Thursday, December 22, 2011

hats on Huffingtonpost

2011 has been quite the style-packed year, but let us suggest one more sartorial moniker for it: the year of the hat.
From the trippy fascinators at the royal wedding (obvi) to harried celebs hiding from the paparazzi behind giant brims to Herman Cain's beloved fedora, it seems hats were all the rage.
Style wise, stars seemed to ditch the knit caps and tubular beanies that have been popular in recent years in favor of more structured toppers with brims, like fedoras and bowlers. We even had stylish baby hats like wee Skyler Berman's newsboy cap.
Check out our gallery below of some of the craziest, most chic and downright on-trend hats of 2011! best Hats of 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

What is a Lampshade hat

A hat is a lampshade when it has an electric bulb in it rather than a head.
More great ideas for hat store displays or for the sartorial gift for the guy who has every thing.
Classic British bowlers or top hats.

Designed by Jake Phipps for Innermost the Jeeves pendant light is a playful take on lighting with a real sense of cultural identity. The Bowler hat is a classic british cultural icon reflecting a bygone era of imperialism, class divide and eccentricity. 
The Jeeves pendant is made from a wool felt hat lined with anodised aluminium, and supplied with integrated wiring set, unique to this product.

250mm x 130mm

 Hatshades can be really cool looking.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Reproduction Vintage Hat Molds

A few months ago I blogged about the great hat molds that Nordstrum was using for display, well, they are now avaialbe at

these will make splendid displays for any hat store or accessoroes any satorial man's office.
They are offering 3 shapes bowler, fedora and a belero.
I love the Bowler.

$199 each.
Vintage hat molds are among the most sought-after industrial antiques, prized for their sculptural forms and their connection to a more dapper age. Using an antique Argentine mold as our model, Restortion Hardware reproduced the bowler hat, designed for the brother of a British Earl and favored by 19th-century American railway workers and train robbers, dandies and desperados alike because it stayed put in the wind.
  • Cast from aluminum and mounted on metal stands with a felt-covered base
  • Hand finished in antiqued silver
  • Variations in patina make each mold unique

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

original design, knock-off or inspirationl ideas.

Where J.Crew Shops for Ideas.

Birds do it, Bees do it.....................Yes we have all been known to do it. But in all honesty, there is very little new in fashion. Many of my hat ideas come from Parisian vintage stores or period shows like Boardwalk Empire
courtesy of BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK OCT. 17 2011.

American men no longer dress like slobs. Thanks, J.Crew. But don’t your stylists have a few people to thank as well?

