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When The Sum Is Equal To Its Parts

One of the best parts about the fashion industry is the ability to turn your ideas into a finished product, and being involved every step of the way. We worked very closely with esteemed designer Marsha Makins to put together a line of hats that not only look good and feel great, but tell a story of a long history in headwear. Each piece in the collection was carefully designed to embody style and fashion that perfectly blends tradition with contemporary attitude. Each part of the hat was well-thought out, and had to fit the mold of the collection we were trying to create.

We knew only the finest bodies would do, so we decided that we had to be working with only the highest quality straw that didn’t require you (or us for that matter) to take out a 2nd mortgage on our homes to pay for it. Any good straw hat collection needs at least one or two Panamas in them. This hand woven straw is not only high quality, but has a smoother look and feel than most other straws. For the rest, we used some extremely light weight sisal, an agave grown in the Caribbean that yields naturally sturdy fibers. Sisal hats are so light and comfortable that you may forget you have a hat on your head (until someone compliments you on it, of course).

Makins has some of the most beautiful antique hat blocks around, able to create some true masterpieces in headwear. Using these blocks that were decades old, we were able to create some classic fedora shapes that you won’t see in most neighborhood hat shops. Some you may not see ANYWHERE else, because we made the crowns and brims separately, then combined for truly one of a kind looks. These fedoras had us waxing nostalgic about a world none of us have scene in our life-time, but hope to one day get back to. A time when a man never left the house without a fedora!

We asked for vintage suiting material to make bands that reflected the style of the times. Through thousands of yards of different silks, German grosgrains, and satins (some from old suit linings), we picked out some beautifully dyed bands that were over 50 years old. The more vintage appeal we could give each fedora, the better!

The result? A grouping of fedoras that can be best described as a throwback to the classics, while at the same time, blending modern thought. Truly our most imaginative branded collection to date, our Makins Vintage Derby Collection is a prime example of our commitment to delivering radically unique fashion.

- James

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Putting Style Back Into Your Sunday Best!

Remember when dressing in your Sunday best actually meant something? A popular phrase that once pertained only to formal wear for church can now relate to window shopping downtown on a beautiful spring day, or going out to lunch with some of your closest friends and family. Whatever the phrase means to you, the long standing tradition of getting dressed up on Easter Sunday goes back centuries, to a time when people wore hats for many more reasons than just to look good!

The popular Easter Bonnet tradition coincides with the practice of wearing your best new clothes on Easter Sunday. Referenced in text as old as Romeo and Juliet, it was common practice to don your best and brightest in celebration of the spiritual harmony and renewal that Easter represents. It was even considered bad luck for anyone not to wear something new! Hats really came into the forefront of this tradition during the Great Depression, when owning a new hat or refurbished one was a sign of simple luxury during those difficult times.

The tradition still lives to this day, with women and young girls sporting beautiful spring time hats during Sunday services and Easter parades. Women’s Easter hats often range from a variety of different cloches, sun hats, and bonnets, all featuring colorfully bright adornments to announce the arrival of spring. Men’s hats aren’t left out of the tradition either, as it is common to see the head of the household in a classic straw fedora or safari. Now that
spring has finally sprung, enjoy your Easter Sunday while sporting your favorite brand new hat!

- James

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Back to School Style Tips: Don’t Forget Your Hat

August 12th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Men's Hats, Women's Hats

As summer comes to an end many of us find ourselves going through last year’s clothing and accessories in hopes of salvaging something for the coming school year. Whether you look to reuse those favorite, stand-by items or are on the hunt for a new fall wardrobe, you’ll need some fresh new hats to complete your back to school style.

Men and women alike will be topping off 2009 fall fashion with a palate of blacks, grays, midnight blues, dark greens and purples. Now you know the colors to go for, here are my suggestion on the trendy hats that are sure to earn you an A+ in fashion.

Men’s Back to School - 2009 Fall Hats

New Era EK Windsor Pub Cap

Goorin Minna Grime’s Fedora Hat

With thousands of brands to choose from and a plethora of stylish hats coming back “in” this fall, add a few of these fashionable hats to your wardrobe. From fedora hats to trilbys, pub caps to beanies, men’s fall fashion does not discriminate. My personal favorites (above) just hit the stores from Goorin and New Era EK Hats.


Women’s Back to School Fashion- 2009 Fall Hats

As is the case with men’s back to school style, there are a wide range of hat styles our biggest trend-setters can choose from this year, as long as you stay with fall colors and texture. Whether you’re looking for a hat to hide “bed hair” as you head to early morning classes or something that works all day, here are at my favorites.

Goorin Hooty Mod Cap

New Era EK Lodge Cadet Cap

Ladies, it’s time to impress those new boys in class when you show your exquisite taste and attention to detail in fashionable 2009 fall hats. You’ll be sitting at the head of the class and look hot all semester with these quick back to school style tips.

