The tie makes the man, or so they say. Columnist Dan Franch takes a look at this old saying but suggests a different garment altogether to express your personality.

The tie makes the man. So goes one of those sayings that I used to believe was true. I’m not so sure anymore. Yeah, a tie says a lot about a person, but it only says it for that moment, that day. You wake up the next morning – new day, new noose. It’s a phallic entanglement. That’s why men are quick to loosen their tie as soon as they get the chance.

Therein lies another knot – ties are primarily for men. What about women? What about men whose jobs don’t require them to regularly wear ties? What makes them?!

Happily, there’s the hat. It suits both genders. And you can make your own. I’ve not heard of anyone stitching their own tie. Best of all, perhaps, is that a hat is not something that has to be worn. Wear it when dressed up; wear it when dressed down. You can take it off or you can leave it on. It’s your choice.

I’ve always found Europe to be more of a hat continent than North America. The only hats I readily imagine Americans wearing are baseball hats. It’s a stereotype, yet I don’t recall strolling through clothes stores and coming across hat stands as I do here in Luxembourg. I could be wrong. In fact, a friend in Boston tells me that hat wearing is on the rise across the pond.

If that’s true, it would be welcome.

Hats are for everyone. Even kids can love them once they find one that suits their personality, their character. Before finding the right ones for winter, our boys constantly lost their hats. But not this year. In my mind, it’s because they each found the right hat, one that speaks to them.

That’s the key. You have to find a hat that speaks to you. As a friend and former colleague once wrote, a hat “releases [the character] cast inside” us all.

Here’s hoping you’ve found or will find a hat that sets free the personality dwelling within.