Freemans Sporting Club in Manhattan Freemans Sporting Club in Manhattan Elizabeth Weinberg
By Roger Bennett If imitation is flattery, J.Crew seems borderline sycophantic toward two of its trendier rivals Natan Dvir/Polaris
In the dead time between lunch and dinner, the second floor of Freemans Restaurant, downtown Manhattan’s culinary shrine to neo-Americana, is deserted. As the few lingering diners lazily draw out espressos amid the restaurant’s heavy wooden furniture, shabby chandeliers, and menagerie of taxidermy, most if not all are blithely unaware that just 10 feet behind them, a narrow passage leads to a dusty bookcase concealing another, altogether more industrious world.
The heavy, tome-loaded bookshelf is a secret door swinging open to reveal two cavernous rooms that contain a bespoke tailoring production line. There is a shabbily stylish fitting area furnished with a well-worn Afghan carpet and a large mirror, providing ample space for the four elaborate fittings necessary to hand-cut a superlative suit (starting price of $3,950). In an adjacent open workshop, merengue crackles out of a clock radio as four focused craftsmen operate under the supervision of a Dominican-born master tailor.
The shop is the latest extension to the Freemans fashion mini-empire, which offers American heritage style with a twist. Even if you are not among its dapper, in-the-know clientele, which includes such style icons as David Beckham, you may have a good sense of what it’s like to shop there—if you’ve ever been to J.Crew. Indeed, unmistakable elements of Freemans’s aesthetic, as well as that of other boutique brands, have cropped up in J.Crew outlets across the country—nowhere more prominently than at the menswear giant’s New York concept space, Liquor Store. According to Taavo Somer, Freemans’s intense, thickly maned founder, this is no accident.
The bespoke expansion is a high-end investment for the Freemans Sporting Club, the clothing line that sprang from the restaurant in 2005. In Freemans’s small Rivington Street boutique, racks of neat machinist shirts ($198) fight for attention opposite electric blue deconstructed sports coats ($528) and limited-edition desert boots developed in collaboration with PF Flyers ($80). Every product is artfully presented, laid out on vintage worktables or nestled between scattered tchotchkes reminiscent of a lost, rustic masculinity: steamer trunks, antique binoculars, and shaving potions.
Somer not only designed the clothes but also painstakingly constructed the fixtures by hand, even custom-mixing an original gray paint shade to ensure the walls reflected the particular 1930s vibe he had in mind. His meticulous care paid immediate dividends. The clothing came to influence—perhaps even spawn—several hipster subspecies: the barman-hunter, the barista-trapper, the line cook–lumberjack. The brand soon added two stores, including one in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Popularity presented new challenges. “When we started, there were not many people doing what we do,” says Kent Kilroe, the store’s co-owner. “Soon everyone was offering clothes like ours and presenting them in the same way.” The ultimate example was the 2008 opening of J.Crew’s Liquor Store. Stylistically, the men’s specialty shop looked almost as if the 450 square feet of Freemans Sporting Club had been reconstructed in Tribeca, brick by brick.
Freemans displayed their product on work-tables and antique cases surrounded by stuffed pheasants, vintage bicycle seats, and classic novels by Saul Bellow and Raymond Carver, among other manly volumes. Liquor Store, meanwhile, piled shirts on banquet tables surrounded by similarly idiosyncratic ephemera: old-time bowling balls, oil paintings of toy dogs, and a complete set of Harvard Classics by P.F. Collier & Son. “They copied us down to the shade of the paint colors,” remembers Freemans’s director of sales, Alex Young. “Every exhibition case was lined with the exact custom-gray shade Taavo had created by hand.”
J.Crew’s head menswear designer, Frank Muytjens, dismisses such similarities as coincidence. “You have to look deeper,” he explains. “We are surrounding ourselves with classic brands—presenting our brand in an interesting way we could not otherwise do.” The Liquor Store opening was nevertheless a lesson for the Freemans team. In the cutthroat growth area of menswear, a $50 billion market in 2010, originality cannot be protected. Mass retailers are able to replicate successful strategies as quickly as knockoff shops in Chinatown pump out fake Louis Vuitton handbags.Somer, who has yet to set foot in the J.Crew doppelganger, remains philosophical. “If you trade in the undiscovered and uncharted,” he explains, “you know it is going to become copied and overrun.”
Steven Alan, a Tribeca-based outfitter whose charmingly boyish boutiques could each pass for Wes Anderson’s bedroom, is another merchant who has learned this lesson firsthand. Like Somer, the soft-spoken designer backed into fashion as an outsider, having trained in film and photography, similarly motivated by a desire to make clothes suited to his peculiar taste.
Alan experimented with cuts, fabrics, and weathering to satisfy his vision of “an understated logo-less look with a classic American sensibility.” On top of perfecting his line, he set about identifying classic brands: jackets from Barbour, handmade shoes by Alden, Levi’s denim, Russell Moccasins, vintage Rolex watches, and Filson bags. The upshot? A singular, multibrand men’s boutique anchored by veteran rugged brands. The effect, when Alan opened in 1999, was groundbreaking. In the words of menswear consultant and stylist Michael Macko, “Beau Brummel took us out of smock coats and put us into suits. Steven Alan gave us permission to be rumpled.”
That permission, it seems, extended to J.Crew. When legendary mass merchandiser Mickey Drexler took over the national purveyor of classic preppy style in 2003, he redirected the brand toward an aspirationally stylish yet affordable modern male wardrobe. The washed-out shirt quickly became J.Crew’s basic staple. Alan recalls the time when rival stylists—not necessarily from J.Crew—began to come in his store and snap up his inventory with corporate cards. “It really bothered me at the outset,” he admitted, “but it’s impossible to police.”
J.Crew’s subsequent expansion to more than 300 stores has been explosive. Among the core strategies propelling this success was the decision to make J.Crew a logoless label and the incorporation of classic American “cult brands,” in Drexler’s words, including … Russell Moccasins, Filson bags, Alden brogues, and even vintage Rolexes.
Alan is reluctant to discuss the overlap between the companies, but admits that “buying samples from other stores is standard operating behavior. You expect competitors to take details, but not to replicate a style in its entirety.” Muytjens acknowledges the existence of influential independent retailers in the men’s space but credits his design team with the identification of the particular brands his store distributes or collaborates with. “We are naturally attracted to brands with a heritage that tell a story,” he explains. “They are brands we grew up with. Our fathers and grandfathers wore them.”
Either way, tastemaking independent concerns such as Freemans and Steven Alan are caught in a quandary. Do the creative risks they take further their own brands or merely act as research and development for mass-market chains? Their predicament receives little sympathy from within the fashion world. “We don’t get challenged by knocking off anymore,” explains fashion brand analyst Tom Julian. “Ten years ago we would get offended, but now, when Missoni have a line at Target, blatant knockoffs are considered to be homages, or products that are ‘inspired by’ another designer.”
Alan recognizes he has little recourse. “You can either sue, which would mean a multiyear, money-draining lawsuit, or learn to adapt,” he says. “We have adapted.” Somer concurs. His bespoke tailors could be viewed as a savvy strategy to take the Freemans brand to a price point that the mass marketers, with their emphasis on Asian manufacturing, low costs, and disposable clothing, dare not attempt. “We are like Herbie the Love Bug racing J.Crew’s souped-up Chinese-made Hummer,” he says.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

