Reburbish Your Straw Hat Like A Pro

Summer Hats from Hartford York Hats - Men's Borsalino Straw Porkpie Hat - The Baku PorkpieThere’s an excellent pictorial from craft artisan, lecturer, and costume designer, Rachel E. Pollock, on her professional blog, La Bricoleuse. It clearly sets out how to:

  1. rejuvenate the brittle straw in old hats; and
  2. how to repair a torn portion of a straw hat.

Now you may not be a Lead Crafts Artisan at the PlayMakers Repertory Company of Chapel Hill in North Carolina, but after you read Ms. Pollock’s post, you too will be able to save your vintage straw hat like a pro.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 28, 2007 at 2:54 am  Leave a Comment  

It’s Official: Fedoras Are Hot Hats

Hartford York Hats - Straw Hats - Men's Two-Tone Open Weave Scala Fedora HatWell, it’s official. Ma Petite Chou blogger says

I think guys should wear hats more often too, but not the baseball cap or trucker hat variety, but the fedora. I think it is HOT. It has an old-world gentlemanly feel, but on a young guy, it’s just so funky and stylish, exemplified by Justin Timberlake.

An exuberant reader agrees, writing: Definitely. The baseball cap makes guys look like perpetual college students. The fedora makes them look like suave mofos. There’s just no comparison.

I don’t know what mofos are, but fedoras make them look suave, so I suppose it’s good. Perhaps they’re young Motoring Fellows or Mobile Filipinos or maybe even Milano Followers. Whatever it is, I wonder if I too might be considered quite the suave mofos in my fedora too.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer, Mofos
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 26, 2007 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gift Bags Are NOT So Last Year!

Hartford York Hats - Summer Hats for Men - Stingy Brim Fedora Hat - Makins Fedora - The SouthwestI don’t care what Nick Jones, (proprietor and marketing talent behind Soho House, a chain of hotels and private clubs in London and New York) says, as quoted in the New York Times article, Let Them Eat Foie Gras (Gift Bags Are So Last Year).

He’s talking about Oscar nominees, not regular people. The rich and famous used to get goodie bags worth thousands until the IRS cracked down. Now people like Mr. Jones and other “Hollywood marketers are relying on a different sort of giveaway: the ‘branded retreat,’ an invitation-only, luxury destination where free products are just a corollary to the more subtle (and possibly tax-free) pleasures of food, drink, entertainment and spa treatments, on the house.”

Well, I like gift bags. I like to put hats in gift bags and give them to people, and I like when I get gift bags with hats in them.

As a matter of fact, honest-to-goodness gift bags (those used to give real people real gifts) will never go out of style if simply for the reason that giving presents will never go out of style.

Unless, I suppose, people start putting foie gras in ’em.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 24, 2007 at 1:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Handle Your Crabby Man

Hartford York Hats and Caps - Men's Indiana Jones Ball Cap -The Indy AdventureGosh, I had no idea there was a whole iVillage Love&Sex section called Understanding Men. I thought it was guys who never understood women! But apparently we’re more complex than previously thought.

There are even sub-sections involved here like: What He’s Thinking, Why He Does That, What Guys Want and Why We Love Them.

In an article called Handling a Crabby Man (I don’t know, it caught my eye), readers suggest how they jolly their spouse, trying everything from the silent treatment to making him exercise (!) or by giving him a load of Swedish brownies. My favorite (after the brownies), is the lady who says:

Try walking in naked with a six pack. That usually cheers my husband up when he’s crabby!

Hey! This is one understanding woman, and if I might just toss a hat somewhere in there (use your imagination, people), we’re basically on the road to world peace.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 23, 2007 at 1:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Hay in My Hat

Hartford York Hats - Summer Hats For Men - Men's Wigens Linen Newsboy Cap - The StockholmLouise L. Hay is one metaphysical mama – and I mean that in a good way. I’ve been reading this Science of the Mind minister’s works for a long time now (about a week, I guess) and am now using the full potential of my own creative powers for personal growth and self-healing.

Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little. If I were at my full potential, I’d be Ruler of the Universe – as it is, though, I’d like to take a bit of credit for one of Louise Hay’s famed “mirror exercises”. She works on bringing people back to their state of infant self-acceptance and love by telling clients to use a mirror and look into their own eyes, then say their name and “I love and accept you exactly as you are.”

Well, anyone who knows me knows I LOVE my mirror work, and practice it faithfully every day. I don’t call it work or therapy, though, and have been doing the proclamations (ie., “Steve, you are one good-looking man in that straw hat, baby, and I just love, love, love you!“) since childhood.

However, because I’m a generous soul (in addition to being insufferably happy and content with myself and my hats), I release Louise Hay from all claims on mirror work. As a matter of fact, I offer a bit of advice to the wonderful woman who’s helped so many: if a client has trouble saying “I love you” in the mirror, tell him or her to put on a hat.

The act of wearing a hat is freeing: it physically disallows inhibition.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 21, 2007 at 2:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

18 Percent Of Antiques In China Are Fake

Hartford York Hats - Summer Straw Hats - Men's Borsalino Straw Fedora Hat - The Baku FedoraThat’s a pretty bold headline, but the source (GullibleInfo.com) is impeccable. (I think.)

Anyway, it’s a good thing to keep in mind, next time you’re winging it to China and planning on loading up on Oriental curio for investment purposes.

