It’s summer, the sun is out, and everyone needs a hat to stay comfortable. Somehow, most of us have slid into a default setting of baseball cap or snapback – and why not? I mean, they’re pretty practical, low maintenance, unisex, lots of colours and designs to choose from, etc, etc. You can shove them into a bag and take them with you just about anywhere. They’re just an easy choice. But they’ve become so ubiquitous; they’re just part of the landscape anywhere you go. So what do you do if you want something different, something that’s still practical but has some style and personality? Well, maybe the crushable hat range from Tenth Street Hats have the answer. We decided to find out for ourselves…
After browsing their extensive selection of styles and materials through their bright, clear and well designed online store we plumped for the Norwalk, a straw Fedora hat with a choice of coloured trim – we chose a teal stitching which we felt made the hat gender neutral. The Norwalk also features a small metal designer badge stitched to the side of the hat as an additional style piece.
First of all, a word about the packaging. It’s great. The folks at Tenth Street clearly care about their products and want you to receive them in the very best condition. So, when we opened the box the hat was right there in the middle of it with enough to support and protect it during transport, but without going over the top.
On handling the Norwalk it was clear that the quality was superior to many high street equivalents. There were no loose stitches and no untidy strands of straw. It really looked the part. The weight was good, the colouring was good, the style and proportions were good – we just knew we’d be happy to be seen in this hat.
Now, as I mentioned, the Norwalk is one of Tenth Street Hats’ crushable hat range. The idea being that you can pack the thing away and take it out later, and it still be in great condition. So of course, we had to road test this feature. We thought we’d go easy on it. We packed it flat in the centre of a large suitcase chock full of clothes, shoes and other holiday items for a couple of days, before flying it at 33,000 feet for 4 hours. Suffice it to say, the Norwalk survived with flying colours. Just a little bit of straightening out to re-shape it and it was good to go. Beach, pool, trekking, dining out, at a bar – it’s a great hat to wear at any time on vacation.
Now, we’re not exactly cynical or anything but we wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. So we ventured to a music festival about an hour’s drive away from home with the Norwalk loaded into a backpack along with rain jackets, sun screen, bottles of water, snacks – all the usual festival things. We put the hat at the bottom of the backpack, everything else rammed in on top of it. If you’re going to test a crushable hat then you’ve got to crush it! Again the Norwalk handled the treatment we gave it extremely well – and we got some admiring comments on the hat because, well, it’s not a baseball cap!
If you want to step out from the pack with your choice of headwear; if you want to project a sense of style but maintain the practicality; if you want a great choice of design, material and colour – do yourself a favour, put back the snapback and check out Tenth Street Hats.