Best Hat for Valentine’s Day

Hartford York Hats - Kangol Men's Beret - The Tropic MontyWomen who want gift ideas for Valentine’s Day often look to hats and accessories for their man. They’ll sometimes ask my opinion (as a man, a hat e-retailer and hat wearer of many years) as to which hat makes the best Valentine’s Day gift.

There’s just no easy answer, of course, and I’m so relieved when she says he’s a Greek fisherman kind of guy or he feels best in cowboy hats (or even ball caps). There are so many choices, then, that we can talk material preferences, colors and such.

Operating completely in the dark, of course, is much harder. I usually ask a few questions about the man who will be receiving the hat: his age, his interests and his general appearance when he leaves the house (ie., casual or sophisticated). Then I know pretty much if I’m looking at a beret, porkpie or fedora.

What’s your hat this Valentine’s Day?

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on January 31, 2007 at 1:51 am  Leave a Comment  

A Quote For Your Hat

Hartford York Hats - Men's Borsalino Beaver Fur Felt Fedora Hat - The UltimoWriter H.L. Mencken says: A home is not a mere transient shelter: its essence lies in the personalities of the people who live in it.

I think most people would at least wish to agree with that sentiment, and certainly it can be applied to many more aspects of our lives. For instance, I never see an old 4WD Subaru station wagon without imaging dad behind the wheel, clattering up the driveway after a long day’s work. The aging wagon was rusty and full of holes, but utterly dependable and we trusted it entirely.

Similarly, your wardrobe reflects more than just the latest styles – your personality and preferences shine through the choice of slacks, shirts and hats (ie., comfort vs high fashion or button-down shirts vs Burt Simpson underwear).

I’m not much of an adventurer these days – but when I line up my hat collection, I see my dreams (past and present) right in front of me.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on January 29, 2007 at 9:17 pm  Comments (2)  

Lose Weight – Make More Money

Hartford York Hats - Woolen Winter Hats for Men and Women - Unisex Cashmere Cap - The Portolano CapSomehow I missed a study that found that people who lose a lot of weight tend to build wealth as they drop the pounds. A research scientist at Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research says he isn’t clear on the reason why there’s a connection between fat loss and cash gain, but it’s absolutely there. And we’re not just talking a pound or two – you’ve gotta lose some serious lard for this equation to work.

For example, white women who dropped their body mass index score (BMI) – a standard measure of obesity – by 10 points saw a wealth increase of $11,880. White men saw an increase of $12,720 for a similar drop, while black women increased wealth by $4,480.

Right now, I’m leaning toward putting on a few stone, just so I can take it off again and reap my just rewards.

Oh, yes. Apparently “the wealth of black men was basically unaffected by their weight“, so I guess you guys can get rich at whatever weight you are. I’m a bit like that with hats – I look good in whatever – a porkpie, fedora or bucket hat – I’m gorgeous.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on January 26, 2007 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fashion vs Function

Hartford York Hats for Men and Women - Rabbit Fur Women's Winter Trooper Hat from Scala - The IvannaI-Say Views has the Canadian 411 on cell phones, the findings of which are pretty much what you’d expect:

  • –More than 25% of those 18-34 feel that the “cool” factor of a cell phone is important, compared to only 11% of those aged 35-65+.
  • –37% of 18-34 year olds feel that a cell phone has to be stylish, compared to 20% of those aged 35-65+
  • –When considering upgrading their phone, new style influences the decision of younger people compared to older people (31% vs. 18%)
  • –55% of those 35-65+ claim that function trumps fashion and their cell phones are used to send and receive calls only.

Hats are like cell phones (except most don’t ring, of course) in that younger people wear them mainly to make a fashion statement.

That being said, hats are not at all like cell phones because older people – in all their wisdom – want it all: requiring hats that are both fashionable and functional.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on January 25, 2007 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Today Is The Second Annual Belly Laugh Day

Hartford York Hats - Hats For Men and Women - Men's Makins Fur Felt Porkpie - The Brushed PorkpieSeems today is Belly Laugh Day. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I just don’t think I’ll feel like whooping it up at exactly 1:24 pm, when everyone is invited by certified laughter yoga teacher and Belly Laugh Day founder Elaine Helle to “throw up their arms in the air and laugh out loud.”

I believe I’m scheduled for a late lunch today, and although I certainly intend to have a good time, with lots of laughter hopefully included, choking on blowfish because of a poorly timed belly laugh is not on my agenda.

Spontaneous belly laughs are superb – nearly as good as wearing a great hat. As a matter of fact, I think belly laughing while wearing a great new hat should be the next national holiday.

Good looking and happy,
I remain – in my hat,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on January 24, 2007 at 4:51 pm  Comments (2)  

Altruism On The Brain – It’s Scientific

Hartford York Hats for Men and Women - Men's Winter Hat - Men's Stetson Trooper Cap - The HunterHere’s some terrifying news for you from those in the know at Medical News Today: Brain Scan Predicts Difference Between Altruistic And Selfish People.

Seems that a procedure called “functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans [the brain] to detect activity in nerve cells . . . by measuring changes in oxygen levels.”

So what I’m really reading here is that next time I go in to my local Mensa meeting (we scan each other all the time) or the Neurology Dept downtown (they’re interested in me, you know), I might possibly hear some snickering and a few choice phrases like “easy touch” and “can’t resist”.

