May 11, 2010 0
A gloomy day like today feels closer to winter than summer. But warmer days are ahead and, as Frederick Rasmussen points out in his always-entertaining Sunday Sun column, we’re days away from Straw Hat Day.
It seems Baltimore men of a bygone era took out their straw hats May 15, unofficially marking the start of summer the way a Memorial Day weekend traffic jam on the Bay Bridge does today.
“In those days it was the mandatory finishing touch for a man when dressing,” said Eddie Jacobs of the eponymous men’s clothing store. (As far as I know we are not related.)
Jacobs also noted that “June 1 to Sept. 1 was seersucker and cotton season.”
Rasmussen has more:
After an eight-month slumber, out from hat boxes and darkened closets emerged jaunty straw boaters, sometimes called butcher’s, sailor’s or skimmers, and Panamas, with their center crease and thin black band that circled the hat’s crown.
In turn, they became the crowning touch for the lightweight Palm Beach, linen and seersucker suits that men wore in an attempt to deal with Baltimore’s infernal heat.