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National Harbor Grand Opening Celebration

June 27th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in News from the Shops

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We are so excited about our newest shop in the DC/VA area. We already received an extremely warm welcome in our National Harbor location and are looking to celebrate with a Grand Opening event this Thursday, June 30th from 4pm to 8pm.

Enjoy 15% Off any Belfry Brand hat in the store (excluding sale items) when you say the special VIP password “Hats Off”!

You can also look forward to refreshments, give-aways and a raffle! We hope to see you there to celebrate our return to the DC/VA area. We are glad to be back!

What: Grand Opening Celebration

Where: 140 Waterfront Street, Oxon Hill, MD (National Harbor)

When: Thursday, June 30th, 4-8pm

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Summer Style for Men

June 22nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Men's Hats

The summer is a time to relax, get casual and enjoy some fun in the sun. But all that time spent manning the barbeque, out on the boat/beach and watching 4th of July parades can leave a guy exposed to harmful UV rays. My suggestion…put a hat on! Choose a hat that compliments your style and you will not only be protected from the sun, but look damn good, too.

T-shirt and Shorts guys – A guy with casual and comfortable style (like this Abercrombie look) can keep it simple with a hat that can be worn through all the seasons.

The Belfry Street Army cap gives the same amount of sun protection as a baseball hat and is light weight and comfortable.

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T Shirt and Jeans – If you are a t-shirt and jeans guy whether it is July or November, let you hat be the seasonal twist to your wardrobe. A basic grey Banana Republic shirt is the perfect backdrop to let your hat make the impression.

The Belfry Street Santiago is a great light weight cap that adds a super stylish element without looking like you are trying too hard.

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Button Up and Shorts – If you are a casual guy who prefers a button up to a regular t-shirt (J.Crew style) your hat choice should complement your look while keeping it simple.

Go for a natural color straw that will go with any color combination in a style like the Belfry Straw Jazz.

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Classed Up Casual – When putting together a stylish casual look (like this one from Banana Republic) you have to make sure your hat doesn’t make you look over the top.

The Belfry Street Cabana fedora is absolutely on trend for this summer. The snap brim style is perfect to wear day into evening.

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Classic – The classic polo look from Brooks Brothers lends itself well to great hat style. A perfect panama straw will keep you cool while making you look cool.

The Belfry Delay is similar to a Safari style, with a downturned brim for optimal sun protection.

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Trendsetter – If you are into wearing the latest in men’s casual fashion, make sure your hat is as stylish as the rest of you.

The Gonzo from Makins in raffia straw is a favorite this season and goes great with a casual summer style.

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Button Up and Jeans – If you are a jeans wearing kind of guy who isn’t afraid of color, keep your hat style clean a simple. A khaki driving cap looks great with an Abercrombie colorful plaid button up.

A style like the Belfry Street Gilmore will work with your style for every season of the year.

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The Bad, The Bad and The Ugly

June 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style

I love when I find a picture of one of my favorite celebrities in a great hat. It is fantastic to see actors, musicians, and even reality TV stars wearing a stylish hat on the red carpet. When a celebrity takes a risk with their hat style sometimes it is awesome and sometimes it is awful. Today’s post is a tribute to those that have tried and failed…but at least they tried. I am no celebrity stylist, but I’m sure I can recommend a better hat style to complete these celebrity looks.

Regina King, known for her roles in films like Jerry Maguire, Enemy of the State and Boys in the Hood, is definitely in fantastic shape and not afraid to show some leg. The dress is cute and summery, even if it is a little short. The white cloche hat, just does not compliment her look. A floppy hat in a great color like the San Diego Jessica, large brim would have made a much better impression.

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Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussy Cat Dolls has been known to wear some revealing items when performing on stage. Why she has chosen to wear this ensemble is beyond me. I almost don’t have anything to recommend that would save it. This floppy style in olive green is a great hat, but paired with a fur vest and skinny jeans, it looks like an afterthought. A mod style cap like the Belfry Jay Gatsby would be a better fit with this glam fur look.

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I cannot believe that I am going to recommend a better accessory for Donna Karan, but this over the top floppy is just not helping her cause. It seems like she is going for a beach-y Grecian neutral thing, but the hat just doesn’t seem to be doing its job here. Why not go for a hat that is a little more classic, actually offers some shade and adds just a touch of color like the Helen Kaminski Provence Rafia Floppy?

