Author Archives: Brad Fulton

Artist Spotlight: Sin City 2 Director Robert Rodriguez

Making his directorial debut in 1992 with El Mariachi, Robert Rodriguez has continued to make a name for himself in the world of film. His new film, Sin City 2, released this past Friday to slightly disappointing box office numbers. Nevertheless, as the sequel to the original box office smash, it could become a sleeper hit in its own right.


Rodriguez’s first big breakthrough hit came with 1995’s Desperado, solidifying Rodgriguez’s talent for action films. But Rodriguez has also become known for being a certified Stetson-man. Never seen without his trademark Stetson western hat on and off the red carpet, this San Antonio native represents Texas in style.


 “When I decided to become a filmmaker, nobody was surprised, for I had spent years with my father’s super8 – I used to take it when he wasn’t looking – glued to my favourite hat, a classic ten gallon Stetson hat.” This characteristic head covering has become the director’s distinctive sign: “It’s like Gyro Gearloose’s thinking cap, which he puts on when he needs new ideas: I don’t exist without it.” – Vogue Italia, 2011






Rodriguez’s penchant for western styles of hat has infiltrated his films as well, such as the hat Johnny Depp’s character wore in Once Upon a Time in Mexico:



Here are a few more of the Stetson styles Rodriguez sports:

robert-rodriguez-picture-3 ROBERT





                                                                similar style: Stetson Falcon Buffalo Felt 



similar style: Stetson Sawtooth Buffalo Felt






similar style: Stetson Pawnee Gun Club 5X




similar style: Stetson Diamond Jim Gun Club 5x

Shaping and Re-Shaping Your Stetson Open Crown Hat

New from Stetson this year are “open-crown” versions of your favorite Stetson models. Open-crown hats differ from other hats in that the crown portion of the hat comes completely round and is left up to the owner how he or she would like to shape it. Open crown hats can be shapen in a few different ways.


Stetson Stetsonian Fur Felt Fedora

New from Stetson this year are “open-crown” versions of your favorite Stetson models. Open-crown hats differ from other hats in that the crown portion of the hat comes completely round and is left up to the owner how he or she would like to shape it. Open crown hats can be shapen in a few different ways.

1) Professionally Steamed and Blocked If you have the option of taking your hat to a professional hatter, they will use a steamer tool like this one:

1013-DEFAULT-lWater is loaded in the hopper and heated to create steam that is pushed through the brass valve. Tools like this one give hatters a predictable, large amount of steam to work with in shaping the hat’s crown. Wool-felt and fur-felt materials are often treated with a stiffening agent that allows the hat to hold its shape while dry. As such, hats respond much easier to shaping when treated with steam as the stiffening agent is loosened. To provide a signature and predictable crease pattern to a hat, hatters will often use these steamers in conjunction with a hat block, such as this one: Block_pageHat blocks are essentially wooden molds that are carved to specific hat model patterns, which is why a Stetson Stratoliner always looks like a Stetson Stratoliner. Once the hat is steamed, the round crown is placed on the block on the material is pressed and creased against the block to provide the hats shape. This allows professional hats to get quick, consistent results time and time again.

2) Steaming and Re-Shaping at Home While you may not have access to a professional steamer, you can get similar, more customizable results at home with a few simple tools: a tea kettle, your hands, and a bit of time. To provide the steam necessary for a good hat shaping, a standard water boiling kettle, either stove-top or electric can be used:

81UualwmjJL._SL1500_ electric-kettle









The steam from both of these can be used in the same way that the steam from a professional steamer can be used. Simply let the water heat up and hold the hat over the steam produced from the spout. To shape the hat without a block, a little artistry is needed along with a good eye. Begin by first shaping and pinching the top portion of the crown before putting in the center dents or pinches (if you wish). The beauty of a hat shaped at home is that you can customize it to your liking to whatever shape you wish. Also, if you accidentally overshape or misshape the crown, you can ALWAYS apply a little bit more steam and start over. There’s no wrong way to shape a hat.

Here’s a few videos to give you a visual aid:






Resistol Open 10X Western Hat





Bailey 20X Fur Felt Stellar Open Crown


Stetson Premier Stratoliner Fur Felt Fedora

Looking Forward to Fall: A Brief History of the Flat Cap

The flat cap, ivy cap, driver cap, all are names for the same type of head wear that’s become an increasingly popular alternative to the baseball cap in the last several years. The history of these types of caps can be traced back to England as far back as the 1400’s. Working class British and Irishmen wore rough, wool flat caps, while caps made of finer materials such as silk and cashmere were worn by upper-crust golfers and country-clubbers.stw85-char-2_4

The hats made their debut in the Americas with these same British and Irish immigrants who came through Ellis Island. Soon, the flat cap took on two new identies, becoming known as the driving cap, synonymous with taxi-cab drivers in New York and New England, and the ivy cap, due to it’s relation with the Ivy League schools of New England.

