The Belle Hat

Women's Fur Felt Hat - The Helen Kaminski Velour ClocheIn her article, Cloche Call, Leanne Delap writes:

“Cloches…add an illusion of height; the bell shape (hence the name) also works best on a smaller head.” Apparently, Ms. Delap is unable to wear the style due to the exaggerated proportions of her skull, a sad state of affairs, I think you’ll agree.

She then goes on to talk about the rise of the modern cloche, saying that “the look was born in the twenties, in the millinery shops attached to the then-great couture houses of Paris. Meant to be worn low on the brow, the wearer had to look down her nose, lending an air of snootiness to the look.”

You know, you gals have all the fun sometimes. I’d love to look down my nose (although actually that sounds a bit gross, if you know what I mean)–but I’d probably trip, fall and break my beak, or else I’d let a laugh-fueled snort blow–either way, ruining any chance at snootiness.

Work that cloche, you snooty thang!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Hats and the State of Your Affairs

Men's Dress Hats - Men's Borsalino Beaver Fur Felt Fedora Hat - The Stingy UltimoIf you have that sinking feeling that all may not be well in the loaded arena of personal relationships, (but as usual you have no idea what you’ve done), it may simply be time for a new hat.

Women like men who wear hats – they find ’em sexy. I know this by extensive personal experience (well, if I were a woman, I’d find myself incredibly attractive in my Borsalino). Anyway, it’s not just my opinion. I was reading one of those women’s magazines (at the check-out! I was bored!) and a reader survey in it confirmed that most women find men who wear hats to be exciting, confident and fun to be around.

That’s why you can take a guy like Pete Doherty, who isn’t a man you’d immediately label “handsome”, slap a fedora on his head, and he lands a supermodel girl friend. Look at Brad Pitt. He didn’t even wear hats until he wed Angelina Jolie–now he’s sporting fedoras and newsboys all the time, in an obvious attempt to spice up his rather bland blond look and keep the old spark bright.

So there it is, men. Forget couples counseling. Get yerself a hat.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Relationship Guru *cough*
and CEO Hartford York

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A Hat Full of Compliments

Fall/Winter Caps and Baseball Hats from Hartford York - Ivy Caps & Ball Caps - Wigens Shearling BallcapIn case you need a little coaching, cultural anthropologist and writer Dustin Wax has an article over on called How to Take a Compliment. One suggestion he makes is that you look at compliments in the same way you view gifts. You don’t usually decline a present or laugh at the person who’s giving it to you; you receive unexpected gifts with surprised pleasure and thanks.

As you might guess, I’m pretty accustomed to accepting compliments. I mean, I don’t get them about my person, like “Hey, you’re looking really really good, man” or anything–it’s pretty much, well, really it’s always the hats that get the praise, of course: “Wow. Nice hat, guy. Where’d ya get it?“–stuff like that.

(Actually, when you think about it that way, it is a bit depressing.)

On the other hand, who’s the fella with the great taste to pick out those fantabulous hats in the first place?

I’m back on top!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on September 24, 2007 at 7:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Finally! Gum That Doesn’t Stick To My Hat

Fall/Winter Hats for Men - Men's Makins Leather Fedora Hat - The Driftwood FedoraAn important piece of technology has finally been realized, as set out in a Reuter’s article entitled Scientists Develop Non-Stick Chewing Gum, one “that can be easily removed from pavements, shoes and clothes.”

This is a marvelous step forward for mankind. At long last, there’s hope for gum chewers who wear hats! Yes, yes, I suppose there’s the positive environmental impact to be excited over (the stuff “has the potential to be environmentally degradable”) and I guess the health and pollution-free factors might be of import (trials showed that this new gum comes off pavement naturally within 24 hours, unlike normal gum which usually remains stuck on)–but really, let’s get to the heart of the matter here.

Just how many times have you blown a bubble bigger than Wisconsin, only to have the thing explode all over your hat?


I don’t know about you, but I’m buying me some shares in that thar company, Revolymer. I predict Clean Gum will sweep the nation when released next year. Of course, it won’t stick, but then it’s not supposed to.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Wall Street Tycoon
and CEO Hartford York

If you are excited as I am about the advent of non-stick gum, then you probably deserve free updates of this important blog by your choice of email or RSS.


Published in: on September 22, 2007 at 12:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Felted Hats for Fall

Men's Hats from Hartford York Hats - Stacy Adams Wool Felt Fedora - The Gentlemen QIf you can shrink a sweater, then you can make felt. At least that’s what interior designer, artist and professional knitwear designer Catherine Hollingsworth says in her article Fall Is For Felting–And It’s Easy.

And it’s not just hats you can make. Fall is the season for “felted coats and wraps, felted mukluks and slippers, felted scarves. . .and mittens, felted purses and totes, and even felted pillows and throws.”

If you’re a master sweater shrinker, like me, but need a little direction on the felting process, Ms. Hollingsworth recommends a book called Felt Frenzy: 26 Projects for All Forms of Felting which she says is “aimed at the absolute beginner and offers a good set of step-by-step instructions for four types of felting techniques: knit-and-shrink (remember that sweater?), wet felting, needle felting and ‘recycled felting,’ to be used for worn-out sweaters.”

I think I’ll stick to buying my wool felt hats for the moment, but I’m rather intrigued by the idea of making mukluks.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Wannabee Mukluk Maker
and CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on September 19, 2007 at 1:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Hat Collections Make More Than Cents

Men's Hats - Makins Fur Felt/Leather Braid Fedora - The Bronx FedoraFrugal For Life blog owner, Donna C, talks about the The Value of Collecting in a recent post, saying that there is a kind of non-monetary value in collections that can be rather priceless. I’m sure the term ‘sentimental value’ springs to mind, but it needn’t be a maudlin emotion.

