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Types of Fedoras

August 15th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Men's Hats, Spring & Summer Hats

Fedora Hats are found atop many people’s heads. If you go outside and walk around, look for someone with a hat. Chances are the hat they are wearing is either a baseball cap or some type of fedora hat. A fedora hat is, to many people, the most stylish of all hats. Borsalino, one of the most iconic names in the hat industry, is known for their high quality fedora hats. You find them in and out of movies, on top of celebrities’ heads, and filling the streets. For example, look who we found at Preakness 2013, showing off his fedora pride:

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Yes, that’s Kevin Spacey with GM of Stores, Jennifer Gerety.

What are the Types of Fedoras?

So, how many different types of fedoras can you come up with? Once you’re done, see if yours matches ours. Here’s the list of the types of fedoras we came up with:

1. Classic Fedoras – There’s no better place to start than the original, classic fedoras. To most, the word “fedora” always pops one image on their mind: the classic fedora. Most of our classic fedoras are made from 100% wool, such as the Belfry Gangster which could easily be found atop any mob boss’s head!

2. Straw Fedoras – Fedoras also come in straw. We love the hand-woven Panama Straw in particular and highly recommend it. Straw is a common material because of its bright feel-good feel that fits comfortably on any head. Its crack resistant liner makes it not only durable, but also comfortable for adjusting and readjusting many times over. Take the Belfry Washington for example; it’s stylish, lightweight, and comfortable. The perfect straw hat, without the itchy head.

3. Safari Fedoras – Safari fedoras are very similar to the straw fedoras, except in a different style. Many safari fedoras are also made from Panama Straw and have a noticeably different style than any other fedora. When you see them, you automatically think of an adventurer such as Indiana Jones. The brim on these hats is oftentimes noticed first. Coupled with a subtle band, these hats are the perfect fashion statement. Did you know we sell an Indiana Jones hat called the “Indy”? It’s a wool felt safari hat that is a must-have for Indiana Jones fans!

4. Pork Pie – The pork pie (also known as “stingy”) fedora style is a favorite among many because of its smaller snap brim. It became a fashion statement back in the 1990s and is still found today. History commonly shows pork pie hats coming and going freely. One day everyone has it on, and the next nobody has it. This is mostly due to releases of hit music videos, movies, and TV shows where characters/celebrities will show off their classic pork pie hat. The most recent example is likely Walter White in AMC’s Breaking Bad, where he is occasionally found with his pork pie fedora. Speaking of Walter White, our Belfry Be-Bop pork pie hat has a shockingly similar resemblance…

5. Trendy Trilby Fedoras – The trilby fedora hat is a type of fedora that also has its own category because of its unique tall and contemporary fedora style. Trilby fedoras are easy to travel with because of their crushability. They come with a classic pre-snap shape for an easy-to-wear comfortable feeling. Our Kangol Wool Arnold trilby fedora is the poster child for trilby fedoras. Trilby’s can also come in various materials such as straw, wool, and felt.

Fedoras are extremely fashionable and useful for just about any occasion. A fedora hat can be worn as a part of your business attire, when you’re trying to be serious, if you want to be mysterious, or if you just want to wear it casually. They are the signature men’s hat of this time and won’t drop in popularity any time soon, so if you’re looking for a men’s hat, start at our fedora section! If you’re interested in pork pies or the trilby fedoras, make sure you visit their own specific pages (yeah, they’re that popular!).

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Beach Hats For Women

Grab the sun tan lotion, towels, and 2-piece bathing suits; it’s beach time! We all know between mid-July and mid-August is one of the hottest times of the year, so if you’re headed to the beach to cool off, why not do it in style? Grab only the hottest most fashionable beach hats for your trip.
Here’s a sample of just a few of the beach hats for women that we offer (If you don’t find one you like, check the rest of our women’s beach hats out):

1. This beach hat perfect for blocking out the sun, while camouflaging with the sand all at the same time. Time to finally tan in peace…and style. This poly-braid hat is durable and even comes with a grosgrain sweatband inside. Check it out!


2. For those who don’t want a beach hat that grabs all the attention, but still protects you from the sun, I give you a women’s straw hat! If you like the look of plain straw hats, this is the hat for you. It’s sturdy and crushable, which you don’t find in your average straw hat! This means you can pack it up with your umbrella in the same case for easy storage when you want to swim without it blowing away with the wind (or growing legs and walking away). Check it out!

