The past few years have seen menswear designers sending a plethora of headwear down the catwalks (this season it's all about brims, the bigger the better, apparently). Yet for the average male, a hat - we're excluding beanies, baseballs and anything with a team or trucker logo - remains a tricky proposition. While womenswear often revels in the outrĂ©, the unexpected and the - dare we say it - borderline ridiculous, clothes-wise, most men simply want to fit in, something that hats have a horrible knack of not doing.
Praise be, then, for Bailey of Hollywood. A staple of many an American wardrobe, the brand sells a carefully considered selection of not-too-flamboyant headwear, from fedoras and trilbies to pork-pies and panamas. The company also has impeccably good form. It was founded in 1922 in Los Angeles by George S Bailey, who had his eye on the emerging 'New West', the ranchers, businessmen and oil tycoons moving to southern California to make their fortunes. Oh, and movie stars, lots of movie stars. Indeed, cementing his reputation as Tinseltown's most-celebrated men's milliner, Bailey's signature Caprice fur felt hat was regularly sported by the likes of Cary Grant, Bing Crosby and Gary Cooper.
Today, with many of Bailey's key styles continuing to be made to the exact same specifications, there's a strong thread of craftsmanship running through the brand's offering. Recent years have seen Bailey collaborating on a range with the kings of London vintage, Rokit, as well as wooing the model Tony Ward to front one of its campaigns. Fresh for summer 2012, the company has created four new lightweight reinterpretations of the Montecristi panama. For more adventurous types, meanwhile, the brand also has a Western division, specialising in cowboy hats. Yee-haw!Source: Telegraph.co.uk