Liberation from Bad Hats

Panama Hats from Hartford York Hats - Brent Black - Mens' Panama Hat - The OptimoColumnist Jonathan Grass of The Huntsville Times in Alabama has written a marvelous article called Some ‘facts’ about July 4 you may not have known.

He first reminds us of the meaning of that most “pressing summer circumstance [which is nearly] upon us [called] Independence Day…the day that commemorates our breaking away from the harsh yoke of tyranny. Sort of.”

Mr. Grass recalls that “our country used to be under the rule of Great Britain. Of course, the harshest rules the British had at the time were overstuffed wigs and bad tea. In other words, it was hell.”

You note, however, that Mr. Grass neglects to cite the horrid hats that were imposed upon men in those days, such as cocked hats worn by soldiers, and described in H.M. Royal Clothing Warrant 1768 thusly:

The hats of the Serjeants to be laced with silver. Those of the Corporals and Private Men, to have a white tape binding. The breadth of the whole to be one inch and a quarter; and no more to be on the back part of the brim, than what is necessary to sew it down. To have black cockades.

Freedom from cocked hats! God Bless America.

Oh, by the way, the article goes on to say that “historians will tell you the reason Independence Day is observed on July 4 is ‘anyone’s guess’.” You see,

After a few minor adjustments, the most famous being Thomas Jefferson’s written denouncement of slavery being omitted from the document on the grounds that it was “too sensitive an issue to be addressed by us, we’re only Congress,” the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 2, 1776, but it wasn’t signed by most of the delegates until Aug. 2, who needed the extra time to learn to spell.

Anyway, it’s nearly time to show our patriotism in time-honored fashion: “barbecues, beer, concerts, parades, beer on parade, and baseball with overpriced stadium beer”, fire-works exploding all the while. Celebrate your freedom, says Jonathan Grass, “because come July 5, it’ll be time to get those Christmas preparations started.”

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on June 25, 2007 at 2:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Clips Keep Hats Put

Berets from Hartford York Hats - Wool Beret - The Basque BeretA Florida high school’s athletic director has come up with an invention that keeps Jewish athletes hats on their heads–without the use of hair pins (pins are banned in most sports due to potential danger).

It’s quite a simple gadget–he’s just engineered the skullcap (known as a kippah or a yarmulke) with two clips sewn in under the fabric so it stays in place. The inventor, Jon Kaweblum, has applied for a patent and even has a website called klippedkippahs.com.

See a need and meet it. Get rich. Make other people envious.

Hey, maybe I could invent a similar thing for other types of hats–you know, BattenedDownBerets or ForeverFedoras or PinnedPorkpies. . . .oh, yeah, I’m onto something here. . . .

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Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on June 22, 2007 at 1:57 am  Leave a Comment  

All Pink (Except for the Cowboy Hats)

Cowboy Hats from Hartford York Hats - Men's Stetson Straw Western Hat - The Open RoadThis just in from Canada, courtesy of The Calagary Sun.

The Calgary Stampede has announced four abnormally good-looking guys by the names of Ben, Rob, Aaron and Carlos as this year’s Stampede parade marshals.

This is a foursome of seemingly normal, laid-back dudes, made unique by the small feat of having skateboarded 8,000 km [that’s nearly 5,000 miles] from one side of the country to the other, while successfully raising awareness and $60,000 worth of funding for breast cancer research along the way with their Push For The Cure campaign.

The boys . . . will be making their debut at the Calgary Stampede [by] riding their skateboards the entire length of the parade route, while dressed in head-to-toe pink.

Aside from the cowboy hats, of course — some fancy white numbers for which they were carefully sized yesterday.

“We’re not too tough to wear pink,” said rider Rob Lewis.

I’m with you on that one, Rob. Congratulations on your enormous achievement!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 4:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Best Celebrity Hat-Wearers

Fedora Hats from Hartford York Hats - Makins Fedora - The Southwest
According to a British poll, Prince William’s ex-girlfriend, Kate Middleton, is the top celebrity hat-wearer in 2007.

The article, called Kate Wears Her Hat Well, goes on to say that:

Ms Middleton beat off stiff competition from Victoria Beckham – who has sported more subtle caps recently – and William’s step-mother the Duchess of Cornwall.

Also listed among the female winners were Nell McAndrew and Hollywood star Jennifer Lopez.

After sporting a hat on-screen and off-screen, Johnny Depp was crowned best hat-wearing male. The Captain Jack Sparrow actor finished above Justin Timberlake – who often sports a vintage-looking hat with his on-stage outfits.

David Beckham, Boy George and Prince Harry made up the rest of the top five. Some obvious choices for hat wearers seemed to be missed off the list, including trilby-sporting Pete Doherty and his girlfriend Kate Moss.

*cough* Boy George?

