Store Profile: Goorin Brothers

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Image: Racked

SFGate

Image: SFGate

Why a hat?

Wearing a hat is a long-lost art. Up until the 50s, men wore hats daily. When a gentleman walked out of the house, he tossed on his hat after putting on his jacket and that was that. Every president up until JFK wore a hat to his inauguration. At around this time, the counterculture revolution of the 60s and changing fashions led the preference for a more casual look, which tailored hats just did not fit.

Others blame the decline of hat wearing on the transition from most people using public transportation to cars, which had lower ceilings than trains and buses. The smaller ceiling-to-head ratio in a car made it uncomfortable to wear a hat while driving.

We at RoyalShave, however, believe the hat deserves a second look. There’s something timelessly charming and sophisticated about wearing a hat lovingly made by a milliner. Plus, hats are highly functional – they protect your scalp and eyes from the sun, can disguise a bad hair day, and keep your head warm when it’s chilly outside.

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Alfred and Ted Goorin.

Image: Goorin Brothers

Goorin Brothers: A History

Goorin Brothers is a family-run business that’s been making hats for over 100 years. Founded by Cassel Goorin in 1895, the company originally operated from Goorin’s horse-drawn cart on the streets of Pittsburg. Cassel Goorin’s famously fine-crafted, unique hats were quickly sought after, and by the 1920s Goorin passed the business on to his sons, Alfred and Ted.

In 1949, Alfred moved the company’s headquarters to First St. and Mission in San Francisco, while Ted stayed behind in Pittsburgh, sourcing exquisite fabrics and perfecting fits.

In 1960, Goorin Brothers was the official headwear of the VIII Olympic Winter Games.

Today, Goorin Brothers has locations all over the United States and Canada and is run by Ben, Cassel Goorin’s great grandson.

We’ve personally been to a couple locations and they are exquisitely arranged, with an old-school parlor room feel. Oriental rugs and old family photos imbue their stores with their family’s legacy of haberdashery.

Hat Options

Should you plan a visit to Goorin Brothers, the retailer sells several types of classic hats, including: flat caps, fedoras, bowler hats, and top hats.

Here’s a quick primer on the hat shapes you’ll see there:

TheGreatGatsby

Image: The Great Gatsby

Flat Cap – This style was immensely popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Britain and Ireland. In the US, the flat cap became standard boys’ wear in the 1910s and 20s. The flat cap is characterized by a rounded cap with a small, stiff brim in front.

Humphrey-Bogart-wearing-fedora

Image: Post + Modern

Fedora – A Hollywood staple during the 40s (think Humphrey Bogart) and the perfect accessory for dressy and business events. Fedoras bestow confidence and add an air of mystery. They’re usually made of soft felt, creased lengthwise down the crown, and pinched on both sides.

VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

Image: “Kapelo6” by Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons.

Bowler – A British icon made of felt and with short brims.

Abraham Lincoln Top Hat

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Top Hat – Abe Lincoln’s signature style. Top hats were predominantly worn from the latter part of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century. The top hat is characterized by a tall, flat-crowned hat with broad brims.

Find the Goorin Brothers nearest you here.

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Inspired Style: “The Aviator” in Honor of National Aviation Day

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Whether you take to the skies for business trips or vacations, flying is something all of us do on a regular basis that we might take for granted – something that was a near miracle when it was first achieved in 1903 by the Wright brothers.

Today you get the chance to celebrate aviation in all its innovation and glory with National Aviation Day, designated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 to honor the August 19th birthday of Orville Wright of the Wright brothers. FDR issued the directive to observe the holiday with activities that promote interest in aviation.

So on that note, today’s Inspired Style post is on The Aviator by Martin Scorsese. A biopic of aviation great Howard Hughes, the movie chronicles Hughes’ life as a gifted aerospace engineer, inventor, pilot, filmmaker, and business tycoon as well as his multiple Hollywood paramours and gradually worsening obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The Aviator is filled with well-recognized actresses like Katherine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, and Jean Hawlow, set against the glitzy atmosphere of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

The women drip in diamonds, furs, and designer gowns, while Hughes (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) romances them in classic ‘40s dress shirts and pants. Howard Hughes may have been wealthy, but the clothing he wears in the movie is a good representation of how many men dressed in the era – pulled together, sleek, and gentlemanly.

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Kate Beckinsale

Men’s fashion trends changed throughout the ‘40s as the War came and went, but a few things persisted.

Namely:

  • Pleated pants that were loosely cut, worn much higher on the waist than they are today
  • Double-breasted jackets and peaked lapels
  • Single-breasted suits with notched lapels
  • Sweater vests and waistcoats
  • Ties and bowties
  • Oxfords
  • Hair that was short on the sides and longer on top, usually slicked back using pomade

What’s your favorite look or accessory from this era?

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For more Inspired Style posts, check out our Inspired Style category.

(Images, Top to Bottom): Unscattered, Neogaf, The Ace Black Blog, Fame Images, Netflix Life.

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