what is REAL couture?

Is Ready-to-Wear the New Couture? Maybe but not really. More aspirational for rich folk but not for the richest folk. How do you say nouveau riche?

My bff makes couture but few people know this. She even does not admit it at times. She is a costumier, she executes costumes for the top BROADWAY SHOWS AND HOLLYWOOD MOVIES. I left her tonight at10.30pm cutting patterns for Jersey Boys. Rosi, proprietor of Studio Rouge, has been making couture outfits on 25th street in NYC for over 20 years. Each outfit is made to order, made to measure. From Hollywood royalty to cutomers who find her on Googles "best NYC tailor", no need to go to Paris for the real thing.
Studio Rouge meets most of the strict rules set by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. The code dictates the minimum number of employees in an atelier (20) YES and the minimum number of looks in a show (25) YES IN MOST MOVIES AND BROADWAY SHOWS, and requires that garments be hand-sewn and made to clients' measurements. ABSOLUTELY!!

From the hallowed fashion houses to bright young talents, designers are incorporating haute techniques into their regular collections

This fall, the promising young London designer Mary Katrantzou sold 18 units of her Jewel Tree dress. That might seem unremarkable until one catches a glimpse of it. Between the floral-print velvet top, padded crinoline peplum skirt and lattice of crystals and appliqued enameled roses, producing the garment required four studios (putting in more than 150 hours) and even made one seamstress cry. Next, consider that each dress cost $14,200. "These are really difficult pieces to make," said the designer from her studio in Islington.
But Ms. Katrantzou's Jewel Tree, inspired by Faberge eggs, is just one of many elaborate ready-to-wear items experiencing a life beyond the runway and magazine spreads.
As the fashion industry continues to question the relevance of the haute couture collections in a 4G-speed world, ready-to-wear designers are finding that there's increasing demand for their most exquisite and expensive pieces. The diverse list includes up-and-comers Jason Wu, Rodarte and Prabal Gurung as well as more established houses like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Chanel.
Perhaps this new high-end side of ready-to-wear, referred to by many as demi-couture, is what couture looks like in the 21st century. These clothes have hefty price tags, which run from the mid-four figures into the fives, but are sold off the rack, typically through the usual retail channels. By contrast, haute couture, shown twice a year in Paris, is governed by strict rules set by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. The code dictates the minimum number of employees in an atelier (20) and the minimum number of looks in a show (25), and requires that garments be hand-sewn and made to clients' measurements.

