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Kentucky Derby Fashion

April 1st, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News

The Kentucky Derby is, in some ways, the Southern version of New York’s Fashion Week. Known as much for its horses as it is for its spectators’ lavish and elaborate hats, the Kentucky Derby is indeed the most exciting two minutes in sports and style. The ladies’ oversized and over-embellished hats are accompanied by authentic Southern Belle dresses dripping with bright colors and layers of accessories. Men also get the chance to show their sense of style with brightly colored khaki, linen and seersucker suits.


This distinctive fashion sense is built upon Kentucky Derby Founder Colonel Lewis M. Clark, Jr.’s original intent — to create an occasion that was inspired by European horse racing that would be both opulent and luxurious yet comfortable for spectators. Documented accounts from as early as 1901 describe Kentucky Derby masses as men and women done up in elaborate pastel attire. Because the event is held in May, spring-inspired frills like gloves, hats and parasols have always been hallmark accessories.

But the most famous element of Kentucky Derby Fashion is undoubtedly the women’s hats. Often custom-designed or handmade for the occasion, these outfit toppers can be true works of art. Typically, women don Southern-inspired, wide-brimmed hats that have been embellished with anything from whimsical flowers and feathers to miniature renderings of the famous Churchill Downs, proving that when it comes to Kentucky Derby hats, bigger and more elaborate is always better.

During modern derbies, men have also walked the red carpet in their own selection of caps. Men’s Kentucky Derby hats are often typical to the South, like fedoras and floppy brimmed hats made from appropriate materials like straw, linen or cotton. Men can get away with less adornment for the occasion, but some derby dudes have been seen sporting super wild and whimsical caps as well.

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Hats For The Adventurer

February 10th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News

A hat should be the first item on any traveler’s packing list. Hats serve many practical purposes and can often determine whether an adventure is enjoyable or turns unbearable from lack of proper head protection. These three hats will have you covered from the carry-on traveler, to the stylish sightseer to the adventurous journeyer.


A Stetson hat rendered in a classic, safari style is the perfect first time traveler’s hat. It is constructed of a cotton blend that is easily wearable across climates and its 2.5” brim will protect you from sun rays. The hat’s crushable feature means you can easily roll, stuff or otherwise pack this hat in your luggage without worry of losing the shape.


You will be ready for an array of adventures in this Woolrich fedora. The classic Outback style look will have you ready for anything your trip throws at you – from casual to even semi-formal outings. The hat’s protective features include a wool felt body which will keep you warm while its water repellant capabilities will keep you dry. The wide 3” brim is perfect for shielding eyes and neck from harsh sun rays.


Perhaps the ultimate in adventuring hats, this 100% Australian oilskin cotton safari hat is waterproof, floatable and provides excellent UPF UV sun protection. It boasts a quick dry sweatband and side grommets that make it perfect for long wear, while the adjustable drawstring make it easy to pop on and off while you’re conquering the trails or other adventures. Tucked away into the crown is a small pocket where you can discreetly store your valuables.

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Formal Hat Styles For Men

January 27th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News

There is nothing quite like a formal hat to bring out the gentleman in any guy. Typically reserved for special events (think: wedding, funeral or black/white tie), the formal hat is a solid wardrobe investment. These three styles will suit all of your formal hat needs.


A top hat is a tall, flat-crowned, wide-brimmed hat that was worn extensively until the middle of the 20th century. Since then, it has fallen out of favor in every day wear and is typically reserved for the most formal of occasions such as church weddings, derby horse racing events or white tie occasions. This classic top hat has a slightly shorter crown than the typical Stovepipe hat, measuring in at 5”, making it budget friendly and yet still appropriate for formal occasions. Adorned with a grosgrain band and bound 2” brim edges, this top hat will have you looking dapper in no time.


The Derby/Bowler hat has earned its place in formal hat history by being a go-to for formal occasions when a top hat was too much. Originally designed for the working class in Britain, this hat worked its way up the social ladder to become the dress code of the Queen’s Guard. The hat eventually made its way to the U.S. where it was known as the “bowler.” This vintage derby is made from a soft fur felt material, naturally more durable than basic wool. It features an all black exterior, complimented by a 12 ligne grosgrain band and a jet-black feather. Wearing this vintage style hat is a great way to declare your own fashion sense.


