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Best and Worst Hats of 2010

December 27th, 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Men's Hats, Trend Watch, Women's Hats

As 2010 comes to a close, I wanted to take a look back at the great hats and celebrity hat wearers of the year.  Hats are seen on every type of celebrity from musicians and actors, to athletes and reality TV stars.  We live in a fashionable time where an accessory can make or break you look.  Some people got it very right and some very wrong.  Here are the best and worst hat looks of 2010.

Best Men’s Celebrity Hats

#5 – David Bekham.  David is a style icon without question, but his looks this year were on the casual side.  I love the matching scarf and knit cap.  He doesn’t look like he is trying to make a fashionable statement, but he does anyway.


#4 – Brad Pitt.  Brad has worn all different styles of hats this year, from knit to flat cap and fedora on occasion.  This white summer straw is one of my favorites.  It is clean and classic, but still very modern.


#3 – Talib Kweli.  This year the flat cap has become even more popular with styles ranging from classic to contemporary.  I love this plaid cap and love how he paired it with a clean stylish t-shirt, jeans and jacket.  This cap could compliment anyone’s style.


#2 – Neyo.  The famous R&B hat wearer never disappoints with his hat choices.  Throughout 2010 he has worn dozens of different fedoras, but the classic black snap brim is my favorite and his signature.


#1 – Johnny Depp.  A man who doesn’t take his style too seriously is sure making a statement with his rumpled fedoras this year.  Seen in London, Paris and the States in different versions of the “worn” fedora hat look.  You think he must have just come across it at some thrift shop somewhere and threw it on his head.  Easy and effortless, Johnny is my number one pick for 2010.


Best Women’s Celebrity Hats

#5 – Katy Perry. Although she is known for the glitz and glam looks she wears on the red carpet, Katy Perry has been spotted out and about is some really cute fedoras this year.  The tilted back stingy brim is a little reminiscent of the 1980’s, but looks adorable and current with movie star shades.


#4 – Gwen Stefani.  Gwen has always pushed the envelope with her rocker style with a glamorized twist.  This year, she has been seen out in fedoras, flat caps and baseball hats, but this straw fedora with a simple red band that goes perfectly with her signature red lipstick is my favorite look of of hers this year.


#3 – Kim Kardashian.  Even if she isn’t your favorite reality TV personality, the girl has an eye for fashion.  This brown floppy with the simple add on band looks glamorous without being over the top.


#2 – Ashlee Simpson Wentz.  As a young mom, Ashlee has totally redone her look this year.  Her adorable blonde pixy hair cut with this black snap brim fedora set on the back of her head is a fashion YES! in my eyes. Paired with the leopard print that was very popular this year and she looks really put together without being too dressed up.


#1 – Taylor Swift.  I know I might get some backlash for picking Taylor as my number 1, but this is a great look.  The bold red knit paired with the black biker style fitted jacket is a statement without being a big Kentucky Derby brim or feathered sky high work of art.  The girl knows how to turn heads and this simple and stylish hat does just that.


What were they thinking?

#4 – Brett Michaels.  I know this guy has had an up and down year, but please, find a new hat look in 2011.  This straw cowboy hat with the bandana underneath is killing me.


#3 – Khloe Kardashian.  I just came back from NYC and I realize that these fuzzy animal hats are on every street vendor’s corner, but Kloe…seriously….this is awful.


#2 – Will.I.Am. I know every once in a while you have to take some risks in fashion, but the Lego hat worn on the AMAs is just too much for me.  How uncomfortable that thing must be.


#1 – Lady Gaga.  I’m sorry to do it as I am a Gaga fan, but the silver glitter lobster was just too much.  It just looks dangerous.  I can’t believe we haven’t heard of any of her outfits injuring her.  This would be one I would be nervous about.

lady gaga mr chow 280210

I am really looking forward to seeing what hat trends will emerge in 2011.  Until then, have a safe and happy New Years! - Shannon

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Accessorizing Your Hat

November 15th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Trend Watch

Many people consider a hat to be an accessory, but to us, the hat is the most important part of the outfit. A great hat defines your style. Can you say the same about a necklace? I don’t think so. This is a great thing for many reasons, one being that when you don’t consider your hat your fashion accessory it leaves room to add even MORE accents to your ensemble.

There are two ways to accessorize with your hat. 1) Add something to the hat itself and 2) add something that will compliment the hat. What I hope to do in the post is explain a couple ways to do this without going over the top.

Exhibit A: Hat Flair ala Ke$ha


I can not say that I like everything that pop star, Ke$ha wears, but I was impressed to see her in this very wearable and well accessorized hat. It is a basic floppy felt hat, with some added hat flair. Adding a band or a pin is great way to personalize any hat look.


