How to Choose a Hat

Hats are back.

Men’s hats had a prominent place in fashion for hundreds of years. They were as essential to a gentleman’s wardrobe as a pair of shoes. You just rarely saw a man out with no hat.

But then came the 1960’s. The fashion landscape changed drastically as a part of the whole upheaval of the social change of the times. I believe the rejection of authority during the 60’s was reflected in a rejection of the way people dressed. Out with the old stuffy institutionalized fashion and in with the hip mod colorful styles. Hats just kind of got caught up in the rebellion and disappeared among the new generation.

From the 1970’s into the 1990’s, hats were not worn simply because they just were not a part of everyday dress. Sure, you’d see the ball caps, but men wearing hats to work and on social outings just wasn’t common.

As we hit the twenty-first century, hats began a slow comeback. It was more of a personalized statement to don a fedora than a revival of an old tradition. Nevertheless, hat wearing has been growing in popularity. Now that I think about it, raiders-imageIndiana Jones may have kick started the trend we’re seeing now all the way back to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indy was a swashbuckling hero and he looked pretty cool in that hat. Inspirational!

So, maybe you’ve thought off and on about getting a hat. What might you need to know in making a choice you’ll be happy with?

I’d recommend the first step is a visit to an actual men’s hat shop. Here’s why. A hat shop carries a variety of styles, and they have experts who can help you make an appropriate selection. I think you’ll be happier with your choice than if you just ordered from an online picture.

The hat shop personnel can recommend a style based on when and where you would wear the hat, and based on the shape of your face. Yep, that’s right. The shape of your face. You might think you’d look really super cool in a bowler, but you actually look like a  doorknob. You don’t want that. The right hat will complement your face. So get professional help.

Different styles of hats work for different occasions. A flat cap or snap brim leans toward the more casual situation. A standard brim fedora with a smart pinch crown is the crowning piece of a more formal or business dress occasion. The stingy brim fedora can be dressed up or down. Bowlers and top hats are more for unique occasions or character accessories.

So you’ve got your hat. Now comes the question so many guys ask; Where am I going to wear this? You’ll put it on at home and look in the mirror and say, This is a mighty sharp looking hat, but you won’t go out wearing it. It goes back in the box or on the shelf.

Hat shame. It’s something you’ll need to get past. You bought that sweet topper to wear…so let’s wear it! Hat wearing requires a level of self confidence. The best way to get past your hat shame is to wear it like you own it! You will find that you become less self conscious and more self confident.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting and wearing a hat. Go for it! I for one would love to see hats continue to gain popularity. So, let’s band together (see what I did there?) and keep the hat revival growing!



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