Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Perfect Hat For (British) Summer - A Silk Gatsby

Regular readers will know that I have something of an obsession for bakers boy caps.

I have them in both tweed and cotton weights, but have been after something lighter for the summer. What better to fend off the endless rain in England?

Popular from roughly 1890 to 1930 the Bakers Boy was worn not only by boys but working men across Europe and America.

In fact that were so popular they hurdled the class divide to be worn my wealthy motorists and sportsman as a casual alternative to the more formal headwear of the day.

Rightly these caps have seen something of a resurgence in popularity in recent years. A relative of the flat cap, what distinguishes the Bakers Boy is that, unlike its cousin, the cap is divided in to eight panels, with a button on the crown. In cut the cap is also much rounder and fuller.

Bates Herringbone Silk Baker's Boy / Gatsby

Enter one of my favourite gents hatters - Bates in Jermyn Street have been there since 1898. Sadly in 2009 it looked as if Bates would cease trading due to their historic  21A Jermyn Street premises facing redevelopment. Thankfully the famous shirt makers Hilditch & Key  stepped up to the rescue, giving Bates a part of their shop at No. 73.

So, it seemed the natural place to go for a new titfer. I was immediately taken with a light grey herringbone silk Baker's Boy or Gatsby.

I found one of the last caps from their old collection - cut much more generously than the newer versions, the cap has an authentic 1920's feel to it, but nearly 100 years later this type of cap is just as functional and stylish as it ever was. They do still have a few of the old pattern left.

If you're interested have a look here.