Recently I have been a little bit obsessed by why we wear what we wear. What caused us to suddenly find that ties were the most important part of business attire? Why do women wear dresses and men don’t follow the Scottish tradition of wearing kilts? When did we start wearing long shirts and long pants for business, but shorts and t-shirt is okay for casual? I’ve supposed it is just fashion.

What amazes me is that, although fashion changes, we never seem to apply any principles of logic to what we wear and where we live. For example, we live in Australia, one of the hottest climates in the world, and we require people to wear long pants and long shirts to work. It doesn’t seem logical that we are going to get the best out of ourselves when we are wearing our most uncomfortable attire.

This brings me to the hat. Not in my lifetime do I ever remember hats being a common part of attire. Yes, sportsmen who operate in the sun like cricketers, always wear a hat. It’s common sense! If you are going to be in the sun, you should wear a hat.

In the 1800’s and 1900’s, people wore hats. Men would not be seen in public without their hat. Interestingly enough, this was an English tradition where the hat wasn’t so important. Now, we all live in Australia. We have issues with melanoma and we live in a sunny environment where sunburn is terribly common. We might wear a cap, but we never wear a hat to protect our neck and our face.

Once a hat was a fashion statement, but it was in a place and a time where it was unnecessary. To be seen with a hat today, you’d be seen as eccentric. To wear a hat in the hottest of climates and in a time when the sun can cause the most amount of damage, makes you eccentric?

We’re a mad bunch!

This article was written by Bailey Compton, Principal Solicitor & Director at Leverage Group.

To get in touch with Bailey, please email