For centuries, hats have been a crucial element of style for both ladies and gents. There are the classic unisex shapes (the French beret, the fedora, the newsboy cap), whose designs have stood the test of time. There are the exquisite milliner creations—from the simplest of pillbox hats to extravagant creations for events such as the Ascot race or the Kentucky derby—that suit specific eras and occasions. And yet, it seems like the most commonly worn hat of our times is the baseball cap. Fortunately there is a change of attitude in the air—especially in Los Angeles, which boasts a great selection of hat stores. With the fall/winter season upon us (even in Southern California there is a drop in temperatures), the habit of easy dressing slowly evolves into more sophisticated territory with the help of a simple hat.
There’s no better place than Hollywood Hatters for an infinite selection of beloved classics. Known for providing excellent custom sizing, the store is off the beaten track in a small space on the not-so-frequented part on Melrose Avenue (6905 Melrose Avenue). Stetson, Kangol and the New York Hat Company are just a few of the history-heavy brands available.
Traditional British sensibilities are expertly honed at Louise Green Millinery. Although Green, the store’s UK-born owner, is a British export herself, she locally manufactures her retro design-meets-romantically detailed pieces under one roof in Los Angeles.
Bijou Van Ness, another local brand, infuses the air with a sense of humor thanks to tongue-in-cheek polka dot creations in black, white and red as well as frou-frou veils, playful feathers and sweet pastels in sweet little feminine toppers.
For more experimental hat-lovers, Ariane Millinery is a good place to check out. Ariane’s repertoire includes intricate works of art for the most confident among us as well as casually sexy, ’70s-inspired floral-imprinted fedoras.
The Millinery Guild is the newest kid on the block, having just opened on August 20 at 7767 Beverly Blvd. This boutique features avant-garde designs by Barcelona designer Cristina de Prada as well as pieces by Su We Ha and other noteworthy milliners. The Millinery Guild will also offer hat-making classes—perfect for those who, in spite of the store’s extensive selection, are still looking for something more.