2008 Comeback Stories: Hats off to men's hats back on

This post is part of our series on people, places and things that have found new life in 2008.

Finally. Just when you've lost faith in everything stylish and genteel, men's hats are making a comeback. Not a moment too soon, if you ask me.

Time was every man wore a hat in public. Everyone, from the businessman down to the worker. You were undressed without one. But somewhere along the line the norm loosened. They say that once Jack Kennedy was sworn into the presidency, hatless, in 1961, men's head gear soon went the way of the clean, close shave.

But times have changed once again. Oh, for the stylishly daring, the hat never went away. Willie Brown, the dapper former mayor of San Francisco, was never without his fedora. The more dashing of hip-hoppers were already wearing the older style gentleman's hats, perhaps following the lead of the always elegant Sean Combs. But the tide turned for men's hats back in 2005, say fashion wonks, when Brad Pitt donned several deeply natty straw fedoras in a 2005 cover shoot for W Magazine. With Angelina, of course.