Anglican clergy have never been totally indifferent to millinery. The magical Fr Sandys Wason, lawful incumbent of Cury and Gunwalloe, maestro of Cope and Fenwick, wore his biretta even when playing tennis.
I know of one Canterbury Cap which still makes its appearance within the Ordinariate and even consorts with a morning coat at Ascott; and the sort of clergyman who wore bands over his tippet and hood might also, to celebrate the major festivals, carry his academic square up and down the church at the Divine Office (Yes ... I admit it ... I have done that). We Catholics of the Anglican patrimony, of course, have always been preoccupied with birettas. I once lent S Thomas's to the/an Order of S Lazarus and was fascinated by the crop of green pompoms. Old photographs from Walsingham in the days of Fr Hope Patten reveal that clerical members of the College of Guardians wore birettas twice the height of ordinary ones. Some clergy, doubtless in pious memory of our late Sovereign Lord King Philip, wore Spanish models. Clergy who claimed dubious doctorates from obscure institutions far across the heaving Ocean added an additional wing to their headwear. And there was the pleasure of covering and uncovering: I once heard a sermon by an Anglican bishop in which, for some reason which now eludes me, he repeatedly named the then Sovereign Pontiff. The numerous clerical brethren in choir duly uncovered at each such mention ... ever more enthusiastically as time went on (not that they all subsequently accepted the invitation to corporate unity issued by that same Pope ... there is perhaps a sermon in this ...).
My own biretta, in constant use since I was deaconed in 1967, has lost the pristine gloss it possessed when I first bought it in Vanpoules. Having sustained showers of rain more often than I care to remember when I was stumbling across country churchyards in front of an undertaker, or panting up the irregular hillside of the cemetery at High Wycombe, or going round the village on sick calls during winter blizzards, it is somewhat faded and warped. More strangely, the pompom, over the decades, gradually turned a shade of reddy black. (I look to those with chemical know-how to explain this.) I got tired of parrying the quips of those who enquired whether, like a dragon-fly larva, I might be gradually metamorphosing into a Canon, and so when the thread attaching the pompom weakened and broke, I did not sow it back on. (My friend the mighty Fr Ray Blake once told me that his own biretta had changed, like the disintegrating MA gowns of superannuated schoolmasters, into an episcopal green.)
But it is born upon me that the biretta-without-a-pompom should really be deemed the proper historical headwear for the clerus Romanus. It is still worn as such by Redemptorists and Oratorians and Cardinals (pompoms being a piece of effeminate frenchification, oo la la, give it another twirl, yes??). A recent hint from Fr Zed leads the way. And, since the Ordinariate is directly subject to the Roman Pontiff, I am sure that the biretta-without-a-pompom is exactly what our beloved Holy Father wishes us to wear.
We owe it to him to get our headwear right, whatever the cost, come what may.