The Straw Hat Riot of 1922

What’s the worst that could happen from wrong fashion choices? A little bit of teasing and ridicule from your friends, sure. But rarely will anyone try to enforce one’s personal style upon another with violence. Yet that’s exactly what happened nearly a century ago in New York.

Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, hats were a popular accessory to every gentlemen’s street attire. Men wore hats throughout the year, whether it was freezing cold or sweltering hot. But wearing hats during summer was uncomfortable. So starting from the 1900s, men started wearing breathable straw hats during the summer months. Initially, they were worn only during sporting events such as boating, and these hats came to be called boaters. Eventually, the summer head-wear was deemed acceptable to be paired with any attire and even professionals wore them to work.

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A sea of straw hats seen at a baseball match.

A sea of straw hats seen at a baseball match.


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