The Different Ways of Wearing A Black Hat
You ever notice how many ways a black hat can be worn? Even more, it’s come to be seen that you can actually judge how frum a person is by the shape, size, and position of his hat. Some dating websites actually ask you how you wear your hat on shabbos and during the week, and they ask the girl how she prefers her man to wear it. As a sociological experiment, I actually purchased a hat. I get treated a lot differently with it. I never once got gelilia or hagbah with a hat, but without it, I get asked at every new shul I attend. Let’s take a look at each way to wear it, and what it means.
Brim down – The most common way to wear it. This is usually the style for davening without tefilin, and night time Shabbos or Yom Tov. For some reason, BT’s usually have a curved brim, while the the real yeshivish have it straight.
Brim up – This style is worn with tefilin and usually when frummies are just chilling or eating. I don’t know why they have to keep adjusting the hat and the brim. It reminds me of the constant turning of an esrog; pittum up, pittum down. Generally, when a guy wears his hat with the brim up, you can be sure he’s hardcore frum.
Hat straight, brim curved down – This reminds me of the time you bought a baseball cap as a kid and you tried to perfect the curve of it. For some reason, black hats need to be curved in such a way that your eyes can go unnoticed when you are trying to look across the mechitza or checking out the girls on the street or at the shabbos table.
Hat slanted sideways – I crack up when I see all the Brooklyn hockers have a hat on, but they slant it so that they look like they are in the mafia. It’s a hat. Just stick it on your head. Why are you tilting it? Some guys at their weddings do this in their pictures.
Small black hat – Sometimes I see guys with black hats but they are smaller than the usual size. I don’t know why full-grown men do this. What’s the minhag? Why try to be different? No Kollel guy would a ever wear one of these smaller hats.
Cowboy hats – I get it that some BTs don’t understand the difference between a black hat and every other hat. What I don’t understand is how after years they can still parade around on even the holiest holidays wearing a cowboy hat. Why can’t the Rav just tell the guy it’s not yeshivish, and that it looks ridiculous?
Straw hats – Not shtark. Imagine having on your shidduch resume that you wear one of these bad boys week in, week out.
Baseball caps – It’s common to wear these in the rain, but I’ve seen some guys wear them in shul on shabbos. Yes, it allows you to check out the ladies without anybody noticing, but it also makes you look not-frum.
Basically, if you want to appear super shtark, get a normal sized black hat, and ask when you should wear the brim up and when you should wear it down. Once you’ve done this, enjoy all the Roshei Yeshivas’ daughters and people looking at you like you sit and learn all day.