'Hatless Jack' Tracks the Demise of the Fedora Headgear was once considered as necessary as shoes for the American man. No more. Some think the decline began with JFK, who didn't like to be photographed wearing a hat. But author Neil Steinberg tells NPR's Scott Simon there's more to the story, as he details in a new book, Hatless Jack.

'Hatless Jack' Tracks the Demise of the Fedora

'Hatless Jack' Tracks the Demise of the Fedora

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Neil Steinberg's book tracks a declining interest in men's formal headgear, a trend helped along by John F. Kennedy. hide caption

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American men do not wear hats the way they used to, when headgear was considered as necessary as shoes. Hatless has become proper on formal and social occasions. But when did the trend begin?

One popular assumption is that American men stopped wearing hats after John F. Kennedy didn't wear a hat to his inaugural in 1961. But it's not necessarily so, as author Neil Steinberg tells NPR's Scott Simon.

Steinberg, a Chicago Sun-Times columnist, gets to the bottom of the debate over lids with his book Hatless Jack: The President, the Fedora and the History of an American Style.

Hatless Jack
By Neil Steinberg

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Hatless Jack
Neil Steinberg

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