Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Curious Incident of the Grown Up & the Knit Animal Cap

I've been noticing a trend that I'm even hesitant to comment on, for fear of sounding entirely ageist, snarky and judgmental. But after witnessing a woman of a certain age in a violently yellow duck knit cap...I just need to take a stand. If you live in a place where there is, you know, winter, you've probably borne witness to this trend: knit animal caps on grown ups. I did a little light reading. Okay, fine, I could only find one article online.

I don't get the appeal. So maybe someone can explain to me how this trend has grown, seemingly just this year. Is it something fun to knit? A rebellion against regular knit caps? Crazy hats have always been around in the great northlands. Prior to this trend, I associated knit caps that mimic animals or food to be generally a kid-based trend. As in babies. In fact, recently seeing a weensy infant size version of this made me decide to post. It also works well on tots and tweens. It is a look delightfully rocked by young Molly Hayes in the great graphic series, Runaways.

(Via Comic Vine, where you can learn more about Molly Hayes and her awesome fellow Runaways)

See? Totally works on her! BECAUSE SHE IS A CHILD. As the authors of the Molly Hayes Comic Vine post tell us, "Molly is rarely seen without some kind of head wear, she usually wears some sort of beanie or headband. The hats and headbands are usually are usually childish (but still adorable) and look like some sort of animal." AHA. Yes, comic book nerds. These animal hats are rather childish though adorable, aren't they?

A sidebar curious thought to ponder: did Molly Hayes kick-start this trend? Get it? (No? Look at the picture again.) It's a good thing I find myself witty, huh?

But now picture the same cap on the head of say, Hillary Clinton (forget about the mack truck, baby ducks, and break dancer pose. Unless you want to picture the Secretary of State breakdancing w/baby ducks). Doesn't it seem kind of weird? And don't I sound horribly ageist and judgmental? But compare with a visual:

Ultimately, I believe the rule of cute applies here. Things that are cute on a baby? Generally not cute on an adult. Things that are cute on kids and even younger teens? Ditto. However, things that look cute on a grown up?  Three times as cute on a kid.  It is totally unfair, you cute kids.  There is just something about these caps that makes me feel a little uncomfortable, possibly even a little creeped out when I spot one on the head of an individual over the age of say, 16 (but I will give an until 18 window). But it's up you, cap wearers. Hey, totally your prerogative. They are a happy change from the usual winter dreary caps. You wear that smiling animal on your head with pride. But my ultimate verdict? I think I will leave the anthropomorphic outerwear to be modeled by kids.

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