The classic Homburg hat holds a special place in hat history and today’s modern hat fashion. The Homburg was the original formal hat, out-pacing the top hat and the derby across Europe and America for formal occasions for many years. More recently, the hat was dubbed “the Godfather” in popular American culture and is most associated with Notorious B.I.G. wearing a classic Homburg in various public appearances and performances. This Homburg has a 100% felt wool body, 2 ¼” brim, 4” crown and is made in the U.S.A. You can reserve this for formal events such as a wedding or break it out for a casual event where you will be sure to stand out from the crowd.

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Must Have Hats For 2015

January 20th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News

What better way to ring in the New Year than with a new hat? Hats are a universal accessory that is both fashionable and practical. Invest in these styles of hats and you’ll be covered, literally, for all occasions and seasons in 2015.


The baseball cap is a great casual accessory for men. Choose one that is rendered in unique fabrics or patterns and you will stand out from the crowd. For an added bonus, choose a cap like this one with ear flaps that fold up when not in use for a multi-season/occasion hat.


A Fedora is a classic hat that never goes out of style. Look for a sophistical contemporary style that is water repellant with a contoured brim like this one and you will have a hat you can wear whenever the weather turns wet.


January is never too soon to start dreaming for the lazy, hot summer days to come. A pork pie hat in bleached white with a study straw woven body is just the thing to keep you shaded and looking stylish while beating the heat.


In milder months, a lightweight newsboy cap in cotton is a great option. Pick one in plaid for a fashionable take on the classic look that will keep you covered and cool.


The baseball cap isn’t just for men anymore. It made a fashion comeback for women in 2014 and the trend isn’t going anywhere. For a simple update, try a mod cap in solids for a classic look or a mix of patterns and textures for something a little out of the ordinary.


A fashion fedora is a great option for nearly every occasion. One in a rich, teal hue with a generous brim is a sleek and stylish look that is guaranteed to be worn over and over again in the year to come.


A light weight hat will be your spring and summer companion, so it’s best to choose wisely. This wide braid raffia hat with hand rolled brim and Italian grosgrain band will look stunning on and off the beach.


Shielding one’s self against the rain can be difficult with just a hood or umbrella. Choose a striking bucket hat with contrasting details to make weathering the rain an altogether appealing experience.

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Women’s Hats for Warmth

December 23rd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News

Finding a warm and stylish hat during the winter months is not as difficult as it may seem. There are several styles of women’s hats that will fit any lifestyle while also serving a practical purpose – keeping one warm.


A go-to for casual activities such as shopping, running errands or being outdoors is a knit hat. The material of a knit hat can be made from cotton or wool and the construction allows it to remain snug to your head, typically covering both your head and ears in order to maximize warmth. A knit hat can come in a variety of styles such as the slouch beanie, a headband or a turban-like beanie that may feature fashion forward details.


A cloche hat in a modern style can be the perfect accessory for staying warm in cold months while also retaining the spirit of fashion and style. Cloche hats are typically fitted close to one’s head and in the winter months they can be made from warm fabrics such as wool. A light wool cloche is an ideal outfit topper for breezy or cold days. A water repellant cloche is perfect for days where rain or snow is imminent and one trimmed in faux fur will shield you from wind and chill.


A fedora is classic hat choice that has grown in popularity over the years and has been spotted on fashion trend setters such as Lauren Conrad and Nicole Richie. A fedora is the perfect winter-weather accessory thanks to their close to the head hat body and brim which can shield your face from wind and rain alike. Two styles designed for maxim warmth are the wool asymmetrical fedora and the fur felt fedora. A wool asymmetrical fedora will add a touch of sophistication to your look while being fully lined and made of warm wool. The fur felt fedora is perfect for very cold temperatures thanks to its construction, a felt body lined with the soft under-fur of rabbit or beaver, and materials, which are naturally water repellant.


Adding a beret to your hat wardrobe will add an instant Parisian feel to your look and owning a wool beret is the perfect winter hat staple. This classic wool tam is made from 100% wool. It features enough slack in the crown to give you a versatile look while covering the crown of your head and keeping you warm through the winter months.

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Men’s Hats for Warmth

December 21st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News

A hat can not only fulfill a personal style goal in the winter months but it can also provide a much needed necessity as the temperatures drop. There are several different hat styles that will keep you warm in these colder months.


