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  

Shopping for Your Hat Online Good for Environment

Wigens Leather Ballcap with Earflaps - The Knut at HartfordYork.com

A recent study shows that carbon emissions are 15 times higher when something is purchased in a store than when it is bought online.

The study adds to prior research which noted a 35 percent reduction in energy consumption and in carbon dioxide emissions when people shop online rather than going to a mall.

It’s the extra travel and packaging of the product that takes the biggest environmental toll when you shop at brick-and-mortar stores. In his article Create More Time & Help the Environment, Dr. Joseph Mercola says:

Typically retailers have products shipped from a distributor to a regional warehouse, and then distributed to individual stores. This requires not only extra energy but also extra packaging. Customers then drive to and from the store, and take their purchases home in another package, typically a plastic bag.

Hats off to all of you tree-huggers who buy your hats online!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on January 9, 2010 at 11:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Young Men in Suits and Hats

Men's Wigens Shearling Ivy Cap With Earflaps - The Sven at HartfordYork.com

In a New York Times Fashion & Style article called Dressing for Success, Again, the chief analyst at NPD Group (a retail sales tracking company) says:

The older generation, say 45-plus, look upon success as being able to dress down. They think being able to wear jeans is the epitome of achievement. But the younger generation is looking at getting dressed up and making their mark. It’s a real generation gap here.

Today, a reversal in the expected norm of the well-dressed older gent is seen everywhere, with 25-year-olds in natty sport coats, skinny ties and dapper fedoras. In fact, young men are embracing the Mad Men elements of style.

Writer David Colman cites as evidence of this trend the “numerous men’s wear blogs. . . dedicated to . . . old-school minutiae of dressing well. Or take a look at the Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones, who favors double-breasted suits and bow ties and talks about ‘the resurgence of the gentleman.'”

Samuel Rascoff, an NYU professor of law theorizes about his well-dressed students and their peers, saying that

this return to style, or to a consciousness of how you look, is an attempt by young men to recover a set of values that were at one point very much present in American society and then lost. It strikes me as being of a piece with the way young people buy their coffee or their food: paying attention to authenticity or quality, and to whether something is organic or local. They stand for a rejection of the idea that all consumer goods are ephemeral and inevitably made in China and bought at Wal-Mart.

Let’s take the good professor’s lesson to heart, men: “You might be comfortable naked, but that don’t mean it looks good.”

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Fully Dressed CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 8:36 pm  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

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Hat Appeal

Men's Hats and Women's Hats at HartfordYork.com - From fur felt fedoras to caps and classics like The Ambassador Winter Hat by Miller Hats. Made of dyed Persian lambs wool. Order your hat today!An article in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, called Hats Get An Upsurge In Popularity, contains some fashion trends and advice from industry experts:

Specific Trends
Hats seem to be in style at all times, though the specific hat style trends come and go,” says Shannon Fischer, junior account executive for The Baddish Group, a New York marketing firm that researches hats. “For example, the slouchy beret is the hot item this winter. Certainly, more celebrities have been spotted in winter accessories, and hat popularity is skyrocketing.”

The Classics
“We’ve seen the return of the more structured, classic hats,” says Gregg Andrews, a fashion director for Nordstrom Department Stores. “A lot of these hats have that vintage feel to them, and they look great.”

Michael Carl, fashion director for Allure magazine agrees: “A black hat and black coat looks great and pretty much works for everybody. It always looks chic.”

Renew Your Outfit
A great hat can spice up a casual jean outfit and make it much more stylish and fabulous. Conversely, a hat can dress down a more classic formal outfit in a chic and trendy way, Fischer says. Even a plain outfit can be jazzed up with a funky hat.

Thanks for reading,
The Chic and Trendy
Steve Singer, All Jazzed
Up in a Funky Hat
and CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 3:25 am  Comments (2)  

I Like Hats For What They’re Not

Men's Colonel Littleton Woven Straw Panama Summer Hat - The Lynnville Panama Western HatHats are not related in any way to Giant Toasted Leaf-Cutter Ants.

Nor are they made from Mopani Worms, Reindeer Paté or even Thai Green Crocodile Curry. Certain people who wear hats might, of course, consume Lizard Wine, Civet Coffee or Monkey-Picked Tea Wash, but the hat itself is absolved from any such participation.

Yes, I was browsing Trendwatching.com again, and when I got to No. 17 in the section called Itgredients, where the food and beverages industry was singled out for “catering to consumers’ endless lust for experimentation and desperate attempts to consume anything that other people haven’t”, I was mighty glad I’ve been faithful to my hats all these years.

Sure, there’s been innovation and experimentation with caps and hats over time, sometimes with the crown shape, brim size or material and colors, but I would proudly wear each and every product I sell on my site (yes, even the women’s hats, although not far outside the house).

In all honesty, however, I don’t think I could consume a small bag of worms (sold, by the way, for a mere $20).