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Hats are a Vacation’s Perfect Accessory-

July 7th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Men's Hats, Trend Watch, Women's Hats

From the Beach to the Campground, Be Practical and Look Stylish

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing summer escape or a trip to help you warm your winter blues, one thing is for certain - we all look forward to vacation! But what do I pack? …

Take it from me; hats are the perfect accessory for any vacation. From beach days to camping trips, fly fishing to safaris, wherever you go, a signature hat provides the perfect complement to your attire.

For style and function, take a look through my recommended women’s hats:

Helen Kaminski Gemma - Panama Cotton Bucket Hat

There’s no better way to shade your beautiful face from the sun’s harmful rays and keep your sophisticated look than with this classic Kaminski bucket hat. Perfect for resorts and cruises, this hat is packable and versatile. What’s more, this white hat matches any spring or summer outfit.

Protection Collection Sea Breeze - Cotton Sun Hat

Available in a range of neutral colors, this beach hat is a sure fit for all. Whether you’re sneaking away for a quick picnic lunch or planning a day-trip, protect yourself and stay cool with UPF 50+ protection and a mesh crown allowing more airflow within the hat. And did I mention this sun hat is crushable which makes for easy packing to take with you anywhere?

And here are a few of my favorite men’s hats, too:

Protection Collection Trek - Mesh Canvas Safari

Perfect for an African safari or trek through the forests of Latin America, I highly recommend this mesh and canvas hat for your travels. Featuring a crushable mesh crown, no other safari hat is better fit for packing. Not to mention, it offers UPF 50+ protection.

Protection Collection Trailway - Cotton Bucket

From fly fishing to sitting around the campfire, the Trailway Cotton Bucket hat is my pick for a weekend in the great outdoors. More than just a hat, this outdoor hat contains a size adjuster and adjustable chin-cord to ensure the perfect fit for any size head. What’s more, there is a small pocket on the inside to store your key, ID or even some extra cash!

Whether your vacation lasts a few days, a week or all summer long don’t forget to pack your favorite hats. They’ll keep you looking fresh and feeling cool throughout your trip.


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All You Need is One Signature Hat

From dressy to casual, one thing remains constant - all you need to look hot for any occasion is one signature hat! What better look to take home than arguably one of the most classic of all hats, the fedora. What started as the must-have accessory for men years and years ago, is clearly the must-have fashion item for men AND women today!

My pick for your one signature hat is the Belfry Curtis. Offering a classic silhouette with a stingy brim, this signature fedora gives you a trendy look that goes from day to night with ease. What’s more - the Belfry Curtis fedora hat is one of the most affordable pieces I’ve found! At only $28.00, you will look the part without breaking the bank.

Take it from fashion icons like actor Brad Pitt and athlete Dwyane Wade who have added this signature hat to their dressy styles.

Or for a casual day relaxing on your boat or strolling through the city, follow the lead of some of Hollywood’s most fashion forward stars like P. Diddy and Zac Efron who sport their signature fedoras with casual ease.

And of course, ladies, I have not forgotten about you - a signature womens fedora looks just as good, if not better, on you than it does on men! Whether you’re looking to cover your “bad hair day” or for a stunning finishing touch to your smart attire like Victoria Beckham, this hat does it all!


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Pork Pie Hats are here to Stay

From Rude Boy Ska to Runway Couture

We’ve all seen the traditional rude boy ska style, whether your favorite bands include Reel Big Fish and The Specials or not. This fashion trend has been popular for years, but what you may not know is that this style is not just about thick rimmed glasses or thick sideburns; the essential accessory that adds the finishing touches to such a classic look is the pork pie hat.

And here’s a bit of news that may shock some of you - this casual men’s hat is now one of the hottest fashion must have accessories. As the models stepped out onto the runway earlier this year for a St. Louis fashion show, fashion headwear was the focus.

Pork pie hats provide an ultra sleek, super cool runway couture look that can easily go from day to night.

Take it from Chris Meloni, star of Law & Order SVU, who recently attended a fashion show at Bryant Park wearing a stunning gray pork pie hat.

Still don’t believe me? What if I told you this accessory has topped the head of soccer superstar David Beckham for a casual day of travel with his family?

What’s more - trendy ladies have been seen stepping out in these typical men’s hats. Fergie and Mischa Barton have been known to bend the rules before, so it’s not surprising that they’ve added pork pie hats to their funky celeb style.

Get these looks for less when you shop online at HatsintheBelfry.com. With a passion to provide the hottest styles and brands, their collection of porkpie hats is unsurpassed.

Belfry Street Butch Braided Straw Porkpie

Belfry Street Butch Porkpie Hat

Belfry Street Chili Braided Straw Porkpie

Belfry Street Chili Straw Porkpie Hat

It seems to me pork pie hats have sure made their mark on 2009 fashion as a trend that is here to stay. While I’m still unsure whether or not I’d wear one myself, it’s obvious for you fashion forward men and trendy ladies, these porkpie hats are a must!


