Wearing hats seemed, for years, to be something from a bygone age — especially more formal hats worn to complement tailored clothing. But it’s seen a definite comeback in recent years, as the attention given to personal style — especially across the Internet — has exploded, particularly for those interested in men’s fashion.
Luckily for Goorin Brothers, the company’s staying power — and expertise in what goes on your head — have served them particularly well for a company founded in the 1890s. A fourth-generation family-owned business, the brand’s humble beginnings didn’t foreshadow its expansion more than a century later into a string of dozens of hat shops nationwide — many of them in fashionable locales in metropolitan cities.
The same eye for detail that led Cassel Goorin to start his company out of a horse-drawn cart is reflected in styles seen in its shops today (Cassel’s sons, Alfred and Ted, learned the trade from their father and took over thereafter, as is reflected in the name). Classic styles like fedoras in a variety of weights for the seasons merge with ballcaps and trucker hats inspired by old military designs, and heavier wool flatcaps reflect styles worn by modern-day menswear icons like David Beckham.
It’s a mix that’s led to the opening of 34 shops in the U.S. and two in Canada. Each is designed to feel intimate and old-school in a way that makes you want to try on a few hats. 11 shops in California reflect the brand’s strong presence there, as do four in New York City on its own (all surrounded by equally fashionable shops in their own right). The brand’s move to its current headquarters in San Francisco was a decision that led to distinct roots springing up in the state.
Although the brand has a strong base in warm-weather areas, the product mix is such that one could pick up a hat for every season within one trip to a shop, from cotton or straw fedoras for the warmer months to wool bowlers fit for throwing on as the snow falls around you. The brand also keeps followers up to date on its blog, which delves into the process for making its hats and tips for styling them. As one blog post points out, sometimes a hat is just an essential — namely when you attend the likes of the Kentucky Derby.
Prominent menswear bloggers are pushing forward the idea of hats as an accessory in general, and many of Goorin’s styles would fit right in at the street style scene outside trade shows and the like. Vintage styles resurrected from the company’s archives in the ’90s pushed forward the idea of the hat as a statement piece, and plenty are picking up on that trend today.
Even the idea of wearing a simple ballcap has gotten the approval of the style public, particularly one cut in a nice fabric like wool and featuring minimal styling or logos (like this cap seen here). Such styles can go with practically any outfit, a big benefit of any of a number of Goorin Brothers hats. Scarves, gloves and knits round out other offerings from the brand, and classic, chic women’s styles like bell-shaped cloche hats mean there’s something for everyone at Goorin.
If hats continue to gain attention as a style accessory, there’s sure to be more good things coming out of Goorin — and likely ending up on your head.
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