By Dan Kuper
Finally, the ONS has added the humble flat cap to its annual list of the things Britons are spending their money on. As an avid wearer, I know it’s the only way to get ahead
Every year the Office for National Statistics updates the shopping basket with which it tries to sum up Britain’s spending habits. Such outmoded fripperies as three-piece suites, CD players and crockery sets are out. But for 2019, for the first time, the cap fits – because alongside herbal teas and home-assistant systems such as the Amazon Echo, the humble flat cap has joined the statistical shopping party.
Ideally partnered with whippets and mufflers in northern England, or football rattles and toothless grins, the flat cap was for many years associated with the TV chimney-clamberer Fred Dibnah who, according to his widow, kept his on the bedpost along with his watch chain and bought three in anticipation of his wedding. In the past 10 years, the cap has enjoyed a renaissance, taken up by a succession of lads-made-good – Guy Ritchie, David Beckham, Alex James and Idris Elba – before finding its ultimate expression in the Brummie yelling-and-chivving drama Peaky Blinders, where it serves as a suitable place to stash razor blades.