Is a Hat Exclusive to HartfordYork Really Exclusive?

Short answer: yes. Long answer: yesiree!

I really do personally work with the best hat makers in the business to bring you hats that you simply can’t get anywhere else except at Hartford York Exclusives. Sometimes I ask the designers to go for broke and create a one-off, such as in the case with Wigens Estonian; sometimes I ask for a specific addition, a touch of my own (see The Tartu). Borsalino of Italy plays with me in addition to the Swedish hatter, as does Anthony Paris and even Aston Leather.

As you can see from the Exclusives page, designers are willing to work with any hat or cap shape — from baseball caps and pilot’s bombardiers to a men’s stingy brim dress hat in leather, these toppers are unique. And that’s probably why we all bother (manufacturers, retailers as well as you, the consumer) — it’s exciting to wear something that only those people in the know can find, and it’s rewarding to offer exclusive products to knowledgeable customers.

Thanks for being there,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 12:07 am  Leave a Comment  

I Like Big Hats (And I Cannot Lie)

Men's Borsalino Handwoven Straw Panama Hat - The Fino TurndownI think the saddest thing I ever read was one hat lover’s lament that his head was so big he had real trouble finding a hat to fit, and so was forced (on the most part) to do without wearing hats at all.

We make apparel to fit all sizes, but accessory items like gloves and hats can still be hard to find in 3XL. The average circumference of the human head is about 55.9 cm for men (that’s 22 inches); and 54.47cm (nearly 21.5″) for women. The deviation is usually no more than 2cm (3/4 inch) either way.

It may not seem like a lot, but a couple of centimeters difference in the fit of your hat can give you a splitting headache — if it’s on the tight end. Similarly, if your hat’s even slightly too big, it can be uncomfortable to wear and make you very self-conscious.

Take the time to carefully measure your head before buying a hat and also take hope: caring hat retailers (you know, like me) offer entire sections dedicated to extra-large hats to the tune of triple XL (that’s 64 cm or just a titch over 25 inches). All of this means that big heads can be covered with great hats–and that I’ve again done good in the world.

If your head is bigger than that, well I probably won’t be able to control myself, and may shout out Hey Pumpkinhead before running wildly away.

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

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Published in: on August 14, 2009 at 5:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Have You Seen Julie and Julia?

I was dragged (I mean, I went willingly!) to see a movie about Julia Child (based on Julie Powell’s 2002-2003 blog, where Powell recounted her quest of making all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s tome, Mastering the Art of French Cooking).

The movie made me really hungry and distinctly nostalgic, all at the same time.

The diplomatic world of France in the late ’40s is one of two eras captured in this movie (the other being post 9/11, making-ends-meet New York), with all its fashion, social patter, men’s hat styles and big cars. Although I wasn’t even alive then, I somehow feel a pull towards the kind of classy existence portrayed, not all of which can simply be Hollywood manufactured dross.

What decade or era does it for you?

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on August 12, 2009 at 1:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Wearing Homburgs and Trilbies, Sometimes With Clothes

Inis Meain Linen Cardigan - The Linen Cardigan with Fashion Ivy CapAaron Britt of the SF Chronicle says the most important rule of properly wearing the modern-day fedora is to “roughly match your level of formality with the gravity of the hat.” This statement seems obvious, but no-style baseball caps still tend to be worn far too much even when the clothing begs for a more refined hat style (or simply a better baseball cap, such as one from Borsalino, 1333 Minna or Wigens).

Hat material is used by designers to determine how formal a hat look is. For instance, a fur felt fedora is certainly almost always dressier than a stingy-brim trilby in an open-weave straw. Watch the weave though — if it’s too fine, you’ve likely entered the regal realm of the Panama straw hat.

Britt’s rule of thumb that you should wear a shirt or jacket with a collar when wearing a hat (not a cap) is fine as long as it is recognized that some exceptions to that rule can actually make the hat. Certainly nothing was lost when this male model wore no shirt at all with his fedora. For those of you who thought it, yes, that was me back in the day. . .

Thanks for reading,
Steve (Full of Surprises) Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 5:31 am  Leave a Comment