Sunday, March 24, 2013

Complementary caps

There's a reason that I haven't made too many posts about hats on this blog, and there's a reason for that. As a person who is roughly six and a half feet tall, I simply get self-conscious wearing them most of the time. My ears get cold very easily in the winter, so I stick to a knit cap of some sort, and while I've taken to wearing flat drivers caps during cool spring and warm fall days, most others end up tucked away except for rare occasion.

Having said all of the above, I recently came across a couple hats that I simply couldn't pass up, even though both fall a bit on the bolder side of the aisle.

Stetson drivers red

Stetson red label

First up is a vintage Stetson drivers cap in a bright, cherry red. This is exactly the sort of cap that I've been wearing a lot lately (I have a tartan and a couple tweed flecks by Pendlton), but this one is screaming loud. I'm telling myself that I can get away with it once in awhile, and photo proof may or may not happen ever.

Pendleton tweed hat

Pendleton herringbone tweed

Next up is another vintage hat, this one a killer green herringbone tweed by Pendleton, complete with a medallion and a couple feathers (for good measure). This one definitely isn't as low-profile, but at least has a more reasonable color palette going on.

I'll never be able to pull off a fedora, but I think I can get a couple wears a year out of both these slightly jaunty hats. For less than $5 each, that's probably worth it, right?


  1. "I'll never be able to pull off a fedora"

    Nonsense! The fedora is the most complementary hat shape and flatters nearly every face and head. The second hat is a trilby, which is the fedora's sibling. If you look OK in that, you'll look fine in a fedora. It's just a matter of finding the right one.

  2. Hats are tricky, I think. Given cultural norms -- even at the top end of mens' fashion -- a hat is almost never going to fly quietly by. If you're a bit of a peacock, that's ok. But if you're seeking understated fashion I think it can be tough. As a man with a perfect head (read: bald), there is no season during which I can wisely go outside for any length of time without a hat.

    I've settled -- for myself -- on the snap-brim style as being the most practical and versatile while at the same time subdued enough not to raise eyebrows. Anything beyond that (other than a knit beanie in the cold months) and I have to work up some swagger.

    Last year I splashed out on a new Dobbs fedora in a moment of weakness when visiting a for-real haberdashery. I think it looks great. But I've yet to actually wear it because it tips so dangerously close to costume in my mind.

    I've got a tweed tribly-esque topper, too, which does see some-time use -- usually in the wet. But a cotton (subdued tea-stained madras) and a tweed (with subtle blue check, and fold-up ear flaps) are my go-to lids.

    All of this is a long way of saying: please wear your headgear frequently and with pride. The more you do it, the more likely it is I'll be able to dust off the fedora and not feel like I'm putting on a show by walking down the street.