A beanie hat is perhaps one of the most well known winter hat styles and goes by a variety of names such as the tuque, stocking cap, sock cap or skull cap. The beanie hat is typically known by its knit, wool or cotton material; round, close to the head shape; and frequently sports a cuffed brim or other decoration such as tassels or pom-poms. A beanie hat is the least formal of winter hat styles and is best for casual or outdoor environments.


Trapper hats are a style made for ultimate warmth – similar to a beanie in construction and material but with long ear flaps and a tie that connect the flaps in three positions: open (flaps tied at the top of the head), closed (flaps tied beneath the chin), and loose (flaps down and untied). The typical construction of the trapper hat combines front, side and rear panels made of fabrics such as wool or felt. This is another example of a casual hat that is mostly worn during outdoor activities or in colder climates, but it can be appropriate to wear this style of hat in daily or more formal activities when faced with bitter cold.


Newsboy caps and other flat cap styles such as the Agean Fiddler - Wool Greek Cap are styles that can be worn year round. If you wear this style of hat, be sure to pick one made from wool in the winter months in order to maximize head warmth. Due to their lack of ear, cheek or neck protection as seen in other hats, these styles are suitable for business or more formal events, but may also be favored when outdoor contact is limited.


For business or formal events, the felt, fur or wool (or combination thereof) fedora is your best choice for dressing well while staying warm. Fur felt fedoras are the perfect choice for warmer months for several reasons. A fur felt fedora is constructed with a felt body and lined with the soft under-fur of rabbit or beaver. This style of fedora is naturally water repellent, softer and more durable than wool felt, making them ideal for winter months when cold, rainy or snowy days are prominent.

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Belfry Gifts For Her

December 9th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News

Everyone knows that hats make great gifts, but choosing the style for that special person on your list can sometimes be overwhelming. Don’t over think things. Use this guide to picking the perfect hat for the stylish woman in your life.


If she is glamorous: A women with head turning style is the perfect candidate for a wide brim hat like the Belfry Etta. This feminine fedora in eggplant can be paired with outerwear in any color and is sure to dress up the look of even the most decorated diva.


If she likes a throwback: A cloche hat like the Helen Kaminski Eileen is reminiscent of the 1920’s, but once again popular for the modern woman. The contemporary vintage is a perfect fit for a woman who appreciates a quality piece.


If she has places to be: A woman who likes to travel will need a crushable/packable hat like the Belfry Whitney. Just because she is jet setting doesn’t mean she should have to leave her hat behind. A durable felt crushable hat will let her take her style whereever she goes.


If she is casual cool: A women’s cap style, like the Betmar Sigrid Plush Modern Cap lives right in between a formal and casual style. It can be worn with a dressy coat or simply top off a casual layered sweater look.


If she likes cozy style: A warm knit hat may be just what she needs to get through the chilly season. An extremely popular style, like the Belfry Tam that comes in a wide range of colors is just the kind of hat she can toss in her bag, or keep in her jacket pocket all season long.

If you just don’t know which hat your lady will love, there is always a Hats In The Belfry Gift Card.

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Belfry Gifts For Him!

December 6th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News

This season, give the gift of great style in the form of exceptional headwear! Choosing the perfect hat for your guy does not have to be complicated. Here are a few tips for picking the best hat for the man on your list.


If he likes to dress up: A well-dressed gentleman is not complete without a topper, and a classic fedora hat in a complimenting color is just what he needs. If his hair and eyes are dark, choose a classic black, if he has light hair or blue eyes, go for a grey, and if he is hazel or green eyed, try a warm brown. The Belfry Goon comes in all three and is made of durable soft wool.


If he prefers casual cool: A flat cap in grey wool can be worn with almost any winter ensemble, from formal overcoat, to layered sweater, to sweatshirt. With a foldable cap like the Belfry Ross, you have the ease of portability. Just roll it up and stick it in your pocket. This cap style comes in a variety of colors, but the classic neutrals will carry him from season to season.


If he takes fashion risks: A pub cap in a print is just the edge that your stylish guy will appreciate. This fitted cap style with rounded crown is growing in popularity among the cap styles for the modern man. Choose a cap like the Kangol Plaid 504 and you will seem like the expert on the newest trends in men’s headwear.


