Keep Your Hat On

There was a time when going out 

was an occasion to be dressed for.

You could not be seen,

should not be seen 

without your hat.

You would be ostracised,

talked about, 


left alone


Hats were mandatory,

a smart felt trilby or bowler for the men

and a fashion statement of flounces or formality

for the women.

Even later 

my visiting aunties kept their hats on 

while drinking their afternoon tea indoors.

They left them on in cafes and bars,

it’s the generational norm

from the time when one knew

the dress code and conformed.

But not everyone did so

even back then.

Some were daring,

daring enough to go without a hat

and they still found company.

Others followed the code 

and kept their hat on

but still sat on their own

the code didn’t admit everyone,

some were left outside.


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