Lately, the flat cap resurgence has become sort of a mid-point between ultra-casual baseball caps, and dressier fedora style hats. It’s a piece of headwear that shows you’re putting thought in to what you wear, but you’re not trying to make as bold a statement as a fedora. Here are a few looks that show the versatility of the flat cap in the 21st century.




A quintessential flat cap look, the tweed suit, wool cap pairing is an homage to the leather-elbow-patched Ivy professor while the casual-chinos give the look a proper edge.

Our best bet: Stetson Gatsby Wool Bandera Ivy Cap









Along the same lines as the previous cap, this look goes a step further with wool dress slacks, for the full Ivy professor in December loo.

Our best bet: Stetson Welbach Wool Ivy Cap








Fall weather usually means it’s time to start layering again. Warm days start giving way to brisk nights come September and October so it’s always good to have a sweater to pull over when the time is right. For this casual but put together look, a wool sweater over a flannel shirt pairs nicely with a gray wool flat cap, and the earth tones are perfect for a fall evening.

Our best bet: Henschel 6/4 Duckbill Herringbone Ivy Cap




Fedoras Off The Shoulder Top – Blue White Flowers / Ruffle

This Fedoras x DressHead blue white flowers / ruffle off the shoulder top is going to be the must have for this spring and summer. The material is really soft and feels very good against the skin. This is a great off the shoulder top to put over your favorite little, snug fitting, black dress. The other wonderful things about this Fedoras x DressHead off the shoulder top is that it can be worn with your most comfortable casual attire. This off the shoulder top hangs open or you can use a belt to keep it closed. The material is so thin and light weight you can even use this as a cover for your bathing suit when you go to the pool or the beach. This is a very stylish off the shoulder top that says you have a personality with a wild side. You can order this Fedoras x DressHead off the should top in a small, medium, or large. The model here is wearing a small and it is designed to fit a shoulder width of 33cm and the sleeves are 46cm long.

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Looking Back: 2014 Triple Crown

horses_2 The passing of the Belmont Stakes race left thousands of fans disappointed when Triple Crown front runner California Chrome missed his shot at becoming the first U.S. horse to win all three races in the series since 1978. However, despite Chrome’s loss at Belmont, this years Triple Crown proved one of the most exciting in years.


And who could forget the second most exciting part that horse-race season brings? The hats! If you followed our blog in the past, you’ll remember our Kentucky Derby Fashion Guide. This year proved no different as race day fashion, funky hats and classy fedoras were abound.

Most notably, California Chrome owner Steve Coburn was known as much for his underdog horse as for his signature Stetson. Coburn seems to be sporting a Stetson Range Classic Western Hat with the feather removed, or possibly a Stetson Deadwood 3X Wool Collection Hat. Either way, Coburn is a Stetson man through and through.

Belmont Stakes 2014(California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn wearing his Stetson. photo cred

Floppy sun-hats are also a race-day staple, as evidenced here. For a wide-array of sun hats that we carry, check out our Sun and Beach Hats.

hats(Race fans at Belmont Stakes. photo cred

Other hat styles include your basic fedora styles, along with the narrow-brimmed straw fedora seen here (credit edgar). For fans of this style of hat, check out our KANGOL Heritage Buckle Arnold Fedora

2014-kentucky-derby-1(Photo credit

Traditionally, mens hats for events like this one also include Gatsby-style boater hats, such as this one:


Christys’ of London Hemp Braid Boater Hat

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Get Outside: Best Hikes in the U.S.

arches_logoWith spring in full swing and summer well on it’s way, it’s finally time to wake from your winter hibernation and see what the great outdoors has to offer. We’ve compiled just a few of the thousands of great hikes the United States has to offer. doublearchhike_protrails_comLocated in the Canoyonlands of Moab, UT, Arches National Park offers tons of hikes ranging in difficulty and length. We chose Double Arch, because of it’s namesake arches at the trail head, seen above. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith a length spanning more than 2,000 miles, the Appalachian Trail makes it hard to pick just one or two of the best hikes it has to offer. We chose Dragon’s Tooth because it offers some of the best vistas and views this side of the Mississippi. Coupled with it’s relative moderate difficulty make this a hike not to miss. cuyamacapeaktrail_tentalktime_com_2 Cuyamaca Peak, with an elevation of 1,500 feet, is the second highest peak in San Diego. Though a relatively easy hike, the 8 mile up and back can be deceiving as it is nearly uphill the entire way. However, those views at the top make it all worthwhile. monument-canyon-trail8_coloradoguy_comThis 11-mile hike is one of the longest of the bunch, but is quintessential Colorado red rock hiking. Consider a canyon hike as the opposite of a mountain hike, as you descend more than 1,400 feet in to the canyon. With spectacular views the whole way around, this hike is one you won’t soon forget.

Don’t Forget! Hiking in any weather takes a toll on your body. Be sure to stock up on water and other essentials. Along with sunscreen, consider some type of headwear as protection from the harsh summer sun.

