Tag Archives: hats to show status

Put a Hat on Your Main Character or His Sidekick

“Put a Hat on Your Main Character or His Sidekick” by Joan Y. Edwards

In the 19th Century hats denoted a certain status in society. In 1988, Joseph J. Sullivan wrote a hilarious song called, “Where Did You Get That Hat?” It is so funny.  Listen to it on YouTube:


No matter where he went, all anyone ever asked him was “Where did you get that hat?” Even when he was getting married, the preacher asked him, “Where did you get that hat?”

Today hats denote personality, job, and may not denote a certain status in society. Above I’m wearing a Fireman’s hat at my grandson, Wyatt’s birthday party. The fire department came to help him celebrate.

Below is a picture with me in a Ducky souvenir hat that I bought to wear on the Ride the Ducks tour in Seattle, Washington. I doubt that it typified me as upper class. It probably showed that I had a lot of nerve and was in a humorous mood.

In the nineteenth century women’s hats showed style and beauty.  Many hats today are styled to protect the head and eyes from the sun. Although, I wasn’t in the sun inside the studio to paint a ceramic napkin holder, I wore it inside, anyway because when I wear a hat, it flattens out my hair.

Put a hat on your main character or his sidekick, it will help with characterization or help a point in your plot. One movie where a hat was important in the characterization of a sidekick was: Every Which Way But Loose. Clint Eastwood played Philo Beddoe whose sidekick Orville was his friend and fight manager. Orville wore a baseball cap. When it was time for a fight, he turned his baseball cap around backwards. To me that was funny. It changed the atmosphere from “We were only playing around” to “Now we’re meaning serious business.” According to Wikipedia, this movie still ranks as one of the top 200 highest grossing films of all time.

Evidently, I’m not the only one who thinks hats are a significant way to bring out attitude of a character, his job, or other significance in the plot of a story. I found a lot of links to hats in movies. I listed six of them in the Resources area.

Many times when you think of these characters, you think of them with their hats on. You seldom think of them with the hat off, even if the character doesn’t wear it all the time.

Here’s a picture of Carl and me wearing hats.

I don’t always wear a hat, but I do love to wear hats. My husband, Carl, almost always wears a hat. He has more than 40 hats. I have about six hats. I hope you enjoyed seeing the photos of me in hats in this blog.


  1. Diana Crane. “The Social Meanings of Hats:” http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/117987.html
  2. Hats in the Belfry. “7 Famous Movie Hats:” https://www.hatsinthebelfry.com/blog/hats-in-the-belfrys-derby-preakness-2018-media-blitz.html
  3. Joan Y. Edwards. “What’s a Sidekick? What’s His Job?” http://joanyedwards.com/whats-a-sidekick-whats-his-job/
  4. Silver Screen Oasis Forum: “Hats in Movies:” http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4768
  5. Top 10 “The Most Famous Hats in the Movies:” https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.203920066316462.47517.107811955927274&type=3
  6. Wikipedia. “Where Did You Get That Hat?” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_Did_You_Get_That_Hat%3F

Three of my blog articles about props:

  1. Joan Y. Edwards. “Image Props for Stories #1: All That Was Left – a Stapler, a Money Bag, and a Bird Ornament:” http://joanyedwards.com/image-props-for-stories-1-all-that-was-left-a-stapler-a-money-bag-and-a-bird-ornament/
  2. Joan Y. Edwards. “Image Props for Stories #2: Bananas, Scissors, a Vacuum Cleaner, and a Ferris Wheel:” http://joanyedwards.com/image-props-for-stories-2-bananas-scissors-a-vacuum-cleaner-and-a-ferris-wheel/
  3. Joan Y. Edwards. “Image Props for Stories #3: A Basketball, a Pillow, and a Pair of Boots:”  http://joanyedwards.com/image-props-for-stories-3-a-basketball-a-pillow-and-a-pair-of-boots/

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Joan Y. Edwards, Author
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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
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