Elaborate ready-to-wear items are experiencing a life beyond the runway and magazine spreads.
From Valentino, a hand-painted lace gown with embroidery
Jason Wu
A long-sleeve re-embroidered lace blouse and silver ostrich feather skirt by Jason Wu
Alexander McQueen
Proenza Schouler's dress in velvet, which was hand-painted and pieced together with chiffon
Azzedine Alaïa
Mary Katrantzou's Jewel Tree velvet dress with lattice and acetate flower appliques
F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Veronique Zanettin
But the customers who have the time to fly to Paris to sit through shows, lunch at Maxim's and visit designer ateliers for multiple fittings are few and far between these days. In contrast, pieces like Ms. Katrantzou's Jewel Tree or Ms. McCartney's damask lace and organza Pamela dress ($13,395), don't require fittings—they can be bought with a few clicks at retail website and delivered to your door the next day.
Further evidence of the rise of halfway haute is Azzedine Alaïa's showing of what he called "semi-couture" during the fall couture season in July. This upgraded version of his ready-to-wear, which can be purchased as-is, was one of the week's highlights, eliciting superlatives all around. "It rendered me speechless," said Ikram Goldman, owner of the influential Chicago boutique Ikram, who was eager—along with stores like Barneys—to buy the collection.
Some attribute the trend, perhaps counterintuitively, to the shaky economy and to consumers wanting more bang for their buck. Matthew Williamson president Joseph Velosa reports, "Pieces over $5,000 now account for 6% of our business. To put that into context, two years ago we sold nothing at that price." He said that it could also be a reaction to the minimalist fare that has dominated the past few seasons. "Ever since 'La Crise,' designers are making sure that pieces are special," said Nicholas Mellamphy, buying director of luxe Toronto store The Room. "The customer wants value for their product. That's what the last two years have taught us."
The creation of such speciality pieces is also a way for high fashion to draw a line in the sand, placing knock-offs squarely on the other side. "Between all the designer collaborations and everything that's going on, we need to give people a reason to buy," said Mr. Wu who started using Parisian ateliers like Lemarié and Lesage, and lace mill Sophie Hallette, a few seasons ago. "There are some things that just can't be done for cheaper."
You certainly won't see the giant retail chain Zara reproducing Mr. Wu's houndstooth tweed overcoat with gold bullion embroidery ($15,000), nor for that matter Valentino's hand-painted lace gown with beaded and sequined flowers ($18,000), nor Chanel's gold sequinned prefall jacket ($23,010) that looks purloined from a Indian rajah's treasury. In fact, nearly all of the pieces in Chanel's pre-fall show qualify as demi-couture, since the collection—called Metier D'Arts—employs the traditional, highly specialized ateliers that the house bought in 2002 (Massaro for shoes, Michel for hats, Lesage for embroidery, Lemarie for feathers, Goossen for jewelry, Guillet for fabric flowers and Desrues for ornamentation).
While much of this phenomenon is about preserving tradition, technology has played a substantial role in selling these pieces. Today, clients can open their laptops and see for themselves what came down a runway. As a result, department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman get calls requesting certain pieces—often pieces they wouldn't buy otherwise. Bergdorf fashion director Linda Fargo says she sees an uptick in those calls particularly after popular shows like Alexander McQueen.
The name of the game is accessibility, with online retailers democratizing high fashion by offering five-figure dresses to women everywhere. "Our customer wants something really special that a lot of people won't have. That is very much the theme right now," said Áslaug Magnúsdóttir, CEO of the presale website Moda Operandi.
And with these kinds of prices, finding someone in the same gown at the same event is rare. "There's a customer who wants this stuff, but it's like one in each city," said Mr. Gurung, who's selling a hand-painted organza and braided chiffon gown ($15,000). "You hope to sell a lot, but five total is great."
Big brim hats are hot for fall 2011.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Goorin Bros

