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Looks We Love

December 12th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in Fashion & Style, Men's Hats, Women's Hats

When I’m working the Hats In the Belfry shop, I love to help people put together the perfect hat/scarf/bag combo.  Now you don’t have to be in the shop to get expert accessorizing advice.  We have added a new feature to our website that does just that!  Looks We Love” is a new section where you can get a little preview of how our hats look with other accessories.  I wanted to share a few of my favorite looks on the blog today to give you an idea what to expect from our experts.

One of my favorite women’s hat styles this season is this Belfry Sadie, cloche.  This hat is a statement piece that is sure to get complimented on the street.  Often with a hat this special, people are conservative with accessories.  I am here to say, you don’t have to be.  This pairing of plaid print scarf is a fashion, YES!  You can wear this look over any color coat, including black, camel, red, navy or brown.



A casual women’s look that is sure to turn heads is this brown and tan look.    This knit Hat by Grace Hats is perfect for bad hair days and is much cuter than a ball cap.  Pair this comfy hat with a stylish scarf and you look put together, whether it is over your winter coat or with a long sleeve t-shirt and jeans. Throw on your brown Bagallini and the look is complete.



For guys who want to look put together without looking like they are trying too hard, this casual camel look is perfect.  An army style cap in corduroy from our new Belfry Street collection paired with a warm brown scarf looks great over your black or navy pea coat.  Add your messenger bag and you are ready for work or school with everything you need.  Plus you can wear this canvas bag year round.



The last look I picked to share is a classic.  The snap brim felt fedora and the Belfry Tweed Scarf in grey.  I love the contrast of the black hat with a grey scarf, instead of black on black on black.  This style hat looks great with a long black wool or trench coat.  The grey is a nice contrast without going too crazy with a print or a bright color.  Sometimes people don’t think about the scarf when purchasing a hat, but you really need it to complete your winter look.  Did I mention we are offering a gift with purchase of our classic style fedoras?



When putting together your winter look (or the look of a loved one this holiday season) don’t forget about accessories.  And check out the Looks we Love at www.hatsinthebelfry.com.


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Belfry Gift Guide

November 28th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in Men's Hats, Women's Hats

The season has begun and instead of standing in those long shopping lines, you might be looking online for the perfect gift for each person on your list.  We have done that search for you and have put together a list of essential items that are sure to make your friends and family swoon. 

Do-it-All Dad Driving Cap $38, Slippers $49.50, Metallic Pen $27.95  To show Dad that you really care, give him the gift of style and warmth.  The perfect flat cap adds to every man’s wardrobe both casual and formal.


Let Dad get pampered for a change with these cozy slippers from Lands End.  His conversation piece will be his Metallic Pen, that doesn’t have ink and still writes permanent.


Make-it-work Mom Cloche $98, Jewelry Tree $59.95, Herb Garden $34.95 Mom takes care of you, so this year, take care of Mom.  A cloche hat will top off her winter look at all of the holiday outings she will be going on.


Give Mom a beautiful place to keep all the jewelry that Dad is getting her this holiday.  And make her life easier. A busy mom need not go to the market for her essential herbs when she can have a garden of her own.


Totally Trendy Teen Fedora $38, iPlunge Phone Stand $5.99, Wall Decals $14.99 The toughest person on your list is sure to be excited about a trendy fedora from our Belfry Street collection.  Snap brim fedoras are seen on all the hottest celebs and will convince your teen you are hip to what is hot.


iPhone accessories are sure to please your teens and maybe even get them to stop texting for a minute.  Let them express and decorate their space with these photo frame wall decals from Urban Outfitters.


Save-the-Day Sitter Knit Hat $38, Earbuds $20, Purse Hook $19.95 They take care of your kids when you need a break, take care of them with a warm and cozy essential knit.


Accessories with real purpose are a great gift for the people that make your life easier.  Cool new earbuds to accessorize their MP3 player or a convenient purse hook to keep their stuff off the floor.


Busy-Business Partner Money Clip $34, Good Luck Golf Tees $29.95, Wine Stoppers $11.95 The holidays are a great time to thank the people you work with every day.  The Stewart Stand Wovel Steel Money Clip is a great way to show you appreciate your friends in your business.


Give the gift of good luck, with this golf tee pack.  Seasonal wine stoppers will add to any holiday event.


Terrific Teacher Scarf $24, Tea $9.50, Chocolates $15 Teachers make an impact on us all and it is a great way to show them you appreciate their hard work by finding the perfect gift for them this holiday.  A great scarf will add to the perfect winter wardrobe.


Think warm and decadent this season by finding the perfect tea or yummy chocolate.


Find more great gift giving ideas at the following sites: Hats In the Belfry, Gifts.com and Red Envelope

Happy Shopping! -Shannon

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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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Beat The Heat In The Dog Days Of Summer!

Summer is in full swing, as I’m sure you can feel. Temperatures this summer have been record breaking in some parts of the country and here on the east coast, we have felt the sun in full force. Most of us need to be reminded about sun safety. Are you being smart? It’s no mystery as to why millions of Americans are diagnosed with some type of skin cancer every year. Yeah, we have all seen the commercials and magazines with all the sun-kissed looks that are trendy this summer, but at what risk? What’s even trendier is rockin’ your natural healthy glow with some fashionable accessories that help you beat the heat.

According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, the average human only needs to spend approximately 5 to 30 minutes, twice a week in the sun to get the proper amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to the body because it helps absorb calcium, which in turn makes for stronger bones. In the summer months most people spend hours at a time in the sun on a daily basis. Some for a fun day at the beach, and others might have a job that requires them to work outside. The fact is that Americans, as a whole, get too much sun exposure and if you don’t know by now, too much sun causes premature aging and heightens the risk for developing skin cancer down the road. I know this all sounds a bit scary and the thought of wrinkles just puts a damper on things, but don’t sweat it, there are some fun and easy ways to beat the heat!!!

Sunscreen is not just for the beach people! It’s a great habit to always apply sunscreen on a regular basis. Even on a cloudy day you can still get burned. You never know when you might get caught in the summer sun! Try to use at least SPF 30, especially if you are fair skinned. Umbrellas are a great way to beat the heat as well, providing us with some much needed shade (and some of them can be pretty cute). Whether you’re at the beach where there is no escape from the sun, or walking around town window shopping; a large umbrella could really come in handy.

Sunscreen and umbrellas are all good, but hello…it’s summer time! Summer is a time to have fun, let loose and express yourself and your sense of style. What better way to do that than with some fabulous summer hats. We are all about beating the heat with style! We recommend our

Protection Collection
for the most protection from the sun’s rays, blocking up to 50 UPF (which is equivalent to 50 SPF in a lotion). We have a variety of styles, colors and brim sizes, and most of them pack right up, making them super easy to take with you where ever you may go this summer. So ladies, did you just buy the perfect swimsuit for a weekend at the lake? Well why not dress is up with a fashionable sun hat that provides you with enough protection and shade, making the sun’s rays the least of your worries. Same goes for you gentlemen! Going golfing with the boys?? You need some stylish protection too. Have fun this summer without worrying about the heat! Protect yourself with style!

No more excuses because of the sun. Beat the heat this summer and every summer the smart, stylish and fun way. Have fun and be trendy without the risk of sun expose. Beat the heat with style!!!

- Ashley

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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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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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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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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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