In an article called Pork pies, panamas & trilbies, milliner John Kasriel says the hats are bouncing off the shelves and he puts it “all down to sex, celebrities and, to a lesser degree, cancer.”
The music industry and actors like Brad Pitt, Heath Ledger and Justin Timberlake started it,” he says. “It’s sun protection for some older guys too, but mostly it’s, ‘I want to attract the women. I want to look fantastic. I’ve got confidence. I want to wear a hat’.
Short-brimmed pork pies are especially popular and are selling in pinstripes and double striped fabrics as well as pale coffee colors in linens and cottons and various shades of grey straw, polypropylene or twisted paper weaves.
“Guys are fussy,” says Kasriel. “They don’t just want a hat. They want it this way, up at the front, or that way, down at the back, or a small brim or wider brim, or dents on the side of the crown or not and this color or this band. They know what they want and it’s got to be spot on, perfect. They’ve got something in their mind and they want to look like that exactly.”
He reckons that “something” is usually a mental picture of a hat-wearing celebrity, like Pitt, Ledger, Timberlake, Pete Doherty, Snoop Dog, Kid Rock, Federline, and Hugh Jackman.
And it’s everyone who’s putting the hats on: the 18 year-olds and the 55-year-olds; the heavy metal emos and goths wear their black top hats and bowlers, while baby boomers swear by fedoras and larger brims, and Gen X-ers put their money into trilbies and panamas.
One hatter says the trend of wearing men’s hats is “ready to go ballistic across all levels. We’re going to get to that stage – I think like 50 years ago – when you couldn’t go to the races without a hat.”
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CEO Hartford York
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