OK, the title was a trick question because the answer is almost all businesses. First, think about all the businesses that can use the durable straw hats popular at festivals and for outdoor workers. Whether your business caters to fishermen, gardeners, vacationers, beach outings, outdoor workers, or sports fans, these durable straw hats provide sun protection for your customers.
DURABLE STRAW HATS
Exactly what kind of straw hats are we talking about? Mainly inexpensive hats in palm or rush straw with a brim. See the safari hat shown. It fits nicely into this category. The rush straw has a vented crown that allows air to pass through and a four inch brim that provides shade. A chin cord keeps it from blowing away on windy days.
This family of hats is great for nearly anything outdoors. One especially handsome hat is the gambler with a four inch brim. You have probably seen this style with a narrower brim, but what a difference one more inch of brim makes not only for sun protection but also for a suave look.
Palm straw also provides durable hats for summer. One popular seller is the straw lifeguard shown. Staining the natural straw darkens the color for an exceptional look and it also has a chin cord to keep the hat from blowing away. These lifeguards, made in Mexico, come with slightly different sizes, which ship randomly and are not marked for size.
WHOLESALE HATS FOR BOUTIQUES
Wholesale hats for boutiques are obviously not the inexpensive straw hats discussed above. They need a fashion look, a resort wear look. Wide brims still rule for this market. The sassy look of swingers with brims from 4 inches to 7 inches and more. Ribbon hats are popular boutique items. First, they have that sassy fashionable look with floppy wide brims and second they are packable for vacation wear. What exactly is a ribbon hat? These hats use continuously sewn bands of grosgrain to create designs that are usually wide brims.
Boutique hats are also fond of that Milan straw look. The name obviously originates in Milan Italy and refers to a sewn-and-braid construction. What in the world does that mean? It is a process of weaving narrow strips of straw and then continuously sewing them to create the hat shape.
WHAT WHOLESALE HATS DO ACCESSORY STORES NEED?
Accessory stores cover a wide range of shops and the target audience has a lot to do with the answer to this question. Shops catering to a young trade still find fedoras the runaway best seller. Straw fedoras are especially good in summer. Inexpensive rush straw hats like the one shown do just fine. They are durable and add personality—that is what makes them popular.
Toyo fedoras provide a wide range of fashionable designs. When you look inside a too hat, you are often taken back by a label that reads “110% paper”. It doesn’t look or feel like paper. What are they talking about? Toyo comes from a variety of sources. Panama straw hats that can cost a few hundred dollars are also called toyo. That toyo comes from palm fibers. This is top quality, but not hats everyone can afford.
The toyo referred to as paper toyo is twisted paper fiber that becomes very tough and can take a beating, but not a downpour. They hold up very well as long as they don’t get soaked in the rain. But the price makes these hats affordable for everyone.
Most summer fedoras are made of toyo. New styles include the unisex look shown that comes in a choice of basic colors. It’s a stingy brim, very popular today. Stingy brims have a short brim, usually 1 ½ to 2 inches that turns up in the back and down in the front—the Frank Sinatra look that many celebrities are sporting today.
The panama straw look is also a popular hat for accessory shops. As mentioned above, the genuine panama straws have costs that easily go into the hundreds. But accessory stores can buy similar looking hats at wholesale prices under $10.00. These hats are either weaved toyo or twisted toyo that leaves fine openings in the weave—the look of golf hats from a decade ago. These fedoras often have flat brims that are 2 ½ to 3 inches wide. This is another hat worn by celebrities today. It brings to mind Humphrey Bogart and those black and white movies that graced the silver screen.
ARE CHURCH HATS OVER AFTER MOTHER’S DAY?
Many hat wholesalers that handle church hats try to sell out of inventory by Mother’s Day. This leaves the impression that dressy hat business in summer hats ends on that day. Untrue! It may slow after Mother’s Day, but there is still plenty of need.
Outdoor weddings increase in the summer and they often call for white dress hats. With supply low, the shops that have inventory have a captive audience. Wide brims are most popular in bridal hats, but depending on the brides taste, smaller hats like pillboxes also sell.
Church groups are another major market for dress hats in the summer. Many congregations have conventions or workshops in the summer and ladies attending need to wear a white hat on a particular day of the event. This creates a large demand for white dress hats. To meet these demands, we added a category of Dress Hats in White to our site.
COWBOY HATS ARE FOR MORE THAN WESTERN SHOPS
Are cowboy hats only for western shops? Not anymore! For nearly a decade now, cowboy hats have been a fashion statement. When J-Lo and Britney dominated the celebrity magazines in rolled straw cowboy hats, demand shot up and beach shops to mall shops had racks of choices.
The frenzy has cooled, but he cowboy hat remains a steady item nearly everywhere casual hats are sold. Innovation helps drive the demand. Last summer bright colors provided a surprise in the fashion palette and cowboy hats responded with vibrant color choices.
But for summer, straw cowboy hats that are shapeable remain the backbone of western hats sales. This icon of the Wild West is timeless. It is so ingrained in the American culture that it sells everywhere—even outside the USA. Cowboy hats create personality like no other hat so expect them to always be in demand and always be found in shops beyond the western stores.
Maybe we haven’t covered every possible retail business, but is easy to see that wholesale hats fit into almost every business related to fashion or apparel.