TVG’s Best Hat Brands for Men
As they said in the schoolyards back in 1996, it’s no hat no play, and there’s no excuse to shy away from broadening your hat repertoire. Fashion aside, Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, and whether you’re pulling on a handmade Panama, or throwing on a vintage cap from Dad’s wardrobe, you’re doing your bit to help Pretty Shady achieve their goal of spreading the importance of skin care!
Whether it’s a dead stock vintage five panel or a weathered felt, hats are finding their way on to the heads of guys (and girls) across the country. Let’s consider both the fashionable, but also sensible nature of this new movement! Not only are you adding a versatile accessory to the wardrobe, but you’re also keeping the sun’s rays off the all-important and, no doubt beautiful, face. In the last few months, we’ve featured a few hatters and their products, but I thought it was time to pull together a list to help those of you thinking about your first purchase. In no particular order, here are our best hat brands at the moment.
I came across FairEnds while shopping for some Woolrich Woolen Mills kit and happened to stumble on the brand’s Woolrich collab. The collaborative project resulted in hats made from deadstock fabrics sourced at the Woolrich Woolen Mill in Woolrich, PA. Unfortunately, the range is sold out, but the team are working on a second run. Stay tuned.
Past Present Brand popped onto our radar only recently. The West Australian brand do a range of wide brim caps and hats which are constructed in Pennsylvania, USA from wool/felt blend. Their website is beautiful, and their hats are on point. Classic designs, quality construction – winning combo.
Coal Headwear from Seattle has been in operation since 2002 when a group of friends got together to start a company that reflected their shared vision: that headwear should be more than an accessory. Coal do a wide range of caps and hats made from basic cotton to domestic wool/felt and some more exotic materials like pure Mongolian cashmere and North American Alpaca/Merino wool blends. You can shop the range at Strand Hatters Sydney.
Established in 1676, James Lock & Co. Ltd. is the oldest hat shop in the world and has provided headwear for some of the world’s most famous men including Winston Churchill, Sean Connery and Admiral Lord Nelson. Located on St. James Street in London Lock & Co provide an extensive range of traditional and functional styles mixed with more contemporary designs. Their Panama and Winter Hats are some of the finest in the world but they don’t come cheap. The rollable Voyager winter hat comes with a soft travel tube and is a favourite among the menswear community.
Borsalino isn’t as old as Lock & Co but their name is certainly as iconic. The Italian brand began in 1857 creating felt Fedoras from Belgian Rabbit Fur before moving into straw Panama hats – which, questionably, they don’t source from Ecuador. Today their range includes fabric and knitted hats and a plethora of felt hats in contemporary colours and styles. You can purchase their products online, or in store at Lock & Co, where they stock hats made exclusively for Locks in a more luxurious downy wild rabbit fur felt!
Born from the coastal town of Byron Bay, Fallen Broken Street is all about that surf-fashion vibe. If you’re on Instagram, then you’ve no doubt seen their hats. With a great understanding of social influence, the brand has been able to establish them as not only a leader in style but also quality, affordable headwear. From their relaxed Ratatat, through to the sharp lines of the new Trix, there’s something for everyone.
Camilo is located in Castle Cove in Sydney and stocks a fabulous range of Panama hats to suit all shapes, sizes and desires. Woven in Ecuador, the hats are then shipped to, and shaped, in Italy before landing in Australia. A combination of unbelievable craftsmanship and a truly iconic wardrobe piece makes Camilo’s the quintessential summer hat brand for the discerning gent.
Australian made and as iconic as the Opera House, Akubra is a hallmark brand that built its roots in outback culture and protecting farmers from the harsh Australian sun. Fast-forward to 2014 and the brand is collaborating with major labels such as Vanishing Elephant and starting to stamp their mark on popular culture.
Larose is a French brand that makes beautifully handcrafted hats. Whether you’re into broad-brimmed, caps, straw or felt, Larose, will have something for you. They venture into some fairly out-there designs for the more daring but nail the staples as well. Expect to pay a pretty penny for some of their more exclusive designs, but you can be guaranteed you won’t be seeing a guy at Bondi markets on Saturday wearing the same one.
New Zealand brand I Love Ugly produces stellar headwear, although no longer hand made in NZ as they once were, the design styling behind them is on point, and always has been. The 5-panel craze is bigger than ever, and as your Topshop and H&Ms venture into the trend it’s harder to stay ahead of it. Rest assured I Love Ugly will help, with new drops coming every two months including fresh designed and styles beyond your standard caps.
Header image: http://finaest.com/blog
Comment below if you’ve got a brand to add to our Best Hat Brands for men list!