As some of you may know, I am a hat person. I haven't been wearing two of the three hats I brought with me very much, as they don't really go with T-shirts and Suzhou tends to be either really warm or quite cold, so my tweed cap has seen a lot of use (one man I know calls it "your Scottish hat"), but my Tilley TH5 and my Hoggs "Indiana" have been languishing on top of the wardrobe.
On Friday I went to Mudu, a town to the west and found, of all things, an Army Surplus store. I was with an American friend who was on the army for a bit, so he explained that the brim is supposed to be all wierd and it is deliberately unboxed. He and his fellow soldiers apparently used to trail them in the dust to get them looking as natural as possible before going out on training exercsies etc. Anyway, armed with this knowledge I started to look at them in a new light and I trawled through every one they had, eventually buying three.
I have found that this style of hat goes very well with T-shirts and does well what a hat should. The wrong one looks, frankly tragic, but the right one, crenellations and all, looks very personal and distinctive. I was wondering whether this choice of everyday apparel might be a bit unusual in America, what with so many people in the army. It's not too common in Scotland, but wouldn't raise any eyebrows. Any non-professional boonie-wearers out there?