HBNTrader

New Member
I just celebrated my 19th birthday, and my mother wants to buy me a hat as a present.

Which type and color should I choose? If you can, please take into account that I live in Germany, so European brands are best.

I think the most straightforward option is a fedora. Which color is most versatile, in respect to the coming season of late spring and early summer?

I usually wear what I consider simplified, watered-down Europeanized preppy style due to the lack of space for a proper garderobe at my boarding school, that means some sort of polo or shirt, a pullover and a classic-style jacket or a blazer or sportcoat. A bit more trad when the weather is colder (I own a courdroy blazer and a scarf that goes really well with it). In the summer I frequently wear a black polo shirt with a sport coat.
 
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Dhaller

Advanced Member
No offense, but a Fedora on a 19 year old head and paired with "a watered-down Europeanized preppy style" has a 99% chance of coming off as pretentious and douchey. Now, if that's the intended look, by all means... or if you can swing the 1%, well, okay.

If you can only have one hat, a classic bucket hat, definitely. In navy, or in a classic taupe with the striped band thing (reaching for nomenclature here). You can sit on it, roll it up, crush it, lose it at a party (it's not expensive), and it's a classic look which absolutely works with Euro-prep (or any perp).

I can't imagine life without one.

(It's the hat I'll buy randomly off some street vendor if I find myself hatless in some foreign city... "I need a hat! Oh, thank god, a bucket!" I have so many $5-10 bucket hats!)

DH
 

Dr.Watson

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I 100% want to echo the fact that you cannot pull off a classic hat at 19. Honestly, it is basically impossible for an under 50 person to wear a formal hat without looking like that guy. I with that were not so, hats are cool in theory. But it is the way things are.

The one exception would be if you are an escort at a white tie debutante ball and you can source a top hat. White tie is already ridiculously old-fashioned, so you might as well go all out.
 

vonSuess

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I don't know about all this. I've been wearing homburgs, Tyroleans and fedoras on a regular basis since I was quite a bit younger than nineteen. Go to a hat store. Try some on. If they look good, wear them. You either like the way you look in a hat or you don't. That's really all that matters...
 

fishertw

Advanced Member
No offense intended but, I believe that a hat should serve a functional purpose. Either rain, cold, sun etc. etc. Other than that most hats are affectations. Just my $.02.
 

TKI67

Advanced Member
My first and last would be a Tilley T3 in natural. It is useful, functional, and quintessentially preppy, made for sailing. Another one a younger man can pull off is an Open Road, but IMO it is a distant second to a Tilley. Of course I must be taken with a grain of salt as I wore a Borsalino Homburg in my early twenties.
 

Tweedlover

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
No offense intended but, I believe that a hat should serve a functional purpose. Either rain, cold, sun etc. etc. Other than that most hats are affectations. Just my $.02.
Of course they're affectations and great ones at that. I kind of get that fedoras seem best suited to someone with some years on them. But, think it looks fine for 40+ Have never liked bucket hats.
 

challer

Senior Member
No offense intended but, I believe that a hat should serve a functional purpose. Either rain, cold, sun etc. etc. Other than that most hats are affectations. Just my $.02.
I feel this is true for most things Andy. It serves a purpose or comes across as costume. In the case of the Op, much depends on his character which cannot discern from a post. The best advice I feel is to define your use case - when and why am I going to wear this? - chose accordingly. If a Fedora fits, grand. Unfortunately this method has deprived me owning many clothes I adore but would never wear.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
My first and last would be a Tilley T3 in natural. It is useful, functional, and quintessentially preppy, made for sailing. Another one a younger man can pull off is an Open Road, but IMO it is a distant second to a Tilley. Of course I must be taken with a grain of salt as I wore a Borsalino Homburg in my early twenties.
Count me a confirmed fan of Tilly hats, as well. Since the onset of my continuing love affair with our dermatologist, to keep up with the incidence of skin cancers on my head, neck and ears, I never engage in outdoor activities without one of three brimmed cotton duck Tillys on my head. Life is good, but there are the occasional bumps in the road. LOL. ;)
 

Tweedlover

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
No offense intended but, I believe that a hat should serve a functional purpose. Either rain, cold, sun etc. etc. Other than that most hats are affectations. Just my $.02.
Actually, I think the number 1 non-functional affectation in men's clothes is the tie. Yet, of course, it is a very important item to finish off a sport coat, suit or even a sweater. There was a time in the US when men would no more think of going out without their fedora than they would without a tie. While ties will never go the way of the dodo, we've certainly seen where the casualization of men's wardrobe has pushed tie wearing down the list a ways.
 

delicious_scent

Super Member
No offense intended but, I believe that a hat should serve a functional purpose. Either rain, cold, sun etc. etc. Other than that most hats are affectations. Just my $.02.
I feel this is true for most things Andy. It serves a purpose or comes across as costume. In the case of the Op, much depends on his character which cannot discern from a post. The best advice I feel is to define your use case - when and why am I going to wear this? - chose accordingly. If a Fedora fits, grand. Unfortunately this method has deprived me owning many clothes I adore but would never wear.
Classic menswear clothing itself is an affectation. I never thought that was a useful critique for wearing clothing.

I do agree with your best advice though challer.
 

Tweedlover

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
My opinion: A young man wearing a hat almost always has a "Look at me! I'm wearing a hat!" look. The only guys I see in real life who are pulling it off are at least 60 years old.
That may be due to the fact that hat wearing is an older generation thing now. Certainly, if you view movies and photos from the 40's you'll see 40-ish guys frequently wearing fedoras.
 

TKI67

Advanced Member
Actually, I think the number 1 non-functional affectation in men's clothes is the tie. Yet, of course, it is a very important item to finish off a sport coat, suit or even a sweater. There was a time in the US when men would no more think of going out without their fedora than they would without a tie. While ties will never go the way of the dodo, we've certainly seen where the casualization of men's wardrobe has pushed tie wearing down the list a ways.
I have ruminated on this one for several days. A tie provides a modicum of warmth and serves to clean lenses, but on balance it is not especially useful. It does, however, offer an opportunity for color and expression that is generally lacking in men's clothing. A truly great tie will almost always draw out conversation beyond compliments. The mindlessly selected ties worn by far too many give ties a worse rap than they deserve. The old saw about how uncomfortable they are ought to be directed to that 16" shirt neck on the guy who ought to buy 17" collars.
 

drpeter

Super Member
I like wearing ties, so I will find occasions to wear them. A trip out of town is often a good excuse to dress up a bit: Sports jacket or dressy sweater, broadcloth shirt or OCBD, flannels or dress khakis -- and a tie. Occasionally, I'll wear one when going out to lunch or dinner. As a younger man, I was conscious of others in a group and did not want to make them feel out of sorts by wearing a tie and jacket when they were not similarly attired. These days, I don't care. I dress only to please myself.
 
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HBNTrader

New Member
I like wearing ties, so I will find occasions to wear them. A trip out of town is often a good excuse to dress up a bit: Sports jacket or dressy sweater, broadcloth shirt or OCBD, flannels or dress khakis -- and a tie. Occasionally, I'll wear one when going out to lunch or dinner. As a younger man, I was conscious of others in a group and did not want to make them feel out of sorts by wearing a tie and jacket when they were not similarly attired. These days, I don't care. I dress only to please myself.
The same applies to me. While others look for excuses to wear sweatpants, I look for excuses to wear a sport coat, and yes, I am also very happy when it is appropriate to wear a tie.
 

alans1234

New Member
Be bold, give it a try with the hat of your choice. If for some reason you don’t like it, you can always change. It’s not like getting a tattoo. March to the beat of your own drummer.
 
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