One of the beauties of childhood is the ability to be totally satisfied with things that are less than perfect. The child who has made a party hat to complete a costume doesn’t notice that the borders are not square, the top is slightly off centre. Parents or adults view the outfit and apply ‘their only kids’ artistic licence.
Professional fashion or artistic critics don’t enter the debate knowing that their critical analysis would be torn to shreds by any person with children, or a swift black and white assessment by the child or children concerned. Seriously, how does one answer Miss 6 who declares very loudly at a party or family function, “How would you know what is nice, you don’t even have hair!”
A birthday party, regardless of the age of the birthday person, is hardly ever complete without a hat. We’ve all worn them; from Christmas plastic folded crowns to pointed cones with elastics that left a red welt to remind you of the event for the next 3 days.
There is no one origin of pointed birthday hats. In fact, this distinctive headgear has been around at the very least since 2800 BC, when ancient Egyptian pharaohs donned it. It is unknown if pointed hats were adopted from Egypt or if they simply began systematically appearing around the world. In medieval Europe several groups in society donned conical hats. Some Jewish sects, pagan subcultures – such as witches and wizards – and noblewomen wore conical hats that perhaps represented royalty.
So when you are next requested to don a conical hat, don’t think it is people asking you to dress as the dunce; rather remember you have been invited into the Royalty, and party like a queen or king!