With all the retail negatively going around, it is delightful t see a new hat store opening.Goorin Bros continues to roll out stores nationwide. Recent additions are Boston and their second store in NYC, on the UBER trendy Bleecker street. The store is mall but quite yet perfect for a focused hat collection.
It has a retro ENGLISH feel from the outside but what really caught my attention as the Dickens like character I saw at the cash register.
The store manager's name is Evan and he puts the capital D in DANDY. He is quite the Elizabethan gentleman and knowledgeable regarding hats.
If I wore that low coachman's hat I would look like I was getting ready for Halloween but Evan just pulls it off like an old favorite baseball cap.
Evan is the koolest kat on Bleecker Street.
So check out the great selection of great hats on Bleecker street and maybe you can be as kool as Evan also.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A twist on turbans

Who know that the twist of a turban could give off so many connotations and personal statements about the wearer but then again why wouldn't they; just as European hats can say so much about their hat wearers. The difference is that European hat wearers, for the most part are indifferent to the subtle messages we send with hats. Hey, look at me, I am successful, hey look at me I am creative etc. The first hat I ever made was a turban. It was eons ago when I worked at Martin Izquierdo studio. I though it looked horrible but when the client (I think she was a stylist called Patty something or other) showed up, she loved it. That's when Marin suggested  that I go and study hat making at FIT. As as they say,"the rest is history".

