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Summer Scarves

July 26th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style

The only accessory that I love more than a hat is a beautiful scarf. I think of the two accessories as similar in the sense that a scarf says something about a person just like a hat. When you see someone wearing a scarf they look put together, like they thought through each piece of their outfit rather than randomly put something together. This may not necessarily be the case, but because a scarf is an accessory that is more fashionable than functional in the summer months, it creates that impression.

Some of my favorite summer scarves are featured in the Getaway Collection on www.hatsinthebelfry.com. These unique prints and materials make for a scarf that can be worn throughout the year while still looking fresh and light for the summer.

A crinkle scarf like The Charlotte is perfect for traveling. You can roll it up and keep it in your beach bag. How glamorous would you feel coming off the beach with your bathing suit, sun hat and scarf? The neutral tone is easy for any wardrobe, but the fashion colors like the green or purple are great, too.

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The Jasmine Sparkle Fashion Scarf adds a pop of color and a little glitz that can be worn day into evening. A long scarf that can be wrapped and worn in different ways adds a different look to different outfits. These great colors like turquoise and lilac combine hues of those colors while still looking bold and bright.

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If your look is a little more bohemian The Maya Floral Fashion Scarf might be more your style. I love it when people mismatch their prints and this scarf would be a perfect way to add some extra color to your ensemble. The colors are soft for summer and will translate well into the fall season.

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My favorite scarf featured in the collection is The Camilla Polka Dot Scarf. I love the different sized dots and the splash of color with the neutral of the green. I also love the idea of putting this scarf with the Belfry Roxanna Fedora. I can see this look being worn with a black sundress or a t-shirt and jeans and still looking swanky.

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A great scarf is truly a unique accessory that can add an extra touch of class to any outfit.     - 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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Broner Hat Give-away!

July 12th, 2011 | 33 Comments | Posted in Giveaway

Happy Give-Away Day! We are at it again, hosting another contest, this time giving away one of the many Broner styles that we carry. Hats in the Belfry and Broner Hat and Glove Company have worked together for a very long time. Not only do they make great hats, but they are another one of the great North American Hat Companies founded by a family passionate about hats.

Broner has a long history of American hat manufacturing. They started in business in Detroit Michigan in 1920 when founder, Harry Broner, started selling protective hats, gloves and aprons to Ford auto workers across the street from his home. After the Great Depression in 1933 when auto manufacturers started providing the protective gear for the workers, the business model changed to focus on the industrial manufacturing market and the local retail market. Now, over 78 years later, Broner is located just up the road in Auburn Hills Michigan and is still run by the Broner family.

How to Win: Tell us which of these five Broner hats in your favorite! We will randomly select a winner from all the comments to win the hat they chose as their favorite. We will pick a winner on Friday, July 15th.

Another Way to Win: Go to our Facebook page and comment on your favorite Broner hat for a second chance to win.

Good Vibrations - Natural

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Santorini - Black

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Worldly Known - Olive

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Sicily - Black

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Fine Feather - Grey

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Good Luck! - Shannon

Update 7/15!!! Congratulations to Jennifer Lewis! She was selected as the winner of the Good Vibrations hat by Broner.

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National Harbor Grand Opening Celebration

June 27th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in News from the Shops

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We are so excited about our newest shop in the DC/VA area. We already received an extremely warm welcome in our National Harbor location and are looking to celebrate with a Grand Opening event this Thursday, June 30th from 4pm to 8pm.

Enjoy 15% Off any Belfry Brand hat in the store (excluding sale items) when you say the special VIP password “Hats Off”!

You can also look forward to refreshments, give-aways and a raffle! We hope to see you there to celebrate our return to the DC/VA area. We are glad to be back!

What: Grand Opening Celebration

Where: 140 Waterfront Street, Oxon Hill, MD (National Harbor)

When: Thursday, June 30th, 4-8pm

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Summer Style for Men

June 22nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style, Men's Hats

The summer is a time to relax, get casual and enjoy some fun in the sun. But all that time spent manning the barbeque, out on the boat/beach and watching 4th of July parades can leave a guy exposed to harmful UV rays. My suggestion…put a hat on! Choose a hat that compliments your style and you will not only be protected from the sun, but look damn good, too.

