“Why does a barber sell hats?”
There is a distinct marmite attitude toward hats these days. I say these days, but since the 1960s there has been something of a backlash against the humble hat. Look at any picture of a high street in the 1950s and there are hats everywhere, but the same image taken in the late 1960s and a hat has all but been erased from society. Why did this happen? Well, the most obvious reason is the rise of the teenager and their constant struggle to evolve into something better than their parents, I mean why would you wear a hat when your father wore one? Where is the rebellion in that?
The hat used to be symbol of social status or belonging, but today thanks to a generation growing up apart from their local milliner, it is the hair product or the hairstyle that gives you that same status. The passage of time though has brought forth a new generation of hat wearers, if your parents are ‘sans son chapeau’ you need to be a proud hat wearer to stand apart. No one ever claimed fashion was anything other than cyclical.
The joy of all this is that there is a new breed of designers bringing a fresh take on the classic styles of headgear. As time has erased much of what would have been considered the hierarchy of the hat, there is now no longer a need to wear a hat that befits your place in society. This is something to be celebrated. Up to this point the only hat one could wear without comment was a baseball cap, but now one can reach for almost any design of hat and walk proudly down the street, not quite without comment, people still fear standing apart or looking good, but certainly with swagger.
Here at the Dandy Cat we have searched high and low for a designer that can bring a fresh take on the cap. We settled on Sussex Tweed for many reasons; they are relatively local to us so have a smaller footprint, they hand make their hats using use the finest tweed available and are proudly manufacturing their own tweed in small batches on the South Downs. They also offer a lifetime repair warranty on their hats, which makes them heroes of the slow fashion, buy once, buy well movement that we wholeheartedly support. Most importantly though, they have style.
Philip Treacy states that a properly placed hat can work wonders for the face. We believe him. Nothing lifts the face like a well angled hat, never just plop it on, spend a moment to glance in a looking glass and set it just so; you will know where that position is, you will suddenly look better. We get countless people coming into the shop and claiming that a hat just doesn’t suit them. I say this is rot, they just haven’t tried a good hat yet. Like you and your head, not all hats are the same, which is why we offer a variety of styles to suit every shape of head and face. A peaky blinders style baker boy hat may be the height of hat fashion today, but they are notoriously difficult hats to wear well. If you are lucky enough to suit one then embrace them, you will shine, but if you have tried one on and not found that sweet spot of joy, then it is not because you don’t suit hats, it is because that hat is not for you. In our experience everyone who tries a Sussex Tweed hat on in the shop realises they look better with one on their head than without, they really are that good, but it takes a few tries to find the right style.
A stylish reminder is that a hat is for outdoors. Inside you can let your hairstyle shine, but outside if you want to feel stylish, look better and keep warm, reach for the hat.
This is why as a barber we also sell hats; we want you to look good and feel better wherever you are. Why not call in and try one of our Sussex Tweed handmade in England hats and caps, you never know, you might just find you do look good in hats.