Fresh style insights, tips and commentary by Michelle Tea, Michael Braithwaite, Leo Plass, Page McBee and Carrie Leilam Love.

Friday, August 6, 2010


I am going to South Carolina in a few weeks to do research for a book I'm writing and I have been seriously hat shopping. I will obviously not wear that awesome raccoon trapper hat from Band of Outsiders because I will be sweating balls, but I present it to you to illustrate this fact: men's fashion is 75% accessories. Hats, scarves, watches, ties, belts, shoes, sun/glasses, necklaces. Bam. Put on a white t-shirt and sweet pair of jeans with approximately three excellent accessories and a tailored jacket (weather permitting) and you are SOLID.

So, back to hats. Topman offers this military-inspired look that works well with this model's sailor-ish style:

Since everyone's got their fall lines out because it's about to get cold everywhere that's not Northern California, my search has been made somewhat impractical. I don't care though because I'm impractical. Moving on. The Japanese once again prove that they rule at men's fashion and everyone else should just give up. Check out these perfect wool hats from Untold:

Is that, like, a million U.S. dollars? Who cares? Just kidding, I do. I am a struggling writer who works at a nonprofit. It's too bad, though, because those are sweet hats that would probably fit my little head perfectly since things in Japan aren't made for giants.

I got off track. The point is I need a hat so that I can pass as a guy more easily in backwoods gas stations and the like. This hat by San Francisco-based label HUF  knows exactly what I need. It's relaxed but adult enough that I won't look like I'm a sad sack about to turn thirty that still dresses like a teenager. I like baseball hats that aren't about baseball and the colors keeps it sober enough to wear with  a collared shirt. I actually kind of regret that I just now discovered these because they are really sweet:

Photograph from

Truth is, this has been an exercise only for my imagination. I already settled on this plain grey fitted 59Fifty Original Basic from New Era:


It's nothing fancy: simple, innocuous, subtle. You can pick the color (even two-tone) and the price is right. As much as I'd like to wear this SEERSUCKER HAT by Huf...

...I believe, philosophically, that you've to to dress for the occasion. As beautiful as this seersucker baby is, it would likely not serve my purposes. To better pass in diners and libraries in a small town in South Carolina: the New Era steel grey hat feels just right.