Think of the Poldark men for instance. Ross, obviously, wears his tricorn as if he was actually born with one on that tousled head of his! He has done much for pirate culture in the past two years and I rather wish I had bought shares in a tricorn factory sometime before March of last year. A nod at his military prowess, the outline of his tricorn tops off a silouhette of a clifftop canter to perfection and let’s us know we are definitely watching either Poldark or a Christmas special about Dick Turpin. Aha! A lighthouse , it’s Poldark ( wait, I hear you say, lighthouses weren’t built for another 80 years or so!… poetic license, it’s Poldark, be happy!!). Francis, sporting a jaunty yet serious fedora that speaks of breeding and a distinct lack of swash, which his swarthy cousin emanates in bucketloads! George wearing the tallest of top hats his frame will allow without a 3/6d price tag in the ribbon making it more Mad Hatter than Mad Megalomaniac,….and then the wigs! Dr Halse, a proper long powdered wig that says ” don’t mess with me, I can have you strung up from the nearest gallows!… and not just for wearing a big hat!”. Of course in the days of Georgian England no gentleman would have been seen dead indoors with a hat on and no lady would have strayed beyond her own garden without one! Hats were a statement of status or lack thereof and most importantly of intention.
If we think of the late lamented Jim Carter, the character that Ross failed to save in series one and husband to Jinny. In the court room he was seen holding his hat in both hands in front of him, holding it, wringing it in supplication. All to no avail of course as he’s been out headcased by Rev. Dr. Halse ( the Bigwig, quite literally!) . If you look at Captain Henshaw’s diminutive tricorn, small to denote rather the underling next to Ross but nevertheless a Capt. albeit a mine captain and not of military rank. Dr Enys would still be cute as button with a headscarf, but his previous service in the military allows him the privilege of a rather natty tricorn and in Poldark of course makes him an instant love interest for someone.
And then we come the Poldark ladies! This is a fun one! Demelza favours large brimmed straw hats for most occasions. This is all well and good but she lives on the North Coast of Cornwall with nothing between her and the Mighty Atlantic and its infamous storms other than a dashing husband who is barely ever by her side long enough to act as a windbreak! There are paragligers jumping off the cliffs over Hendrawna Beach (Perranporth) with less windage than Demelza is sporting apparently effortlessly! Never a mention of a hat pin! Hat pin my eye!! You’d need a De Walt nailgun to keep a wide brimmed hat on in those gusts! Elizabeth doesn’t believe in hiding her light under a bushel, she favours smaller brims that maximise her opportunities for meaningful looks, accidental coyness and honest outright flirting! We’ve got your number Elizabeth!
Verity is strutting some downright “look at me I’m not a singleton anymore”- Bridget Jones eat you heart out I got married in my twenties type saucy little numbers. Effortlessly well bred she has hats that allow her to give her trademark ‘rabbit caught in carriage lights ‘ look if anyone asks her anything even vaguely awkward.
Aunt Agatha is doing a great deal for the resurgence of lace doilies. All of these are eclipsed by the appearance of the goddess of headgear, Caroline Penvenen! Oh my! That woman has an angel for a milliner and he does the bidding of the Archangel Ascot! Tail ends of hurricane? No problem, seemingly endless mizzle? “What do you suppose might “Mizzle” be?… Oh rain! How diverting!”
I take my hat off to you Caroline, literally! I’m taking my hat off , I will never ever look as utterly fabulous as you in a titfer!