T-shirt and Shorts guys – A guy with casual and comfortable style (like this Abercrombie look) can keep it simple with a hat that can be worn through all the seasons.

The Belfry Street Army cap gives the same amount of sun protection as a baseball hat and is light weight and comfortable.

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T Shirt and Jeans – If you are a t-shirt and jeans guy whether it is July or November, let you hat be the seasonal twist to your wardrobe. A basic grey Banana Republic shirt is the perfect backdrop to let your hat make the impression.

The Belfry Street Santiago is a great light weight cap that adds a super stylish element without looking like you are trying too hard.

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Button Up and Shorts – If you are a casual guy who prefers a button up to a regular t-shirt (J.Crew style) your hat choice should complement your look while keeping it simple.

Go for a natural color straw that will go with any color combination in a style like the Belfry Straw Jazz.

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Classed Up Casual – When putting together a stylish casual look (like this one from Banana Republic) you have to make sure your hat doesn’t make you look over the top.

The Belfry Street Cabana fedora is absolutely on trend for this summer. The snap brim style is perfect to wear day into evening.

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Classic – The classic polo look from Brooks Brothers lends itself well to great hat style. A perfect panama straw will keep you cool while making you look cool.

The Belfry Delay is similar to a Safari style, with a downturned brim for optimal sun protection.

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Trendsetter – If you are into wearing the latest in men’s casual fashion, make sure your hat is as stylish as the rest of you.

The Gonzo from Makins in raffia straw is a favorite this season and goes great with a casual summer style.

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Button Up and Jeans – If you are a jeans wearing kind of guy who isn’t afraid of color, keep your hat style clean a simple. A khaki driving cap looks great with an Abercrombie colorful plaid button up.

A style like the Belfry Street Gilmore will work with your style for every season of the year.

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The Bad, The Bad and The Ugly

June 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Fashion & Style

I love when I find a picture of one of my favorite celebrities in a great hat. It is fantastic to see actors, musicians, and even reality TV stars wearing a stylish hat on the red carpet. When a celebrity takes a risk with their hat style sometimes it is awesome and sometimes it is awful. Today’s post is a tribute to those that have tried and failed…but at least they tried. I am no celebrity stylist, but I’m sure I can recommend a better hat style to complete these celebrity looks.

Regina King, known for her roles in films like Jerry Maguire, Enemy of the State and Boys in the Hood, is definitely in fantastic shape and not afraid to show some leg. The dress is cute and summery, even if it is a little short. The white cloche hat, just does not compliment her look. A floppy hat in a great color like the San Diego Jessica, large brim would have made a much better impression.

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Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussy Cat Dolls has been known to wear some revealing items when performing on stage. Why she has chosen to wear this ensemble is beyond me. I almost don’t have anything to recommend that would save it. This floppy style in olive green is a great hat, but paired with a fur vest and skinny jeans, it looks like an afterthought. A mod style cap like the Belfry Jay Gatsby would be a better fit with this glam fur look.

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I cannot believe that I am going to recommend a better accessory for Donna Karan, but this over the top floppy is just not helping her cause. It seems like she is going for a beach-y Grecian neutral thing, but the hat just doesn’t seem to be doing its job here. Why not go for a hat that is a little more classic, actually offers some shade and adds just a touch of color like the Helen Kaminski Provence Rafia Floppy?

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Khloe, Khloe, Khloe, why do you do this to yourself? This ensemble is just too much. The brim on this hat is too big and the cropped pants are not flattering. If I had to recommend a hat to improve this look, it would be a classic men’s fedora snap brim like the Belfry Goon. Keep it all black and sleek.

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Shanae Grimes of Scream 4 and the 2000’s version of 90210, looks like she is going to a 90’s party in this outfit. A see-through top, with jean shorts and boots are enough to get her on the worst dressed list. You really can’t blame the hat. If I had to pick another hat to go with this look, I would probably suggest the Belfry Straw Jazz in the tobacco color straw, mostly just because I really like this hat. There is no saving this outfit.

