Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A wig is not a hat - rules for modern living.

There are some strange people out and about at the moment. I have two pieces of advice to offer. If heeded, I believe much trouble in the world could be saved.

1. A wig is not a hat.

It seems obvious at first. A wig is not a hat. As far as I know this is a statement of irrefutable fact, yet I have seen at least two people in the last two days - representative of both genders - who are labouring under the misapprehension that the opposite is true. They believe that a wig IS a hat. They must, otherwise, they would not be walking out of the house with that...that...arrangement sitting on their head.

I've looked a few times, maybe I've even stared. I should disclose one assumption that I'm making: that the thing on the head, which is hairy, is a wig. It may not be. It may be an actual hat which some milliner with an outrageous sense of humour, duped this poor woman into purchasing. Perhaps it was heavily discounted and in the bargain bin because to anyone else, it looked like a wig. Or like something scraped off the road with a shovel.

How can I describe the effect of the piece? Well it hangs before the face, like hairy drapes blowing in the wind. The rest of the outfit was very smart - crisp white shirt, houndstooth checked trousers with a black patent pump, but the smear of red lipstick was a little off. It wasn't quite the clown mouth, but one more lap with the Retro Red and the effect would have been more Ronald McDonald than Anna Wintour.

The woman in question engaged a staff member at Flinders Street Station in a conversation about how she had tried to buy chocolate, but the vendor said that its purchase price was 70,000 (what, I didn't quite hear). She went on at length to the man in the orange high-vis vest whom I suspected of not actually listening, until she posed the ultimate question: "How are you supposed to get ahead when that's the price of chocolate?"

I stopped myself from running over to her and answering: "Go into the chocolate business! And get that thing off your head! A wig is NOT a hat! That's how you get ahead!"

Although maybe she was actually asking how you are supposed to get "a head". Perhaps she was unaware that she already had a head, but then the wearing of the wig as if it was a hat would make no sense, as a head is an essential part of such an exercise.

2. A baby's jumpsuit is not a hat.

Again, this seems to be self-evident, but with another hot day forecast in Melbourne, I feel compelled to make this proclamation. On our last hot day, I spied a man wearing an electric blue, baby's jumpsuit on his head. It was very strange. I assume it was some kind of heat combat unit, but am mystified as to how this would work.

3. Leggings are not pants.

Again, I don't understand why there is any confusion about this.

Given all the uncertainty over head coverings, I have turned to the dictionary for the final word.

Dictionary.com says:

Wig:  an artificial covering of hair for all or most of the head, of either synthetic or natural hair, worn  to be stylish or more attractive. [emphasis mine].

Hat: a shaped covering for the head, usually with a crown and brim, especially for wear 

Those last few words in the definition of "wig" should clear it up for ever: "worn to be stylish or more attractive". I know they don't though as most times the wig fails to deliver. I will concede that a hat made of hair could also be a wig if the reason for wearing such a monstrosity was unclear. At this point I feel compelled to disclose that I own a wig. It is bright purple and I sometimes wear it to parties with the intention of being stylish. Mostly I don't wear it because I find it is hot and itchy.

Oh lord! All I can conclude is that if people are staring, chant the mantra "a wig is not a hat" and cover your leggings - they are not pants! Oh, and go into the chocolate business. (Unless "chocolate" is a slang term for whatever the kids are taking these days. In that case do not go into the "chocolate" business as I don't advocate the drug trade as a viable livelihood.)

Do you own a wig? Do you wear a wig? Is a wig a hat?

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