Bring Back The Beret

French Berets from Hartford York Hats - Kangol Women's Beret -  The Furgora BeretBill Bonner of The Daily Reckoning has more unsolicited advice to offer: this time, he’s counseling France, its government and entire tourism industry. His words of wisdom?

Put berets back on the heads of Frenchmen and you will give the nation’s largest industry a big boost.

Some pretty sound reasoning backs his byte. He’s fighting against uniformity and for uniqueness and those unforgettable glimpses of local color that tourists and travelers yearn to see. Lose the interchangeability of the sights of so much of this modern world, vive la différence, and wear your beret, France.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on August 30, 2007 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gentle With My Hat, Please, Officer

Fur Felt Fedoras from Hartford York Hats - Men's Borsalino Fedora - The Virgilio DorseNewsday.com reports that the Transportation Security Administration has issued a directive advising the nation’s 43,000 airport screeners to scrutinize anyone wearing a head covering that might hide explosives (or monkeys) — be it a cowboy hat, turban, baseball cap or beret.

Okay, I get the explosives bit and I’m all for it but I was completely unaware of the monkey-under-the-hat smuggling incident that apparently took place on a flight into LaGuardia Airport earlier this month. Now you know I’ve been wearing hats all my life and maybe it’s just me, but it really never has occurred to me (until a moment ago) to use my headwear as a form of animal transport. Several immediate concerns comes to mind, and most of them involve extreme danger to either my hair or hat.

Also I do have some trouble thinking that a beret can hide anything larger than a ladybug.

However, if there’s a market niche somewhere in this story just begging to be filled, I’m your man. I’ll give this whole thing some considerable thought and get back to you.

In the meantime, my advice still stands. Your head belongs in your hat. Nowhere else and certainly nothing else.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on August 29, 2007 at 4:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sequins on Your Trapper Hat

Trapper Hats from Hartford York Hats - Women's Winter Hat - Wigens Leather Trooper Hat - The BetsyOn her blog, Style Bubble, Susie Bubble bemoans the fact that so much cold weather headwear is confined to simple hat shapes like berets and watch caps (beanies, she says, don’t count), and she’d love to see other shapes.

Such as?

Well, top hats are mentioned (small and perched on the side of your head) as are bowlers (play up the Chaplin associations and wear with satin lapelled blazer, t-shirt but contrast with black skinnies), and then she touts the trapper, a great winter hat with the same silhouette as a trooper or bomber.

The trapper that caught Susie’s eye was shiny: of it she said, I sort of secretly liked the clash of impractical sequins and the practical outdoors shape.

OK, the trooper pictured here doesn’t have sequins, but the dainty embroidery and use of sinewy lambs wool to frame a pretty face is (doesn’t always have to be mine) is, I think, completely beguiling for the same reason – the play between the delicacy of the trim, the practical durability of the leather, and the expected bite of cold temperatures.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

If you’re shivering just reading this post (seems to happen frequently, by the way) get better soon, and then get free updates by email or RSS.

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Published in: on August 25, 2007 at 3:13 am  Comments (2)  

Who Else Is Waiting For Fall Hats?

Winter Hats from Hartford York - Crown Cap Fur Hat - The Mink TrooperDiana Bobar is waiting impatiently to wear her faux fur hat and–according to her blog entry–she’s been waiting since July 26th!

I too am looking forward to putting on some tweed newsboys and walking hats this fall. I really don’t know if I could happily live in a place like California where moderate weather year-round nearly erases seasonal contrasts. I mean, I’d be happy never to shovel again, of course – but to give up the glories of my Mink Trooper? I think not.

Thanks for understanding,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on August 23, 2007 at 1:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Searching for Your Head Mate

Cowboy Hats from Hartford York Hats - Men's Greeley Beaver Blend Western Dress Hat - The AficionadoI don’t want to depress anyone, but be prepared to weep at least a little when you read Miss(ed) Manners post, Love and Hat. This is one man’s story of a life-long search for a hat, a seemingly impossible task for one with “pin straight asian baby hair” and “a cone shaped head.”

I can’t even imagine the loneliness of this guy’s head, without the warm hug of a trooper on an earlobe-freezing night or the general sense of uber-satisfaction when admiring the reflection of your own happy self in your new dress western hat.

I’d start a support group, but I’m afraid it would too draining emotionally (and take away from my mirror time).

Oh, well. I hope he takes the advice I sent: Buy a top hat, cone head!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer, Sage
and CEO Hartford York

Please note that the advice given herein is to be acted upon immediately or later in life or at least never. To obtain further insightful hints and direct commands, you may sign up for free updates by email or RSS.

