Kingsman: The Secret Service – On Samuel L. Jackson and Hats

There is perhaps no more recognizable actor/celebrity hat pairing than Samuel L. Jackson and Kangol. Since his debut on the film scene, Jackson is one of the reasons Kangol is the household name it is today.

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Samuel L. Jackson’s new film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, co-starring Colin Firth and based off of a graphic novel of the same name, is about a secret agent veteran who takes a young protege under his wing.

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Recently, Samuel L. Jackson teamed up with Kangol and produced his own line of hats. Here’s a small selection of Jackson’s hats and Kangol’s he has worn over the years:

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KANGOL Samuel L. Jackson P2i Golf Tropic 504 Ventair

As seen in the first picture, THE quintessential Samuel L. Jackson Kangol Cap, produced in his signature style.

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KANGOL Seamless Wool 507

Similar to the previous hat, this model features a slightly tighter, sleeker body. Made out of seamless wool to keep the heat in, perfect for fall.

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KANGOL Furgora Casual

Bucket hats have blown up this year, and this KANGOL is no exception. This faux-fur blend is a fall and winter take on a bucket hat, featuring all the warmth you except from a winter hat in all the style of summer.

colinfirth As seen in the Kingsman: The Secret Service trailer, seen here is a take on this KANGOL cap:

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KANGOL Tropic Ventair Spacecap

Cov-Ver Hats now known as Conner Hats – New Name, Same Great Quality

Recently you may have noticed a change on our site with Cov-Ver brand hats. We still carry their whole line of authentic outback, straw, and felt hats that they are well known for, but their name has changed. Now known as Conner Hats, the name change has a lot to do with their history as a family-owned company and their commitment to providing the highest quality hat they can.

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Rewind about 50 years: BC Hats began in the late-60’s, early-70’s when Bill Conner (hence BC) moved to Byron Bay in Australia and began producing authentic, quality Aussie Outback-style hats. The BC Hats name was attached at first to one, simple, classic hat. The Stockman, as it’s referred to, was Australia’s first all-leather hat with a shapeable brim.

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BC Hats Stockman Outback Hat

It was when Bill Conner’s son, Will Conner, extended the family business and began not only distributing BC Hats in the United States, but also coming up with his own designs and hats under the name Cov-Ver hats.


“I was deciding what to call my own hat brand and add these to my BC Hat distribution. I considered our family name Conner but I wasn’t sure if I could create as good a quality hat as my dad and at that time I didn’t want the pressure of living up to the family name. I decided on Cov-ver Hats, which turned out very well.”.


However, this year Will Conner is confident that his hats can bare the Conner family name. So while Cov-Ver hats name has changed, the quality and attention to detail put in all hats is better than ever. Here are a few of the designs that has made Cov-Ver and now Conner a household name along with the original BC Hats.

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Conner Wool Felt Crushable Outback Hat

This wool-felt take on the traditional Aussie-leather outback hat that made BC Hats famous. This version by Conner is made of a crushable wool-felt material that can be packed away in a bag or suitcase.

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Conner Wool Felt Shapeable Western Hat

This wool-felt western-styled hat is waterproof, with a shapeable brim, and that easily recognizable western-cowboy style and a leather hatband.

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Conner Sewn Braid Toyo Floppy Hat

Styled in the same way as the quintessential sun-hats you’ve seen on the beach, at music festivals, or hiking on a hot day. The super-wide brims of straw hats like these are perfect for keeping the sun off of your most UV sensitive spots: your face and neck.

 

Wide-Brimmed Hats for Health

The summer months of shorts and tank tops are inundated with warnings about wearing enough sunscreen and keeping your skin protected from the harsh UV rays of the sun. But as fall rolls in, we often forget that UV rays are just as strong and our most sensitive skin areas are often left unprotected and vulnerable to skin cancer. Here are some suggestions to keep yourself protected year round.


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Every year around this time, we start to see the signs: that first cool breeze blowing away the August heat, the sun leaves the horizon earlier and earlier, and pumpkin-spiced everything is abound. Autumn is coming, beach trips are ending, and while we’re covering up more with sweaters and pants to escape the cold, the threat of the harsh UV rays of the sun are as relevant as ever.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the majority of skin cancers occur on the face, head, and neck. These are also the areas most likely to remain exposed during winter months. For many, the sunscreen gets packed away with the beach gear until next year, but on top of a proper SPF sunscreen, there are a few things you can do in the winter to protect your skin.

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1.) Because an added threat to sun exposure in the winter is UV rays reflecting off of snow, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend reducing time in the sun entirely. If possible, spend a portion of your time outside in the shade.

2.) Sunglasses with proper lenses that block both UVA and UVB rays will protect your eyes from the sun. *NOTE* It is advisable to buy proper sunglasses from a reputable dealer, to ensure the lenses actually do block UVA and UVB rays. Improper lenses can actually allow more harmful rays to hit your eyes than wearing no sunglasses at all!

3.) Wear a wide brimmed hat. This is one of the easiest and most convenient ways you can protect the skin on your face and neck if you don’t have suncreen handy. Wearing hats for sun protection is a trend that goes way back, and was part of the reason the cowboy-hat was made as wide as it was. A hat with at least a 3″ brim will shade the most sensitive skin you have while you face the sun outside. Here are a few selections from our store that fit the bill:

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Indiana Jones Alligator Band Fedora

This crushable, wool-felt fedora has a 3″ brim for maximum sun protection. The water-repellant fur felt will keep you dry in the snowiest conditions in winter, and when you need to pack it away, the crushable material allows it to be stored in a suitcase or book bag and pop right back in to shape easily.

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Stetson Catera Fur Felt Gun Club 5X Fedora

Another outback-styled hat, this Stetson has it all. Made out of a fur and wool-felt blend, with a real leather band and teardrop shape. With a 3 1/4″ brim, there is plenty of sun and wind coverage for this cold autumn and winter days and nights.

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Stetson Lilly Wide Brimmed Fedora 

The Stetson Lilly, and wide, floppy-brim hats have become more and more popular in recent years. This years New York Fashion Week featured many iterations of this type of hat and while their style can’t be denied, the 4″ brim ensures harmful sun rays will be.

Brand Spotlight: Resistol Hats

For sheer brand recognition strictly among enthusiasts of cowboy hats and all things western, there is perhaps none more recognizable then the Resistol Hats company. Beginning in the early 1920’s, Resistol Hats was founded by an investment in to a hat-maker named Harry Rolnick, with one mission: creating quality hats that could resist-all weather. resistol-header Resistol Hats were originally manufactured in Dallas, TX. Hats initially were strictly sold in Oklahoma and Texas, until demand exceeded the capacity of their originally facility, and they moved to Garland, TX, home to another hat manufacturer by the name of the Stetson Hat Company.

From start to finish, the homegrown hat making process for Resistol Hats

Resistol’s move to Garland provided the company the opportunity to keep in Texas all 200+ processes that go in to the making of a Resistol hat. They are currently one of the only hat companies in the United States to outsource virtually none of the work that goes in to its products, ensuring an extremely high bar of quality control. RWRNHD-724220_9 (1)

Resistol Ranch Hand 4X Wool Felt Western Hat

To this day, Resistol hats are still made by hand in the USA in their Garland, TX facility. The fur and wool are blended in house, hat bodies are crafted, trim pieces are carefully sewn on, leather bits are cut and fitted, and each hat goes through several rounds of quality assurance before being OK’d to be sent out for delivery.

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Beyond making quality hats, Resistol is involved in all aspects of western and cowboy life, sponsoring bull riders for Professional Bull Riding. It’s no wonder that celebrities from Ronald Reagan to John Wayne chose Resistol as their hat of choice.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ronald Reagan seen in a similarly styled Resistol NRA Shooter B Wool Felt

 

 

 

 

 

 

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John Wayne seen in a similarly styled Resistol John Wayne Peacemaker

 

 

 

 

Check out our collection of Resistol hats here.

Brand Spotlight: Bailey Hat Company

Since 1922, the Bailey Hat Company has operated under one simple principle: making the best hat possible. Founder George Bailey realized early on that the influence of the hat, be it the dressy fedora, or western cattleman hat was widespread and pervasive, particularly through the burgeoning  motion picture scene. It was this realization that led Bailey to open up shop in Los Angeles, CA and begin producing hats that would become iconic and larger than life. Early movie stars from Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, best known for the ubiquitous presence of their head wear, both sported Bailey hats in various films of theirs.

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Shortly thereafter, Bailey of Hollywood and Bailey Western boomed, providing hats for Hollywood’s stars, whose cultural spread lent Bailey Hats a hand in becoming a nationally renowned brand.bailey

Eventually, Bailey moved their factory to Adamstown, PA where they were afforded a larger space, where they remain to this day, with most of the Bailey Hats collection still being producing in the USA.

Here’s a tour of the American manufacturing that goes in to Bailey hats in Adamstown:

 

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“He catered directly to the needs of the “New West” by outfitting southern California ranchers, businessman, oil tycoons, and movie stars with the ‘best hat possible,’ ” Bailey Hat Company

 

Since then, the Bailey Hat Company has produced new styles every season, some throwbacks to old classics such as the Bogart and Gable style models. Here are a few of our most popular Bailey Hats that include these old staples and brand new models for the season.

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Bailey of Hollywood Bendrix Striped Braid Fedora

 

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similar style: Bailey of Hollywood Endell Ivy Cap

 

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Bailey of Hollywood Compson Litestraw

 

 

 

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Bailey of Hollywood Jimson

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Bailey of Hollywood Mannesroe Fedora

New York Fashion Week 2014

Fashion week kicked off this year on September 4th in New York City. The annual show attracts thousands of spectators, models, designers, and bloggers/writers in one of the biggest events in fashion in the world. The notoriously fashion-forward event is known for bucking trends and pushing the envelope in all things fashion and this year is no different.

While some of the looks fashion week is known to push out may push the border of taste a little too far for the average person, such as these numbers:

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NYFW is still the go-to place for designers to be seen. Here’s a small collection of looks that show NYFW can blend timeless, classic styles, with a modern spin.

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A white fedora is the perfect match for a bold, bright suit. All White Fedoras

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wide brimmed, floppy fedoras perfect for all seasons. Try our brand new Stetson Lilly

 

 

 

 

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Wide brimmed, floppy fedoras perfect for all seasons. Try our brand new Stetson Lilly

 

 

 

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Just for fun, does this make anyone else think of our Easter Hats 2014 post?

The Blacklist’s James Spader on Hats

“The Blacklist”, a crime-drama on NBC that stars James Spader and Megan Boone, premieres its 2nd season on the 22nd of this month. Spader plays a fugitive, ex-government agent who surrenders to the FBI by making an offer to help them catch a wanted terrorist.

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The show has proven to be a hit, securing it’s second season before the first one finished airing and streaming rights were bought by Netflix for over $2 million in one of the largest distribution deals in the company’s history.

But the best part, aside from the successful writing and beautifully played acting? It seems that James Spader is a huge proponent of hats, fedoras and panamas on and off screen.

We put together a short guide of some of the hats Spader and his character play on “The Blacklist”

 

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Spader’s character is a fan of old-school cuts and creases in his hats and has a sort of Dick Tracy vibe to most of his hats.

Our most similar style is this Bailey of Hollywood Capone Gangster Fedora

 

 

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Spader doesn’t relegate his hat wearing to the screen either, he is a huge fan of hats that more dressed up than baseball caps in his daily life as well. In an interview with Vulture Magazine, Spader said:

I wear a hat every day. It has to have a great angle to it, a nice cut to it. And it has to provide shade. I never understand those stingy brims. There’s that little stingy brim you see on fedoras a lot. I like a big brim that creates shade.” – Vulture, 2013

 

 

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Spader embraces the detective look with an overcoat and scarf for timeless looks.

Another close match to this hat? The Bailey Madison Fur Felt Fedora

*Remember, feathers that come on hats can be removed for a subtler look, if you’d prefer.*

 

 

 

 

Here are a few more styles to try for classic fedoras  seen on The Blacklist:

Stetson On Assignment Fur Felt Fedora

Dobbs La Jolla Fur Felt Fedora

Stetson Whippet Fur Felt Fedora

 

Catch the season 2 premiere of “The Blacklist” on September 22nd on NBC.

 

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.

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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.

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 “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:

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

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                                                                similar style: Stetson Falcon Buffalo Felt 

 

 

similar style: Stetson Sawtooth Buffalo Felt

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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.

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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:

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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:

 

 

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Resistol Open 10X Western Hat

 

 

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Bailey 20X Fur Felt Stellar Open Crown
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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

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