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How Do I Choose a Winter Hat?

Submitted by on October 26, 2013 – 5:47 pm 3 Comments
A Biltmore Reese Eleganza fedora on a navy blue peacoat

When selecting your hat or cap for the winter, don't be afraid to use complimentary contrasting colors. This Biltmore Reese Eleganza in cognac looks incredible with this navy blue peacoat

This isn’t as silly a question as it might sound. We get a lot of customers asking us this very question every autumn.

With 600 different models of hats and caps from which to choose and a budget that will limit most people to only one selection, it isn’t necessarily an easy question to answer.

The first question you should ask yourself is what does this hat need to accomplish? Do you want it for warmth? Do you want it for fashion? If you are an outdoor baggage handler at O’Hare Airport, you are likely going to want the warmest thing we carry, which would be a fur (or faux fur) lined leather bomber with big ear flaps that cover your ears, cheeks and jaw. If you are looking to be the template for fashion in high school, you will want a cotton, stingy-brim fedora by Goorin Brothers. You aren’t going to be accepted at the opera in your bomber, and you are going to freeze to death in that tiny, thin fedora. So maybe you want something in the middle.

Another decision boils down to hats and caps. If you are looking for something more professional, a fur felt fedora or godfather is a stylish and warm option. Maybe you want something less austenatcious. A woolen ivy cap or newsboy cap will be warm and remain an easy cap to wear while driving. Some caps are insulated or come in thicker cashmere shells. Other caps offer earflaps, for those who spend a lot of time outside and still want to look fashionable.

One of the greatest challenges for fans of hats and caps is finding one they like that still works with their winter coat. A common mistake many people make is trying too hard to match their hat and coat. Maybe one in a hundred people finds a perfect color match or one that is close enough that no one else will notice the difference at 5 feet away. If you have a brown wool jacket and find a cashmere cap you like that is also brown, just by virtue of their different fabrics they might never match.

We cannot more strongly recommend finding a hat or cap of a completely different color that compliments your coat. Sometimes the right feather in that hatband serves to strengthen the bond between the hat and coat. If your coat is dark, avoid a dark hat. The navy blue peacoat in the photo looks great with the Biltmore Reese Eleganza fedora in cognac. A black or navy blue dress hat will look stunning perched over a grey top coat. Our collection of plaid and patch caps helps to alliviate this problem by mixing and matching so many combinations that can be used with many different styles of coats. The right plaid or patch cap might work great with your fall leather jacket and your heavy winter coat.

You see, there really is a lot to decide while selecting your new hat or cap for the winter. Please feel free to call us or write in with any questions you might have. Better yet, stop by the store to work directly with an experienced sales associate.

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3 Comments »

  • gary m. says:

    I am 6′ 4″ tall. 270 lbs. I just ordered a black wool blend double-breasted dress coat. I would like to try a hat. I am looking at your hats I use to call paperboy hats for dress. But not that style. I need one that is dressie for winter. What would u recommend for color and style for a tall person. Is this type appropriate for tall men.

    • Nathaniel Cerf says:

      Hi Gary,
      Given your size and the color of your coat, I would go with a bigger brimmed hat or a wider cap with a complimentary but contrasting color to the coat. Something like a Stetson Sutley is very distinguished and suits the style of your double-breasted coat well. A newsboy cap can be very professional and dressy, but you need to find the right one. If you want a little pop with your coat, perhaps the City Sport Donegal Tweed Newsboy in blue would work.

  • HatHunter says:

    Recommended your suggestion …Nathaniel Cerf

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