If he is more for conservative classics: You can never go wrong with the classic fur felt fedora like the Borsalino Franco. This hat is expertly constructed to stand the test of time, if cared for properly. The style has been among the most popular men’s hats for over 100 years. Traditional black goes with every outerwear option.


If he likes a throwback: Why not go way back and give the gift of a bowler hat? This was the first hat to become mainstream popular, and is reminiscent of a simpler time when Chaplin was the funniest guy on earth, and no one left the house without a head covering. This classic Belfry Bowler hat is still one of the most flattering styles in men’s headwear.

If you really cannot decide on the perfect style for your guy, there is always a Hats In The Belfry Gift Card.

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Contemporary Cloche Hats

November 20th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News

A new wave of modernized women’s cloche hats has become the perfect accents to a current wardrobe. Designers of this seasons’ women’s cloche hats take inspiration from the art deco era while incorporating on season color palettes and adoring with contemporary accessories. These innovate styles, while a few steps away from the traditional cloche hat, are true to the spirit of the women who wore the cloche style in the 20s-40s. The modern women’s cloche hat is unique and artful, often asymmetrical, and truly head turning.


Grace Claudette – 1940’s Inspired Cloche

If you’re into modern vintage, the Grace Claudette is the perfect hat for you. This 1940’s inspired cloche hat is made of 100% wool and has an adjustable interior band to ensure a comfy fit. Featuring charming bow on the back, you’re sure to turn heads whether you’re coming or going.


Grace Caplet – Adjustable Wool Pillbox Cloche

Vintage appeal, with a modern flair, the Grace Caplet is a chic pillbox cloche hat. Shallower than a standard cloche, this dress hat hints at brim with it’s artfully contoured silhouette, and making it the perfect hybrid between the classic cloche and pillbox styles. Resting to the side of the sculpted brim, the Caplet features a classy faux fur accent that truly makes this hat a winter beauty.


Broner Florence – Contemporary Wool Cloche

Cute and simple, the Broner Florence is a cloche hat that will keep you toasty and warm. Made of 100% wool, the body of this hat is durable and is sure to keep out the winter chill. The self-trim rose adornment to the side breaks up the streamline silhouette and gives this cloche just a touch of femininity without going over the top.


Belfry Aurora – Handmade Fur Felt Cloche

The Belfry Aurora is modern vintage fashion at it’s best. Made of fine quality fur felt, the velour look of the body paired with the matte texture of the wide band and smooth sheen of the feather adornment make for a monochromatic masterpiece. The sophisticated stylings of this little black hat, make the Aurora perfect for topping off your fall and winter dress attire.

Needless to say cloche hats are not just for flappers!

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Caring for your Fur Felt Fedora

November 12th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Men's Hats

So you finally invested in a quality fur felt fedora hat. Congratulations!! A quality men’s fur felt fedora hat will last for many years if it is cared for properly. Luckily you do not have to go out and purchase a lot of products to keep your hat looking like new. A hat box, a soft bristle hat brush, and a little love is all you need.


Store the hat on the crown: Especially if you have a style like the Belfry Fairwind, fedora hat, that has a completely turned down brim, storing the hat on the crown will prevent your brim from losing its shape. Storing your fur felt fedora on the brim will eventually lead to it becoming misshapen.

Store the hat in a box: When you are not wearing your fur felt fedora hat, especially during the off-season, it is best to store your hat in a hat box. This prevents dust from accumulating on the fur felt, and provides protection from potentially being crushed if it is stored on a hook or a shelf.


After your hat gets wet: Fur felt is naturally water resistant which means it does not require special water treatments or sprays. If your fur felt fedora does get wet, shake off excess water, let dry, then lightly brush clean.

Cleaning fur felt fedoras: To clean your fur felt fedora, use a soft bristle hat brush to brush counter-clockwise. Start with the crown, and finish with the brim. You can use steam to lift dust and spots, and lightly reshape if needed.


Do not pinch the crown: It is best to handle your fur felt fedora by the brim. Even though the divots in the crown that give the men’s fedora hats their signature style, seems like the perfect place to grab with your thumb and finger, the oils from your hands can over time leave marks on the fur felt. Holding your hat by the brim is the best way to handle any fedora hat.

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