Of all the many badges of fashionability among the young which it is the prerogative of the old and the middle-aged to hate, the most annoying to me is the turned-around baseball cap. It’s not so much that this headgear is without any practical use. Many of the garments that young (and older) people wear have no real practical use. The upper buttonhole on the lapel of men’s suits has had no function for centuries. But the buttonhole has a sense of decency and decorum. It nobly continues the pretense of function, making a kind of ritual obeisance to its original purpose and thus to the purpose of clothing generally. The baseball cap worn backwards is pure statement. Not only does it have no purpose, it aggressively denies its purpose. Worn the right way round, the bill keeps the sun off the face; worn the wrong way round, it insists on not keeping the sun off the face.

Call it, if you like, a postmodern gesture,...

 

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