3. This beach hat comes in 3 different colors: black, white, and wheat (yeah, wheat is a color). The durable and stylish straw braid swinger hat is made of 100% paper, this hat is ideal for keeping the sun out of your eyes with its flexible brim. Really, this hat is a bargain since it can double for a traveling hat. Check it out!

4. Christine A. Moore Millinery hats make for some super-stylish beach hats! Made of durable panama, this hat is ideal for the beach. If your luck is as good as mine, it will rain the moment you get settled in at the beach. If so, you’re in luck: this beach hat is made of panama, which is resistant to light rain (and splashes from the ocean). Check it out!

5. Here comes the brimless beach hats. Tired of those brims getting in the way of your view of the ocean? Try out this cotton bucket hat. Style without the brim, you’ll be ready for running along the beach without it flying away. Made of 100% cotton, it’s lightweight and has a fashionable rope band. Check it out!

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Snapback vs. Fitted Hats

There are hundreds of different types of hats! Just stop and think: how many hats can you think of off the top of your head (no pun intended)? Caps, beanies, straw hats, fedoras, pork pies, westerns, and so on. But a lot of times these are broad categories. For example, caps can include baseball caps, berets, yacht caps, newsboy caps, etc. How can someone keep track of the different types of hats when there’s so many? You don’t…that’s why you have Hats in the Belfry! We’re here to keep things in order, so if you ever have any questions feel free to ask us what the difference is between the various hats in our online hat store. For now, let’s look at the snapbacks and fitted hats. What’s the difference between snapback and fitted?

Snapback and Fitted Capskangol ventair space - fitted hat

For starters, snapbacks and fitted hats are both caps. If you own a baseball cap, grab it and look at it. If not, use this one as an example: Kangol Ventair Space.

This is an example of a fitted hat because of the back of the hat. It is, as its name suggests, fitted to your match your head. When you buy one of these, you should have your head measured to know what size hat will most comfortably fit. For some, this is the preferred of the two (snapback/fitted) because they know it will fit them perfectly and the back of their head will not itch as it would with a snapback. This brings us to snapbacks and strapbacks, the all-in-one of hats. When you buy a snapback/strapback, they will have various sizing strap-in (or snap-in) locations. A strapback hat’s back looks like this:belfry-luton-strapback

Snapbacks or Fitted?

When buying a baseball cap, you have to choose between snapbacks, fitted, and strapbacks (snapbacks, but with a strap instead of snaps). A snapback hat can be worn on multiple people because of the quick, easy adjustments you can make with them. A fitted hat, however, is (as the name suggests) fitted to your head. These hats are meant to be worn by you specifically. We recommend fitted hats because when worn, the hat is snug, but comfortable. Fitted hats can also be worn forwards or backwards, depending on your style. Wearing a snapback backwards would result in your forehead touching the plastic material, which is not comfortable for any period of time. Snapback hats used to be the most popular because of the various designs, but fitted hats have since caught up in the trends.

To buy a fitted hat or strapback hat, use your head and browse our selection of men’s baseball caps or our selection of women’s caps.

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The Fedora: A Fashion Statement

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Every generation has its own unique sense of style, and in recent years, there hasn’t been a larger fashion statement then fedoras. These simple hats have made quite a stir in the fashion industry. We, the consumers, see celebrities wearing fedoras all the time, and this once thought formal masculine head wear has been transformed into a very unique item of any wardrobe.

Fedora hats were born in the late 1800’s, as a fashion accessory to depict the upper class. The fedoras popularity soared as it was prominently featured throughout 1940’s cinema as it adorned the heads of movie’s most famous detectives and gangsters. The fedora is still continuing to grow in popularity as a greater variety of styles are introduced, allowing for a plethora of options for selecting that perfect outfit.

The fedora represents the sheer elegance of class, style, and sophistication, and as the fedora became a unisex fashion, men and women can enjoy it at the same time. Whether you are looking for a light summer hat, a dress hat, or a casual hat, there are several tips that both men and women should take into consideration before selecting and wearing a fedora.

