BOSTON (CBS) – Did you know that the counter-culture movement of the early 60s was instrumental in pushing hats right out-of-style? Take a second and Google any 20th century Presidents, pre-JFK, and you’ll see they’re almost always wearing a hat. It was a cultural thing; not cool necessarily, just polite. Hats helped put people into categories – certain groups wore certain hats. Convenient. JFK almost never wore a hat, though, which is indicative of just how significant his behaviors were in ushering in a new era. Fashion matters. Of course, in the decades preceding the 60s, hats have come and gone, but they have never held the same cultural significance they did pre-Vietnam, and probably never will. Those kinds of clothing rules no longer apply. Not to say an Alexander McQueen butterfly headdress wouldn’t push you apart from all the rest, but specific fashion practices just aren’t a requirement for any class or group. So if you’re in the market, every single department store in Boston carries hats, but if you want to get serious about this thing there are two shops that stand miles apart in their quality, style and selection:
130 Newbury Street Boston, MA 02116 (617) 247-4287 Mon. – Wed. 11am-7pm Thurs. – Fri. 11am-8pm Saturdays 10am-8pm Sundays 12-6pm WebsiteOpened on Newbury Street in January, Goorin Bros has this town buzzing. Besides the fabulous interior that indicates a deep respect for the aesthetic of the Back Bay, they throw regular cocktail hour events for the general public with music, drinks and food. It’s a kind of fashion networking event. And then there’s the hats. Goorin started making and selling their own hats 100+ years ago out of a horse cart in Pittsberg, PA, and still make them today. But now instead of a cart on the side of the road, they have 15 brick and mortar stores nationwide and international, and are planning their first NYC opening in September. Prices range from $45 to over $500 with everything from scally caps to cabana hats.
765 Centre StREET Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 (617) 522-5047 Tues-Fri 12-8pm Sat 11am-8pm Sun 11am-6pm Website A recently visit to Salmagundi had me inspired. This little shop in Jamaica Plain has a national reputation for carrying the most radical gear around. Though they are known to carry a constantly rotating selection of the coolest hats in the world – no exaggeration – they also stock jewelry, pocketbooks, wallets and clothing of the same superior quality and style. And like Goorin, Salmagundi throws parties for their customers, too, though theirs tend to be a bit more exclusive. Those on the inside get sent an email a couple days before the event with a password you must say at the door in order to be let in. Jessen, who owns the shop with his stylist wife Andrea, was in the club scene back in the day, so there’s usually a hip-hop or house DJ spinning during the exclusive sale where people are drinking, dancing, eating and most importantly, buying. Have you been to either Goorin Bros or Salmagundi? Can you recommend a great place to buy hats in Boston? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to chat hats with you! Michelle McCormack is a strategist and blogger at LoveTheCool. LIKE her Facebook page Secret Boston and FOLLOW her Tweets at @MichelleMMM