Memorial Day is drawing near and that marks the official opening of summer sales and the vacation season. Festivals are in full swing as well as church picnics, baseball, auto racing, and so many other outdoor events. With all of this fun going on outdoors, one thing retailers can count on is hats selling to provide relief from the sun.
Each season sees some innovations in headwear and this season is no exception. Let’s begin with fedoras. Both stingy brim fedoras like Frank Sinatra wore and the fifties fedoras like our dads and granddads wore are the “in” thing. Yes, celebrities have been showing up in magazines wearing fedoras for the last couple of years, but now the look has caught on in a big way and popularity is mushrooming.
Vendors retailing at festivals are gobbling up fedoras, especially straw fedoras. You might wonder how much sun protection can you get with a stingy brim fedora? It makes no difference. Musicians are wearing them, celebrities are wearing them, and this has a big impact on especially the younger shoppers.
The favorite fedoras for festivals and casual wear in the sun are straws. For the most part, they are inexpensive—wholesaling between $2.50 and $5.50. This gives vendors room to make money and still offer the hats at prices anyone attending festivals is comfortable with.
But evenings out call for a different fedora. The range of designs has really expanded with the popularity growth of these hats. New designs include prints covered with clear sequins that add shine. Floral prints and animal prints are a big hit here. Speaking of sequins, the sparkle hats that have been around a few years are on top again—this time in fedoras. These are great for the gals, but what about the guys?
Solid colors and pinstripes are popular for guys, and don’t forget the Bear Bryant look with houndstooth patterns. Also the straws mentioned earlier are unisex hats that appeal to guys and gals alike.
Still leading in popularity, cowboy hats seem timeless especially in the summer heat when straw western hats peak as a favorite in sultry weather. A major change this season is the introduction of more cowboy hats made in Mexico. China has dominated the cowboy hat business the last several seasons, but several factors are influencing price, making the Mexican hats far more affordable.
Actually, most products from China are seeing significant price increases. Economist Magazine reports factory wages have increased 69% from 2005 to 2010. Wage growth is expected to continue by 17% per year until 2015. Add to that higher cost of materials, transportation, and an unfavorable currency exchange and the result is major changes in the cowboy hat business.
Raffia straw and toyo hats are slowing because of higher prices and lindu straw with western hat shapes and distressed coloring are filling the void along with Mexican hats already mentioned. Still, cowboy hats are a major player in the summer headwear business and something that needs to be in your hat selection for customers involved in outdoor activities.
The wide brim hat continues to grow in popularity, with each summer season drawn to ever widening brims. This summer seven inch brims are not uncommon. The super widebrims with a sassy bounce are definitely high fashion. This year a 7 inch ribbon hat is grabbing attention because this headwear delivers the fashionable look in material that is crushable and packable, so easy to travel with your customers on vacation.
Continuously sewn wide bands of grosgrain ribbon create the hat that has wonderful color options for the season. Two-tone white and black are new and quickly rising to the number one color choice.
What’s the most popular wide brim hat? Our style number, HTC677. The hat has a crocheted look with a 4 inch brim and a choice of excellent fashion colors. But what attracts retailers more than anything else is the low wholesale price of $5.75. Everything from festivals to a day shopping or going to the beach is an opportunity for this headwear to shine.
Include these wholesale widebrim hats in your millinery selection for an economy model. Believe me! They sell! From there add a range of wide brim hats all the way up to 7 inch brims and you have an irresistible headwear selection that will make money this summer. Hats are steadily growing in popularity and retailers know that we need everything that sells to boost the summer months.