Exhibit B: Men’s Lightweight Scarf ala Johnny Depp


Depp does accessories very well. A basic scarf compliments his hat and makes him look that much more put together and stylish at the same time.


Exhibit C: Sunglasses, skinny belt and big leather bag ala Katie Holmes and seen on runways everywhere.


A hat and sunglasses can make anyone look like they are incognito fashionistas. Pair that with a skinny belt and a fab black leather handbag and you are sure to turn heads.


Exhibit D: Men’s Warm Scarf ala Matthew McConaughey


He pulls of the casual look with a great hat and a basic grey scarf. It is getting cold outside and guys need a good scarf to go with their coats whether they are casual or formal.

belfry-pivo_greyBelfry Cambridge Scarf

The moral of this story is, find what works for you by trying something new this season.  Any accessory is sure to spruce up your every day look and compliment your hat.


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What is your cap style?

October 25th, 2010 | 4 Comments | Posted in Men's Hats, Trend Watch

The classic style of the flat cap is very popular this season, so it is no surprise that you see leading men from all genres sporting one out this fall.  These hats go by many names, ivy cap, driving cap, pub cab and others.  The basics are the same, but the styles can be very different, classic styles in classic colors, throwbacks to the traditional English ivy cap and new trendy fashions.  You have to ask yourself, what is your cap style?

Is it classic black?  Black does go with everything especially with more black, like Brad was spotted wearing in Budapest this month.  The black cap and scarf elevated his casual look and really makes the difference with his causal t-shirt and jeans.  But as always, he never looks like he is trying too hard.



Is it traditional ivy cap?  Funny man, Dax Shepard tops off his look with a very classic English ivy cap.  The brown plaid compliments a casual look or spruces up a dress shirt with skinny tie.  If you are a guy who isn’t afraid to show off your style, this look is for you. 



Is it casual grey wool?  Kellan Lutz, actor in the hit Twilight movies, is featured in all the grocery checkout aisle magazines since the success of the vampire flicks.  His classic style is a flat cap with a leather jacket.  The basic grey cap goes with a brown motorcycle jacket as well as with a black pea coat.



Is it fashionable plaid?  Hip hop artist, Talib Kweli, makes a statement with his brown plaid ivy cap.  Still a very classic style, his look is elevated when his hat is the focal point of his ensemble.  This proves that you don’t have to match prints exactly to what you are wearing.  A great hat can stand alone.



No matter which style you choose, a classic cap will certainly make your look stand out this fall.

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Hat Trends for Fall 2010

October 11th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Trend Watch, Women's Hats

Fall is in full swing and it is out with the straw and in with…just about everything but straw.  The season change is my favorite time of year and as the new season of hats hit the shelves it is time to define your fall style. 

The fashion industry works months ahead, so it is sometimes fun to take a look back at the runways and see what styles made it to market.  This Fall Season, hats were all over Fashion Week in NYC and other major fashion cities.  And many designers had one trend in common, women in men styles.  From fedoras to bowlers, women are donning classic men’s hat styles for every type of occasion. 

You have the fedora as an accent to evening wear like seen in the Valvo show.

Carmen Marc Valvo



Women in bowlers (and leather) in the Hermes show.




Women in Westerns with party dresses (and black socks) at Marc Jacobs.

Marc by Marc Jacobs


Big Brim Classic Styles in Carolina Herrera.

Carolina Herrera



Lucky for us, Hats in the Belfry is ahead of the curve with this season’s styles.  We’ve been carrying bowlers since we opened our doors.  And for the last few seasons, our women’s styles have been inspired by the classic fedora, but still wearable with the highest of fashion statements.  I like the mix of masculine and feminine in this season’s styles.  

What is your favorite style this fall?

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Hot or Not - How do you know for sure?

September 27th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Trend Watch, Women's Hats

As we start to get a little older (and by a little older I mean anyone who is not still in high school) it can be difficult to always know what is “in”.  I like to think of myself as a trendy kind of gal, but I like many, don’t always have time to keep up with the joneses.  I have, however, devised a fail proof system to know what is in style at any given moment.  Do as the teenagers do.  Now, this doesn’t mean put on a mini-skirt and glitter nail polish.  This means watch what they go for and you will know what is hot right now.  I’m telling you it works.

Last weekend, I watched one after the other, Taylor Swift look-a-likes pick up a snap-brim fedora and model with kiss faces in the mirror.  Every girl between the ages of 14 and 21 was going for the exact same style hat.  Somebody who is somebody must have just worn one somewhere, because it was like clockwork. 