If a collection of comic books, great art, or hats simply makes you happy (whether by the acquisition process and/or through actual use of the articles) then the collection is of value to you.

By the way, if you want to make an absolute killing on an old hat, place it in a classy box frame with black and white handbills, photos and other memorabilia-type papers scattered artistically round it. Sell it on ebay for a cool grand, send me my 30%, and we’re even.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer, Hat Collector and
Very Frugal CEO of Hartford York

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Published in: on September 18, 2007 at 1:13 am  Leave a Comment  

The Fedora According to Biltmore

Men's Dress Fedora Hat - Biltmore Velour Fur Felt Fedora - The Designer from Hartford York Hats

In his article A Tip Of The Hat To the Classic Fedora, Marshall Ward of the Canadian publication, The Waterloo Chronicle, quotes Biltmore Hats president, Eric Lynes, as saying:

[The fedora represents] an era of classic styling that can be enjoyed today with the right attitude and appreciation of looking good or dressing up. The ’50s had the Rat Pack guys and glamourous women like Marilyn Monroe, while today you have guys like Usher or Justin (Timberlake), and girls like Britney (Spears), Paris (Hilton) and Alicia Keys.

Lynes goes on to explain why he thinks people wear hats, saying that the very act of wearing a hat makes this statement: “I am confident and unafraid to be an individual–to be different.”

I have often stated (almost verbatim) the same sentiments, but I must take exception to Mr. Lynes’ doubt that “dress hats will ever become a widespread accessory again, as they were at the turn of the 20th century, [although] he does believe that men and women will continue the current trend of wearing hats as they increasingly realize the practical function and fashion enhancement they provide.”

It’s my belief that dress hats will indeed again become as ubiquitous as they once were, mainly due to the ever-increasing influence of mass media programming and the accompanying marketing–in all its forms–and to the fact that younger and highly impressionable children have become targeted.

In other words, little girls who are (still) fans of Britney Spears might well form a life-long love of hats. (Yes, I can find a silver lining in just about anything!)

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

If you tried to read this post, get free updates by email or RSS. If you understood this post, you really need a little vacation.


Published in: on September 14, 2007 at 2:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Hats Most Important – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Dress Hat for Men from Hartford York Hats - Men's Keenan Fur Felt Trilby - The Velour TrilbyFamed author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is quoted as having said:

It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.

Elementary, perhaps – but it did strike me I’ve been echoing the same kind of sentiment for years now. Hats, currently viewed as accessories or non-essential wardrobe items, weren’t always viewed as such. In fact, it wasn’t long ago that properly dressed men and women wouldn’t venture outside without a hat.

It’s funny, then, how much of an impact a hat can have. The person who wears it either gains confidence or makes a statement; anyone seeing a passerby wearing a hat is at least aware of the hat, and makes a subconscious note of its existence or (in many cases) forms an instant and quite definite opinion.

Funny how such a small piece of clothing can become such a focal point.

By the way, did I tell you I’m thinking of writing a detective novel?

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

If you have opinions on hats (except party hats with those stupid little rubber bands that pinch under your chin before snapping), please keep them to yourself, but do feel free to sign up for blog updates by email or RSS.


Published in: on September 13, 2007 at 2:35 am  Leave a Comment  

September is National Hat Month

Newsboy Caps at Hartford York Hats - Men's Borsalino Leather Newsboy Cap - The GiuseppeI love September. Oh sure, lots of my affection for this month of color and cooler temps is because the entire country is celebrating the fact that it’s National Hat Month. However, there are other reasons September is such a favorite time of year for me.

I love that September 15th is Make a Hat Day (which, truth be told, is right up there with Collect Rocks Day). Of course, everyone knows about the 18th being observed as National PlayDoh Day with the always exciting Miniature Golf Day coming hard on its heels.

I’ve got plans–who doesn’t?–for the 22nd (Elephant Appreciation Day), which takes me right into The First Day of Autumn and then The National Bluebird of Happiness Day. Honestly, I can hardly contain myself.

You must be able to guess how much I appreciate the fact that September 30th is the Anniversary of The Invention of the Safety Pin.

Gosh, September’s grand. Exhausting, perhaps, but grand.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

If you’re wondering which hat is best to wear on Elephant Appreciation Day, why not join our little Hat Appreciation Club with free blog updates by email or RSS? It’s nearly painless.


Published in: on September 6, 2007 at 1:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Hats Are So Much More Than Headwear

Straw Hats at Hartford York Hats - Men's Colonel Littleton Woven Straw Panama Hat - The Lynnville PanamaThere’s a great article called Here and There: Papa’s Straw Hat Was A Utility Tool that shows how much hats can be part of someone’s life and even identity.

Evelyn Richardson writes about her father’s faithful hat, the hat he used to not just to shade his face from the broiling sun as he worked in corn and tobacco and hay fields, but also as a cooling fan and even an egg and baby rabbit holder, and as an extension of his arms when herding cattle or shooing chickens.

She says

His straw hat wasn’t much to look at. A new one became conditioned pretty quickly. The inside leather band was soaked with sweat and the discoloration oozed through to the outside. Dust settled in the greasy ring to make it even more noticeable. My mother gave orders for him not to lay it on the clean white counterpane.

No matter its condition, she still liked putting on her dad’s hat and to this day, when she pictures him, “he has on his straw hat, pushed back with a little of his white upper forehead visible under the brim.”

Thanks for the memories, Ms. Richardson.

And thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

If you are dabbing your eyes (or blinking rapidly), you’re obviously touched and should get free updates of this blog by email or RSS.


Published in: on September 4, 2007 at 4:33 pm  Leave a Comment