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Make Yourself a Hat

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It's never too early to plan your Halloween costume. Some folks like to keep it simple. With these hats, you probably won't even need the rest of the costume to draw attention. Bonus: these are all homemade, and they come with instructions for making your own.

Are we not men? Rob at Cockeyed.com made these Devo hats for a Guitar Hero party, and posted step-by-step instructions.
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Check out this Chicken Viking Hat that Vicki at Knitorious made! This one may actually work better for Thanksgiving than for Halloween, but it's a conversation-starter whenever you wear it. Here are complete knitting instructions for a child size hat and an adult-sized hat. Update: Vicki made the sweater, and her friend made the hat for her. They call it the Cold Turkey hat, as they both quit smoking!

More hats, more instructions, after the jump.

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Instructables has a tutorial on how to make your own disco ball visor. What kind of costume should you wear with this? It doesn't really matter, since this will reflect all attention away from the rest of you.
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If you're ever going to be a balloon sculpture artist, you have to know how to make a balloon hat. Otherwise, passers-by on the street won't know you are a balloon sculpture artist! See the illlustrated tutorial here.
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If you are worried about aliens trying to take over your mind with radio signals or whatever they use these days, you can construct your own Aluminum Foil Defector Beanie (tinfoil hat).

It can't be stressed enough how important it is to have the shiny side pointing out. This is needed because the shiny side is most reflective to psychotronic radiation, while the dull side can actually, in certain environmental conditions, absorb it. However, as is illustrated in the instructions above, it is also wise to complement this with a layer of foil pointing shiny side in. This will keep your brain waves, which are also reflected by the shiny side, from being picked up by mind-reading equipment.

Or, you can buy one.
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The Giddyup! Pony Hood can be made with or without the kinky bit. The child size is downright adorable. Downloadable instructions are available from Naughty Needles. You'll also find a devil horn version.
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The original tutorial on how to make a cat fruit helmet has disappeared from the web. Too sad. I remember it required a bottle of tequila, limes, a knife, and a very patient cat. The tequila was only for inspiration, for which you can use the above picture. You can probably figure out the rest. Your cat may be just as happy about it as this one.
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Just in case nothing else you see here is at all useful or practical, here's down-to-earth instructions for making your child a witch's hat for her Halloween costume.

For more homemade hat choices, see How to Make a Trucker Hat Out of Garbage, How to make a Renaissance Hat, a Paper Pope Hat, a Cat In The Hat hat, or a Duct Tape Hat.

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iStock
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Big Questions
Who Was Chuck Taylor?
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iStock

From Betty Crocker to Tommy Bahama, plenty of popular labels are "named" after fake people. But one product with a bona fide backstory to its moniker is Converse's Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers. The durable gym shoes are beloved by everyone from jocks to hipsters. But who's the man behind the cursive signature on the trademark circular ankle patch?

As journalist Abraham Aamidor recounted in his 2006 book Chuck Taylor, All Star: The True Story of the Man behind the Most Famous Athletic Shoe in History, Chuck Taylor was a former pro basketball player-turned-Converse salesman whose personal brand and tireless salesmanship were instrumental to the shoes' success.

Charles Hollis Taylor was born on July 24, 1901, and raised in southern Indiana. Basketball—the brand-new sport invented by James Naismith in 1891—was beginning to take the Hoosier State by storm. Taylor joined his high school team, the Columbus High School Bull Dogs, and was named captain.

After graduation, instead of heading off to college, Taylor launched his semi-pro career playing basketball with the Columbus Commercials. He’d go on to play for a handful of other teams across the Midwest, including the the Akron Firestone Non-Skids in Ohio, before finally moving to Chicago in 1922 to work as a sales representative for the Converse Rubber Shoe Co. (The company's name was eventually shortened to Converse, Inc.)

Founded in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1908 as a rubber shoe manufacturer, Converse first began producing canvas shoes in 1915, since there wasn't a year-round market for galoshes. They introduced their All-Star canvas sports shoes two years later, in 1917. It’s unclear whether Chuck was initially recruited to also play ball for Converse (by 1926, the brand was sponsoring a traveling team) or if he was simply employed to work in sales. However, we do know that he quickly proved himself to be indispensable to the company.

Taylor listened carefully to customer feedback, and passed on suggestions for shoe improvements—including more padding under the ball of the foot, a different rubber compound in the sole to avoid scuffs, and a patch to protect the ankle—to his regional office. He also relied on his basketball skills to impress prospective clients, hosting free Chuck Taylor basketball clinics around the country to teach high school and college players his signature moves on the court.

In addition to his myriad other job duties, Taylor played for and managed the All-Stars, a traveling team sponsored by Converse to promote their new All Star shoes, and launched and helped publish the Converse Basketball Yearbook, which covered the game of basketball on an annual basis.

After leaving the All-Stars, Taylor continued to publicize his shoe—and own personal brand—by hobnobbing with customers at small-town sporting goods stores and making “special appearances” at local basketball games. There, he’d be included in the starting lineup of a local team during a pivotal game.

Taylor’s star grew so bright that in 1932, Converse added his signature to the ankle patch of the All Star shoes. From that point on, they were known as Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Still, Taylor—who reportedly took shameless advantage of his expense account and earned a good salary—is believed to have never received royalties for the use of his name.

In 1969, Taylor was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The same year, he died from a heart attack on June 23, at the age of 67. Around this time, athletic shoes manufactured by companies like Adidas and Nike began replacing Converse on the court, and soon both Taylor and his namesake kicks were beloved by a different sort of customer.

Still, even though Taylor's star has faded over the decades, fans of his shoe continue to carry on his legacy: Today, Converse sells more than 270,000 pairs of Chuck Taylors a day, 365 days a year, to retro-loving customers who can't get enough of the athlete's looping cursive signature.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Natasha Zinko
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This Just In
This Jeans-Inside-Your-Jeans Look Will Cost You $695
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Natasha Zinko

Besides a few updates here and there, the classic style of denim blue jeans hasn’t changed much since the late 19th century. Now, a London-based fashion designer wants to disrupt the wardrobe staple. Their revolutionary new idea? A second waistband sewed on top of the first one.

According to Mashable, these high-waisted double jeans from Natasha Zinko are retailing for $695. Wearing the pants makes it look like you forgot you already had jeans on and put on a second pair on top of them. But buying two pairs of designer jeans to wear at once would probably be less expensive than owning this item. The double jeans are actually one garment, with the high-waisted inner pair stopping at the hips. Boasting seven pockets, they’re not entirely impractical, but having to undo two sets of buttons and zippers sounds like more trouble than it’s worth.

Model wearing double jeans.
Natasha Zinko
There is a market for high-end blue jeans disguised as fashion crimes, as Nordstrom proved earlier this year with their $425 pants covered in fake dirt. The Natasha Zinko double jeans have already sold out on shopbop.com.

[h/t Mashable]

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