As the cold weather returns with its usual bite, it’s time to break out the winter wardrobe, pack away summer’s light shades and flimsy materials and replace with rustic hues and warm wool. Now’s the time freshen up your look with some stylish and toasty headgear – well you may as well look sharp scraping the ice off the car at 6am as you trudge to work!
Recently we were sent me some wonderful flat caps to review, perfect timing as the floods in Yorkshire recede to be replaced with icy blasts. The first three are from Bailey of Hollywood (regular readers will remember my review of their summer range here) and another from A Hume. First up is the collection from Bailey:
These offerings from the Bailey winter range deliver the impeccable standards of workmanship that Bailey are renowned for. Gone are the outlandishly daring fabric choices of the summer range, replaced with beautiful winter tweeds and understated muted tones. The quality of the outer fabric is thick and luxurious, the design patterns well defined, and the winter nature highlighted by thick padding for warmth. I’ve waxed lyrical in the past about how well made items bearing the Bailey name are, these being no different.
The inner liner is a work of art. On some items (even expensive items that charge only for the name) you can quickly identify where shortcuts have been taken to reduce manufacturing costs. For example, on a flat cap of lesser quality, the inner liner would be a single piece of fabric stitched to the rim, with a button in the middle and maybe a few stitches to hold it to the outer. The inner liner on all of the Baileys demonstrates an eye for tailoring-esque detail and a stout refusal to compromise on quality. The lining is made of 5 individual panels of Bailey monogrammed material, each stitched with perfect alignment to the outer material panels, something I’ve never seen before.
Traditional doesn’t mean boring. There are design touches in abundance that make these caps standout. My personal favourite of this brace is the Golf model. With its traditional tweed outer this cap could be dismissed as run of the mill, but Bailey have given it a modern twist. The foam insert in the peak makes the shape of the cap very defined and consistent, resulting in a stylish modern flat cap. I haven’t stopped wearing it since it arrived and I even met up with the editor of this blog at cigar function with it atop of my noggin to many admiring comments. The others sent continued the restrained choice of fabric; the Varden sporting a single coloured dark cloth and the plain mono-chrome Lord, almost a classic houndtooth design, are both perfect for when tweed doesn’t suit your mood. The cut of the pair gives a tight, head hugging sharp look.
The A Hume offering, made in the UK exclusively for A Hume of Kelso from 100% Wool, steps away from conformity in its choice of fabric and construction. A truly traditional green herringbone outer is given a modern feel by the use of a very large check of pastel blue. The method of construction is unique, the whole cap made from a single piece of fabric with the back panel formed by razor-sharp relief cuts and stitching. This method ensures the cap fits tightly around the head resulting in a very modern, tailored look.
Many thanks to both Bailey and AHume for supplying us the hats to review