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I wasn’t going to pick on anyone photographed at The Derby, but Brooke Sheilds should know better. I know it is a day to wear over the top artistic interpretations of a hat, but please, Brooke, you can do better. The Christine A. Moore Feather fascinator in cream would go perfectly with your plunging neckline of a dress and still make a statement.

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My final hat disaster is my favorite one to pick on…Lady Gaga, Even though I regularly include you on my lists of “worst” hat choices, I hope you continue to wear them. I just love to see what will be on top of your head next. – 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

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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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Preakness Hats - For Every Budget

Being a Maryland based business we have a serious soft spot for the Preakness race in Baltimore. This year we are gearing up for Preakness with designer hat fittings by the amazing Christine A. Moore in our Annapolis and Baltimore shop locations. She makes some unbelievable one-of-a-kind pieces that are sure to be noticed on race day. Understandably, not everyone has the budget for a designer, custom fit, one of a kind masterpiece, but that is no reason to go hat-less on the Preakness lawn. Here are some amazing options at price points we all can work with.

Under $50

You shouldn’t have to mortgage your home just to look amazing on race day. Never fear, there are some great options for under $50 that are sure to be photo-worthy pieces. The Kira Ribbon Sun Hat for only $38 is a big brim that is stylish with or without embellishment. Pin on the oversized flower $9 and you have yourself a designer look for less.

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If the big brim is not your style, go fascinator! If it is good enough for Kate Middleton, it is good enough for Preakness. The Isbel, Sinamay Straw Hair Clip is a great option with a stylish up-do hairstyle.

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Under $100

If you are ready to splurge a little why not go for a classic? The Belfry Mena $78 in a Natural Straw is a classic style with black grosgrain band. This garden style hat is elevated with the lime green and black floral accent making it a style perfect to pair with a sundress.

You can still be over the top under $100 with the Plaza Suite Lanna. This spring blue with white accent is a hat that will be noticed. The downturned brim will give you shade and mystery.

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Under $200

If you are ready to bring out the big guns, this hot pink raffia number, Makins Sadie $188, is a perfect piece to get you noticed. The oversized floral is on trend this year and the color is hot hot hot.

If hot pink is not your cup of tea, perhaps the classic black is more your style. Even though we are right under the $200 mark, this is a steal for a hat of this quality and grandeur by Christine A. Moore. The Boca Big Brim $198 is a beautifully woven straw hat that will provide lots of shade and double the style factor.

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No Budget

If you are planning to win big at the races this year, go for the gusto with Christine A. Moore’s Stargazer Upturned Brim $528. This hat is more than elegant, it is divine. The floral is large and over the top, yet tasteful. The color is fantastic and it is an all-around beautiful hat perfect for race day. It also happens to be my favorite design this season.

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Have fun at the races! - Shannon

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Kentucky Derby Hats 2011

May 9th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Hats in the News, Trend Watch

Today’s post is simply a collection of some of the hats worn at the Kentucky Derby this weekend. With hats like these, who needs much else?

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Kate Gosselin in feather and a lacy black little number.

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Jordan Sparks.  I love the hat and love the outfit, but I’m not sure that I love the hat and the outfit together…

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Maria Menounos looking super cute in a flashy fascinator and a frilly dress.  Were Maria and Jordan at the same party?

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I love this fascinator on Vanessa Minnilo.  I just wish that she would have chosen a pop of color to go with her black ensemble.

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Paula Patton.  I love this look!  A beautiful big flash of a hat with a tight white mini dress that looks fantastic on her.

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Salt and Pepa don’t dissapoint in these over the top designs.

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Sometimes bigger isn’t better.  Let’s get serious here people.

Most of these pictures were posted on necolebitchie.com. Check out her site for even more shots from the Derby this weekend.

If you are interested in some of the more extreme hats from the Derby check out this site.

-Shannon

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