  Afghan Symbol of Identity Is Subject to Search

Mikhail Galustov for The New York Times
From left: Kefayatullah, 35, of Samangan Province; Hajji Rahim Dad, 50, of Ghor Province; Amir Hussein, 45, of Bamian Province; and Hamidullah, 45, of Paktia Province.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Straight-backed, his bearing almost regal, Malik Niaz, 82, entered the Afghan president’s compound this month, proudly wearing his best turban: a silk one from Turkestan in the north of the country, gray and black and white, its long tail draped gracefully over his shoulder
He watched in disbelief as the guard asked the elder ahead of him to remove his turban and lay it on the table. Mr. Niaz, who had journeyed more than eight hours on rugged roads, shuddered.
“That made us so embarrassed, and it made me so sad,” he said. “I felt dishonored when the guard said,” he hesitated, as if even recalling the words made him upset, “ ‘undo your turban.’ ”
“I had wanted to see the president,” he added, “but after that search, I thought it would have been better if I had not come.”
The turban-searching rule at President Hamid Karzai’s presidential palace has been rigorously enforced since the assassination of the head of Afghanistan’s peace process, Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was killed by a bomb hidden in the attacker’s turban. It was the third such killing in four months, leading youths in Kabul to coin the word “Turbanator” and American soldiers to invent the new acronym TBIED, for turban-borne improvised explosive device.
The other two instances were the killing in July of Kandahar’s senior cleric as he prayed in a mosque, and a few weeks later the killing of Kandahar’s mayor.
The searches are deeply disturbing for most Afghan men, as the turban here at once signifies one’s religious faith and is a national dress — not to mention being something of a fashion statement.
Turbans are worn across the Muslim world because the Prophet Muhammad was believed to have worn one, and they are especially favored by imams and mullahs. In Afghanistan, which is a deeply pious country, usage is broader, with dozens of styles and colors. There are ones made of synthetics from Pakistan that cost about $20, silk ones from Herat that cost twice as much and ones made of more luxuriant silks from the north of Afghanistan that cost still more.
The people of southeastern Afghanistan wind the cloth large and loose so it looks as if the whole structure might topple off; Kabul residents prefer a smaller, tighter look. Those in eastern Afghanistan tuck the last bit of cloth so it sticks up out of the turban like a cockscomb, known as a “shimla,” and its size has something to do, loosely, with a person’s view of his own standing. The Taliban were known for wearing turbans made of a very soft cotton that had especially long tails and were either black or white; the former signifies that the wearer’s family members are descendants of Muhammad.
However, most turbans in Afghanistan now — and in the pre-Taliban era — are subtle grays and charcoals, deep olive greens, lighter soft greens and browns.
“I have four or five turbans,” said Hajji Mohammad Zaman Ahmadi, a 57-year-old Kabul resident who was in a bazaar to buy a white skullcap for wearing at home but had his turban on for the workday. He had just gotten a miniature turban for his 2-year-old nephew, he said.
“It is made out of the softest of our country’s wool,” he said.
Mr. Ahmadi, like Mr. Niaz, believes that bombers who use their turbans to hide explosives are committing an offense not just against Islam, but against the nation. They are trying to “defame the Afghan turbans and chase the Afghans from their ancient traditions and try to scare them into not wearing their turbans,” he said.
On the back streets of Kabul’s central bazaar, where the turbans are sold neatly folded, thin as a pamphlet and wrapped in torn pages from old glossy magazines, many turban wearers are so angry about the situation that they blame the Americans. Before their arrival, intrusive searches were unknown.
“My father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, my prophet wore a turban, and that’s why I wear it,” said an older man, looking irritable at the question, adding: “Who brought these turban bombers and turban searchers? You did,” he said angrily, referring to Westerners, which many Afghans feel are agents of the decline of the society.
Many clerics take a more contemplative view. Faith transcends costume, and a man can pray in any outfit as long as the prayer comes from the heart, but it is an honor to God to dress properly, said Abdul Raouf Nafee, the mullah at the Herati mosque in central Kabul.       
As an example, he talked about butchers: “Even if their clothes are dirty with blood, they can pray and God will accept their prayers, but it’s kind of disrespectful. God likes beauty and organization, but he will accept your prayers,” Mr. Nafee said.
Sitting on a floor cushion as he read the Koran early one morning in a small room just off his mosque’s prayer hall, Mr. Nafee wore a simple white cap. His turban was neatly prepared and waiting on a couch for the midday prayer when he would don it. A man of both poetry and pragmatism, he views the turban as a link between the holy life and people’s physical needs.
The turban, like the traditional blanket or shawl worn by men and the chador worn by women, is practical as well as religious and cultural, he said. “You are covered to keep off the dust — and now the pollution,” he said. “If you are cold, you can wrap it around you for warmth, you can sit on it, you can use it to tie an animal, a sheep or a goat, and you can use the turban’s cap to carry water.”
There is also a darker view of turban attacks: that the bombers were so distraught that their turbans’ holiness no longer mattered, and that they were forced to use any means available to take revenge on the Americans.
“Is it wrong to respond to the killings of the civilians that you do with your drones, that shoot from the air and do not even have pilots?” asked Hajji Ahmad Farid, a mullah and a conservative member of Parliament from an insurgent-dominated area of Kapisa Province, near Kabul. “Think about why a man blows himself up: Some foreign soldiers go to his house and accuse him and tie his hands and dishonor him and search his wife and his daughters, and this poor man is just watching and can do nothing.
“When a man has lost his dignity, he does not care about his shawl or his turban.”

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Trash or Treasure

As I prepare for the big move, I have been donating excess object d'art to my favorite charity thrift shop
OUR MISSIONHousing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.
Housing works has great finds and they merchandize better than most for-profit stores. I often stop by to check out their creative window displays; so what a nice surprise to see one of the items, a yak horn, had been chosen for their best of fall window.
I urge you all to check out their online auction and maybe even bid on my horn.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The boyfriend hat

Whats the difference between men and ladies hats is an often asked question.
The answer is that the ladies wear mens hats but the men do not wear ladies hats. So Jennifer Aniston and her beau, Justin Theroux seam to be dipping in to each other closets. So is that the boyfriend hat syndrome or the girlfriend hat syndrome, that they she being donning?
Jenn dons the classic oversized brim hat that say "I'm hiding from the paparazzi under the brim and behind the glasses. Really guys, I vont to be alone". The matching black tees, black leather jackets, skinny jeans and laced up boots are a little too coordinate.
Justin did you borrow Jenn's fedora
Looking good dude. Like the civil war 'burns and 'statch.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


