Happy New Year! One of the symbols of New Year's Eve is the fancy dress top hat (the collapsable kind pictured here is called an Opera Hat). Men's formal hats have mostly disappeared, but the top hat still sticks around as a symbol of wealth or formality. Or.. um... stage magic, but that's another story.
I always thought that it would be fun to have a high hat, but even when I worked at a tuxedo shop they were hard to find (the ones that the store stocked looked more like pilgrim's hats). I found this rather beaten topper for a few bucks, and it's the perfect party hat for New Year's Eve. When a top hat is a bit ragged, it goes with practically any outfit. :)
I've since inherited a very fine top hat from a relative who was a statesman, but unless you are being inaugurated president (Nixon was the last to be sworn in morning dress and a top hat) or are Alice Cooper, you'll probably have little use for one.
While my beat up top hat and I hat are out celebrating the New Year tonight, I'll be reflecting on the 2006. I can say sincerely that one of the best experiences for me this past year has been writing for Retro Thing. It's nearly a year since James invited me to collaborate on this blog, and its been tremendous fun all the way. I'm proud of our many quirky posts (a few have even been cited as sources in the Wikipedia!), and that so many of you have taken the time to write in say that you enjoy what we're doing.
Our readership has grown steadily over the last year and we hope to keep growing throughout the next year. James and I have been planning a number of things behind-the-scenes for 2007 (more free giveaways for one thing!), so this should be a fun year for us all. Of course the best way to help make this blog what you want it to be is to keep writing in! We love reading comments, and it's the most direct way to let us know what you keep coming back for.
We also want to tip our hats to our sponsors throughout the last year. Their support keeps Retro Thing alive - our thanks to them all. We do it for you - so keep coming back, mention us to your friends, and most of all pop on your top hat and have a fun and healthy 2007! Thanks for a great year everybody!