1. Here’s a relic from a 1996 issue of Seventeen magazine, reporting that Cat in the Hat style hats were all the rage with teens. It was the unfortunate truth.
I would know. I had one.
2. The goofy hat trend began showing up in raver culture in the early ’90s.
According to this article on the “ultrafunky” fashions of ravers, Dr. Seuss top hats ranked among the “most awesome” styles, “usually saved for nighttime parties.”
3. And the striped Dr. Seuss look became a staple of the New York Club Kid scene. Even the New York Times picked up on the trend in 1992.
From a 1992 New York Times article: “Dr. Seuss’s ‘The Cat in the Hat’ is to today’s hat makers what Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow’ was to milliners of 1910. Some of the amazing hats being worn these days in Greenwich Village, with almost yard-high crowns, resemble Dr. Seuss’s stovepipe creation. These lightweight cotton creations with wired brims are sold at street fairs and Village boutiques.”
4. In the following years, you began to see hats with Mad Hatter influence come into the mainstream thanks to TV characters like Blossom and Tia &Tamera.
Sorry, ladies. I’m sure this is now highly embarrassing for you.
6. They were a favorite of Dionne’s.
She pulled off the look. Kind of.
7. And remember the party scene? Amber’s date is totally rocking a Cat in the Hat hat.
I have mixed feelings about a man who wears this kind of hat.
8. Throughout the ’90s, Mad Hatter/Seuss-esque headgear was also showing up in hip-hop culture. (The style was integral to this 1994 mockumentary.)
There were also reggae influences. From the New York Times: “Another chapter of the tall hat tale is the explosion of the inflated crowns that Reggae musicians often wear at a capricious angle at the back of the head.”
9. TLC: Also into ginormous hats as seen in the “What About Your Friends” video.
10. Busta Rhymes was another fan of whimsical hats. He wore a few in his music video for Woo Hah!! in 1996.
11. 1997: Jamiroquai also becomes known as a hat guy thanks to his preference for Seuss-like chapeaux.
12. While reproductions of straightforward Cat in the Hat hats can be found in abundance through costume retailers, ancient relics of the ’90s era are rare. However they can still occasionally be found on Etsy.
Yes. People actually wore these. Let us hope this trend is never revived.
RIP, stripey hat.