The 10 best ... hat people of our time

2014-02-10 08:00

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All hats weird and wonderful?snatched the spotlight when US rapper-producer Pharrell Williams walked the Grammy Awards red carpet in his famous Vivienne Westwood creation. Lesley Mofokeng takes his hat off to some of today’s most famous hat aficionados

Call the cops: Pharrell Williams channels the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in his oversized vintage hat at last month’s Grammy Awards. The attention-grabbing hat even earned a Twitter account of its own. Williams is now being seen around LA wearing the hat as his trademark look. Picture: Lester Cohen/WireImage

1 Pharrell Williams

The don: This 1920s hat makes Indiana Jones look like a Sunday-school teacher

2 Bheki Cele

With his political career in the doldrums, perhaps the former police commissioner could venture into the movies to play a badass Mafia don. Or has he done that in real life already? Fact is, few men can wear a hat the way Ndosi does and his colourful, ebullient personality fits right in. A case of if the hat fits, wear it.

Lucky charm: Nigeria’s president is seldom seen without his hat

3 Goodluck Jonathan

Sometimes you have to wonder if the president of Nigeria sleeps with his hat on. He is never seen in public without his black hat. Not that we are complaining. He is a snazzy dresser, with his choice of dark suits, and the hat certainly adds a touch of class. Political uncertainty in his country aside, you can count on Jonathan and his hat.

Sun block: It’s more function than form for Uganda’s president

4 Yoweri Museveni

For the elder African statesman, it seems it’s more about functionality than the style quotient. But we have to admit that the large- brimmed khaki cricket hat always seen on Uganda’s president has a touch of colonial chic. Unlike other presidential hat wearers, Museveni usually takes his hat off when he is indoors.

Debonair: A picture of effortless style in his typical fedora-cum-sporty look

5 Ne-Yo

It’s impossible to imagine this superstar without his ever-present hat, whether it be a fedora, a flat cap or baseball cap. The father of two has done well to cover his bald dome with some stylish hats. And his taste is so sought after, the Grammy Award-winning crooner has created a line called Francis Ellargo to sell his special range of hats.

Big chief: This singer’s eccentric headgear sets him apart from other performers

6 Jay Kay from Jamiroquai

His headgear on and off the stage turns heads. Whether it is an elaborate creation of feathers or a simple fedora, Jay Kay is sure to make a statement. His hats have been his trademark ever since he and his band hit the big time, and there is no sign he will be hanging up his hats any time in the near future.

The Hatinator: This hat-crazy personality wears over-the-top hats to good effect

7 Jen Su

The socialite, TV and radio personality polarises commentators with her selection of headgear. A wearer of many hats, Su has tried them all?– fedoras, cloches, wide-brimmed sunhats or porkpies – often with controversial consequences. Her hat closet must be bursting at the seams. Su believes hats are essential accessories to complement her costumes – and she gives us something to disagree with in the process.

Hat man: Rarely seen in public without his trademark porkpie

8 Jimmy Dludlu

The guitar maestro is as attached to his hat as he is to his guitar. The Capetonian’s predilection for the porkpie is well documented and we have no reason to doubt he never steps out of the house without a hat perched on his head. It doesn’t matter what hat he wears as long as he keeps churning out his jazzy tunes.

Cowboy of the Sahel: South Sudan president swears by his hat

9 Salva Kiir Mayardit

He may look like the black version of JR Ewing, the oil baron straight out of the 1980s American soapie, Dallas, but he is really a cowboy of the Sahel. The president of South Sudan never ventures out without his towering black cowboy hat. He simply never removes his hat?–?even when addressing UN delegates.

Hello sailor: The tricorn pirate hat helped make Jack Sparrow an enduring character

10 Johnny Depp

From his beanie on 21 Jump Street, Depp has graduated to blockbuster film characters such as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean or Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And he still keeps his hat on. As Hollywood’s most hatted actor, Depp often experiments with his favourite fedora and Panama hats. Evidently, wearing a hat is steeped deep in Depp’s fashion tradition.

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