Thursday, June 9, 2011

Put a Lid On It: How to Find A Great Hat

If you're looking for an addition to your wardrobe that will define your style, look no further than a great looking hat. Seriously, this one piece of your fashion arsenal will be the thing people most remember about you. What do you see when you think of Vince Lombardi, Frank Sinatra or even Robert Duvall in the Godfather? That's right, they're wearing a hat. And you know I'm not talking about a baseball cap or a knit beanie, I'm talking about a classic fedora, porkpie or maybe a walking cap. So let's dive into some hat styles that are perfect for a classic style.

The Fedora

I didn't live in the 1920's but I think these were standard issue back then because everyone from the mob to the feds were wearing fedoras. The fedora faded in style into the 1970's but has recently made a comeback and can be worn in a variety of different ways. If you're looking for a hat to wear with a suit, definitely go with something made of felt and in a dark color. Also make sure it is a blocked hat, meaning that the hat is built around a wood block. These type of hats last forever if well taken care of and have a better structure to them, just like the dark fedora below from J.J. Hat Center. A fedora can also be a great casual look, check out this version below from Christy's. Lighter color, lighter material, a thinner brim and a contrasting woven band make this fedora perfect for the weekend.

Lexington Fedora

Christy's Crown Fedora - The Bentley

The Pork Pie

The pork pie hat is different from the fedora due to the flat top and short crown with an indentation all the way around rather than pinched. I recommend this hat for men with rounder faces (not chubby, round) because the short brim will complement your features well. The crown is not too high either and helps to balance how big your head might look with a taller hat. The pork pie can be professional, though not as much as a fedora, but still get one in felt, dark color and blocked. I prefer it for a casual look however, once again in a lighter color and preferably braided. Both hat's below are from Bailey of Hollywood, I love the feather in the black one especially.
Bailey of Hollywood Pork Pie Hat

Bailey of Hollywood Lamar Pork Pie

The Walking Hat

An undoubtedly casual look, the walking hat is one hat I can't recommend to pair with your suit. That's not to say you can't look incredibly stylish in one, quite the opposite. Get one in tweed, just do it. It will work great in all kinds of occasions and is not so stuffy that you will feel like you're trying too hard. The three variations below from Borsalino are all dapper choices.

Borsalino Tweed Walking Hat

You might be thinking "I can't pull off a hat like this." Not true, you can. I recommend going to a hat shop if at all possible and get some consulting from an expert. They will understand what shapes and styles will best complement your facial features. Once you're in one and feeling confident, you'll never wear a baseball cap again. To finish off the article, let's take a look at just how good a man with a great cap can look from the current king of classic style, Jon Hamm.

Thanks for reading.  As always, be dapper.


  1. Nobody should wear these ugly retro hats in 2013. Please, just no.

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