Usually when I vacation in another city, I opt for fashionable items instead of touristy tchotckes as souveniers. That way I have something unique to show off when cruising around back home instead of something that I throw into the memory box under my bed. So I was really excited when I came across the Goorin Brothers hat shop whilst roaming around North Beach in San Francisco today.
The shop, which had a turn-of-the-century feel to it, was done up like a proper millinery with wooden shelves displaying different retro-inspired chapeaus, caps, etc. It almost had a hushed seriousness which hearkens back to hat shopping with Grandpa. But instead of an old man with a measuring tape, this store had a cool tattooed dude manning the cash register.
“Are we allowed to try on the hats?” I asked the tattooed salesguy meekly. “Of course,” he said as friendly as can be.
I went through all the hats that caught my fancy. Initially attracted to the open-weave Baby Face Nelson ($57.50), falling for the Bowser vintage fedora ($80) but opting for the one pictured above ($38). I love it! The details of it are so snazzy; that retro-looking print of the hat band which is echoed in the hat’s interior. It can go casual to dressy.
Anyhoo, I was happy to find out that a Melrose location had opened up across the street from Urban Outfitters earlier this year for hatless hipsters in L.A. who want a cool-looking way to keep the sun out of their eyes this summer. The hatmakers have been around since 1895 but fashion-conscious celebs like Justin Timberlake, Fergie and Gwyneth Paltrow have donned the caps.
If you don’t want to trek to the store, you can browse online. But I highly recommend visiting the store so you can see if the hat suits you. I was disappointed to find out that the Baby Face Nelson’s open weave didn’t look as nifty on my head as it did on the display.
7627 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90046
Hours: 11am to 7pm