Of all the accessories I see on a man, I miss the hat the most. The baseball cap does not count. Hats are as seasonless and fashion-elevating as cufflinks and pocket squares. An accessory worth the investment but doesn’t have to break the bank. Personally, I adore a trip to a hat shop. Salmagundi in Boston. Goorin Bros. use to be my favorite of mine because they had many styles. However, it seems they are closing locations, the selection for women has not been great. Alas, we are not talking about me. We are talking about YOU.
THE FEDORA – ALL ABOUT THE BRIM
A trend that dates back to the late 1800’s, and ironically was first worn by a woman on stage in Paris, worn by the title role Princess Fedora Romanoff. The hat style was of course, a center-crease, soft brim. However, it wasn’t until the mid 1920’s that, thanks to our neighbors across the pond, the “Fedora” made its debut in society. A hat fit for royalty, worn first by Prince Edward. It is important to note, that through the years, there is one major difference between British and American Fedoras, brim size. The American version, like most American things, got bigger. If you watch movies with such screen icons such as Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant, it is clear the significance that a few good men played in mainstreaming this practical yet classically stylish hat.
THE PANAMA -Eat Your Heart Out Ecuador
I went to Panama several years ago and you could buy one in almost every store. It was likely many of them were, ironically stamped with “made in China.” It originated in Ecuador in the 1500. Similar in style to the Fedora, but made of tightly woven straw, beware if the label says, “made in China.” Why call it the Panama hat when it is made in Ecuador? Thank President Teddy Roosevelt. He wore one when taking a trip to inspect the construction of the Panama Canal. To further the case, the Panama Hat debuted at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1855, but without any mention of its country of origin, Ecuador, the Panama Hat stuck. We are glad it did.
THE BOATER – Part of a Summer Uniform
Some hats are for certain occasions. I think the Boater hat is for a summer cocktail party, wedding or other special occasion. In the post WWII era, British public schools adopted the “boater” as part of the school uniform. It is no wonder that this happened, as the style of the hat reminds me of youth. However, it was the epitome of elegance amongst the French and English high societies. Today, I wouldn’t mind seeing it on a guy this hat quite casually, who is in his late 20’s or early 30’s, However, style is for those that embrace it, regardless of your age. Rock what you can, when you can!
AUSTRALIAN – Beach Flavor Done Right
Those Aussie Lifeguards, know how to beat the heat. The Cowboy hat gets a new look, including a chin strap. These straw hats with a wider, more turned down brim, provide the ultimate protection from the sun.
Check out this guy…
FLAT CAP – A Fall/Winter Classic.
In 1500’s England, this was a staple part of the wardrobe of the working class. In fact, British Parliament it law in 1571 that all “non-noble” males over the age of 6 wear these hates on Sundays and Holidays. Then again, great style does defy the ages. The perfect accessory that complements any head and keeps it warm during the chillier months.
A hat on a man creates charm and style. I love a man who can wear a hat properly. Its your calling card to conversation to you and about you.