THE WORKMAN’S CAP. I claimed here that I tend to oblivious to the importance of status and class, in contrast with Tom Wolfe who says that “… the most important thing to spot in any situation you’re writing about [is] [w]hat is the status line-up?” My father, who was also a Midwesterner, was, I think, also oblivious to a lot of status considerations. In the fifties, when men wore homburgs and fedoras, my father found a cap that he liked, a British workman’s cap, a cap worn by workmen in this country as well. He started to wear it into Chicago to work and didn’t give it much thought until after several days he noticed that he was being treated differently in public, even being noticeably jostled and bumped. He decided that it was the workman’s cap that changed how people treated him. Whenever he told the story, he would shake his head in puzzlement.

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One Response to THE WORKMAN’S CAP.

  1. Annalisa says:

    How sad for him, and how sad that that kind of thing happens all the time. Did your father do a trial run before making this conclusion (like wearing a different hat, or not wearing one at all)? I’ve read that when one is out shopping, one should dress nicely in order to get the best help from salespeople. Personally I’d like to figure out a mode of dress that would keep salespeople away from me, but I doubt there’s one in existence, unless maybe being unwashed and really smelly.

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