A New (French?) Look

Clive in his mini-bearskin, Paris

Clive in his mini-bearskin

Near-zero temperatures in Paris combined with our love of walking around the city have created a new phenomenon: my husband wearing a hat.

After a lifetime of resisting any kind of head gear, yesterday Clive succumbed — to protect his freezing ears. With some urgency we studied male pedestrians and took in simple wool beanies, baseball-style caps, fleece-lined jacket hoods, cotton jumper (sweatshirt) hoods, plaid hunting caps with visors and ear flaps (which I advocated — not the hunting part, but the ear flap part, since ear protection was the priority). We noticed a few traditional French beanies, some silly hats with ears and pom poms, and several old-fashioned suede hats like the ones my  grandfather wore.  

We ducked into a few large shops and inspected the goods at a couple of souvenir stalls. Something simple, warm, and inexpensive would suffice. In a jumbled sale bin, we spotted a furry bundle that appeared to be a hat with ear flaps. I felt as if I were picking up some kind of animal, but urged Clive to try it on. After some initial shock and refusal, he did — mostly to humour me. Lo and behold, it fit comfortably, was soft and warm, and at 7euros the price was right.

Clive says he is getting quite a few strange looks (I did see one woman eyeing him strangely today). I call it his Dr. Zhivago hat and he says it’s his Boris (as in Yeltsin) or mini-bearskin. At least his ears are warm.

Only one question remains: will he dare wear it back home in Felixstowe?

Escapee from the Paris zoo?

Escapee from the Paris zoo?

11 Responses

  1. Clive looks wonderful, particularly in front of the Eiffel Tower! I have one of those for walking in the country and I am just so sorry I left it in Blois! But for 7 euros, I can buy another one. He’ll be nice and snug for coming freeze.

  2. Love it 🙂 I am sure Clive will wear it in Felixstowe. My hubby has a proper Russian one .. well he says it is proper Russian .. at first (years ago) I used to laugh, but not anymore, at least he was all snug and I was cold, until now, few years ago I got a furry hat, and wear it when needs be LOL

    btw my hubby has always worn hats since I have known him and before ..baseball hats, Australian sun hats you name it , he has it !!

  3. I like the idea of calling the hat a “Boris” model – no need to specify if it’s Yeltsin or not.
    Of course, my favorite way to refer to this headgear is to call it a “Fargo” hat. If you saw the movie, you may remember many of the characters wore similar hats, and it gives it a bit of a USA twist! Most people around here call it a “Fargo” hat. So you have lots of agreeable options from which to choose. I’ll look forward to hearing what your favorite turns out to be.

  4. Love it…..I just had fun covering up the side pieces to see what Clive would look like with an afro.

  5. Aussie in France, great to know you have one of these hats in Blois — trust you will find something similar for Paris, too 🙂 Anne, excellent re your hubby also having one!

    Mary, thanks for the ‘Fargo’ label – love that to give the U.S. flavour! As for ‘Boris’ — Yeltsin is to differentiate from Johnson, the very British mayor of London, though maybe Boris J. would wear one too if it’s cold enough.

    MrsCandD – lovely to see you! I’m not sure about Clive with an afro though … cheers and enjoy the Aussie summer weather.

  6. I heart this so hard! I read this in my email first, and I giggled. I finally had a moment to come by and write a comment here about it. That hat is AMAZING! You know, it is a totally hipster hat right now. So Clive is very “in”. He just needs an ironic beard to go with it and he is good to go. 😉

    And it looks warm, too. I tell you what. I say “screw fashion” and looking good. I just want to be WARM. That is a sign of getting older, isn’t it.

    Have fun, you two!

  7. I’d say Clive will definitely need it in Felixstowe from what I remember of those cold easterlies blowing over the North Sea!

  8. KarinP – hello there and thank you — very glad to know this is a hipster look, and as you say, the priority is indeed to be warm 🙂

    Steph, welcome and thanks so much for your comment! You remember so well … yes those winds off the North Sea are *amazing* and apparently especially so this week!

    Cheers all and stay warm.

  9. I laughed and laughed when I read your blog. My husband has long had an aversion to hats but he finally succumbed and bought one of those felt peaked caps whilst we were in Paris for the past 2 months. I too will be interested to see if he wears it once it gets cold when we are back in Australia.

  10. Femme Francophile, great to ‘see’ you and glad this made you smile 🙂 Nice to know your hubby also succumbed to a nice warm hat.

    Cheers and happy travels.

  11. Additional note January 2014: and with a hat like this, it’s easy to stay warm when it’s cold: Nine Big Reasons to Love Paris in Winter https://mysydneyparislife.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/nine-big-reasons-to-love-paris-in-winter/

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