Nothing’s sacred, anymore, people. Now there’s a way to SCIENTIFICALLY PROVE just how generous and wonderful I really am. (How embarrassing)

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on January 24, 2007 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Multi-tasking In My Hat

Hartford York Hats - Winter Hats for Men and Women - Men's Borsalino Trooper - The TomascioApparently, when U.S. drivers drive, they eat, shave, email — oh, and drive. Well, that’s according to a Reuters Life! article, anyway.

If you’re a typical driver, then you’re likely one of the “81 percent of Americans [who] do more than drive when they’re behind the wheel” in addition to adjusting the radio or music. For example,

-73 percent of us talk on the phone;
-68 percent eat;
-19 percent send text messages;
– 5 percent check their e-mail;
-19 percent fix their hair;
-12 percent put on makeup;
– 2 percent shave.

Okay, I admit to spending most of my downtime admiring myself – and my hat, at every angle – in the rearview. But only when at a stoplight or when traffic’s backed up. I guess there’s something to be said for the occasional traffic jam!

Seriously, though, driving while distracted is hazardous. I know that I’m not helping the situation when I wear one of my collection of Borsalinos or whatever – I see the reactions of wonder (and envy) in other drivers, which might possibly lead to pile-ups.

But you can’t make me stop wearing my hats when I drive.

I’m pretty sure I have some kind of constitutional protection in this somewhere, and I’ll go all the way on this one. Oh, yeah.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
A Man, A Car, A Hat
and CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on January 22, 2007 at 11:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Will You Be Punting in Oxford for Valentine’s Day?

Hartford York Hats - Men's Scala Straw Boater Hat - The BoaterFebruary 14th isn’t long off, and darned if I just mightn’t make good on the Jolly Old England hints which have been lobbed (with increasing frequency and even accompanied by wee threats) at me by my S.O. (significant other).

An article in The Cincinnati Enquirer called Isn’t it romantic? – Oxford has places and pastimes to please sweethearts lists 14 romantic Oxford moments, including:

Toast each other in a cozy nook at the Turf Tavern, where actors Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton often lifted a glass, and the Crown Prince of Japan courted his future wife. The Turf proudly proclaims that “liquid-based activitys (sic) were certainly occurring on this site” by the 13th century, and promises each new generation of Oxford students “an education in intoxication.” Bill Clinton studied the Turf’s lessons while he was a Rhodes Scholar at University College.

and

Some say commitment is a prison sentence, so why not serve some of it in maximum-security luxury? The old “A” wing of the Oxford Prison, itself part of the 11th-century Oxford Castle, has been transformed into the hip Malmaison Hotel. Three cells were combined to form each guest room, with the old brickwork and fortified doors. Downstairs, a few cells have been retained — peek into one to appreciate your comfy bed even more.

Anyone know what the bloody weather’s like this time of year across the pond?

Ta for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on January 19, 2007 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Improve Your Brain – Buy A New Hat (Really)

Hartford York Hats - Men's Wigens Raccoon Fur Trooper Winter Hat - The JorgenIn his article, 10 Ways to Exercise Your Brain Healthy, child psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen M.D., tells us to get uncomfortable:

Break the routine of your life to stimulate new parts of your brain. Do the opposite of what feels natural to activate the other side of your brain to gain access to both hemispheres.

Write with your other hand, shoot basketballs with both hands, hit baseballs left handed (if you are right handed), play table tennis left handed, shoot a rifle sighting with your other eye, use the mouse with your other hand — make your brain feel uncomfortable. In essence, break the patterned routine in your life to challenge your brain to make new connections.

I’ve been telling people that for years. Of course, if you’ve ever tried to get a cowboy to wear a porkpie or enourage a fedora fan to don a trooper, you’ll know how tough it is.

Now that I know that I’ve got the medical profession behind me, though, I’ll double my efforts.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Man of Many Hats and Challenged Brain
also CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on January 18, 2007 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Will You Have Deja Vu Tomorrow?

Hartford York Hats - Cowboy and Western Hats - Men's Wool Felt Outback - The Toby Keith Wool Felt OutbackAssociated Press recently published an article citing study findings that amnesia (which prevents people from remembering the past) can also cause sufferers to become incapable of visualizing the future.

When patients were asked “to imagine and describe plausible situations” or “a future meeting with a friend”, they were unable to do so. Dr. Eleanor Maguire of University College London says that people amnesia with are thus “forced to live in the present.”

Well, I don’t have amnesia, but if somebody asked me to imagine a future without hats in it, I’d be hard-pressed. I don’t mean the future of the world in general here; I mean, if you wanted me to describe a future meeting with a friend, I’d most likely start right off with talking about that person’s hat:

EXAMPLE Okay, my imaginary future meeting will take place when I just happen to be in Oklahoma. Since I’m there, I’d probably pop in to see Toby Keith, you know, the superstar country singer with the best cowboy hats in the world, and he’d be wearing his famous Outback – exactly the same hat I’ve seen him onstage with and wearing at photo ops. It’s a great wool felt outback with a 3 3/4 inch shapeable brim, elasticized sweatband with braided suede and signature concho band . . .

So, doctor, that part of the brain you were talking about – the one that visualizes images both past and present (I think you called it the hippoptamus) – well, mine may be broke, but I don’t want it fixed.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on January 17, 2007 at 7:47 pm  Leave a Comment