Full disclosure: I love hats. Of course, they are functional. Is the sun in your eyes or has the snowfall become a whiteout? Don’t walk around with your hands on your brow or head—wear a hat. There is no reason that a man or a woman should take care to be stylish from toes to eyebrows and call a halt there. Head north and crown your work with an appropriate chapeau.
Headgear loyalty recently came to mind when my wife, a stylist at a major retailer, again attended the annual “hat luncheon” in the Conservancy Garden in Central Park (officially, the 29th Annual Frederick Law Olmstead Awards Luncheon given by the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy). My wife and her buds looked great in their hats. How hard is it to choose the right hat in an age in which the rules of hat wearing, one as clear as the rules of chess, have become a bit opaque? My wife’s elegant solution: take our preschooler to the store and wear whatever he selects. (It was the yellow one.)
My dilemma with hats is circumference—of my cranium, I mean. I have known only one guy who ever had a hat size bigger than mine—the inimitable Stan Murray, the late father of Shep and Ian Murray, the founders of Vineyard Vines. When Stan put one of my enormous lids onto his head, it looked like a yarmulke.
Just the same, there is one hatter in London and another in Dublin that carry good selections in my size. In Los Angeles, I had a fedora custom-made for me by Baron Hats, which did the same for Indiana Jones (i.e., Harrison Ford, in character). And how will I choose my hats going forward? Luckily, at home, I have a preschooler.
Credit: Alan Behr