I Love Men in Hats – a Mad Men quote

Mr. Kim Toyo Fedora - The Camel CurtIn a recent Toronto Sun article, Christina Hendricks was asked if she has experienced any 1960s fashion epiphanies through her role as Joan Harris, the head-turning office manager at Sterling Cooper, on the wildly popular TV drama, Mad Men.

Hendricks replied that she loves hats and in particular that she loves men in hats. She was also quoted as saying that “Don Draper’s wide-brimmed fedora looks great on him.”

Sun columnist and editor Bill Harris then wrote the line in the article that’s closest to my heart (which in no way discounts his opener: “It’s the Don of a new era”):

That sound you hear isn’t thunder, it’s a stampede of men desperately trying to find a chapeau shop that sells something other than baseball caps.

Hendricks is not speaking as her Mad Men character when she talks about her love of hats. She commented in the article that her husband, actor Geoffrey Arend, likes hats too, saying that “he wears a little bowler” and added that “he looks very good in a bowler.”

I’ve always liked that  Christina Hendricks. She’s gorgeous, talented and has got very good taste!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on March 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Did You Watch Mad Men?

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad MenMad Men is back, after a 17-month long (!) break. There are recaps in every publication, from the LA Times to the New York Daily News, so I won’t write one, but I sure am glad to see those 60’s sets, styles and great men’s hats again.  Twitter’s all abuzz too, and I really liked the comment from celebuzzz that said “Pete’s checkered jacket was this episode’s unsung hero.”

In a review from Toronto.com, there’s a good observation by critic Rob Salem who says that the one thing he’s “always loved about Mad Men was the little moments, the tossed-off trivialities that bring us instantly and more vividly back to the era than the most detailed re-enactment ever could.”

The cigarette stubbed out in a dessert. The detritus of the family picnic blanket blithely dumped on the grass of a public park. The children running around the house with plastic laundry bags over their heads, being scolded because “they might knock something over” (though this may say less about the period than it does Betty’s parenting skills).

By the way, if you liked the French pop hit used in last night’s premiere, called Zou Bisou Bisou (which means “Oh you, Kiss, Kiss” in a loose translation),  it’s available on iTunes and there’s a vinyl available on the Mad Men website.

So, did you watch Mad Men?

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on March 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Men’s Large Hats in Sizes 2X and 3X

Borsalino Panama Hat - The Vented Montecristi Fedora at HartfordYork.comMen’s hats that fit very large heads can sometimes be quite difficult to find. Most retailers just don’t seem to keep enough 2X and 3X sizes in stock — the hats that are big enough for the hard-to-fit man with a Size 8 head, measuring 25 1/4 inches.

At Hartford York, we have an extensive collection of men’s hats in larger sizes, from dress hats to casual caps in every material. Pictured above is a Borsalino Panama hat called The Ventilated Montecristi. It’s a limited edition, handwoven hat that is exceptionally lightweight for comfortable summer wear. The level of craftsmanship is obvious from the intricacy of the weave.

Also available in XXL is a newsboy cap called The Linen Lennon. I challenged my friend Anthony Peto of Paris to recreate the cap (the original of which is in a famous picture of John Lennon), and this very full cut newsboy in a toothy 100% Irish linen is the result. Imagine.

For those of you who pay attention to such things, yes, both The Ventilated Montecristi and The Linen Lennon are exclusive to Hartford York, in addition to being part of 2X and 3X hat selection.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Trends in Men’s Hats for Spring/Summer 2012

Santana Ivy Cap - The Superstitious at HartfordYork.comIn response to a media query as to men’s fashion trends this season, I said that the most noticeable I’ve seen so far are that men are having more fun with their ever-increasing selection of choices and are also taking far more “risks” than they have in the past.

A few examples:

The Fantasy Band by Borsalino. It may seem a small thing, but the dark edging on the light ribbon trim on this Panama fedora really changes its overall appearance, and is a complete departure from the perceived “norm” of a bleached white straw with black ribbon.

The Superstitious by Carlos Santana (pictured above) is a satin-lined ivy cap that is brilliant in color, and it’s proving already to be extremely popular. This is a real departure from the conservative solids we’re used to seeing in men’s caps. In fact, there is a general movement towards more plaids and contrast panels in caps, even within the tans and grays. This trend not only gives today’s hat wearers far more choice, it also encourages younger guys to take the hat plunge.

