I look good in my porkpie hat. I do. People see me walking towards them on the sidewalk and they judge how much longer they will have to wait before they can compliment me in a voice that isn’t a yell.
Some days I borrow one of my dad’s fly-fishing flies and put it in the band and it adds color and flare and my girlfriend compliments it. Yes, I look good in my porkpie hat.
I look good in other hats too: baseball, fedora, driver’s, tweed, beanie. But the standby is my porkpie hat, which launches me into the upper crust of the crowd anywhere from concerts for very cool bands to dive bars to covertly drinking on public beaches.
Say, for instance, I’m at my friend’s underground restaurant. I’ll start to compliment him on his cooking and he’ll cut me off and say, “Dude, that hat. You look good in that.”
I’ll accept the compliment gracefully and play it off like I was unsure about wearing it or not. But really, I know I look phenomenal in it. I’ve always looked phenomenal in it. There was never any warm-up period for me and my porkpie hat.
“Are you in a band?” asks the grocer at my local bodega.
“Are you a poet?” asks the cute barista at my neighborhood café.
“Are you from New York?” asks the clerk at the pop-up store selling quirky T-shirts and boutique chewing gum.
“No,” I say. “Why do you ask?” Just pretending like I don’t know that it is my trusty porkpie hat that gives these people the impression that I am an urban artist who lives on rice and beans and passion for his creative pursuits, instead of on his father’s bank account and his grandfather’s clothing.
I see my pictures on Facebook: sepia-toned Instagrams of me at a backyard barbecue, at the park on a weekday afternoon, drinking cans of beer on my friend’s buddy’s sister’s porch. Yes. I look good in my porkpie hat.
I remember that day on the porch. It was chill and dope and rad. Two police officers walked by at some point. One gave me this long look that I knew meant, “Get a job, lazy ass. But damn, what a hat.”
This is not a passing trend. This is not my bow tie, or my duct tape shoes, or my mustache. This porkpie hat — my porkpie hat — is here to stay atop my slightly balding head, perched as a beacon of coolness and charm and uniqueness for many, many years to come.
Watch out for these summer combos too:
• White tank top and porkpie hat — A duo of high and low culture. A man straddling both the trashy and the elite. It says I don’t care about my look (because I don’t have to — just look at this porkpie hat!).
• Shades and porkpie hat — “No, you can’t be in my band.” 1) Because you aren’t cool enough; and 2) because I’m not in a band, I just look like I am. I can’t play any instruments.
• Overalls and porkpie hat — Please look at me.
When you see porkpie hats cropping up on TV and in film, just know that it was I who started this trend. I wish I hadn’t, I really do, for I look the best in the porkpie hat.
A “friend” decided he was also going to start wearing a porkpie hat. Can you imagine that? Two men at the same bike shop wearing identical hats? How embarrassing. I broke into his apartment and taped a picture of myself wearing my porkpie hat to his mirror so that when he looked at himself he would see that I am the one who should be wearing it.
I look good in my porkpie hat. I do. Yes, yes, I do. It is my hat. I chose it, I’m wearing it, I’m making me look good in it. Do not challenge me — let me have this moment. I’m an actor, a writer, a musician, a lover, a man from a different time in my porkpie hat.
I look good in my porkpie hat. You would not.