Category:
Headgear

How often are barrister’s wigs washed?


In the UK, and in some countries formerly part of the British Empire, they maintain the strange habit of making barristers (attorneys) wear wigs. Apparently these wigs, traditionally made out of horsehair, are very expensive, so barristers often own only one. And according to the South China Morning Post, barristers rarely wash them, so over time the wigs start to smell bad:

Tong said he had never washed or dry-cleaned the wig before, for fear that it would fall apart. "It is made of horsehair that is glued together and is not very strong."
In fact, few lawyers would have their wigs cleaned as there is an odd perception that an old and discoloured wig is a better symbol of seniority. But the rows of white curls can become stale and smelly as they absorb sweat and oil from the scalp. A court dress shop in Admiralty charges HK$760 to wash it.

This info is seconded by thelawyer.com:

The aim of most barristers is to achieve a wig with a worn and matured look to create the impression of experience when standing before a judge.

"None of them likes to look the new boy," says David John Harris, manager of the legal department at Ede and Ravenscroft, which has been manufacturing wigs for barristers, judges and royalty since 1726. "If it is really grubby looking, it looks like they've been around," he says.

Barristers will go to great lengths to make their wigs look fashionably old. There are a number of tried and tested ways to age one, including stamping on it, kicking it in the dirt, giving it to kids, letting the dog at it, or shaking it in a Hoover bag...

Wigs should last for 100 years but are often damaged by perspiration. Ede and Ravenscroft suggests cleaning wigs every four to five years, while Thresher and Glenny recommends every 25 to 30 years. "The longer you leave it, the better it is," says Hill.

The sweet smell of tradition!

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 23, 2013 - Comments (8)
Category: Fashion, Headgear, Law

The Bigouden of Brittany

In the Pays bigouden region of France, women traditionally wear a distinctive phallic-shaped headdress named a coiffe.


Apparently they keep it on all the time, even while driving. Provided they have a sunroof in their car.




But from what I understand, only a handful of women still maintain the tradition. Most of them just put the thing on for the benefit of tourists. Read more about the Bigoudène here and here.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Dec 01, 2012 - Comments (7)
Category: Fashion, Headgear, Regionalism

Emilio Pucci’s Bubble Bonnet

In 1964, Braniff airlines was looking for a way to differentiate itself from its competitors by adding a touch of glamour and weirdness to its service. So it hired Italian fashion designer Emilio Pucci to design the uniforms of the stewardesses. What he came up with was the plexiglass Bubble Bonnet, aka the Space Bubble Helmet. Its purpose was supposedly to protect the hair of the stewardesses from wind and rain as they crossed the tarmac. Stewardesses complained that it was hard to hear anyone while wearing the things. Read more here and here.







Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 14, 2012 - Comments (6)
Category: Fashion, Headgear, Air Travel and Airlines, 1960s

Johnson Smith Catalog Item #25

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[Click to enlarge]

See, young'uns, before this here newfangled internet, you interacted face-to-face with folks, and when you wanted to call them out on a fib, you couldn't just tweet about it, you had to demonstrate your disbelief in some tangible, analog fashion.

But "chestnut bells"?!? In your hat!?! What the--?

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 03, 2012 - Comments (10)
Category: Humor, Headgear, 1930s, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Muzzles for Ladies

Back in the day (between the 16th and 19th century) women who were deemed troublesome were sometimes made to wear a muzzle. The device was called a scold's bridle, or "the branks." More info here and here.

I think this device would be useful today, but instead of making women wear them, we should make them mandatory for politicians. As soon as someone declares their candidacy for public office, they'd have to strap on a muzzle. It would make life much more pleasant for everyone.





Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 05, 2012 - Comments (9)
Category: Torture, Headgear

Orange Yarn Beards

A follow-up to those etsy Bearded Beanies I posted about two weeks ago. Those were bad enough, but sending a teenager out in one of these Orange Yarn Beards seems downright cruel. They look a bit like mops attached to their faces. If you want to get one, they're available on etsy. Only $19!

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 16, 2012 - Comments (7)
Category: Fashion, Headgear

LEGO Wigs

By artist Elroy Klee.

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 05, 2012 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, Headgear

Bearded Beanies

Available on etsy, for those who think their cherub would look just adorable, if only he/she had a beard!





Found this via a blog called sad etsy kids, which is devoted to collecting pictures of kids who don't look like they're enjoying modeling their parents' creations.

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 01, 2012 - Comments (6)
Category: Fashion, Headgear

Johnson Smith Catalog Item #21

image

I knew there was another reason to lament the passing of the custom of men wearing formal hats everywhere!

From the 1930s catalog.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Apr 09, 2012 - Comments (4)
Category: Johnson Smith Catalog, Signage, Headgear, 1930s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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