The Patchwork Ravi is a cotton hat by Robert Graham. Usually everyone immediately goes to “bucket hat” when picturing a cotton hat, but this stingy brim plaid trilby is both boldly stylish and eminently wearable. Breaking preconceived notions seems to be the rule of thumb that is governing fashion trends in menswear, be it apparel or hats.

What’s your opinion?

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on March 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Five-star hats and caps

Summer Ivy Cap at HartfordYork.comWe’ve got lots of men’s hats and caps at Hartford York that have received five-star ratings from happy customers. I know that when I’m buying anything online, I always look at customer reviews, so I’m really grateful that many of you who purchase take the time to leave a review.

Although our 2012 inventory is so new as to have yet to receive reviews, a few spring/summer caps that I’ve brought back this year have at least one five-star rating, including:

The Patchogue, a linen and tropical wool blend ivy cap from JB Stetson (pictured above);

The Leonard, a leather newsboy cap from Scala. It’s a perfect cap for spring when the weather’s still a little iffy, and judging by the 7 five-star reviews this cap has received (so far!), quite a few others share that opinion.

The Degas, a milan braid fedora which, in the words of a satisfied customer is “better than expected.”

The Corazon Espinado is a stingy brim Panama hat from Carlos Santana that features hand painted artwork on the crown. Zoom in on the hat image, and you’ll see how the artwork continues onto the hat band. Very cool.

Another Panama hat that received a five-star review is The Aficionado.  This is a top of the line Montecristi dress hat from Brent Black, and the customer that bought this hat says that it’s a “great design and look.”

I look forward to reading more of your customer reviews!

Thanks for posting them,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on March 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Customer Testimonials at Hartford York Hats

We’ve got a very nice testimonial page at HartfordYork.com, and I wanted to thank those customers who’ve taken the time to leave words of praise. In the last few weeks alone, we’ve posted some comments including:

I was very pleased with the product and the entire purchasing process.–John L., March 8, 2012.

Always a good catalogue and easy to negotiate the website. Thanks.–Geoffrey W., March 3, 2012.

Wonderful selection of hats in all sizes.–Sandy, March 2, 2012.

You have by far the most beautiful hats I’ve ever seen in catalog form.–Tim S., March 1, 2012.

I wait for the Spring Arrivals like a wine aficionado waits for the Nouveau wines.–Paul K., Feb. 29, 2012.

Your phone order help was great. He steered me to the right hat in the right size. Very polite. A gentlemanly place to shop.–David, Feb. 29, 2011.

You sell quality items and I love viewing the hats and all the other items as well. –Diallo S., Feb. 23, 2012.

Great selection of Makins. More Makins and Christys’ hats in the mailers, please!–Name Withheld, Feb. 23, 2012.

Beautiful, classy hats.–Vera K., Feb. 22, 2012.

Who else thinks that HartfordYork.com customers are the best customers in the world?

Thanks for being there,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on March 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Men’s Hats and Caps for Spring/Summer 2012

Our new collection of Spring/Summer hats and caps is in — if you haven’t leafed through the eCatalog, why not take a few minutes? You’ll like what you see.

There are the men’s hats by noted NYC hat designer Eugenia Kim (which were created exclusively for Hartford York, by the way) as well as those from Anthony Peto of Paris, including one cap called The Tweedledee.

Another exclusive to Hartford York (and you) is from the Santana by Carlos Santana line of hats. It’s called The Santana Special and I think you’ll enjoy wearing this stingy brim all summer long.

One of my favorites in the new hats this season has got to be the one from Borsalino they call The Mazzini. It’s made from braided abaca, which is leaf stalks from a species of banana tree native to the Phillipines. The weave is open and you’ll see hints of two tones of color throughout. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Linen is a great warm weather material, and there’s a newsboy from JB Stetson in plaid that’s fresh and sings of Spring, as does The Inti Ivy Cap from Robert Graham (a linen/cotton blend driver style cap that’s just too cool for school).

You know I could go on, but I need to get back to the site to ogle hats — I mean, to help customers. Let me know which hat is your new favorite!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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