Gentlewomen in Shakespeare’s England wore ‘vizards’ to keep the harsh sun from spoiling the fair skin on their faces. A tanned face was a sign of a working class woman, not a ‘lady’. A vizard or visor, as we call it today, is simply a shield against the sun that shades or protects your eyes and face. The brim of a brimmed hat can be called a visor. But today, when we talk about hats and we say visor, we generally mean a completely different type of “hat”.
The vizard of olden days has evolved into practical headgear for both men and women. Today’s visors are stylish and functional – with an emphasis on the functional. All design features are secondary to the main purpose of the visor – to protect or shield your eyes and face. Most every hat brand makes a kind of visor: Dorfman-Pacific, sur la tete, Columbia, Scala and the list goes on. If you have an active lifestyle, a visor could be the perfect hat for you.
Although, I can’t guarantee that wearing a visor will improve your golf or tennis game – by blocking the sun’s glare on the tennis court, you’re not likely to run into the net with your next overhead smash. A visor is a good choice for any outdoor activity, whether it’s that 5K you’ve been training for or an afternoon BBQ at the park.
It has been my observation that people who say they don’t like hats (blasphemy!) will wear a visor. That said, some people are more particular about the features of the simple visor than they are about their golf clubs. There are visors that go completely around your head, offering some neck protection. There are visors that clip on and slide on and visors with velcro fasteners. Some visors tie with bows and some have elastic. Designed from Panama straw, milan or raffia straw, or made with 100% cotton, and even recycled polyester – visors are lightweight, packable and comfortable enough to wear all day.
There, literally, is a visor to fit every head. You say hats give you a headache, try the No Headache Visor (it really works). You like a visor but sometimes want more coverage on the top of your head? Try the Physician Endorsed Naples Cap-Visor. It’s convertible, 2 hats for the price of 1. Sport visors are great plain or embroidered with a message for your club or sports team. Are you patriotic? There’s a visor for that. Want to stand out in a crowd? Then get a sequin visor to match your sparkly personality. If you’ve always wanted to grow an afro, but couldn’t – there’s a visor for that, too. Really.
In the distant past, only the high-born were fortunate enough to don a vizard but we changed all that in the 20th Century when visors were reinvented for the masses. Find the visor that suits you and enjoy your day in the sun. No more squinting.