  • Plan out when you’ll wear it. Fedoras used to be strictly formal head wear for men, but recent style trends dictate that both men and women can wear them with formal or casual attire. The same fedora may work for both looks, but if you intend to use it for multiple outfits, keep that in mind when you go shopping. Also, decide whether you will wear the fedora as a summer hat or a more formal dress hat – or you can just get one for every occasion!
  • Pick a color and material. The setting and clothes you wear determine the type of fedora most appropriate.
  • For daytime and summer settings, a straw fedora would be the best option because it is a lighter material and allows the breeze through.
  • For evening or colder settings, a dark felt or twill fedora would best suit your needs.
  • If you plan on wearing your fedora with a suit, make sure you match the color of the hat to the color of the suit. If you tend to wear black or gray suits, choose a black or gray fedora. Similarly, if you wear brown suits, stick with a brown fedora.
  • Choose a proper fit. The hat should fit snugly, but not so snugly that it leaves a red mark on your skin. Remember, a properly fitted hat should rest approximately a finger’s width above your eyebrows and ears.
  • Keep the back brim of your fedora tilted up. The front brim can either be tilted up or left straight.

If you are looking for something to freshen up your wardrobe, a fedora hat might be just the thing for you, and here at Hats in the Belfry, we offer many varieties of fedoras for men and women.

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Panama Hats For Dummies

January 14th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News, Men's Hats, Spring & Summer Hats

When is a Panama hat a Panama hat?

The story of Panama straw hats dates back all the way to President Theodore
Roosevelt’s trip to Panama at the turn of the 20th century, or at least that is
how they were named. It is because of his visit that these hats were named
“Panama” hats, although the bodies are actually woven from Ecuador. Regardless
of where the hat originated, or where the name came from (there
is a ton of history about the Panama hat online
), the word Panama is perhaps
one of the most popular used phrases in our shops and online today.
We consistently have customers coming in and asking specifically for a “panama
hat”. The term Panama is often used to describe what could be any generic straw
hat on the shelves. We always try to inform and educate the customer on what
exactly a Panama hat is. This fall we actually saw a cheaply made felt hat that
was named “Felt Panama Hat” on the Banana Republic website. While we are a fan
of the brand and love the clothes, this simply isn’t what the hat is. Our hunch
is that the vast majority of their customers will inevitably think they are
buying a Panama hat from them though.

These are some of the things we have learned throughout our 35 years in retail
about Panama hats. We hope this helps you find the right Panama.

1. A Panama isn’t just a straw hat. It is specific to Ecuador, and has a very
specific weave to it. There is a grading system to Panama hats, but it is very
subjective. People will say just about anything to make you think it is a fine
Panama (even if it isn’t). Disregard the grading system and look for quality of
weave instead.

2. Most Panama hats have an official seal of Ecuador burned into the interior of the
body, but this can be very hard to read if the body has been bleached or dyed
after the mark was made. It is possible to be a Panama and not see the mark on
the inside of the hat, although we have never seen this mark on a hat that isn’t
a Panama.

Official Panama Seal

3. Panama hats have a very distinctive weave pattern. This weave pattern starts
at the top of the crown and then weaves outward in a circular pattern. The
better quality Panamas have thinner fibers and a tighter weave patterns. This
takes longer to produce, but also gives the hat a softer more pliable feel. Some
of the highest quality Panama hats often feel like cloth.

Panama Circular Weave

4. Panamas can come in just about every color, pattern and shape. The one thing to note about the material is that it is very organic and natural in appearance and generally smooth. Other straws and summer hats are made from paper, hemp, coconut, seagrass, raffia and synthetic materials. These other hats can still be very high quality weaves and expensive, but that still doesn’t make them a Panama. Panama is made from the Toquilla straw plant.

Dyed and Vented Panama

5. Panama hats are wooven in Ecuador, but can be blocked and finished just
about anywhere. This is also the case for other materials like Harris Tweed.
Just because it states that the hat was made in the U.S.A. or Italy doesn’t mean
it isn’t a Panama. It just means that the straws bodies were shipped to other
countries for the production and finishing.

Panama Hat Made in the U.S.A.

6. In many cases we have seen that Panama hats finished in countries outside
of Ecuador are of better quality. Why? Because these manufacturers in outside
countries are simply better hat makers and have better quality control
standards. The artists and craftspeople that weave these Panama fibers usually
don’t have anything to do with making the actual hats.

7. Yes, there is such a thing as a Montecristi hat, but be very careful
before buying one and ask as many questions as possible before buying it.
Montecristi hats are made from a specific region in Ecuador, but more
importantly they are the finest quality Panamas available. These hats have very
fine fibers and are woven super tight. In some cases it can take one of these
expert weavers up to a year to make the Montecristi body. That’s a lot of time!