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Published in: on August 21, 2007 at 3:44 am  Leave a Comment  

If Your Friends Wear Hats, You Will Too

Caps at Hartford York Hats - Men's Borsalino Leather Ivy Cap - The ZorziDepression-era newspaper man and writer, Stanley Walker, once advised:

Associate with well-mannered persons and your manners will improve. Run around with decent folk and your own decent instincts will be strengthened.

Seems modern-day scientists have just caught up to his words of wisdom – a recent spate of headlines proclaim that your fat friends can make you obese, and thin ones can slim you down. It’s important to note that “the study authors said they were not suggesting people should ditch their overweight friends, though people might want to consider expanding their social network to include more people with a healthy weight.”

How does this tie in with hats? (Thanks for asking.)

Drop all your hat-less friends like the hot potatoes they really are, and come hang out with me!

No, seriously. Why not try an experiment? Start wearing lots of different hats, and see how long it takes for all your friends to take an interest in wearing hats too. Yes, you can change the world.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Global Domination Planner
and CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on August 20, 2007 at 4:14 am  Comments (1)  

Top 3 Hat Misconceptions

Classic Hats from Hartford York Hats - Kaminski Hand Woven Raffia Sun Hat - The MarsellaThis little list won’t change beliefs, but I’m determined to put it out there nonetheless. Fight me if you must.

1. Hats Are For Old People

I think this mistaken belief has been pretty well disproved by the young celebrities who are consistently photographed wearing hats of all shapes and styles. From Johnny Depp and the Olsen twins to Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, fedoras, porkpies and cowboy hats have made a huge mainstream comeback.

Don’t get me wrong: hats are for old people too. Willy Nelson just looks so much better in his western hats than bareheaded – and, although he’ll never be a truly attractive fella, Billy Joel‘s new album cover shows him quite presentable in his stingy brim.

2. Regular People Don’t Wear Hats

Look around next time you’re at the beach, ball game or when you’re going fishing. These are “regular people” activities, and it’s likely that a large percentage of those around you are in hats. Once people are comfortable in summer hats and ball caps, it’s just a matter of time before they graduate to a more sophisticated look and incorporate headwear into their work-a-day lives.

3. Hats Go Out Of Style Too Quickly

Oh well, you got me there! I’m kidding of course–hats have been around as long as people, and styles haven’t changed all that much. The cloche comes to mind as a modern spin on a medieval concept. For over a hundred years, we’ve had the cowboy and western hats in pretty much the same mode; the fedora and bowler haven’t changed silhouettes, nor has the walking hat deviated from its roots.

If you’ve got a classic hat, well-made and cared for, it’s timeless (sort of like me).

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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To Doff Or Not To Doff – That Is Today’s Hat Question

Fedoras from Hartford York Hats - Men's Scala Panama Hat - The Quito FedoraRussell Smith in his Globe and Mail article confirms a reader’s dilemma when he says that “undefined spaces [like malls and sports arenas] blur the rules of hat-wearing.”

In fact, Mr. Smith (author of Men’s Style: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Dress) makes only one definitive statement regarding a situation in which a man must remove his hat by declaring that “no hats are worn in restaurants, no matter the size of the room“.

His own rule of when to remove his hat is vague but rather depends on the size of the public place he’s in. A small boutique, where you’ll likely wind up chatting with a clerk, is an example of a place where your hat should be removed upon entering. On the other hand, if you’re browsing in a large department store, you can keep your fedora or panama in place “while bending over light fixtures or carpet swatches.”

I agree with Mr. Smith’s take on modern-day doffing situations; however, I have a bit of a quandary he doesn’t seem to address even in his archives. When I do doff, I can’t help but look at and admire extensively my hat in hand, often pointing out the weave or trim details to an interested maitre d’ or confectionery shop owner. While these interludes are pure delight, I must say that I’ve missed quite a few meals and forgotten several purchases this way.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Famished CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on August 6, 2007 at 3:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Panama Hats Through the Ages

Panama Hats from Hartford York Hats - Brent Black - Montecristi Panama - The $10K MontecristiHilary Alexander of Britain’s Telegraph, looks into (what she calls) the new fashion craze behind the Panama hat.

While she concedes that “Justin Timberlake, George Clooney, Pete Doherty and even, perish the thought, Britney Spears, may favour the [fedora]”, the fashionable man at England’s famed summer race meeting on the Duke of Richmond’s estate in West Sussex, will be seen in just one hat: The Panama.

Battered, borrowed or band-box fresh from cardboard tubes where they conveniently roll-up for traveling,the ubiquitous Panama is the hat of choice.

One event attendee confessed that his panama hat was “probably twenty or thirty years old“. Despite the hat’s age, Alexander says “it still looked smart.”

So you see what a bargain the $10K Montecristi Panama is? Buy it today, and you’ll still be looking good in 2037.

Cheers!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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