Men Buying Hats in Droves

Santana Stingy Brim FedoraWell, it’s official. The male shopper is back, and he’s stocking up on hats and accessories.

According to an article in the business section of The New York Times, men have stepped out of the recession and are buying big time again. In fact,

“Men are buying so many accessories that some forecasters predict sales growth for men’s clothing and accessories during the first three months of this year will set a 20-year high.”

This is great news, not only for retailers, but for all fashion-loving gentlemen who agree with Eric Jennings (the fashion director for men’s wear at Saks Fifth Avenue) who was quoted in the article as saying:

“If [men have] learned one thing through the recession, it’s that looking schlumpy is not going to help you keep your job, get promoted or get a new job. I think they’re taking their appearance more seriously.”

It’s true. A fine hat or cap–which does not have to be prohibitively expensive–always makes a good impression. It implies self-confidence and independence (the wearer doesn’t look like everyone else) as well as pride in appearance.

And if you look the part, you’ll be the part.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Time for a Rain Hat

Borsalino Leather Ivy CapWith spring on the way (call me hopeful!), winter troopers are being replaced with rain hats — or at least hats that lend some protection in the event you’re lost in the mist.

Personally, I like leather driver caps, like the one shown here by Borsalino. Although it’s not necessary, I protect the leather with some waterproofing treatment (I usually get a product that you rub in rather than spray on), and then am good to go.

If I want to wear a fedora on a drizzly day, I’ll usually choose a fur felt over a wool felt. The fur felt tends to hold its shape better when it gets wet (unless the wool has been treated specifically to be water resistant), but either way, I’ll let the hat dry out completely as soon as I’m inside.

There are some exceptions to the ‘fur felt is best’ school of thought. Bailey of Hollywood uses a P2i nano technology to make both materials as close to waterproof as possible, while still breathable for comfortable wear.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Dry in My Hat and
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Made in the USA

Stetson Hat - The Open RoadClint Eastwood’s “Halftime in America” Super Bowl ad for Chrysler made my day — not that I’m necessarily advocating blanket auto industry bail-outs and only slightly because I’m a little afraid to disagree with a man the LA Times calls “America’s most virile octogenarian.”

No, the reason I liked the ad is because I know the economic importance of the Made in the USA label and have been doing my bit to offer American-made products on my site since day one.

From the “Made in America” Stetson Open Road shown above to New York City-based designers Eugenia Kim (whose rise to millinery fame started when one of her own hats she was wearing to hide a bad haircut was spotted by boutique owners in Soho) and Makins (who started in a fourth floor NYC walk-up more than 35 years ago, and still makes the hats one at a time, using wooden blocks and live steam), you’ll find enough US-made hats and caps to fill your hat rack.

You can also buy made-in-America hats and caps at Hartford York by an alliance of artists and hat designers located in the heart of San Francisco, called 1333 Minna. Some of the hats offered by Scala are also made in the USA, like The Justin, for instance, a very popular leather newsboy.

I could go on, but now I’m kind of thinking that I should have done a Made in the USA Super Bowl commercial. Oh, well…I guess it’ll have to go straight to YouTube.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
(also made in the USA)
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 9, 2012 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Do You Abuse Your Hat?

Crushable Wool Outback HatSome hats can take it — the abuse, that is. You can stuff ’em up your sleeve or into a suitcase, and they’re good to go when shaken out.

Don’t think you can always tell which hat is rollable or crushable just by eyeballing it. Even straw hats (which you usually associate with crushable hats) can be lacquered, in which case you can actually break them if you try to roll them.

Based on the handsome appearance of the Woolrich outback hat pictured here, I never would have assumed it is one that you can roll up for easy storage (when it’s not looking good on your head). But it is crushable, as its name confirms.

In fact, wool felt hats tend to be the best bet for travel hats, and any style can be crushable. For instance, there’s a pork pie hat by Kangol that’s not only packable, but it’s water repellent too. Talk about a useful travel hat!  Scala offers its Roadmaster (great name for a travel friendly fedora, by the way) which you can roll up, tuck into your bag or briefcase, then shake to pop back into shape.

Happy trails!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 8, 2012 at 3:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Winter Hats Still Required: Punxsutawney Phil

Beaver and Leather Trooper HatDon’t pack up those winter hats, people! Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil is calling for six more weeks of winter. Although Staten Island Chuck disagrees, it might not be a bad idea to grab a trooper or fur hat just in case.

Has it occurred to anyone else that it seems a bit odd to rely on burrowing rodents to predict fairly important weather patterns? And how must that make meteorologists feel? Imagine: One more bad forecast, Smithy, and it’s the woodchuck for you! 

For those of you who live in places where the snow flies, it’s nice to know that earmuffs and warm gloves are only a click away, especially when you see that stores have already stockpiled spring and summer apparel, with nary a winter hat to be found. I guess they’ve been listening to that marmot from Staten Island.

As a little added incentive to stock up, here’s the secret link to where you can save 25% on JB Stetson Troopers.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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