To give yourself, or the guy in your life a quick makeover, start at the top: his hat. At the best Brooklyn habersdashers, you can find everything from trendy to functional styles. You can find porkpie hats, fashionable retro hats, buffs, tams, berets, and of course, baseball caps that look—and fit—better than those sold by street vendors.
Tips for Hat Shopping
- Skip shopping at department stores, where everyone sells more or less the same thing
- For something truly unique or order a custom hat, specifying your own style and materials
- If you want to give someone a gift of a hat, you can also buy a gift certificate to allow them tho choose their style
- Prices range widely, from $45 to several hundred, depending on the brand, style, materials, and craftsmanship
- You can order online from most of these stores, but hats are very particular fashion items, so it's smart to visit in person to see what looks best
Bencraft Hats, the largest distributor of Italian Borsolino hats worldwide, has been a Brooklyn family business since right after World War II. With two shops, one in Borough Park and the other in Williamsburg, they provide "old fashioned customer service." There's a huge selection of name brand hats, with more inventory than can be displayed.
Note that stores are closed early on Friday and all day Saturday but are open on Sunday.
202 13th Avenue in Boro Park
236 Broadway in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
In business since 1980, Marcus Malchijah fashions fedoras, newsboys, kepi, ankh and other interesting hats for men and women. If you want something cool, really big, or just fun, try Malchijah Hats. Order online or, better, take a trip to the store.
942 Atlantic Avenue
across from St. James Place, in Prospect Heights
Brooklyn Circus has a delicious line of men's wear, including of course, hats. If you're looking for something distinctive and tasteful, and also that's designed by Brooklynites, you'll find a selection here.You can find polka dot caps, Donegal tweeds, and more. All would make wonderful gear and wonderful gifts.
The Brooklyn Circus
150 Nevins St.in Boerum Hill
Though not exclusively Brooklyn, the hats sold by Goorin Bros., founded in 1895, are wonderfully retro in style and, at least for some shoppers, are in perfect synch with the new Brooklyn aesthetic.
Goorin sells hats for both men and women: ball caps, bowlers & top hats, cadets, cloche, fascinators & pill boxes, fedoras, flatcaps, floppies, gatsbys, knits, outback & western, schoolboys, straws & panamas, troopers & earflaps and more.
Dedicated to the revival of the neighborhood hat shop, they've opened up a hat store on 5th Avenue in Park Slope, between Union and Sackett Streets.
195B 5th Avenue in Park Slope