We recommend a UV protected hiking hat such as these:




Craziest Easter Hats and Bonnets

One of our favorite things about Easter parades every year is the creativity people put in to their hats. The traditional Easter hat or bonnet has a long history, but has been enlivened with parades and hat contests that make hats a staple of any Easter Sunday.


easter_1photo credit:
easter_2photo credit: credit: credit: wikipedia.orgeaster_6photo credit: credit: edgarEaster_parade_4photo credit: wikipedia.orgeaster_7photo credit:

Men’s Summer Swimwear Guide


While spring may have just rolled in a few short weeks ago and you’re still deciding which hat goes best with those spring styles your sporting by now, it’s never to early to start thinking about swimwear. Whether your gearing up for that early summer beach vacation, or lucky enough to live in a climate where it’s already pool weather, we’ve got you covered with the latest in swimwear styles.

1.) Shorter

Gone are the days of the way-past-your-knee board shorts. The so long you could trip on them surfer-inspired shorts had their day in the late 90’s , early 2000’s, but styles now in swimwear and other shorts are trending much further up the leg.

jcrew_sidexsideThese J. Crew Tab Swim Shorts have a 6.5″ inseam and are available in red and blue seersucker. The longer board shorts of years ago give the illusion of shortening your legs and overall body shape. A shorter length short actually make your legs and torso look longer for a more flattering look.

2.) Fitter

Along with inseam, swim shorts recently have moved further and further away from being ultra-baggy through the leg. The tailored, fit look found in most other men’s fashion is no exception with swimwear

bonobos_sidexsideThe Bonobos Surfside Board Short are made exactly with this in mind. They have a much trimmer leg opening and come in 5, 7, and 9-inch inseams.

3.) Basic Styles

Solid colors and understated patterns are key. Gaudy, ultra-loud, floral patterns are out and simplicity here rules.

outlier_sidexsideThe Outlier New-Way Short  is an option that can take you from the beach to the bar without a hitch. Made to be a short that is equally comfortable swimming or going out afterward, they feature a slightly longer inseam and classic look that never looks out of place.

saturdays_nycNeutral, simple patterns like this offering from Saturdays NYC offer a little more variation without being over the top.


Spring Hat Styles 2014


Winter was long and harsh this year, thanks in no part to the extra six weeks we had to endure due to Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow back in February. With any luck, the first day of spring will mark the end of the polar-vortex and snowpocalypse much of the U.S. faced over the past few months. Here are some breezy, spring-styles to get you in the mood to ditch the bulky winter-gear and get in to something lighter and cooler.

sartorialist_pics_1photo credit:

On the left, we have a classic look that you may remember from our previous Spring Style Guide 2013. A navy blazer pairs well with almost anything, giving a smart-casual look perfect for the spring weather when temperatures may drop unexpectedly. Here, the blazer is paired with a panamas-style hat for an effortless mild-weather look. Our Scala Grade 3 Panama Hat is a picture-perfect take on this look.

On the right, one of our most popular styles of women’s hats is a wide brimmed sun hat. It is the perfect way to achieve a casual, beachy look whether you’re vactioning in New York or San Diego. The Cov-Ver Women’s Wide Brim Wool Hat that we offer has a flowy, slightly less-rigid brim than the model.

sart_pics_2photo credit:

Proving that the Panama is not just a style specifically for men, both of these women incorporate the Panama in perfect spring-leading-into-summer style.


photo credit:

The quintessential spring/prep/Gatsby style on the left is perfect for a day at the horse-track or Easter parade/festival. On the left, our Christys of London Hemp Braid Boater Hat is a perfect match to complete your Gatsby look. The Easter bonnet inspired hat on the right can best be interpreted via a traditional cloche, such as this Betmar Adelina.

On the right, the spring-like salmon colored suit matched with a grey, wool fedora is the perfect transition from the cold winter to sunny spring. Try our Dobbs Main Street Woodmere Fedora to complete this look.




Hat Styles of Downton Abbey



Downton Abbey has captured U.S. audiences attention since it first aired in 2011 and has been a runaway hit ever since. While the captivating drama and historical whimsy is probably a big reason you are excited for series 5 of Downton Abbey this year, if you’re anything like us, the biggest draws are the hats and fashion. The period setting and dress hearken back to post-Edwardian Yorkshire where your outfit was only as good as the hat that topped your head.

We tend to think that time never stopped, so here are some styles inspired by Downton Abbey to prep you for the new series this year, sure to add some style and class to your next viewing party.









What can possibly say post-Edwardian Yorkshire more than a genuine dress top hat? This Christy’s model is hand made and perfect for your Downton Abbey look and can top the head of the classiest man or woman. For a slightly more affordable model, consider this Scala brand top hat.


Don’t let the name of this Stetson Homburg Godfather Hat fool you. This hat was worn for years before it was adopted by mobsters like Don Corleone. Slightly more affordable alternatives can be had by the Bailey Hat Company.









Lest we forget hats more specific to women at the time, wide brimmed sun hats such as this Gottex Casablanca Sun Hat not only complete the look of the women of Downton Abbey, but provide UV protection from the sun whether your day is at the beach or in Yorkshire itself.

So now is your chance to not only sit around twiddling your thumbs in anticipation of Downton Abbey series 5, but do it in style.

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