Perspective | When Melania Trump wears a hat

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More than half a century after hats disappeared as an essential part of the American ensemble, they reappeared at the most recent season of fashion shows, with designers from Altuzarra to Chanel showing models with 1950s-inspired pillboxes and oversize portrait hats.

Hats have become a funny little fashion gesture — a signal of personality, but mostly of dottiness. (Ha-ha! Look at this large arcane thing on my head!) They seem unlikely to permeate the world outside the bubble of fashion influencers and celebrities on the red carpet. When most of the world dresses in athleisure, why in the world would you risk standing out in a hat?

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