Classic hats provide a sense of tradition. There are styles that have been around for centuries and still manage to look thoroughly modern. Think of a top hat, a boater, a fez. Would Humphrey Bogart have had the same vibe without his fedora? What about a 1920s inspired cloche or a 17th century straw cartwheel for the races? Many have forgotten the names of the different classic hat styles but recognize them when they see one.
There is something so reassuring knowing the way classic hats are made. It hasn’t changed much in centuries. A milliner blocks the hat, adds structure and then trims the piece. That’s not to suggest that classic hats have to be boring. Just the contrary, by mixing up the materials, hats can feel fresh and modern. My leather bowler elicits ohhs and ahhs when clients see the sample at the hat studio. A traditional hat that was a trifle Bourgeoise in the 19th century, takes on a completely different feeling when made in leather. There’s a James Dean rebellious aspect to the hat that purchasers love.
A classic hat can finish an outfit. For those who worry that they don’t look good in a hat, I reply, does that mean you don’t look good in shoes either? A foolish thought indeed!