8. Panamas don’t last forever. They are in fact organic material that will
dry out and crack over the long run. Some people can get years out of a Panama
hat if they know how to handle it. Don’t grab or pick the hat up by the crown or
the pinch (top of the hat). Almost all cracking comes from this. Instead pick
the hat up and hold the hat by the brim. Not pinching the crown will ensure you
get the maximum life out of the hat.

Panama Cracked Crown

9. Expect to pay more for a good Panama hat. Each hat is a one of a kind. We
have heard that 1 out of every 2 Montecristi’s woven are scrapped before
becoming a fine quality hat. This is because they are just so hard to weave. The
length of time it takes to weave a Panama compounded with the relatively small
amount of people weaving them makes it a very specialty item. In Panama as with
everything, you get what you pay for.

10. The amount of Panama bodies available in the market today is much less
than there were ten years ago. This is a highly trained skill that just isn’t
being taught to the younger generations. While there are younger weavers, the
amount of them are shrinking and the seasoned weavers are getting old and
retiring. Panama’s (particularly the finer ones) will likely continue to become
harder and harder to find over the decades.

PS – I have yet to find a Panama with a “Made in China” label in it. Not that
it will never happen, but the cost to transport the bodies to, and the quality
of hats being produced probably make it cost prohibitive. We’ll update this if
we ever do see a Panama hat blocked or finished in China.

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Should Have Put On A Hat

This week’s post is dedicated to those celebrities that should have just covered up their head and called it a day. I realize that everyone has a bad hair day, but at least some of us are smart enough to know when we NEED to be wearing a hat.

Shia Labeouf – I understand a guy that wants to look like he isn’t trying too hard, but give me a break. I realize that he is raking it in with the Transformer movies and possibly doesn’t want to be recognized in public. Shia, you could have easily thrown on a Belfry Street Army Cap with those shades and no one would have had to take this picture.

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Katy Perry – I like that Katy is always changing her look and blazes her own fashion trails. I even like the pink hair, but I will say this, there is nothing like a hat to protect your colored locks from the damaging effects of the sun (not to mention cover your blond roots in between color touch-ups.) Katy, you can still be fashion forward and sensible. Put on this Straw Big Brim from the Protection Collection.

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Robert Pattison – You have teenagers swooning and calling out Edward even when you try to make other films, but this is taking it a little too far. Shaving half your head for a movie role? How dare you. Keep these asymmetrical locks under wraps at least until the last Twilight movie has been released. The Kangol Summer Ivy Cap should do the trick.

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Kate Bosworth – I don’t know what has come over you, Kate. Usually your hair looks flawless. Are you having some sort of Britney Spears-esque kind of crisis? To save us all from enduring another second of this disastrous do, please, put on something like the Sea Breeze Cotton Sun Hat from the Protection Collection.

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Al Pacino – This hair needs an intervention. Al gets a break because he didn’t choose this look for himself. He is filming a movie about music mogul, Phil Spector who did wear his hair like this on purpose. My advice is to cover that do as soon as you get off the set with a hat like the Belfry Smith fedora.

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No matter how bad a hair day you are having, we always have a hat that is sure to help you through. – Shannon

Celebrity photos from peoplemagazine.com

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End of Summer Style

With summer winding down, many celebrities have been spotted sporting their summer hat styles at the beach, out shopping and enjoying some family time. And why shouldn’t they? With just a few weeks left until the back to school, fall holidays chaos begins, we should all be taking a cue and indulging in some final R&R before the hustle and bustle commences.

Katie Holmes took daughter Suri on a shopping trip in L.A. sporting a straw fedora similar to the Belfry Goon style on sale from $38.00 to $24.00

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Jennifer Anniston went on a Hawaiian getaway with beau Justin Theroux. Justin’s pub cap is the perfect style to wear summer to fall. Our Belfry Biltmore Cap just $25.00 down from $44.00 is a great style to get you through the next two seasons.

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Sandra Bullock enjoyed a movie with her little one. Her straw fedora is great to keep out the sun on these hot summer days. We suggest the Belfry Bogart light summer straw $25.00 down from $38.00.

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Brittany Spears took her family to Long Island beach this week. We like her straw hat, perfect for the beach…but we’re not too sure about the rest of the outfit. You can make the Belfry Natural Ocean hat on sale from $38.00 to $30.00, look much better with a regular beach bathing suit and cover up.

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There are still a few weeks of fun in the sun, so take advantage of the End of Season Sale at hatsinthebelfry.com and enjoy the end of summer with your loved ones!