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Pass The Hat

Cowboy Hats from Hartford York Hats - Men's Stetson Straw Western Hat - The Open RoadThe late American dancer and teacher, Louise Brown, once said: If you can’t return a favor, pass it on.

That’s kind of like recycling, and I do that as much as possible–including with hats I don’t wear anymore. When you’ve got as many favorite hats as I do, it’s hard to part with any of them. But it’s even harder to see them, lonely and headless, waiting for me to wear them.

So (at least until I grow more heads), I have a strict policy. Once I reach my maximum number of hats (which number changes depending on my mood), I gift those I haven’t worn for more than a year to people I think might give them a good life.

The adoption interview process is admittedly lengthy and can be harrowing–more than one potential hat-adopter has been turned away (you know who you are, mom).

Pass on your old hat whenever you buy a new one. It’s good for the earth; your friends love you; your hats will be atop someone’s head where they belong; and everyone will think of you as generous and environmentally-correct, when in fact you just wanna buy more hats.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Flordia Schools Forbid Hats — Skin Cancer on the Rise

Straw Hats from Hartford York Hats - Men's Cubavera Woven Straw Stingy Brim Summer Hat - The Emilito

“I don’t want to see you with that hat again,” a high school principal…told a passing boy who was carrying a cap. He didn’t even have it on.

Girls in spaghetti strap tops and bare midriffs don’t seem to bother school officials, but hats drive them nuts. Hats are disrespectful and create a too informal atmosphere, they say.

Dave Weber’s Orlando Sentinel School Zone blog entry is extremely disturbing to say the least. With skin cancer on the rise across the country, it’s criminal that children are forced to go to school hatless. Issues such as disrespect and informal dress must be dealt with separately and not at the expense of our children’s health.

Check the policy at your neighborhood school. If hats are banned (and I’m of course not talking about inside the school, but outdoors only), I urge you to take action — petitions and letters to your school board and local media are in order.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Father’s Day Approacheth: Try A Hat This Year

Panama Straw Hats from Hartford York Hats - Brent Black - Montecristi Panama - The $10K MontecristiThe third Sunday of June is Father’s Day (June 17 to be exact this year), and for those of you scrambling for a gift idea that’s slightly more exciting than another Snoopy tie (and you know how much I love Peanuts!), why not get the man a hat?

You don’t have to break the bank, of course, with something uber extravagant like The $10K Montecristi Panama (although I’m guessing it’s likely pay-back time for all the grey hairs you gave the old man). No, you can choose one of the more affordable Montecristi Panama hats–it’s the same hat, the difference being in the fineness of the weave (and the number of years it’ll take you to pay it off).

If you just need some more time to save your pennies before getting Dad a little something, might I suggest taking up residency in Estonia or Finland, perhaps? Father’s Day in those countries isn’t till November, you see.

Bon voyage!
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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The Hats That Are Borsalino

Borsalino Fedoras and Porkpies from Hartford York Hats - Men's Borsalino Straw Fedora Hat - The Baku FedoraBorsalino hats have been the industry gold standard for luxury hats for 150 years, and the company sees no reason to change the way they do things. As Borsalino sales director, Claudio Mennuni, confirms in a Reuters article as reported in The Age: “some of the steps we do have to be done the same way we did it 50, 60, 70 years ago.”

For instance?

We found we couldn’t get the same quality using new gear,” like lighter irons to shape brims instead of old gas-fired heavyweights, he said. “In a lot of cases you have to fix the equipment, you can’t find it anywhere else.

Throughout the century, Borsalino’s signature trilbies, or fedoras, have graced the silver screen, from the likes of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca to Denzel Washington‘s dapper detective in last year’s Inside Man.

Borsalino is targeting the under-35s, featuring new fibres, colors and hats that can be folded up and still keep their shape. These days, fashion watchers note a trend of nostalgia for the styles of the 1930s and ’40s, which include pin-striped suits, overcoats and elegant accessories.

Interest in fedoras and pork-pie hats among younger customers has been fueled by celebrities such as pop stars Justin Timberlake, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and the Black Eyed Peas.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Chic Beachwear Starts With Your Hat

Crushable Straw Summer Hats from Hartford York Hats - Men's Scala Hand Crocheted Raffia Summer Hat - The RaffiaYou wear huaraches (not sneakers), stylish swim trunks and a breezy Tommy Bahama shirt for cover when heading out for a day of surf n sun.

Don’t lose the look (or the sun and glare protection) by forgetting your hat – a lightweight straw hat provides comfort and style. Make sure it’s crushable (not a lacquered straw) so that it looks good no matter how many times you have to tackle it after a great gust of wind sends it sailing down the beach.

It helps, of course, if you try to look like running is something you actually enjoy, and do every day as part of your fitness routine. Personally, I usually flip a couple of bucks to the kids, and they race off, while I follow at a more sedate shuffle.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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