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Shopping for Hats

Hat from All Things Vintage

I’ve often asked where I get my hats. Well, some of my hats I’ve had for more than 15 (or even more than 20!) years. But I do buy several new hats every year. So here’s a list of some places where I’ve bought some of my more recent hats, vintage and contemporary – along with photos of the hats I bought there.

I got this mannequin head (I call her Natasha) so I could take pictures of my hats – I didn’t want to be the model for every hat. Frankly, I don’t have much patience to pose in front of the camera for more than 10 minutes (kudos to those who can!).

All Things Vintage – This little shop in Oakland, California (3506 Woodruff St.) sells clothes, accessories, and an amazing array of vintage hats in mint condition. On my first visit there this summer, I tried on numerous hats before I finally narrowed down my selection to a black straw hat with a veil (the one I’m wearing on my About page) and a small velvet hat with a gold pin. Both of the hats were in perfect condition and each one was less than $30 – an excellent price for a vintage hat. On my second visit a couple months later I couldn’t resist getting this white straw hat with a black velvet accent (above right). I’ve worn both of them a couple of times. I’ll be going back to check out their wool hats soon.

Hats of the Fillmore

Hats of the Fillmore - This San Francisco shop (1539 Fillmore St.) sells a range of reasonably priced contemporary hats for men and women. When I popped into this store last year, I couldn’t resist getting this cute straw hat with grosgrain ribbon (left).

The Vintage Hat Shop

The Vintage Hat Shop - I discovered this Etsy store when I started following it on Twitter (@yesterdayshat) and saw the owner Cindy’s tweets describing the vintage hats she had for sale. I had never purchased a hat online before but I decided to take a chance and get this grey felt beret with a big button on it (see photo below). It was only $18 and I didn’t have to wait very long for it to arrive – just a couple of days.  The hat was carefully wrapped in tissue paper tied with a bow and came with a nice handwritten note. The beret was in excellent condition (yay!). I’m sure it’ll be hard to resist buying more hats from this place.

Urban Outfiters – Yep, this national chain often carries some hip hats – though some of them can be rather cheaply constructed. So you may have to sift through a bunch to find the best one. I’ve had good luck with the wool felt hats though. My most recent purchase was this so-called “5-way” (or was it 6-way?) black wool hat – you can flip the brim all the way up or down or just turn up one side – just the front or the back. I bought a few different ribbons from Britex Fabrics to wear with this chapeau.

Loehmann’s – I’ve found plenty of good deals at this higher-end discount store, which has several locations throughout the country. The store in San Francisco (211 Sutter St.) sells a very wide range of hats – everything from Giovannio to expensive designer lids – and sells them at a discount. I’ve picked up more than one Giovannio hat here – sometimes paying as little as $10 when they’re having a sale.

Hat from Goodwill

Goodwill in San Francisco- Earlier this year when I was in the Haight, killing some time by window shopping before Amy Chua‘s reading at Booksmith and I spotted this unusual wool hat in the window. It reminded me of a Shar-pei – you know, the dog with all the wrinkles? I haven’t worn it yet but I think it’ll look pretty snazzy with a black jacket and some pants that match the hat’s taupe color.

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Chuleenan Svetvilas is a writer who sews and collects hats and shoes. She is a fabric addict and loves classic films and vintage clothes.

7 Responses to “Shopping for Hats”

  1. i want to start a website to sell my beaded jewelry but i dont know how to start website so if u have any ideas or frnds that u know please tell me i really nee help or if u have any frnds that like wearing jewelry please tell me to i can do special orders.

    • February 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      There are many places that offer website templates and hosting. I don’t sell anything at the moment so I can’t recommend any particular company. But I will say that my blog design is from Woo Themes. Woo Themes also offers WooCommece, which helps companies sell things through a website. I haven’t used it though but you might want to check it out.

  2. Frako Loden
    November 29, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Hi Chuleenan–I can only glance at your site right now, but it looks promising! I’m looking forward to getting some tips on where I can find more hats for the coming winter. I hope to see you tonight!

  3. Chuleenan
    November 25, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    You’re welcome! You’ve got some great hats. I’m sure I’ll be back for more.

  4. November 24, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    Thanks for mentioning us! Hope to see you again soon. We have fab, fab, fabulous fur hats and felt too.

  5. Gwynna Searls
    November 24, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Hi Chuleenan

    Maybe Mira and I will see you at Lucinda and Claudia’s All Things Vintage soon!
    Happy Thanksgiving!


    • Chuleenan
      November 25, 2011 at 12:26 am #

      I’m sure we’ll run into each other one of these days!

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