10 January

At Long Last, A Fashion Icon

by Jon Katz
At Long Last, A Fashion Icon


That sly look comes from being something of an unexpected fashion icon. Next thing, I’ll be a spread in Vogue or Vanity Fair. One of the things I most love to do in life is change and grow. As I get older, I am excited to discover all kinds of opportunities for growth, I learn all sorts of new things about myself. Some of them I like, and some of them I don’t, but the glory of life for me is to learn and continuously open myself up.

Slouch beanies are not something I ever thought about, or even really noticed. When I saw them, they were always on young and fairly stylish heads, and no one in my life has ever called me stylish. Clothes to me are something to wear to keep warm and cover my body, which is not stylish either.

My life with Maria has changed that, you cannot really live with an artist like her and not notice the power of style and color when it comes to creativity. And my photography has also sensitized me to color and light. I am much more aware of both than ever before.

She has quietly campaigned to color me up a bit, she started by getting me all kinds of brightly colored socks, but otherwise, I am clinging to my basic ensemble – blue shirts, blue jeans, blue anything.

So this Slouch Beanie initiative has awakened me further to the glory of opening up and growing at any age. Some people think growing older is a time of diminishment, I see it as a time of expansion and experimentation. Finally, I am learning something about how to live.

I guess you could call me a late bloomer.

I came to the country when I was in my 50’s, I re-married in my 60’s, I started taking photos when I was 63,  and now, an urbanite for most of my life, I live on farms with a fiber artist,  donkeys, sheep an dogs.

For Christmas, I got Maria a Slouch Beanie hat, I’ve seen her wear them. I spotted one on the website that I liked, and ordered it. Since then, I have become an instant fashion icon, even in my conservative small town.

Everywhere I go, people tell me they love my Slouch Beanie, they say it looks great on me, they ask me where I got it. In Rite-Aid, just yesterday, a cashier told me I looked handsome, words never associated with me.

Two days ago, this new Slouch Beanie Arrived (the photo above) and the strange thing is that I don’t know where it came from. I don’t recall ordering it, and there is no label on it. I e-mailed the sender on the package (an address but no name) and have not heard back.

I love these Slouch Beanies, they are warm and some are colorful, if you look around a bit.  They cost as little as $9 or as much as $50. They are quite symbol, just knitted towers, the top of which falls back on the head and captures the warmth. The artistry comes from the stitching and the colors, I think.

They are made by artists all over the world, and while I don’t usually appropriate the symbols and styles of the young (I will never wear shorts, for example), it feels good to wear them, to have some color on my head and feet. They make me feel very much alive, and (gasp!) even a bit stylish. And I love the compliments on something I am wearing, a boost for the ego and the soul.

Life is what you make of it, I believe. You can spend it arguing and hating and regretting or complaining, or you can seek out the color and light and goodness in the world. Somehow, in ways I don’t quite understand, the Slouch Beanies speak to that.

Maria took a fashion shot of me with the new hat this morning. I am growing into this icon business, and who knows, I might be wearing a red or yellow shirt in the Spring. I think my faith is open up and grow.



  1. Baby steps! Maybe a pair of red or yellow suspenders? LOL! Love hats like these because they are all different, no two the same. Like the potholders I got from Maria to give for Christmas!

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