Vintage Ads: Head Space

Hats - as healthy as they're handsome.

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This ad is proof that President Kennedy didn’t kill the fashion for wearing hats. Eight years before his presidency, the Hat Corporation of America was running a series of ads selling the health benefits of hats, trying to boost sagging sales.

Styles had changed since the 1930s, when a man’s bare head was rarely seen out-of-doors. Since then, several factors had robbed hats of their usefulness. One, surprisingly, was the improvements in central heating. Modern homes and offices could maintain comfortable temperatures in every room. Occupants were thoroughly warmed throughout the day. Men might only experience cold weather in the brief interval of walking to and from their car. Hats, scarves, and gloves now seemed like encumbrances. Hats had made sense when men had to wait on icy platforms for a commuter train, but with more men driving their own cars to the office, there was little need to cover their heads. (The low roofs of their cars left little room for hats anyway.)

This article is featured in the January/February 2024 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.


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