“Cock your hat – angles are attitudes.” So said one Frank Sinatra – and we’ll take Blue Eyes’ word for it, given the rakish aplomb with which he sported fedoras and trilbys, usually in muted colours and always with enviable sprezzatura. Indeed, the ‘Sinatra Trilby’ (£175 https://lairdlondon.co.uk/products/sinatra-trilby-hat) – a hat in smooth fur felt with a narrow brim and mid-height crown – is one of the most popular options at Laird Hatters, a Cotswold-based industry known for its sourcing of the very finest British cloths.
Anderson & Sheppard’s natural grosgrain-trimmed Sisal Trilby (£165), an option named after the flowering Mexican plant which provided its raw material, offers a slightly more Riviera-ish take on the genre. Also good for (literally) topping off a look which started at the ground with loafers or espadrilles are Lock & Co’s classic Panama (£345, see also main pic) and many offerings from Hat of Cain: a Singapore outfitter specialising in handwoven Panama hats from Ecuador. Their Chet Baker toquilla palm straw hat (£225), with its interwoven natural and black straw calls to mind the restrained, slow-pulse cool of the jazz icon after whom it is named.
If imperious sobriety is more your niche, head back to St James’s Street and Lock & Co. – the world’s oldest hat shop, incidentally, and the world’s 34th oldest family-owned business – where you’ll find an elegant piece named after Douglas Fairbanks Junior, who used to reside above the shop (£545). Crafted from beaver felt with a grosgrain band and bow, its brim has a whipped edge that maintains the integrity of its silhouette.
If, conversely, feeling particularly flamboyant, Paul Smith’s trilby comes, natch, with colourful trims (£110) whilst The Gamble & Gunn ‘Camden’ (£175) also has a bolder vibe, with its classic proportions and timeless shape but rich blue hue and tonal Petersham ribbon trim.
Moving some way down the formality scale, Flax London – an exceptional brand whose speciality is tony fashion made sustainably (100 per cent plastic free) and entirely from top-grade textiles sourced from Northern Ireland’s linen mills – has come up with a superb set of Fisherman’s Hats (£50 https://flaxlondon.com/fishermans-hats/) in butter yellow, French blue and sky blue, which look fantastic as part of any ensemble involving shorts.