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Straw Hat Day Nears, Time to put away the Felt

That’s right - Straw Hat Day is just over a week away which means it’s time to start boxing up your cold weather headwear and pulling out your spring straw hats. Usually celebrated at the ballpark, men in the stands would punch holes in their old hats and sail them out onto the field. Anyone wearing a felt hat would get his cover snatched and flung out too. And nowhere was this holiday more strictly observed than in Baltimore, the straw-hat capital of the world. A tradition dating back to the early 1900s when men wore suites and hats everywhere, from a Saturday afternoon stroll to a Sunday baseball game, today stands as true as the “no white before Memorial Day” fashion rule.

Belfry Street Barboni - Braided Straw Stingy Fedora

May 15 is the official start to your spring wardrobe, whether you’re ready with last year’s straw hats or looking to shop for this season’s hottest trends. I always trust the experts at HatsintheBelfry.com for my fashion accessories. Their passion for hats is unmatched, combining the best hat brands and designs to step out in style.

Belfry Arista - Organic Raffia Large Brim

Celebrate Straw Hat Day next Friday with men’s funky straw fedora hats or ladies straw hats from my favorite online hat store.


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Pub Caps Offer a Hip Spin on the Classic Old Man’s Hat

April 9th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Men's Hats, Trend Watch

No one knows fashion better than A-List celebrities. I mean, let’s be honest, they pay enough for their personal stylists, so they better step out with the hottest trends of the season. That being said, it’s no wonder pub caps, or duckbill caps - the same hat known by a different name, have made their way onto the heads of fashion forward men across the globe.

Offering a young, hip spin on a traditional “old man’s hat,” stars like Ne-Yo, Usher and Brad Pitt to name a few, have paved the way for pub caps, this spring’s must have fashion accessory.

Usher made a bold statement in a sleek, all white pub cap for his album release celebrations in New York City.

To get this look for less, check out the Belfry Street Birdie - Classic Pub Cap to go with your natural style.

To get this look for less, check out the Belfry Street Birdie - Classic Pub Cap to go with your natural style.

Ne-Yo, famous for topping off his sophisticated, urban style with trendy hats has traded in his fedoras for pub caps in recent appearances

Ne-Yo, famous for topping off his sophisticated, urban style with trendy hats has traded in his fedoras for pub caps in recent appearances.

Add a bit of texture to your attire with the Goorin Minna Tigris - Embroidered Duckbill Cap featuring 1333 Minnas signature satin interior lining

Add a bit of texture to your attire with the Goorin Minna Tigris - Embroidered Duckbill Cap featuring 1333 Minna’s signature satin interior lining

So where did the pub caps trend begin?

Some believe what is said to be the hottest accessory this spring started gaining popularity just over a year ago with Brad Pitt. One of Hollywood’s most respected actors and someone the ladies just can’t get enough of, Brad Pitt began selling these trendy hats for his “Make it Right” charity which aimed to build new homes for the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans.

As Pitt put his best face forward with a variety of pub caps, the popularity of this trend began to grow. Now pub caps, the more fitted version of traditional ivy caps, offer a brim with the perfect oval arch to frame your face and give you the hottest spring style.

The only question I am left with is when women are going to get an opportunity to take advantage of this hot style trend? I’m waiting for fashionistas like Alicia, Rihanna and Britney to join the men and make pub caps the universal IT accessory.


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“Murino Wool” - No, that’s not a typo…

March 17th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Men's Hats

Purchase this Fedora Hat

You may have curiously looked at the Belfry Frankie - Murino Classic Snap Fedora, and wondered out loud “have these people ever heard of Spell-Check?” Well, thankfully I have (it has saved me from many, many typos before). Spell-Check has recognized “Murino” so many times that I just added it to the dictionary, because no, Spell-Check, that’s not a typo…

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Merino Wool. Wikipedia defines the Merino as “the most economically influential breed of sheep in the world, prized for its wool. Merinos are regarded as having the finest and softest wool of any sheep.” Because of its soft feel and fine texture, Merino Wool is used throughout the clothing industry, namely by quality retailers like Banana Republic and Express. The sweaters and coats made from this type of wool are popular because they are regarded as superior to regular wool.

The idea behind our Belfry Purple Murino Collection is just the same. When we decided to create our own line of better hats, we not only had quality in mind, but value as well. Instead of using fur felt or pure Merino Wool for our fedoras, we used the wool of sheep raised and sheared in Texas. Because of the warm Texas climate, the sheep there are sheared more often than regular sheep, ensuring that the wool is finer and softer. The wool is then brushed after it is woven, further adding to the silky soft touch and slight nap of the material.  With this process, we were able to deliver the same look, feel and quality of fur felt and Merino Wool, while still keeping the cost down and not harming any animals in the process.

Belfry Murino Fedora

The end product not only has a vintage look and incredible feel, but has a unique upbringing that you will not find in any other hat on the market. Murino has become a part of OUR dictionary, with a meaning that embodies the abstract idea behind what we are determined to bring to the fashion scene. With that said, we still think the hats speak for themselves.

- James

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