Today in History: Headwear

Like most items in fashion today, scarves and the bucket hat also have practical purposes (mostly, keeping your neck warm). While these may be true, those of the silk variety serve no other function than to complete any outfit.

The first widely recognized use of a scarf dates to 350 BC when Queen Nefertiti wore a finely woven style with a headdress. In another example, Roman men in 10 AD wore linen versions of a scarf called a sudarium (Latin for ‘sweat cloth’) around their neck or waist to wipe or soak up sweat.

In 230 BC, Chinese warriors wore scarves to show rank. It wasn’t actually until the 17th century that we started seeing silk scarves serve as an indication of class or status. For instance, Croatian soldiers of higher ranks wore silk scarves while others wore cotton ones. The silk scarf became a fashion accessory in the 19th century for both men and women.

By the 20th century, scarves had become one of the most essential and versatile clothing accessories for men and women. Seizing the opportunity, Hermes introduced the first true luxury silk scarf. The designs used on the scarves were based on a woodblock drawing by Robert Dumas, a member of the Hermes family.

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Alté fashion items typically go out of the norm, either formal or street. Fashion items such as vintage jeans and shirts, cut out shirts with inscriptions on them, fanny packs, brogues, fishnets, durags and futuristic glasses are the style of alté.

Serving as a form of self-expression, the silk scarf came back into fashion after a brief hiatus. The material goes well with bright and vivid patterns, and allows for sharp details to be printed.

Bucket hats like scarves were not created with aesthetics in mind. The bucket hat is said to have been introduced in 1990. These hats were traditionally worn by Irish farmers and fishermen as protection from the rain since the lanolin from the unwashed raw wool made the hats waterproof.

The modern bucket hat is made from a tropical hat with olive drab cotton which was issued to the US Army during the Vietnam War.

It was first adopted as a high-end fashion item in the 1960s as a ladies’ fashion item common with the pillbox, baker boy and cloche styles allowing for more bouffant hair. If you’re a fan of bands like Sticky Fingers, Yung Lean, The Courteeners, Oasis, The Stone Roses, and King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard then this hat is most definitely for you. After a brief hiatus, it made a comeback as a fashion catwalk item after being worn by celebrities like Rihanna.

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The bucket hat has been subject to a lot of bad remarks and comments from both people in the fashion industry and people who aren’t. Even people who wear them are not left out of getting the same comments about their hats.

This is perhaps one of the reasons why it has been adopted by the alté community. It is safe to say that the bucket hat has finally found its home in alté. This is because the alté lifestyle allows you to dress or behave in any way and does not limit your dressing or behavior which is such a huge relief personally.

Why is this so important? For me, it’s because we live in a society where certain rules have been laid out and we are expected to follow them. These rules can be quite choking especially if you are one of the few who have a different story to tell. The power of self and self-expression is just as important as breathing.

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With alté, you have the freedom to express yourself in a different way. The only rule, the rule of law, is that ‘Everything goes’. You just have to wear it and walk it right.

Amara is an introvert who likes to write about anything that catches her attention. Being observant and 'weird' has helped shape her writing. You'll probaby find her stalking one twitter handle or the other when she isn't writing.

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