Why are the Roy “Estate” family so obsessed with hats without a logo?
One of SuccessionThe great characteristic of the Roy family is the fact that the Roy family is not only bad, but also extremely strange. Collectively and individually, to the last rotten of them. In this way, Succession matches the rest of creator Jesse Armstrong’s powerful prank performances, as well as executive producer Adam McKay’s explorations of the right-wing hate machine that both fascinates and clearly scares him. This show is a serious exploration of the stupid people whose stupid grievances cause so many serious problems in the downstream society.
Over the course of two seasons, we’ve seen the Roys and their sequel (Roytinue?), Plot, betray, humiliate, dehumanize, and intimidate. Their family business has been described as “hate speech and a roller coaster” in a line played for fun. We have seen them cover rape and manslaughter. We saw the putative hero of the series Chappaquiddick a waiter at a wedding. Succession makes Hamlet look like Barney and his friends.
There is no doubt that thousands of gallons of internet ink will be poured out on these crimes and more in the run-up to Sunday’s Season 3 premiere. But let’s have a thought for a lesser Roys crime: baseball cap crimes.
In Succession, you can’t throw a retiree off a cruise ship without hitting a Roy with an unmarked baseball cap. You undoubtedly know this image of “Hunting” from season 2.
The moment itself is passed in memory, like everything in this episode between the opening credits and Boar on the Floor. But it’s a cute family portrait of Kendall, Logan, and Roman, and it has survived as a popular header image for Succession blanket.
Here we see Logan and Kendall in similar sturdy, comfortable, wool brown baseball caps, but devoid of any ornamentation. These types of sturdy hats have had their day in mainstream society: in the late 2000s, even New Era, the official hat supplier of Major League Baseball,experienced with a cap with ear cups, and it rose to prominence during the 2008 World Series, which took place in freezing rain and hell in Philadelphia in the fall.
The point is, Logan only ever wears a blank sort of baseball cap, even when he’s fairly well protected from the elements. Blank Baseball Cap: Perfect for talking to Kendall.
Good for talking to Roman.
Good for recreating the Billy Ray Cyrus “a lot to think about”Even from the comfort of his private plane.
The baseball cap was invented to protect the wearer from the elements and to keep the sun, rain and stray hair out of the eyes. And nowadays, it’s kind of a fashion accessory. But the ones Logan wears are just conspicuously boring. What kind of sartorial flourish can you find in a dull piece of wool?
Look, Logan is a billion years old and is going to die soon. The first thing the man did in the show’s first episode was piss on his own wall. He doesn’t always think correctly, and even if he does, he will do whatever he wants.
But this hat disease is spreading to children.
What is this absurdity of Shiv? That loose, shapeless denim or that abomination adjacent to denim that she dishonors herself by wearing? Where did she even get it: Do billionaires have a time machine they use to only order stuff from LL Bean in 1987? Smalls arrived with a hat in the shape of a Sand and the first thing the kids did was trade it in for something less embarrassing.
HBO released the first teaser for Season 3 of Succession in July, and within the first 10 seconds, we see Kendall trying to calm people down while wearing, you guessed it, a blank baseball cap.
No one gains confidence from this whiny little monster at the best of times. I can’t imagine people will listen to him more when he’s dressed as the witness at a Foot Locker model’s wedding. You can do the costume and baseball cap look, but have a little self-esteem, soul, creativity, verve, whatever. Get a Yankees cap or something with a tasteful designer logo. Anything that doesn’t make you feel like you’re in EA Sports ‘create a player mode’ White collar crime 22, available for PS5 and Xbox this Thanksgiving.
Part of the reason I’m so passionate about this relatively minor Roy family transgression is that I’m a self-proclaimed Hat Guy. Some people collect stamps or figurines, I collect baseball caps. Mostly minor league and amateur team hats, but sometimes with band logos or artwork that I like. A baseball cap is an easy way to add a pop of color to an outfit to make it look like you really thought of which hoodie to pick up on the floor in the morning. And while, say, a normal Cubs or Dodgers hat might as well be invisible, a distinctive logo on a bright green or purple cap might be a conversation starter.
