“I tell them, ‘Let’s play for a little while,’” said Foucault, who then experiments with different hats to find the perfect fit for her customers.
Men often come in looking to pair a hat with a specific outfit, especially a suit. She recommends bringing in the actual suit to properly match the hat.
She also tells customers to bring in their significant others. They have “the biggest veto power,” Foucault said.
A similar fitting experience can be expected at Heimie’s.
“People always reference ‘Mad Men,’” Andler said. “They also say, ‘I want a gangster hat,’ and I tell them, ‘No, you want a gentleman’s hat.’ Gangsters are all bums.”
With prices ranging from $50 to more than $300 in both stores, the right fit is key to ensuring that men feel confident with their purchase.
“There is definitely the right hat for every face,” Andler said.
Goorin customer Neil Hilborn said he likes the attention he gets from wearing a hat, including from other men.
“They say, ‘I hadn’t thought about wearing a hat until I saw it on you,’” Hilborn said.
Not everyone is a convert. On a recent night, Andrew Barry was trying on a variety of hats at Heimie’s. But he wasn’t shopping for himself; he was buying one for his brother. Barry still prefers baseball caps.
“The ball cap is much more functional to keep the sun out of your eyes,” he said, holding a fedora in his hands. “This isn’t that practical.”
Andler said some men often do not have the confidence to wear a hat.
“Guys are still intimidated by putting on a hat with a wide brim and a high crown,” Andler said. But once a man feels comfortable in it, “their confidence increases and they are more likely to reach for their fedora over a baseball cap.”
In the end, wearing a hat comes down to one thing, according to Andler.
“You just want to own it,” he said. “Have some hattitude.”