'I hate having to wear a wet sock on my head': U.S. army to replace berets with caps... because soldiers complained they were too hot

It is a staple of army life worn by everyone from film stars to the humblest G.I.
But effective immediately, the black beret currently worn by all serving U.S. soldiers will be replaced with the more popular - and practical - patrol cap.
The wool beret, which proved deeply unpopular since its introduction 10 years ago, will be replaced after soldiers complained it was too hot, irritating and impractical for anything other than use as ceremonial uniform.
Hats off: The US Army is abandoning the beret, after a failed 10-year experiment
Hats off: The US Army is abandoning the beret, after a failed 10-year experiment
The move came after outgoing Army chief of staff, General Martin Dempsey, asked the army's sergeant major 'to go out and talk to soldiers across the force and see what was on their minds.
Practical: Now troops can look forward to just having to wear the more useful patrol cap, seen here
Practical: Now troops can look forward to just having to wear the more useful patrol cap, seen here
'One of the things that soldiers consistently brought up was the desire to wear the patrol cap as part of their duty uniform,' he said.
The beret will still be part of the Army's dress uniform, but will no longer be worn in the field as soldiers complained that it was impractical, he said.
'It does not have a visor and doesn't shield the sun, doesn't absorb sweat well,' Collins added.
One soldier put it more bluntly.
'I hate wearing a wet sock on my head,' Chief Warrant Officer Mark Vino, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, told the Army Times. 'Plus it makes head/skin break out.'
With the beret, soldiers had to carry to types of head gear around - the cap for physical work and the beret for walking around base.
Now they will only have to carry their caps.
Before 2001, the black beret was associated with the elite Rangers special operations forces.
Many Rangers resented the idea that the hat they had earned the right to wear had been assigned to the entire force.
The uniform change applies to 1.32 million soldiers - including 566,473 active duty troops - and goes into effect immediately.


The beret was first used by U.S. in 1943, after a battalion Parachute Infantry were given maroon berets by their British allies as a gift.
The Marine Corps dismissed them because they looked too 'foreign' and 'feminine', until in 1953 the 'Green Berets' began wearing their distinctive head gear.
In the 1970s the use of berets boomed, with commanders encouraging troops to wear them in order to distinguish their units.
But by the 1980s so many variations existed that the army decided to scrap all but the Ranger's famous black and the airborne's maroon berets.
The new headgear comes with a lower price: a beret costs $11.90 while a patrol cap is only $6.50.
The decision does not affect units that have long worn berets as a mark of distinction, including the Rangers' black beret, Army special forces' green beret and Airborne's maroon version.
As part of the change, soldiers will have the option of having their name tags, rank and badges sewn on to their uniforms.
There also will be a new look for Army soldiers working at the Defense Department's headquarters at the Pentagon, with camouflage to be replaced with the more business-like dress uniform, Collins said.
'For soldiers serving in the Pentagon, we will transition to the dress uniform,' starting in July, he said.
In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, all the armed services started wearing combat uniforms in the Pentagon, to underscore the country's war-footing.
But Defense Secretary Robert Gates last year had his staff drop the combat uniforms, and some other offices in the Pentagon have returned to the dress uniform.
'Our perspective is that this is the corporate part of the Army,' said Sergeant Major of the Army, Raymond Chandler, quoted on the US Army's website.
Change: Soldiers will now also be allowed to sew on name tags and service badges instead of having to just use velcro to hole them in place
Change: Soldiers will now also be allowed to sew on name tags and service badges instead of having to just use velcro to hole them in place

Read more:

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Callanan hats are now available exclusively at the Jacobean store in Beijing.
I had the pleasure of attending the store opening last weekend. You can see the interview with VOGUE TV CHINA by opening the link below. The download is rather slow but the end result is very fun and professional.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