Like any piece of art (hats excluded of course), if you buy something because you like it, and you don’t care if it appreciates over time, then you’re safe. But if you see an antique such as a Tibetan Rice Bucket (a well-known scam) or some so-called 19th century Chinese measuring boxes that you’re planning to retire on, well…better get some expert advice first.

You did know, did you not, that hats are considered works of art?

And you, in your hat, you’re a real piece of work.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 19, 2007 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mid-Winter Vacations and Your Hat

Hartford York Hats - Spring and Summer Straw Hats - Men's Brent Black Handwoven Straw Fedora Panama Hat - The Montecristi AficionadoFrom Daniel Billett, the Men’s Fashion and Grooming Guide at About.com, comes a timely reminder: Don’t Forget to Protect Your Skin During a Mid-Winter Vacation. In his post, he says that he

recently went to Hawaii for a mid-winter reprieve. Of course lots of other folks have the same idea. And with the weird and extreme weather everybody seems to be experiencing, places like Hawaii are even more appealing. The thing that continues to surprise me though is how many people allow themselves to get serious sunburns. I couldn’t believe how many bright red bodies I saw on the beach and running around the hotel.

Everybody should know by now how damaging the sun is to the skin. I do realize people want to go home from vacation, well, looking like they have been on vacation. Wearing sunscreen doesn’t mean you won’t get a tan. However, it will protect your skin, especially when your body hasn’t been exposed to the sun’s rays in many months. So when you go on your sunny vacation, no matter what time of year, please take a sunscreen.

He’s right, you know – but even a tan is evidence of your “body’s desperate attempt to protect itself from the sun’s harmful rays.”

With that in mind, here’s a little good advice from FamilyDoctor.org:

The key is to avoid being in the sun or using sunlamps. If you’re going to be in the sun for any length of time, wear clothes made from tight-woven cloth so the sun’s rays can’t get through to your skin, and stay in the shade when you can. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, neck and ears.

Remember that clouds and water won’t protect you–60% to 80% of the sun’s rays can get through clouds and can reach swimmers at least one foot below the surface of the water. The sun’s rays can also reflect off of water, snow and white sand.

I’ve got my hat on. Practice makes perfect you know, and I believe I’m approaching nirvana.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 16, 2007 at 12:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Hat is Officially Back (Has It Ever Really Been Gone?)

Hartford York Hats - Winter Hats - Fur Bomber and Trooper Styles - Women's Bomber Hat - The Coyote BomberStyle Editor Kim Crow of N.Y. Fashion Week says:

the hottest look this wintry [fashion] week [in New York] – and I do mean hot – is a huge furry hat, the taller the better. With wind chills dipping below zero here, every chicette worth her Choos is sporting the Nanook of the North vibe. They come as tall stovepipes, flap-eared trapper hats or stuffed-mushroom button caps. Some are simply fur-lined nylon and wool, but mostly they’re mink, raccoon, sable or muskrat in all their glory, worn by men and women alike.

The title of her article (Check out the hats and the bags: audiences themselves cue us in) pretty much sums up the world of fashion. It’s from watching regular people, such as audience members coming in from the cold to watch the fashion shows last week in NY, who’ll let those in the business know what they want to wear.

Now designers will put their spin on hats, and we’ll all have fun.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 15, 2007 at 12:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Arizona Car Lanes – First Hybrids, Next Maybe Hats?

Hartford York Hats - Cowboy Hats and Western Hats - Men's Milano Pure Beaver Dress Western Hat - The Casablanca Pure Beaver“Drivers who make the commitment to clean air and energy efficiency will get an easier commute,” says Gov. Janet Napolitano regarding Arizona’s federally authorized pilot project that allows hybrid cars to use car pool lanes on area freeways.

Sounds good, although I’m sure some cynics out there (not me, of course!) might wonder how much lobbying was done in Washington by the companies that own the three approved hybrid models (Honda Insight, Honda Civic Hybrid and Toyota Prius).

Wonder if it’d do any good for me to take a trip to K Street…I’d propose that all drivers who make the commitment to looking extremely good in their hats should get an easier commute too – maybe something like a comp limousine and chauffeur? Just a thought.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer, Hobby Lobbyist
(and CEO Hartford York)

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Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 2:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Rent A Hat: A Trysumer Concept

Hartford York Hats - Men's Biltmore Fur Felt Porkpie - The PorkpieI think this is beyond me, but TrendWatching.com says that consumers are becoming more daring in their consumption patterns, and defines “trysumers” as follows:

“Freed from the shackles of convention and scarcity, immune to most advertising, and enjoying full access to information, reviews, and navigation, experienced consumers are trying out new appliances, new services, new flavors, new authors, new destinations, new artists, new outfits, new relationships, new *anything* with post mass-market gusto.”

One of the market developments encouraging a growing number of consumers to morph into TRYSUMERS is a growing infrastructure of services that let TRANSUMERS rent instead of buy.

“From handbag subscriptions to super car sharing, a myriad of schemes make it possible for consumers to try out and sample (luxury) goodies, while spending just a fraction of ownership costs.”

Well, I don’t know. Call me old-fashioned or a good ol’ Finna stick-in-the-mud, but I just don’t feel like sharing my hat with anybody, Trysumer, Transumer or Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Harumph.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 12, 2007 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment