Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I love hats. They're smart and they keep your head warm, the rain off, and the sun out of your eyes. I find it a bit sad that they've pretty much died out while many far less useful items of clothing remain. Still, it doesn't stop me wearing my favourite hat - a grey trilby from Bates the hatter.

This is one of the nicest hats Bates do, made from a really nice quality felt, and I like it because of its relatively low profile and medium brim, so it's not as showy as a larger hat. Bates stock a huge range, far more than they show on their website, and are incredibly helpful when it comes to measuring you and advising on styles or colours. They used to be based out of a cramped store at the eastern end of Jermyn street, piled up to the ceiling with hat boxes that the proprietor had to hook down with a long pole. Unfortunately this area is being redeveloped and, sadly, Bates has been evicted. However, I understand they are now operating out of Hildtich and Key so at least they're not gone altogether.

Their cheaper hats are as little as £130 and I really can't recommend them highly enough. They're the only smart way of keeping your head warm when you're wearing a suit, and they'll make you look considerably more stylish at the same time. Oh, and contrary to expectations, they really don't attract the sort of attention that might otherwise put you off wearing them, or at least they don't in London.