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on July 31, 2008 at 2:00 am  Leave a Comment  

There’s A Hat For Everybody (But Not Emus)

Men's Hats - Linen Newsboy Cap - The Anthony Peto La Louvre ChapeauUK hatter, Anthony Okwesia, explains how he helps people find hats to suit them:

Measure their head, look at what they’ve got on, the shape of their face, see what style they like. Generally it’s all about feel and attitude because you’ll know when you put the right one on.

In an article about him (called Anthony The Hat Man in The Manchester Confidential), he goes on to talk about who buys what from him, saying:

I cater from anyone from 6-60. In Liverpool I tend to find you get students, emos, goths, . . . a lot of thespian kind of people . . . all sorts: the trendies, the bohemians, all the hippy types . . . everyone comes and buys. The older generation like their hats. The Chinese like their hats. And then you get all the tourists . . . Spanish people love hats. Irish people love their hats [especially trilbies and flat caps]. Actually I’d say Spanish and Irish buy the most.

I understood all of the foregoing — everything but the “emos” reference.

At first, I thought Anthony was somehow selling hats to emus, but then realized he actually wasn’t referring to the large Australian flightless bird (similar to the ostrich but smaller), but in fact to those youth whose lifestyle embraces a subculture which embodyies emotional sensitivity (ie., emos). *whew* What a difference a letter makes, I’ll tell ya!

Ah well! Live and learn, I say.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Budding Ornithologist and
CEO Hartford York

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The Vanity of Hats

Stetson Men's Ivy Cap - The Bandera Linen Ivy at HartfordYork.comWell, now. Something very interesting about the difference between the sexes from the minds behind Gullible Info, where they intone:

Women who lie about their age shave an average 4.4 years off their age. Fewer men lie about their age than women but those who do lie shave off an average 6.2 years.

At first, I thought this fact correlated quite smoothly with my own observation that although women tend to have more hats than men, more men than women actually wear hats (ie., more men are style-driven and thus vainer than women). However, that’s really not the case.

The resurgence of both the trilby and newsboy amongst younger males (first musicians and then actors) seems to be part of a selected lifestyle. Women, on the other hand, make more a one-off fashion statement when they wear hats, and so their decision to wear a hat is subject to daily change.

Although I’m sure my findings are profound and may impact the worlds of both fashion and psychiatry on deep and meaningful levels, I’m a bit too distracted to study the issue further. You see, I can’t really decide if I should wear my straw porkpie or my panama hat today, and until I choose, I’m simply all a-flutter.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Hand Wringer and
CEO Hartford York

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Hats – The Ultimate Luxury

Hats and Caps - Men's Christys' Cashmere Newsboy Cap - The AlastairMore and more, designers and fashion industry analysts agree: the hat is back. From Joseph Amodio’s article in NewsDay.com, the reasons cited for the resurgence are different, but the result is unanimous:

Suze Yalof Schwartz, Glamour magazine’s executive fashion editor at large, says: “A few years back, the trend in accessories was minimalism. Now we’ve got huge necklaces, big cuffs. What comes next? Hats. They’re the ultimate luxury.

Boutique owner, Jeannie Gesthalter, likes hats because they update your look and make “anything you’re wearing look new.”

A Manhattan milliner likes the mystery of hats, saying the look is “sexy without being obvious.”

Gosh, when will everyone start listening to me?

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 19, 2008 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hats Are More Important Than Food

Men's Dress Fedoras and Hats - Men's Borsalino Fur Felt Fedora - The CasualGreat news!

The American public has finally come to its senses, declaring in one, unified voice that hats are indeed more important than food.

In a ShopTalk Blog article called Where are Americans putting their spare dollars?, Aarthi Sivaraman says that “a survey conducted online by HSBC in December found that the fear of recession has spooked Americans into deciding that they should save significantly more in 2008.”

He goes on to warn that

U.S. consumers said they were prepared to make changes to their lifestyle to save more, the survey found, so retail companies and restaurants — watch out!

Numbers cited are:

  • 64 percent of these folks plan to reduce spending on ‘indulgences’
  • 33 percent will cut back on shopping
  • 41 percent will think twice about eating out

OK, first of all, hats have never been considered an ‘indulgence’, so that 64 percent is something I don’t have to worry about.

Next–the 41 percent who’ll think twice about eating out are obviously wise people who recognize the value of hats, who like to shop for hats and will continue doing so, no matter how thin (and stylish) they look.

Lastly, the 33 percent of people who will cut back on shopping are:

1. in the minority (and obviously misinformed as to life priorities);

2. if push comes to shove, will likely cut back on shopping for stuff that nobody sees, like underwear and socks, and will keep buying hats.

ERGO, hat retailers have nothing to worry about.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Market Whiz, Trend Analyst
and CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on February 17, 2008 at 12:19 am  Leave a Comment