our scally caps proudly.

(My little brother looks so good in a scally cap he could be an advertisement for them.)

Bah, WSJ.

up
Voting closed 11

Fie, the fedora,
Skip the scally,
Wither away the wooly wear,
Tried and done the tricorn,
Too tippy the ten gallon,
Smooth the sombrero,
Yamakas are not by Yamaha,
And kippah are coola.

Hats to heads are baseballs to bats. Unless it is a baseball cap.

up
Voting closed 13