It is, I’m ashamed to say it, some sort of corruption of the original utilitarian purpose of the baseball cap. This type of hat was created to be a tool, yes, for the target audience of baseball players, but also for other people. Today some of the richest real-world supporters of the blank baseball cap are directors. Their job may not be as physically demanding as that of farmers or even athletes, but they need a hat to keep their vision clear and their head sunburn-free as much as anyone.
Because of these roots and its connection to a universal and enduring piece of Americana, the baseball cap can be a sign of class or culture. Need to dress Hollywood hottie Matt Damon as a tough oil rig worker? Give him a goatee and an accent, Sure, but don’t let him rampage across France without his baseball cap. And if you mean billionaires who corrupt the iconography of the American working class by cleverly wearing baseball caps, well, you don’t have to look far for a real world example.
Maybe there is nothing the Roys love enough to wear his emblem on their forehead. The big family sports fan appears to be Logan, longtime supporter of the Scottish football team Hibernian FC. But the show’s costumers never put him on Hibs. Perhaps such an outfit would humanize him too much, make him less of the Scottish type Darth Vader more cranky.
Or maybe Succession is the latest in a long line of television and film projects that purposely mask the hats of their characters. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has long been a proponent of a no-logo rule on hats, the ridiculous effects of which have made tempting blog fodder on this site in the past. And, as silly as the blank baseball cap might sound, the introduction of a logo can lead to unforeseen complications – is it really worth considering whether Kendall is a true Yankees fan, and if so, the potential implications? Probably not. That would be a distraction, not to mention the hat logos that could go wrong in the sequel.
For example, in the years 2001 Spy game, the character of Brad Pitt wears a cap of the San Diego Padres until the third act of the film. It’s a nice touch – the hat is appropriate for the character of Pitt, who is from California and poses undercover as a photographer in sunny Beirut. Only the Beirut scenes of the film take place in 1985, and Pitt wears a blue cap with white and orange letters that the Padres will not adopt until 1991. The hat that travels in time is not an anachronism that makes cast the film, but it’s an unforced error that the producers and directors would prefer to avoid.
But here’s the thing. Super rich people wear blank baseball caps in real life. Billionaires often seem to think that it is good to dress in a sober and “chic” way. Subtle tones and colors, rich textile patterns, no glitter or sequins, as if the rest of us would feel less of the boot on our necks if it was only available in matte black. If I was as rich as the Roys, I wouldn’t wear a logo on a baseball cap either. But then again, the only thing I would put on my plutocratic noggin would be a jewelry encrusted helmet for safety while my driver drove my Bugatti down the sidewalk.
The real clothiers who dress up the Roys have a selection of no-frills baseball caps at a predictable price. For normal people, the Cadillac of hats is the New Era 59FIFTY, a sturdy fitted flat visor that makes up at least two-thirds of my own personal collection. While custom and special edition versions may cost more, a 59FIFTY garden variety will set you back around $ 35, plus tax and shipping. The absolute most expensive product on the New Era website is $ 88.
Kendall Roy’s favorite, Brunello Cucinelli, meanwhile offers a dark gray wool flannel cap that looks like a Walmart hat that got lost in a barbecue pit. It costs $ 495. To find it on their website, you have to go to the drop-down menu labeled “Accessories”, probably because if your valet hears that you are shopping in the “Hats” section, he will no longer respect you.
Another Roy family haberdashery store, Loro Piana, offers a variety of baseball caps. Several of them are available in bright colors with tasteful logos and an attractive white trim on the bill. Good stuff, if a tad too expensive at $ 385. But the crown jewel of the collection is called, in a quintessentially minimalist fashion, “Baseball Cap”. The price, $ 1,395, is anything but minimalist. This cap is also made of wool, but not just any, it is a blend. Some of the fiber comes from the vicuña, a South American camelid similar to the llama and alpaca; the rest is baby cashmere, which I was surprised to learn comes from goats, not human babies. No doubt the bloodthirsty Logan was operating under a similar impression. When he does find out, I’m sure he’ll turn his proverbial cover over.