As my purchase was being rung up, I thought to myself, “Why are you buying this hat. You’ll never wear it.”
How wrong I was.
It was a dank, dreary day–cold and cloudy with a slight insinuation of rain. The day, in fact, right after the election.
Walking in New York’s West Village, I came upon the Goorin Bros. Hat Shop. It wasn’t on the list of stores I had planned to visit while in New York, but I can never say no to a hat shop. And so I entered.
I received a warm welcome. This was not surprising. Despite its reputation for dispensing with social pleasantries, I’ve found New York to be among the friendliest cities I’ve ever visited.
I was pleased to learn that several of Goorin’s flat caps (alternatively known as golf caps or newsboy caps) are made in the United States, New Jersey to be precise.
I tried on a few, and found one that was to my liking, both in shape and fabric. Called the Iron Bound, it’s a dark olive barleycorn tweed (Harris Tweed, no less) with a blue and orange overcheck.
Still, as I was checking out, I was skeptical. It’s not that the cap was lacking. It’s truly a beautiful piece of headwear, and it has an easygoing, friendly style. But I’ve never been much of a cap man. I tend to favor the fedora, with occasional diversions into Homberg territory.
I’ve had the cap for a couple of weeks, so let me say this: My initial skepticism was ill-placed. I’ve already worn it five times, and it has a regular place in my fall/winter headwear rotation.
Goorin traces its origins back to 1895, when Cassel Goorin began traversing the streets of Pittsburgh, selling hats from a horse drawn cart. Eventually, his sons Alfred and Ted (the eponymous Goorin brothers) took the reins of the family business. Under their stewardship, the business expanded. Diversions into skiwear kept the company afloat as the market for men’s traditional hats began to dry up. Today, the company has more than 30 hat shops across North America.