Prada, Robert Geller, Dsquared2, Ferragamo, McQueen…sure, they all showed up-to-date menswear collections for spring, but they accessorized with hats. “Hats have been building up momentum over the past few seasons, so expect to see them flooding the runways come fall, too,” says Emmi Sorokin, a wardrobe stylist specializing in business casual and weekend wear for men.
“The fedora and the newsboy have been big for several seasons,” Sorokin says, “but there’s a push for a couple of dubious trends on the horizon: wide brim and floppy hats á la 1970 or what I call the ‘pimp series’, even a Gavroche style from Les Miserables. We’re also seeing a lot more prints on hats starting with plaids and then moving into bold, abstract graphics.”
A man should be able to pull of a hat with confidence if he’s going to bother wearing one at all. It should complete his look, not compete with it. Do not confine yourself to ratty, tatty baseball caps. Experiment with flat brims, porkpies, fedoras, and the history and lure of the hat will come with it.
There’s a certain etiquette implicit in the hat, such as touching the brim to say hello, tipping it to show respect, putting it forward to hide a bit, or off to the side at a jaunty angle. But, does it still need to be removed upon entering the room, or is that outdated? “Depends on the scene and the hat,” Sorokin advises. “If the hat is heavier wool, meant to protect from the elements, take it off indoors. If it’s lightweight like straw or cotton and it’s a casual environment, keep it on. On a rudeness scale, in a society where it’s perfectly acceptable to ignore the person in front of you to attend to your online social networks, incorrect wearing of a hat probably won’t offend the ladies!”