Hats are more than just a fashion accessory. They can keep your head warm in the winter, and dry in the rain and snow. A good hat keeps the sun off your head, face, and neck, protecting from skin cancer and premature aging. Hats are handy for covering bald spots and bad hair days too. Wearing a hat allows you to express a bit about how you see yourself – a fedora might represent your inner Indiana Jones, while a pink poodle perched on your head shows off your inner child. Wool hats let everyone know that regardless of the style, you’ve got good taste.
Canadian brand Tilley (www.tilley.com) started with a hat, and although they’ve grown to a company offering all sorts of clothing and even stylish luggage for the discerning traveler, they still offer more than 50 different hat styles. Whether you’re out for a hike, traveling the world, or just prefer quality construction and fashionable design, Tilley’s got you covered. Some highlights from the current lineup:
The Tilley Tec-Wool Hat utilizes their C_Change™ membrane, which is bonded to the fabric. It constantly reacts to changing body temperatures, keeping you warm when outdoors on a cold day, yet cool when the sun finally shows up. With a just-right medium size brim and tuckaway ear warmers, it blocks the sun and protects from the cold. Of course, it has Tilley’s secret pocket, their guarantee against loss and wearing out, and you can roll it up and put it in your coat pocket or backpack. If you only had one hat do everything, this might be it. Also available as a cap.
Want something a bit more contemporary? The Tilley Ivy Cap (not pictured) and Pub Cap (pictured, right)are both rain and snow repellent textured wool, with the same tuckaway ear warmers, for maximum flexibility in all weather conditions. These practical, fashionable hats look good on both men and women, and would fit right in while traipsing across Europe or fighting New York City traffic on a fixed gear bicycle. The Pub Cap is only offered in charcoal, while the Ivy Cap is available in either brown mix or black mix Tec-Wool. Like all Tilley hats, they’re guaranteed for life, and both feature a secret pocket in the crown.
Another Canadian company, Knitwits hats (www.knitwits.com) puts fun first and foremost. Available in kids as well as youth/adult sizes, these whimsical hats run the gamut from animals to aliens. With names like Barkley The Beaver, Mortimer The Monster and Peaches The Pig, they’re definitely for the young at heart. Featuring bright colors and lots of visual interest, (texture is one thing, but eyes, ears, noses, and mouths are a whole new ball game) these are the hats for people that aren’t afraid of a little attention.
All the Knitwits products are 100% New Zealand wool, and contain lanolin, which makes them water resistant and self-cleaning. As you can see from the photos, matching mittens are available with most hats too. On their “About Us” page, we found that Knitwits believes strongly in ethical production practices. Rather than take the short-sighted approach to inexpensive production, they have their hats made by hand in Nepal, and they donate a percentage of their profits back into the local community.
Check back tomorrow for wool cycling jerseys from Twin Six.