A hat’s not a hat till it’s tilted.
They say that a gentleman must never lose his wits. If that is true, then he should probably keep his wits warm as well. During colder weather, it is a modern oddity to see that so many dapper gents are strolling about in bundles of warm clothing, but they’ve managed to forget that heat rising through the body will take its leave of them through their skull.
Don’t be that particular sir.
For the past century or two, hats have done quite well to serve their purpose in both form and function. We see various styles that are tried and true, and our friends at Goorin Brothers are diligently holding fast to those classic styles.
The following is our digest focus on the best practices of winter hat wear, and we’re delighted to feature GB’s craftsmanship.
Darker colors work best
We learn in primary school that darker colors absorb more sunlight, energy, or vis-a-vis, heat. While this is relevant to all of your winter attire, it is particularly helpful when choosing a hat. Keep that noggin warm.
Invest in quality materials
As the hats featured here exemplify, it pays to wear a hat of quality wool (incl. felt or tweed), cotton (eg. waxed), leather (suede), or fur (another vodka, please). This will ensure that heat is contained within your hat, but it also means the material will maintain its structure while conforming to your head.
Styles: Know what is appropriate
As with any attire, there are more appropriate styles of hats than others. Generally, a smoother, thinner, firmer, and tighter material will be most formal. A top hat would be what one thinks of here. This has become an almost extinct, but still treasured, formal accessory. A bowler is also a more formal, or professional style. A looser, floppier, or furrier style will be less formal. Other examples are:
- Fedora – this presents the most variety, and the contemporary gentleman will likely find his choice within this category. Some have larger brims, some are rounder, and some are shorter than others. Most of our hats featured in this digest are fedoras. For the modern professional, we recommend you start here.
- Porkpie (featured: gray and black, on right)
- Trapper (Ushanka)
- Flat Cap (newsboy, on right) – this is a great all-around answer to your weekend exploits
- Ball cap
- Always remove your hat when you enter a building, especially religious or another’s home. Once you’re inside, your hat’s job is done
- Tip your hat when greeting a lady, or remove your hat when being introduced to a stranger
- Remove your hat for one’s national anthem or other procedures of national ceremony (Eg. In the United States, you remove your hat in the presence of the flag)
- Remove your hat for a funeral procession
- Note: some may seek exemption from established rules of the general audience in certain cases where illness or religious practice deem headwear a necessity. This is most understandable, and a gentleman will be sensitive to such scenarios
Finally, accessorizing your hat is where we leave you to explore on your own. Bands, feathers, pins, fish hooks, and the list goes on for how you might add your personal character to it (and the less formal it will likely become, but why not).
Good luck with your hat hunting. Take a stroll on down to your neighborhood Goorin Brothers or other fine hattery and make a wise decision. It’s cold outside, and your wits will thank you.
Remember, a hat’s not a hat till it’s tilted.
Thanks to our local Nashville Goorin Brothers – The District – team for sharing their best with Gentleman’s Digest.