Italian Made Hats: Our Story, Why Italy?

The history of hats extends back millennia. In ancient Egypt, women wore bonnets of cloth that covered their heads completely, while men donned floppy hats made from felted wool or woven straw. From medieval-era knights to renaissance artists and the French aristocracy, hats symbolize power, style, and class.

Today, hats are a fashion staple for everyone. The way people wear them has changed over time as well. As societies change, so does the type of hat worn by the people within it.

Hats In The Belfry: The Hatters Tale

The craft of making hats is still about one thing - creativity. It's about pushing boundaries and creating something original. It's about being inspired by what was once ordinary and then using that inspiration to create something extraordinary.

Hats In The Belfry is where creativity meets tradition, new ideas meet old-world methods, and innovation meets heritage. You will also find Italian-made hats with a story to tell.

For more than 40 years, we've built an image out of nothing. We're a small company, but we do big things, like turning an idea into reality. We're not your average hat store. At Hats In The Belfry, we specialize in everything from fedoras to flat caps to boaters and beanies, all with a story they want to share.

We know what makes someone stand out, and we focus on it. That means we design each piece with purpose and passion. Each product reflects who we are, and we are willing to go the extra mile to cultivate an amazing collection of hats. We aren't afraid to step outside the box.

Traveling to Italy to source handcrafted hats is part of our legacy. In fact, it's at the heart of the business. Our company has evolved along with its people. Every member of our organization "wears many hats," as they say, and we've all learned on the job. But what unites us as a team is our shared love of hats.

We believe in doing things differently. But we also know how important it is to be innovative and forward-thinking. You see, there's no need to reinvent the wheel when you can copy it! So, we're here to help you look smart, feel confident, and make a statement—all at the same time.

How Did it Happen?

We didn't get lucky. It took hard work and perseverance to build this incredible business. Along the way, we were fortunate to team up with some wonderful partners. Their collective experience helped us develop the expertise to bring hats to life. They've shaped our culture and business model, and together we continue to innovate and evolve. We're thankful to be surrounded by such talented individuals.

Over the years, we've achieved excellent results because of what separates us from others. We're passionate about quality products, customer service, and attention to detail. This led us to establish relationships with some of the finest artisans in Italy.

Today, we offer everything from the every day to costume styles. Our extensive inventory includes classic gentlemen's hats, distinctive women's hats, novelty items, and accessories. We sell hats for every occasion and situation. Whether it's a formal event, a casual day at the office, a night out on the town, or even your daily commute, we have a style that fits your lifestyle.

Timeless Inspiration From the Italian Renaissance

Italian excellence in hats goes back centuries. With roots dating back to the 15th century, the artistry of hats reached its peak during the renaissance period. The artists, designers, and craftsmen who made these headpieces created works that still resonate today. Thanks to Borsalino early men's classic fedora hat, the world knows its name and reputation for crafting the extraordinary fedora hats worn by so many icons of history. And we see why its most popular silhouette inspires generations of men in the United States.

With this understanding of fine craftsmanship, we set our sights on meeting with some of the greatest hatmakers on the continent. Our trip to Italy was a transformative experience. What we discovered changed us forever! The Italian spirit can be seen in their love of exclusivity, passion for design, and commitment to making high-quality hats. These characteristics are embodied in each piece they create and sell a product.

The Italian fabrics provide softness and richness unmatched anywhere else. In addition, the Italians' dedication to superiority to customers has never waned. Italian hats are the best in the world, whether it's the craftsmanship, materials used, construction process, or attention to detail. There's no substitute. And when it comes to style, no one does it better than the Italians.

Our team witnessed firsthand the artistry behind the scenes. As we toured various factories in Italy producing hats, we were struck by how much pride people take in creating something as simple as a hat. That pride makes the difference between good and great. It doesn't just happen by chance; there's an effort put into the perfection that creates the desired result.

Many of these same qualities shine through in our own approach to hats. We value integrity and honesty. We hold ourselves accountable to our customers and strive to exceed expectations.

In 2017, we partnered with some of the most accomplished Italian artisans to manufacture our hats exclusively. By working closely with them, we've refined our manufacturing processes further to ensure consistent quality and superior value.

These collaborations enabled us to bring our customers the best of what Italy offers. 

Our Presence Today

From humble beginnings in Annapolis, MD, in 1978, the Hats In The Belfry family grew steadily. Over the next few decades, we expanded into online retailing and continued to grow. Today, the Annapolis store is now our only brick & mortar location. We're proud to serve all of America with a full range of hats and accessories available online.

