What fashion accessory dominates the market today? Some will say handbags and others sunglasses. But the answer was clearly hats until the mid 20th century. Since then hats continued steadily selling without a great deal of fanfare -- that is until this season. Celebrities and fashion designers are stirring a renewed interest in headwear with hats frequently gracing the runways and popping up on the heads of stars. This is driving customer interest in hats that is bringing the accessory back to the forefront of fashion.
Customer demand will have many retailers moving into this market for the first time. No doubt questions will arise about hat sizes, what to sell, and even the terminology and identification of different hat styles. Others talented with a needle may want to go a step further in developing their own designs. After all, it is from these cottage industries that large millinery shops developed in the 20th century.
Letís begin with an excellent resource for those that want to make hats or have to make them because theatre or period costumes require something that is not in the market. How2Hats offers a wealth of information under their selection of hat books that even includes e-books that you will find nowhere else. This is a well-informed authority that really knows hat making, proven by their success in running an independent millinery school. They take the mystery out of hat making by simplifying it to procedures that are practical and well explained. This is a must-resource for anyone beginning hat making or working at expanding their skills. Need the tools of the trade? They can also help with hat blocks.
Our own site has some basic items to help those trimming hats, but not totally making them. One section offers pre-made hat trims and dress hats has untrimmed hats that can be custom decorated.
Next what about all those confusing hat sizes? Some are one size (thatís easy). But some use small, medium, large; others 56, 57, 58; and still others 7, 7 1/8, and 7 1/4. Hereís a chart to put it all together:
21 1/4 (approx)|
21 1/2 (approx)
21 7/8 (approx)|
22 1/4 (approx)
22 5/8 (approx)|
23 1/2 (approx)|
23 7/8 (approx)
Why do the inches say approximately? Because, just like apparel, slight differences occur from manufacturer to manufacturer. Still this is important information to guide you in providing the wholesale hats that will fit most of your customers.
Next there is the problem of all that strange terminology and names given to hats. Often the same hat had a different name a few decades ago. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we have created a hat glossary of terms with most accompanied by pictures that instantly show you what a hat called by a certain name looks like. This is a work in progress that we will continually add to.
Finally, a retailer is in business for a profit so choosing wholesale hats that will sell in the shop is the most important decision. This always changes year by year and season by season. To keep you informed with the latest changes, we provide a hat trend report that we update each season. Details on both wholesale dress hats and casual hats give the styles and colors that appeal to different markets.
Will hats return as the dominant accessory in fashion? We donít have the crystal ball to answer that question but everything from fashion runways to celebrity magazines is giving them renewed importance. Their ability to add personality or individualism to a look is unrivaled. Best of all, consumer demand has hat sales increasing. Savvy retailers are searching for the wholesale hats that will move and are adding these accessories to their line. We donít know whether hats will dominate fashion, but we know they are enjoying strong upward mobility.
Wholesale Hats Home
Hat Trends: Summer 2008
Spring Costume Jewelry Trends 2008