HATS AN ANTHOLOGY by Stephen Jones opened at the Bard Graduate center, 18 West 86 NYC this week, via the Victoria and Albert Museum London. It is a wonderful exhibit that any hat lover need to go see. It is open through April 2012, so check out the web site for on-going hat leactures
The museum is situated in a townhouse, which is an intimate venue for a hat exhibit. The magic of this exhibit is that is curated by a milliner, Stephen Jones, who understands hats, lives  hats, creates them with his own fingers, to whom a hat is never an after-thought. Unlike other hats exhibits which are boringly curated by era, these hats are shown together by themes/inspiration; a hat from 1600 next to a hat from 2012, which proves my point "that there is very little new in millinery. As hat makers, we reinterpret dormant style with a modern twist". Mr Jones, milliner extroadinaire was the perfect host, meeting and getting his guests in the foyer.
Mr. Jones bookended by myself and Mr. Williams from JJ Hat Center.
On the ground floor we start out very British.
Paris may have couture but London will always have its Royal family and all there hats and Britishness.
Rule Britannia, Britannia rules.....
At Waterloo, Napoleon did surrender...
Hats are crowning glories. We know the French by their beret, the Turq by his fez and the Jewish man by his yamaca, the king by his crown.

This pierced turban by UNDERCOVER 2006 was intriging and scary.
It was shown next to this Gele African head wrap 2009.

we move to floor 2.
People forget that sports helmets, bike helmets are also headwear.
Beautiful and interesting but not sure where to wear this one?
this bought my eye. Splendid workmanship.
in person this was so supple.
This hat by Louis Vuitton, leather 2009 was featured in the geometric case.
As was this Tudor hat circa 1500-1600.
These lovely ladies were architecturally inspired.

we are now on the third floor. Let the fun begin.

Love that they used a classic Mexican hat in this case.
Next to a Dior 2007 artist pallette hat by Stephen Jones.
With an Italian silk night cap embroidered with metal circa 1740.
Another Dior by Stephen Dior  2002.
Sewn N Y Times paper by Lola 2010. Lola and I studied with legendary milliner Ann Albrizio. Lola is 1 of America's most successful hat designers.
A hat with a flower, so simple, so classic.
1920's cloche with flowers.
shallow crown gibson girl was worn on gathered up, pined up hair, rather than on the head.
Sewn milan braid with flowers.
They even set up a little milliners working space. Reminded me of my apprenticeships with Woody Shlep and Arnold Levine.

A milliners work room is a little like falling down the rabbits hole, full of delights and wonders.

Birds of a feather. Milliners caused the extension of so many bird species. Oh well, it was a great cause ,fashion!
Goose feathers by fellow Irish Man Philip Tracy 1995.
British circa 1750. Guinea and sick feather over linen base.
Recycle, recycle. fashion is not all bad.
Amazing piece by Philip Tracy.
Is this a pun on the millinery term "under glass".
Ladies with an hattitude.....
This is wear the exhibit fell flat on its face. Please look to Hollywood to see American global hat influence.
Please, you could have used a costume quality bobby hat for London.
This is insulting. It is neither authentic nor sexy. Do yourself a favor and call Milano Hat Company for the real thing or Scala if you want a sexy Madonna throw away cowboy hat from her tour.
What the hell is this?

I get it, but do you know who STETSON is?
We move on to fun hats. I was a glove hat man myself.

Philip Tracy for Sarah Jessica Parker 2008. Peacock, hand painted turkey feathers , pheasant feathers and silk roses.

Mr. Whippy by Stephen Jones 1995.
People do not know that 1 reason for the  exploration of America was for fashion. European beavers were over-hunted bur fashionistas wanted beaver hats which were a dime a dozen in the Americas.
Beaver fur felt top hat circa 1650.
With coordinated hat bad also circa 1650.
Sex sells. sex on the brain circa 1996.

tongue and cheek.
Ultimate status.
Grand Finale, top hat worn by President Roosevelt circa 1940.