Just out of curiosity, when I got home, I googled “Celebs in hats” and wouldn’t you know Ashley, Lindsey, Paris and a sloe of others popped up in a snap brim.


Photo credit

Not only are the young socialite types in on this trend, but leading ladies like Eva Longoria, Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Aniston.


Photo Credit

Here are a couple of my favorite fedoras sure to be in style this season:

Belfry Charlie


Goorin Pebo’s


Makins Molony


Just to clarify, I do not support following all teenage trends i.e. silly bands and energy drinks.  But do strongly believe that teenagers can be a good temperature gage on most other accessories.  These hats are hot!

Where do you get your style inspiration?


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In the Industry: What new trends will emerge from this year’s Derby series?

As May 1st fast approaches, and horse racing and the headwear industry gears up for another exciting derby season, I can’t help but wonder: what new trends will emerge from this year’s Derby series? Nowadays it is difficult to open a fashion magazine or turn on an awards show and not see an A-list actor or actress pushing the envelope with some type of new, cutting edge chapeau, but the Derby is where this tradition all started. Chances are the Derby might have been the originator of that stylish topper.

Paris Hilton tries on the perfect Kentucky Derby hat

If you don’t think that the derby events have as much to do about celebrity, fashion, and emerging trends, don’t take my word for it. Even the Kentucky Derby’s own official website shows as many hats on its home page as they do horses. There is no doubt that the stars seated on Millionaire’s Row wearing their lavish hats and posing for the camera help to sell the event as much as the actual race does.

2008 Kentucky Derby

So while we gear up for another grand Derby season, we insiders are as much a spectator as anyone outside of the headwear industry. We can only guess as to which styles, colors, and brands will adorn the stars heads. We will gaze at the beautiful large brims, and sinamay cloches, and revere in the waves of classic panama stingy brims and fedoras. When it is all over, we’ll go back to the drawing board and try to figure out what trends we predicted we would see, and where we missed the boat. We may even be inspired to go out and create a new masterpiece that will become next year’s millinery sensation. Either way, it all starts at the Derby.

Dwayne Wade


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The Jewel Of The Triple Crown Is Among Us!

Derby Season is just around the corner, bringing with it the most prestigious horse race in the world, The Kentucky Derby. Ladies and Gentleman, you know what this means. It’s time to find that perfect Derby hat for this exciting tradition, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky. Held on the first Saturday in May, the first race of the Triple Crown is by far the most fashionable of the three.

It is truly an honor to go to the Kentucky Derby. From celebrities to the Royal Family, even your next door neighbor, the Derby welcomes everyone for a once in a life time experience. There are traditional Kentucky Derby fashion rules that one should follow if you’re planning on fitting in and making the most of the experience. Whether you’re planning on sitting in the clubhouse, paddock or infield, a hat is in order. Along with that great looking hat, the men should be dressed in suits and tuxedos with a splash of bright color on the tie. Women should be dressed in spring dresses or skirts that are bright in nature, and a fabulous hat that brings the look together.

From top milliners such as Christine A. Moore and Marsha Makins, as well as our Belfry Brand Purple Label, you’re sure to find a hat to fit the Derby’s grandeur. While the Kentucky Derby is in fact a horse race, it is also an iconic event in the fashion world. The fashions you will see are timeless, chic and breathtaking. It’s a time for milliners and hat makers to shine. So much hard work goes into creating such gorgeous unique hats just for this one event. The Preakness and Belmont stakes are also big events for the milliners of the world. However, none of them seem to touch the status of the Run for the Rose! As for the lucky ones wearing the beautifully designed hats, they get to shine as well.

150,000 enthusiastic people, well dressed from HAT to toe, gather for this annual event. Whether you’re a seasoned attendee or this is your first time, be sure to make the most of it, because the Kentucky Derby is a tradition that will continue on and will always be history in the making for horse racing and FASHION!

- Ashley

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Time to Dress Warm When You Step Out

December 3rd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Trend Watch

If I had a quarter for every time throughout the winter I heard my mother remind me to put a hat on my head and scarf around my neck, I’d be rich! What I didn’t realize as a child is that the combination of a hat and scarf is more than just a means to stay warm - it’s a true fashion statement. From bright colors in big knit scarves to plaid scarves, this year is all about scarves that compliment your hats.

Whether you’re headed to the ski lodge or an awards show or headed to work, everyone who is anyone is wearing a scarf. Hollywood’s youngest trend-setters are showing their fashion sense in plaid, but the one thing their missing to really polish the look is a trendy hat.

