Long before my hair decided to disappear off the top of my head at the ripe old age of 21, I was a hat guy. From when I was a kiddo wearing my Atlanta braves hat, to this day with all my fedoras and beanies and nonsense, I've always loved a good lid. So much so that now people often don't recognize me if I'm not wearing one! And because I've always worn them, I've somewhat taken for granted that I developed a sixth sense for how to pick the right hat. So here are three things to consider when picking a new hat:
1 - You might hate it at first.
I'm a verrrrry slow adopter to new things. Like really. It's because I like what I'm already comfortable with, and because I'm super picky. So sometimes I have to decide, "Hey, I think I'm really gonna love this once I get past my own issues." And sure enough -- that is exactly what happens. Example: the brown fedora I'm known for wearing all the time now? Yep. Alllmost didn't buy it. Alllmost didn't wear it after I did. And even after I did start wearing it, there was about a month where people teased me about it. (Side note: most of them had terrible style so who cares? Just being real, y'all.) Now it's become a staple and I love the thing. So if you're like me... just give it a try. You might be surprised!
2 - Don't be cheap.
Seriously. There are a lot of things that you can get by with buying something on a budget, but buy a few less latte's and use that money to buy the RIGHT hat instead of the cheapest alternative to the right hat. A hat is literally one of the first things someone will take note of when they see you, because its right next to your FACE. While some aspects of the fashion world have closed the gap in terms of finding quality pieces for cheap, hats aren't entirely there yet. The closest you can come is Brixton, but even a Brixton hat doesn't measure up to a good Goorin Bros hat.
3 - Choose colors and textures that fit your vibe.
Think of a hat as the thing that will be your accent color and say something. It won't shout something... it'll just nod and smirk a little. For me, I always use my hat to just barely offset the color of my wardrobe. A brown hat against black or blue denim. A green beanie to do the same. Or a mustard beanie to compliment the mustard chain stitching on the back of a denim shirt I wear. If you wear a lot of natural materials, choose a hat that compliments that as well.
4 - Think Symmetry and Proportions.
Symmetry is a theme you'll hear me talk about a LOT. It's basic mathematics and basic design. When things are in proportion and have proper symmetry, they're easier on the eye and more pleasant to look at. So when you pick a hat, take note of if it is in proportion to the shape, height, width of your face. The dome (or the "crown") of the hat should be roughly a half or a third of the height of your face, and shouldn't exceed the width of your face much, lest you end up looking like a mushroom. :) In terms of actual fit, I also typically recommend buying a hat that is just barely too snug (if you're between sizes) because it will stretch and give just a bit, and end up being a perfect fit.
5 - Own the look.
At the end of the day - half of what "sells" your look is if you wear it with confidence. You can ignore any of these considerations I've mentioned, but you have to do it with intentionality and you have to own the look!
Cheers, dear ones.