Johnny Depp in a fedora

Makins Bu Straw Fedora - The FlatironJohnny Depp looks great in a fedora as bank-robbing legend John Dillinger in Public Enemies.

And, as‘s Jeanne Wolf found, Depp admires the famous crook, saying:

Back then the banks were the enemies. We’re learning today that they’ve been the enemies yet again. So when it comes to Dillinger, isn’t it somehow nice to see the underdog kind of take control, even if it was another time?

And now for Johnny Depp’s guide to life:

“Remember that you make your own reality. You don’t have to stay in a little shell that was hammered out for you from childhood. At a certain point you have to come out and live your life the way you want to live it. I had to fight to retain my individuality. It’s just a question of standing straight and saying, ‘No. I’m not going to be what you want me to be. I’m going to be what I want to be.'”

Here’s to straight shooting,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

If you enjoyed this blasted post, get free updates by email or RSS.


Published in: on June 30, 2009 at 1:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Heads In Fedoras

Mr. Green Fedora - The KentFedoras are the hat of choice this summer, if celebrity trends are anything to go by. Hugh Jackman and his son were spotted wearing the classic style as were Jeremy Piven, Robert Downey Jr., Benji Madden among others.

Even in summer, these young men still tend to wear darker colors (only Jack Osborne had a natural straw), but the majority tend to make a further style statement with funky hat bands.

Hollywood heads in fedoras aren’t only men either: Miley Cyrus, Jessica Alba, and Kylie Minogue were also shown in the must-have headwear recently.

What was nice about seeing all these stars in hats was how natural they looked. Sun protection, style and attention-getting is a pretty potent package: what’s not to like?

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Head Fedora and CEO Hartford York

If you read this post whilst wearing a fedora, go to the head of the class and get free updates by email or RSS.


The Origin of Mortarboard Hats and Tassels

Kaminski Wool Beret - The PagliniAccording to The Answer Man, graduates “still sport outfits that represent centuries of pomp and circumstance”, robes which date back 800 years when universities were closely tied to the church.

Continuing with his findings The Answer Man says that the

“strange-looking hat has an even longer and more colorful evolution with roots in ancient Rome and, perhaps, the Middle East.

According to Philip Goff’s “University of London Academic Dress,” the mortarboard developed from the biretta, a similar-looking hat worn by the Roman Catholic clergy. It also may have been influenced by garments from the Islamic madrassas, or schools. But its popularity apparently didn’t take off until it hit the fashion capital of the world — Paris.

Traditionally, university students wore a round hat based on the Roman “pileus rotundus.” It looked something like a beret with a stalk or tab in the center. Then, in the early 1500s, graduates at the University of Paris started wearing a square pileus, according to the Encyclopedia of World Costume. It soon became the rage across Europe.

At first, the headgear consisted of a soft, flat square cap on top of a skull cap, but in the 1600s, the two were incorporated into a single hat.

For comfort, a flat, hard square was added in the 17th century to stiffen the hat so that the corners wouldn’t flop into the face while some long-winded commencement speaker droned on. The tassel apparently came along in the 18th century.

From everything I can find, switching that tassel from right to left to signify graduation is a modern, American custom, but just when and where it started seems to be lost in history.”

I’m sorry to say I got lost after the word biretta. For some odd reason, all I could think of was that old cop show from the 70s with Robert Blake in it, called Baretta, the one where the detective wears a newsboy on his head and a cockatoo on his shoulder.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer, The Memory Man
and CEO Hartford York

If you enjoyed this educational yet still fairly strange post, get free updates by email or RSS.


Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 1:16 am  Leave a Comment  

What Does The Color of Your Hat Say About You?

Mr. Green Parasisal Fedora - The Seafoam FrankAuthor Lee Eiseman knows something about colors. After all, she’s been studying the influence that colors have on people’s lives for over 25 years now. I’ve been reading her tome, The Color Answer Book, to see what she might say about the color “sea foam” (a Mr. Green fedora).

So far, I really haven’t come across anything that speaks directly to parasisal dress hats in mint green, but Ms. Eiseman does say that if you drive a car that is a bright yellow-green, you are sending an unspoken but clear message to the world that you are a trendy, whimsical and lively person.

I think that description fits quite well with my impression of the customers who have purchased The Seafoam Frank. And I too (as a snappy wearer of The Seafoam Frank) acknowledge that I might easily be described as a tad whimsical, somewhat trendy and a most lively person.

What color is your hat?

Thanks for reading,
The Lively Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

If you enjoyed this whimsical post, get free updates by email or trendier RSS.


Published in: on June 12, 2009 at 1:58 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: ,

Hats – the ‘Look At Me’ Accessory

Borsalino Montecristi Panama Fedora - The Vented Montecristi Dress HatIn an article called Pork pies, panamas & trilbies, milliner John Kasriel says the hats are bouncing off the shelves and he puts it “all down to sex, celebrities and, to a lesser degree, cancer.”

The music industry and actors like Brad Pitt, Heath Ledger and Justin Timberlake started it,” he says. “It’s sun protection for some older guys too, but mostly it’s, ‘I want to attract the women. I want to look fantastic. I’ve got confidence. I want to wear a hat’.

Short-brimmed pork pies are especially popular and are selling in pinstripes and double striped fabrics as well as pale coffee colors in linens and cottons and various shades of grey straw, polypropylene or twisted paper weaves.

“Guys are fussy,” says Kasriel. “They don’t just want a hat. They want it this way, up at the front, or that way, down at the back, or a small brim or wider brim, or dents on the side of the crown or not and this color or this band. They know what they want and it’s got to be spot on, perfect. They’ve got something in their mind and they want to look like that exactly.”

He reckons that “something” is usually a mental picture of a hat-wearing celebrity, like Pitt, Ledger, Timberlake, Pete Doherty, Snoop Dog, Kid Rock, Federline, and Hugh Jackman.

And it’s everyone who’s putting the hats on: the 18 year-olds and the 55-year-olds; the heavy metal emos and goths wear their black top hats and bowlers, while baby boomers swear by fedoras and larger brims, and Gen X-ers put their money into trilbies and panamas.

One hatter says the trend of wearing men’s hats is “ready to go ballistic across all levels. We’re going to get to that stage – I think like 50 years ago – when you couldn’t go to the races without a hat.”

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

If went a little ballistic reading this post, get free updates by email or RSS.


A Man’s Hobby Determines His Hat

Wigens Linen Ivy - The RolfIn a BBC News Magazine article by Stephen Dowling called What makes a man wear a hat?, hatter Tim Boucher says of men’s hat wearing habits:

If you look at the history of menswear, in the last 100 years it’s been a gradual progression from formal to casual wear.

Instead of being linked specifically to formal attire (and behavior), men are now wearing Panama hats while watching tennis matches or cricket games; you’ll see straw boaters at boat races, or a trilby when at the races. Porkpies are worn at nightclubs, while ivy caps and newsboys see more action at pubs and in everyday wear.

While many younger, casually-dressed men use hats to showcase their individuality, one 40 year old graphic designer from London says wearing hats

is partly about personal style, but also “there’s an element of a psychological safety blanket as well, the more you cover your head the more of a wall you build up from the rest of society”.

(Who else is betting that guy’s name is Linus?)

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

If you enjoyed tearing down the walls in your hat with this post, get free updates by email or RSS.


Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,