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Khloe, Khloe, Khloe, why do you do this to yourself? This ensemble is just too much. The brim on this hat is too big and the cropped pants are not flattering. If I had to recommend a hat to improve this look, it would be a classic men’s fedora snap brim like the Belfry Goon. Keep it all black and sleek.

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Shanae Grimes of Scream 4 and the 2000’s version of 90210, looks like she is going to a 90’s party in this outfit. A see-through top, with jean shorts and boots are enough to get her on the worst dressed list. You really can’t blame the hat. If I had to pick another hat to go with this look, I would probably suggest the Belfry Straw Jazz in the tobacco color straw, mostly just because I really like this hat. There is no saving this outfit.

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I wasn’t going to pick on anyone photographed at The Derby, but Brooke Sheilds should know better. I know it is a day to wear over the top artistic interpretations of a hat, but please, Brooke, you can do better. The Christine A. Moore Feather fascinator in cream would go perfectly with your plunging neckline of a dress and still make a statement.

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My final hat disaster is my favorite one to pick on…Lady Gaga, Even though I regularly include you on my lists of “worst” hat choices, I hope you continue to wear them. I just love to see what will be on top of your head next. – Shannon

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On the Golf Course

June 6th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Men's Hats, Spring & Summer Hats

Finally, summer fun is in full “swing” and many people are spending time outside doing their favorite things. For some members of my family, the dream of living on the golf course doesn’t mean you have a house near a course. It means (if your wife would let you) you would spend every waking minute playing the great game of golf. That is all well and good as long as you are protected. The summer sun can do a number on a golfer who has little to no relief from UV rays on the course.

Not everyone has the same hat style on the course, so if you haven’t found your perfect golf hat, here are some pros and cons to the most popular hat styles for golfers.

Pub Cap/Driving Cap – The driving cap is a classic style that will provide some protection from the sun, but still leaves the back of your neck exposed. These styles come in light weight fabrics, like cotton and linen that keep your head cool in the summer heat and are easy to roll up and stuff in your golf bag or your pocket. Some materials can be thrown in the washing machine for easy cleaning, but make sure to check the tag before doing so.

Pros: easy to store and transport, light weight, washable

Cons: limited sun protection (same goes for baseball hats)

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Raffia Straw – Raffia straw hats come in various styles with both short and large brims for different levels of sun protection. Raffia straw is one of the most durable straws making these hats good for packing. They will travel well in a suitcase if you are planning a golf getaway. Sometimes this straw can be warm to wear in the hot sun since it is not as lightweight as other straws.

Pros – durable and packable, good sun protection (dependent on the brim size you choose)

Cons – can be warm due to heavier straw

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Panama Straw – Panama straw hats come in various styles with both large and small brims. They are one of the lightest weight straws, allow air through the crown and provide great sun protection. A Panama straw hat is handmade and of the utmost quality. If cared for properly, this hat will last for years to come. A Panama straw hat does require conscious care. They should not be handled by pinching the crown and should not be left in a hot car. Never sit on your Panama hat!

Pros – light weight, breathes well, quality construction, great sun protection

Cons – fragile crown, should not be pinched or squashed

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Toyo Straw – Toyo straw is a paper straw that is very light weight. Toyo straw hats come in various styles and offer good sun protection. These hats are less expensive than some other straw hats and are considered a one-season wear. Toyo straw should not get wet and should not be left in a hot car. The best way to store a toyo straw hat is on a hat hook or upside down (on the crown) in a cool place.

Pros – very light weight, inexpensive, good sun protection (dependent on the brim size you choose)

Cons – fragile, one season wear, cannot get wet

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Canvas – Canvas sun hats offer ultimate sun protection. They are often weather proof in the chance you get caught in a random summer down poor. These hats are generally very durable and last for years of wear. Because the canvas allows no rays to pass through, they also allow no air to pass through which can make this a warm choice for a summer golf hat.

Pros – weather resistant, ultimate sun protection

Cons – heavier weight means it can be warm to wear in the sun

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Before you schedule your tee time, make sure you have packed your hat! - Shannon

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