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Why All the Hate for Hats?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AshtonMD, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. pleatedjeans

    pleatedjeans Senior member

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    I think the assumption is that for the average American man the only current non-offensive option is either a baseball cap or a beanie.

    But to hell with that - flat caps can be made to work, as can unstructured wool hats, straw in the summer as well. Wear the thing in a practical way to cover your head, don't be precious about it.
     


  2. Andy57

    Andy57 Senior member

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    Average is not my goal.
     


  3. AshtonMD

    AshtonMD Active Member

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    "I think the assumption is that for the average American man the only current non-offensive option is either a baseball cap or a beanie. 


    But to hell with that - flat caps can be made to work, as can unstructured wool hats, straw in the summer as well. Wear the thing in a practical way to cover your head, don't be precious about it."

    I agree with your statement. But I also agree with refined minimalism- so I believe that a hat should be simple but also well made and compliment the style of outfit it's paired with. So a well made charcoal grey fur felt fedora would suit a navy blue overcoat brilliantly. But again just my opinion.
     


  4. chobochobo

    chobochobo Rubber Chicken Dubiously Honored Moderator

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    The Sicilian Coppola caps are quite wearable, in their newer non-Mafioso guise.
     


  5. facet

    facet Senior member

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    I think you guys who are getting all up in arms with the OP (and Stilig) are missing the point. He's not saying that hats are bad, but he's wondering why they're no longer considered an accepted part of mens attire (outside of ball caps and toques) within mainstream culture.

    You can claim that they're making a comeback all you want but the fact remains that hat wearing has somehow evolved into the realm of costume. Again, this is with the average North American. Again, you can still wear your hats; no one is saying it's a bad thing.
     


  6. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Neil Steinberg has a good book about this (Hatless Jack). Hats have definitely been going out of fashion in North America, and most of the Western world, for the last seventy-five years or so. Part of it is that they're less necessary nowadays as people rely on cars and public transportation. Part of it is about how hats were seen as stodgy and conformist at some point, and post-WWII fashion valued the young rebel. Part of it is that fashion has become less and less formal, so only the most informal forms of headwear remain (beanies, baseball caps, etc).

    Really, the story isn't that different from ties and tailored clothing. Sales are maybe a fraction of what they used to be fifty or seventy-five years ago across the board. You have to really hunt nowadays to find a hat store, whereas that wasn't the case in the immediate post-war years. (Same with any kind of "formal" clothing). Arguments about how hats are coming back are silly. This is a blip in a longer story about fashion trends. Just like how there's been a small uptick for tailored clothing, even if the broader trend has been an obvious decline.

    Agree with @Andy57 above, however -- this doesn't mean you can't look great in one, just as you can look great in ties and sport coats. Hats nowadays are more elective nowadays. They're a style statement, whereas they used to be just about social norms, etiquette, and matters of practicality (kind of like the story of all tailored clothing, really). Older guys seem to have an easier time pulling off hats, but I think it's possible for young guys to wear them as well. See @NickPollica at Eidos, Ethan at Bryceland's, Tony Sylvester, @shoreman1782, @TTO, @Tirailleur1, @spacepope, @conceptual 4est, etc.

    Like with anything that's exciting in clothing, I think at some point, you have to say you don't care and dress for yourself. Yes, you'll stand out a bit more with a hat, but if your goal is to just conform and blend in with passable, decent-looking clothes, you'll just wind up with the sort of vanilla bizcaz stuff sold at J. Crew or whatever.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016


  7. AshtonMD

    AshtonMD Active Member

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    Exactly what I was asking Facet - nailed it lol.

    @dieworkwear that's a seriously well written post - it should also be mentioned nowadays not only is hard to find s proper hat shop, but also a proper hat shop with affordable good quality hats. People may like hats, but spending $200+ on a proper fur felt or Panama is something they'll often balk at. Just my 2 cents though.
     


  8. Andy57

    Andy57 Senior member

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    Quality is not now and never was cheap. There are three ways to go if you want a good hat. First option is to visit one of the remaining hat shops. The ones I know of (but I'm sure not close to an exhaustive list) are Optimo in Chicago, JJ Hat Center in NYC, and to a considerably lesser degree, Goorin Bros in San Francisco. Or Bates' Hats in London, and Lock & Co, if you really must. Second option is to use one of the excellent online custom hat makers. I recommend john Penman in Oregon and Steven Temkin of Leon Drexler, in Toronto. Third option is eBay where you can find excellent vintage hats of all descriptions, usually priced pretty well.

    As for Panamas, $200 doesn't even get you in the door, I'm afraid. But there are plenty of "Panamas" for well under $200 if you look around.
     


  9. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    What do you not like about Bates or Lock & Co?
     


  10. Andy57

    Andy57 Senior member

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    Bates I like a lot and I buy hats from them fairly often. I recommend Bates as a place to get helpful service and good quality hats. Lock & co will cheat you walking in the door. Mostly, they will sell you a "Montecristi" panama that is plainly not and is almost certainly woven in Cuenca. But I think that attitude extends to everything they sell. I just don't care for the atmosphere or attitude I have encountered in their store. I choose not to give them my business.
     


  11. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Fair enough.

    RJman told me once that Lock uses offshore manufacturers for their non-Panamas. (I think I'm remembering that correctly). No idea if it's true, but I have two Lock hats and I like them.
     


  12. suitedcboy

    suitedcboy Senior member

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    [​IMG]
    There are 3 others I know of in Oregon that make superb hats: Art Fawcett at VS Hats, Michael Gannon at Gannon Hatco, and Mike at Northwest Hats. All three of these gentlemen turn out great fur felt or beaver felt hats with high quality leather sweatbands at prices in line with what was discussed here for factory hats of much less quality. The hat in top photo is a Vintage Silhouettes 100% beaver. The lower photo shows a vintage Stetson fur felt.

    Yes, I'm a hat guy.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016


  13. sebastian mcfox

    sebastian mcfox Senior member

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    Don't forget Brent Black/Panama Hat Co.- I have been eyeing off his hats for a while now.

    https://www.brentblack.com
     


  14. LGWH4000

    LGWH4000 New Member

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    I never had too much of an interest in hats outside of baseball caps when I was younger and it seemed a little daring to try anything new, especially because fedora bros and kangol bras had always looked redic too me. But then I found this hat and i loved it. Every, and I do mean every time I wear the hat I get compliments from all different types of people, and never really in a condescending way. I'm 27. I would agree with one of the previous posters that basically any age can pull it off if it suites them. For me I always thought drill sergeant's hats were bad ass, so I felt pretty confident wearing it from the beginning.

    Bedwin & The Heartbreakers Milton Campaign hat.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016


  15. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    http://www.villagehatshop.com/category/84/1/pith-helmets.html

    Ask, and ye shall receive.
     


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