Saturday, July 9, 2011

put a lid on it...that is, put a hat on your head

by frédérik sisa

Apologies for the delay, but as I was writing this on Friday I realized I needed more pictures....

For the longest time I was convinced that I wasn’t a hat person. It didn’t matter what hat I tried on, it just didn’t work. The only hats I’d wear were toques to keep my head warm during those cold, cold Montréal winters. Then, one day, I tried one on and whaddyaknow? It looked good, and it was a revelation. (It's the hat I'm wearing in my profile picture at left.) Yes, I learned, I too could be a hat person…although not like my wife, who can pick up ANY hat and look good with it. (If that isn’t a superpower, it should be.)

My second hat purchase was a fedora, but not just any fedora. If Dr. Frankenstein had stitched together various swatches of material and pulled the electricity lever, this is the hat he would have created. It’s stylish and somewhat edgy, and I’m still surprised I can pull it off.

Then came the C-crown fedora style, with its shorter brim, from Quicksilver.

Of course, there’s the Ivy cap, which always makes me feel like a newsboy and is so much nicer to wear than a, ugh, baseball cap. (The difference between an ivy and newsboy cap is that the newsboys consist of triangular panels joined to a central point at the top.)

My latest acquisition came about because my hats have so far been black, which isn’t ideal when that hot sun is pounding the rays. Considering that I wear a hat because I don’t have hair to offer some measure of protection, a lighter-coloured hat seemed like a good idea. Hence, this one:
What’s so thrilling is that while I can’t pull off any hat like my wife can, I’m not totally shut out from an accessory as quintessential and expressive as shoes. The moral of the story is this, then: there’s a hat out there for everyone, even for people who think there isn’t. (The polo shirt, by the way, is from I.N.C. and was also a new purchase given the hot summer sun. I love the details on the pockets and shoulders.)

So my question to you is: what’s your hat? I’d love to hear what works for you, what doesn’t…
And if you’ve never thought of adding a hat to your wardrobe, may I humbly suggest hats as an avenue of fashion experimentation? Like any accessory, a good hat can pull an outfit together, exude personality, or otherwise just look good on its own. Plus, it’ll keep your head protected from the elements, which can’t be a bad thing.

As for where to find an appropriate chapeau for your head, Lids is fine, if a bit too sports-oriented. Personally, I’m a fan of the Village Hat Shop. Their inventory is available for purchase online, but it’s worth visiting any one of their brick-and-mortars if you’re in California. I'll feature an outstanding millinery based here in Los Angeles in a future post, so stay tuned.
Of course, you never really know when a hat attack will strike. After all, my latest acquisition came from Macy's...hats of opportunity!
This week's post comes with its own soundtrack courtesy of the inimitable Squirrel Nut Zippers. Check it out!


Nick said...

I've been looking for a hat lately but I think I'll have to take a trip to London to get one or a larger city anyway. I find it interesting that the 80s style hats are back. To be honest I don't want something that's just a trend. Kind of like yourself. I need a hat or several for the same reason. However, I still need to sort out fashion for myself in general. Have you done any fashion tips for men who aren't exactly slim?

Frederik Sisa said...

Hats are amazingly personal things. I'm sure you'll find something in London. A good way to avoid trends is to look backwards. (I obviously have an affinity for early 20th century styles.) In the end, though, the only way to pick a hat is to try it on. It's really hard to judge how good a hat will look without trying it on, no matter how much one likes the style. As with wands in Harry Potter, it's the hat that chooses the wearer, not the other way around.

As for fashion tips for men who aren't exactly slim, no, I haven't posted any. I'd be happy to do so since you request it.

Lisa said...

Ahh the great hat-hunt. You're right. It seems you really just have to get out there and try on a lot of different hats until you find the right one for you. A bit like sunglasses.
Your article prompted me to do some on-line hat browsing and I found the UK version of Village Hats at Who knew there were so many hats out there!?

Frederik Sisa said...

Yeah, like sunglasses. Thanks for the link, Lisa. I would have been surprised if the UK, of all places, suffered from a scarcity of hats.

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