Our hats come directly from the hands of master hat makers who work tirelessly to produce the perfect fit, shape, color, and texture of our hats. We partner with the finest Italian vendors in Montappone, Province of Fermo. Their exceptional fabric is sourced from local mills with the highest quality control standards. Their rich colors and subtle textures give our customers a distinct sense of fashion.

For 44 years in historic Annapolitans, we've built a reputation among hat enthusiasts as a trusted provider of hats and headwear. From traditional fedoras and panama hats to innovative shapes and sizes, we carry North America's most comprehensive selection of hats. We want to become your go-to destination whenever you need a new hat.

Why Italy?

Italy is the perfect combination of high fashion and tradition. It is a place the entire world looks at for trends like fashion week, runway shows, magazine editorials, etc. Yet, despite its worldwide appeal, the country remains grounded in time-honored traditions. The culture is rooted in a deep respect for history and heritage. This gives rise to timeless designs and innovative concepts, which attract new generations of consumers.

Italians don't always think of themselves as being "modern"; they enjoy living life with a little more pizzazz. They appreciate the finer things in life and believe everything should be done with style and grace, whether it involves dressing up to go out on the town or just relaxing after a long day at home.

Fashion is more important in Italy than ever before. Each season brings new styles and new trends. The Italian design scene is one of the most creative in the world. Trends constantly evolve, and each year offers unique opportunities to express oneself.

The manufacturing side of Italy is still small, personal, and artisanal. They make hats that last generations because of the care taken in the production process. Their small business structure and dedication to craftsmanship mirror our own philosophy here at Hats In The Belfry.

Spectacular Made Hats by Italian Craftsmen

We pride ourselves on creating our Belfry brand of Italian-made hats. These are not imitations of American brands. They are our own creations sourced directly from Italy. Our craftsman selects straw, wool, and felt fabrics that feature water-repellent materials and fine cotton blends. In addition to the yarn used in making the original product, these materials combine fine details and embroidery.

These handmade products are produced by skilled artisans using traditional methods. They take great pride in their work and know how to translate a customer's vision into a finished product. An individual artisan has crafted each piece of this collection.

  • We offer a wide array of styles for men and women. Whether your taste runs toward classic, sporty, casual, or trendy, we have something for everyone! We carry a broad selection of styles ranging from fedora, pork pie, flat caps, newsboy, safari, trilby, wide brim, cloche, panama hat, big-brim silhouettes, knit caps, and much more. All of them are designed with a classic feel, adding flair to your wardrobe.

  • In addition to our exclusive line of Italian-made hats, we also carry many popular brands such as Complit, Guerra 1855, Ferruccio Vecchi, Sorbatti, Giovannio, Tesi, Stetson, and Wigens. Our selection is constantly growing and changing. If you see something you love, chances are we already sell it.

  • We also offer a range of hat accessories, including a grosgrain ribbon hatband, cleaner, brush, sponge, feathers, and hat pins.

Be Part of the Belfry Family!

Hats are a timeless fashion staple. It’s hard to imagine going through life without one. While some people wear them casually, others dress up their look with a headpiece. You don’t need to be a seasoned fashionista to get the most out of your hat.

When selecting a hat, consider what type suits your personality best. A baseball cap works well when you’re feeling laid back. A Fedora is perfect for business trips or formal events. A stylish bowler can transform any outfit. Try pairing yours with jeans for a relaxed, casual vibe. A cowboy hat offers versatility and comfort. Opt for a twill material if you want to maintain its shape after a long day. A Panama hat works well for sunny days because it provides maximum sun damage protection.

Whether you’re headed to a wedding, bar mitzvah, or spending time outdoors, a top hat adds class and elegance to your ensemble. There is no rulebook for how to wear a hat, so experiment until you find the perfect fit.

So, either you’re buying gifts for a loved one or just trying to keep up with the latest trends, browse our online store for men or women to find the right piece. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

If our hats' quality, fit, and style match yours, we would love to hear from you. Just give us a call at 888-999-4287 or send us an email at hats@hatsinthebelfry.com. If you like to visit us in person, please stop by our store at 103 Main St., Annapolis, MD 21401.

Explore our collection of Italian-made hats, find your favorite, and become part of the Belfry family.

Do you share our passion for wearing hats? Do you find yourself drawn to the latest trend on social media? Are you looking for ideas to add to your closet? Then check out our blog for all of your hat needs. We feature news stories about new collections, celebrity style tips, and even reviews of specific items.

If you are a curious hat lover like us, we invite you to read our below articles for a better understanding of this fascinating accessory.