(Photos from peoplemagazine.com)

-Shannon

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Street Style Around the World

Whenever I see a person on the street wearing a great hat, I stop and tell them so. I am sure many of you hat wearers experience this on a regular basis. But did you know that there is a whole crop of websites dedicated to stopping stylish people on the street? Well, there is! Just about every major city has a website dedicated to photographing people with great style. From Helsinki, Finland to Copenhagen, Denmark to Barcelona Spain and back to the U.S. stylish people are being photographed and featured wearing great hats.

Dam Style is a street photography blog from Amsterdam. We see very similar hat trends on the streets of the United States. Guys are wearing snap brim fedoras and gals are wearing cloche hats.

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In Barcelona, Spain expect to see the classic snap brim fedoras and big brims to block the sun. The website Spain Street Style is a great place to spot the super fashionable and the casual traveler.

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The Locals is a street style blog from Copenhagen, Denmark. They are in their summer months, but the high temperature is about 70 degrees, so expect warmer headwear. Knit hats in bright colors and floppy styles.

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The street style found on Hel-Looks in Helsinki, Finland can range from wild to wilder even though their hat trends are very similar to those in the States. Classic driving caps, snap brim fedoras and fascinators can be found on even the most unique fashionista.

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Back stateside, in San Francisco, the floppy style with great sun coverage can be found on one of the most photographed street stylistas who is pictured every season on the blog THESFStyle.

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New York based style blogs like The Sartorialist picture street stylers from New York, L.A., Paris, Milan and more. In L.A. we see mini bikinis and trendy fedoras. In New York, they keep on trend with the trendy floppy fedora but skips the bikinis.

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From this display of hat style all over the world, it is safe to say that hats as a fashion accessory are here to stay. It doesn’t matter where you live, if you are wearing a great hat, you have a serious chance of being stopped on the street. - 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

pc-trek_khakisafari-ran-hat-bailey-dalton-canvas

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

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Shannon’s Top 5 Favorite Summer Hats

May 31st, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Spring & Summer Hats

Today’s post is my personal top pick list of this season’s hats. Think of it as the “Employee Favorite” section in our virtual store. There are so many amazing styles this summer that it is tricky to narrow them down, especially if you are new to wearing hats. I am a lover of all styles, so today I decided to put together a listing my favorite hats of this season, in no particular, in order to help anyone who doesn’t know where to begin when picking out the perfect hat.

It is important to have a hat in your wardrobe that serves both fashion and function. For me, the Belfry Brasil is a perfect example of this. It is a stylish snap brim fedora that can be worn by both men and women and literally goes with any outfit. You can wear this hat with a business suit or a bathing suit. It is also really light weight, so it is a perfect sun blocking hat that will keep you cool on those 100 degree days.

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For us girls who like to make a statement with their hat fashions, the Makins Roslyn is the perfect style for summer events. I’ve mentioned this hat in a previous post and have since been told by more than one Hats in the Belfry employee, that this is their favorite hat to wear in the shop. It goes with any summer dress, from basic black to hot pink sundress. And it is just plain gorgeous.

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*I know this is not a hat, but I am also in love with this paisley scarf.

The Belfry Law was a hat I wore on a regular basis when I was working in the Annapolis shop last summer. Usually I wear the biggest and most elaborate hats we carry because I like to pretend that I’m rich and famous when I am working, but the Belfry Law was my go-to hat when I couldn’t find anything extravagant that fit my fancy for the day. And I always ended up selling the hat off my head when I wore it. It is still one of my favorite hats in the store. I just love the tobacco colored straw and the green band. I can see this hat being a favorite for many summers to come.

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When it comes to Cloche styles, there are so many to choose from. I chose the Belfry Meridian as my favorite this season because I love the shiny Milan straw and the delicate floral accent. It reminds me of the hat that Marissa Miller wore to the Kentucky Derby (which I adored and critics hated). It is a very feminine hat that is a classic 1920’s cloche style, but it goes perfectly with modern fashions.

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My final pick for my top 5 hats this season is the Christy’s Crown Lafayette pub cap. Full disclosure, I personally do not wear pub caps. For some reason, they are just not flattering for me. But my BFF and Manager of the Annapolis shop, Jen, looks great in them.

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When I am picking out a pub cap for a customer, I am thinking of what would look good on her. Jen, if you are reading this, I think this hat would look really cute on you.

I would love to hear from you. What is your favorite hat this season? - Shannon

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