For these fashion forward ladies, may I suggest something like the Belfry Street Insular. It’s casual and trendy at the same time. Not to mention will keep your warm on cold December days.

As one fashion trend that is really here to stay, the hat and scarf combination works for both men and women. Guys have found popular pub caps and street fedora hats work just as well with scarves as a knit hat. With stars like Ne-Yo rockin’ a trendy man’s hat every time he leaves his house, it’s only natural to add a scarf as temperatures drop.

Here he is dressed up and looking fine for the Grammys:

From casual to dressy, be sure to stock your closet with a variety of hats and scarves for this winter. Not only is it something you should buy yourself, hats and scarves make great stocking stuffers at the holidays, too!


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What’s the Big Deal about Cloche Hats? I’ve never heard of them…

October 12th, 2009 | 3 Comments | Posted in Trend Watch, Women's Hats

Angelina Jolie, Hillary Swank, and Leighton Meester are well versed in a fashion trend that transcends time, and we keep seeing these fashionable women’s hats in movies, but what are these elegant women’s hats and where did they come from?

While many associate this classic hat with the Roaring 20’s few realize is an excellent wardrobe topper for the fashionistas of today. Cloche hats actually came onto the fashion scene long before the Flapper Era, as milliners took inspirations from all aspects of dress from Russia to Japan, China to Egypt.  These bell shaped women’s hats resemble a combination of a turban, torque and tiara with fancy adornments like feathers, ribbons and rhinestones to dress them up, or simple felt fabrics to dress them down.

Today we’ve seen women’s cloche hats in movies such as the Jolie blockbuster The Changeling and the sappy romance movie staring Hillary Swank, PS I Love You.  And we cannot forget to mention Gossip Girl Leighton Meester as she finished her afternoon look with a vibrant pink cloche hat earlier this year.

Take it from these Hollywood leading ladies, that whether playing a character or joining friends for an afternoon luncheon, a cloche hat brings sophistication and class to your attire.

As temperatures fall while the seasons change, I’d highly recommend shopping through the extensive collection of cloche hats brought to you by HatsintheBelfry.com.  Combining top had designers all in one collection, the team of professionals has outdone themselves with this year’s fall cloche hat collection.

Get inspired with handcrafted creations by Christine A. Moore, famed for her combination of Art Deco and Roaring 20’s designs.  Or browse the pages of Elle magazine, which has also featured cloche hats time and time again as the staple women’s accessory that every leading lady must have.

Whether you’re looking for something flashy and avant garde or traditional chic, a cloche hat is something you’ll need to stay warm and looking hot as fall and winter take over.


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Yeah It’s Hot, But Why…?

July 24th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Hats in the News, Trend Watch

Social influence is an amazing thing. Even skinny jeans are in style…seriously.

Think about any fad that you’ve ever fallen into. Think about how quickly you fall out of them. Everyone loves to think that they have their own style, but chances are, there was someone doing it before you were. The seemingly contradictory nature of human beings to want to both fit in and stand out at the same time is fascinating.

Most people can attribute their sense of style to a single person or group. I grew up in Jersey City, NJ. Whether they weren’t important enough for me to notice, or they simply were not around, I almost NEVER saw people wearing hats. There were baseball caps, which eventually evolved into fitted ball caps & flat brims, but no fedoras or pub caps. Six years later, hats are a regular part of my style. I’m a little older, more mature than I was back then, but I am basically the same person. Yet my style has changed dramatically since then. Why?

I’m sure maturity played a part in it. My surroundings and social situations have changed as well. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t attribute working in the fashion business to my evolution in style! Still, something in the fashion and pop culture world has definitely changed in recent years. People like Brad Pitt, Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blige, etc. have all made it cool to wear hats again. Don’t get me wrong, the Run DMC’s and LL Cool J’s of the world were doing it before these guys, but hats weren’t nearly as mainstream back then as they are now, and you can see it in every mall that you walk into today. Athletic stores like Lids and Nike have made room on their shelves for classic style over fitted ball caps. MetroPark, H&M, and Urban Outfitters are pushing hats as a part of the contemporary and urban chic appeal. To these companies, selling style is essential, and hats have become a staple part of that movement.

I flip through some pubs and ivy caps to find one that coordinates with what I’m wearing. The first time I ever walked into a hat store and tried one on, something didn’t fit when I looked in the mirror. Nowadays, it all seems to blend so nicely. Style is cyclical. Who knows how long this trend will last. What I’ve come to find out about hat wearers, though, is that once you’ve sold them on one hat, they’re going to be hat wearers for life. It’s not because hats are cool. It’s because hats are cool to us.

- James

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