Return of the Boater | A Continuous Lean.

Return of the Boater

Feb 4th, 2009 | Categories: Style | by Michael Williams

Will the boater be that hat of the summer? I have to think that it will be hard to pull off, but I would love to see it happen.









Comments: 35

35 Comments to “Return of the Boater”

  1. Thom
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 11:37 AM

    My girlfriend actually tried to pull this off, but felt she looked a little too Madeleine. You see plenty of boaters at the Governer’s Island Jazz Age ball (apologies if that’s not quite the name). Not sure it could make the transition to everyday wear.

  2. John George
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 11:58 AM

    From a person wearing a bow tie right now, I find it hard to imagine. But it’s one heck of a prediction. If it comes true you look like a total visionary.

  3. wayne pate
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 12:22 PM

    I might rock that poolside or at the beach out in Shelter Island this summer. I think dressed down would be the way to go. Cut off chinos, a border tee
    and flip flops. Look for me at Sunset beach with the wife and kids. Holler!

  4. Warren
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 12:37 PM

    For whatever reason (hats, days of yore) this reminds me of the Billy Collins’ poem Death of a Hat, about his father passing away. I think this country is in need of a dapper revolution.

  5. plaidout
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 1:01 PM

    “Death of a Hat” is brilliant. Good call, Warren. I just bought a boater on eBay yesterday. What a strange coincidence.

  6. Jeff
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 1:11 PM

    I recently purchased one and will be unveiling it this Spring. I’m in agreement that it’s time to bring it back and have posted about it on my blog,

  7. Michael Williams
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 1:14 PM

    Good blog Jeff. I like that Olch coverage as well. Send us pictures of you in the Boater come summer.


  8. truantmagazine
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 1:22 PM

    My friend recently got one in soho and it is quite amazing. I think they needto come back with a vengeance.

  9. Mike
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 1:33 PM

    I got an antique one a few months back: planning on wearing to the beach this summer, too bad its a size or two too big

  10. Amit
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 1:48 PM

    Those photos are dope. Source?

  11. Blake
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 1:49 PM

    I have one I wear with the seersucker and bow in the summer. The one reason I don’t don it more often is because it’s so hot and it’s a tad too small.

  12. Michael Williams
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 2:15 PM

    Most of the photos are from the Library of Congress…

  13. r
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 2:41 PM

    I think Van Dyke Parks used to pull this look off well…the thing with these hats is how uncomfortable they are, so stiff around the brim and around your skull.

  14. June
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 2:46 PM

    I was just watching the BBC version of Gaudy Night the other evening, and Lord Peter Wimsey looked smashing punting down the Isis in summer togs and a jaunty bowler.

    And, of course, Anthony Andrews rocked one in the Granada version of Brideshead Revisited.

    Yes, they’re period pieces, but if the chaps looked great, why couldn’t they come back?

  15. Ian
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 3:46 PM

    I wear my boater religiously during the summer. I don’t think its a difficult thing to wear at all. Especially if the band is black. Another great option is a straw porkpie a la Buster Keaton.

  16. Laguna Beach Trad
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 4:34 PM

    No chance. Pure costume. Last time I wore a boater was at Henley in the 1980s and early ’90s, and when I wasn’t actually rowing of course, and only when I was almost completely drunk. I have the photos to prove it. Forget about the boater; let’s bring back the striped rowing blazer first.

  17. james fox
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 4:36 PM

    The old man (serial bow tie wearer, piped smoking jacket etc) rocks the boater for summer parties. the brim feels so great.

  18. Lauren K
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 4:52 PM

    I agree on both! I’d love to see it and see it done well.

  19. Tadd Kelby Casner
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 5:29 PM

    My boater from Lock’s in London is my choice for THE hat of summer. I’m only thirty-one years old, does wearing one make me strange? I think not!

  20. poo
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 5:38 PM

    i noticed these popping up in nyc last summer… have yet to see anyone pull it off. i agree with laguna beach that it’s too costumey.

  21. EnzoAGC
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 9:38 PM

    It irks me to see this hat called a “boater.” I believe its original name was the 42nd St. Skimmer or Skimmer for short. As for a summer trend, I don’t know as the skimmer is a hard hat to pull off. Just ask Birdie Wooster.

  22. Blushing Hostess
    on Feb 4th, 2009
    @ 10:53 PM

    I’m with LBT… this is pure folly.

  23. Cyclo
    on Feb 5th, 2009
    @ 6:14 AM

    I feel it’s one of those item’s which crosses the line between dressed up and dressing-up.
    Straw wise, a panama is acceptable and almost anything else will make you look like a twat.
    I direct you to Mr. Pooter and his straw helmet.
    “August 16.—Lupin positively refused to walk down the Parade with me because I was wearing my new straw helmet with my frock-coat. I don’t know what the boy is coming to.”
    Diary of a Nobody as a webfeed here

  24. Cator Sparks
    on Feb 5th, 2009
    @ 9:45 AM

    Boo ya – here is mine come May. Good seeing you last night Sport.

  25. seesaw designs
    on Feb 5th, 2009
    @ 10:46 AM

    That would be awesome.

  26. Chad
    on Feb 6th, 2009
    @ 11:12 AM

    Yeah, I think the panama is most appropriate.

    Our president seems to think so.

  27. Charles R T
    on Feb 6th, 2009
    @ 6:50 PM

    I would wear one, but only in a private garden party or punting in Oxon-Cantab. I wouldn’t dare venture out in a boater in broad daylight in town or city (yet)!

  28. sam
    on Feb 7th, 2009
    @ 5:15 PM

    I would look bad in or under one, but I agree with June that rewatching brideshead kind of makes me wish I could.

  29. Style Salvage Steve
    on Feb 8th, 2009
    @ 4:39 PM

    A delightful selection of images. I love nothing more than settling down with a cup of tea whilst pouring over the images of The Library of Congress. I would love to see this prediction come true but unfortunately I see the return of the boater as consisting of antinque boaters gracing bookshelves.

  30. Tone Loki
    on Feb 9th, 2009
    @ 10:15 AM

    I wore one last summer, with a Fred Perry and jeans to surprisingly little reaction from passersby…

  31. white lightning
    on Feb 11th, 2009
    @ 9:23 AM

    we had a MJ ss09 crushed boater in the office the other day…i rocked it all afternoon. TOTALLY wearable!

  32. cake.
    on Feb 14th, 2009
    @ 5:45 PM

    i have a crush on this post.

  33. Ray Frensham
    on Feb 17th, 2009
    @ 4:13 PM

    As I already mentioned uin a separate e-mail to you, I never imagined myself being a style icon or being ‘ahead of the curve’, but when I bought a new (replacement) boater last summer, little did I realise how ahead of my time I was.

    On my blog about it:
    I never realised that all the UK’s boaters come from one company, Olney and Luton, whoever the retailer is. You learn something new every day.

    And it’s good to see my pal Tadd Casner (a fellow enthusiast) posting up.

    Let’s see more men in boaters (and bow ties)!

  34. Morgan
    on Apr 13th, 2009
    @ 3:30 PM

    Spotted a guy wearing a straw boater last Saturday in northern Malibu, at a gas station on PCH. He appeared to be using it as a substitute for the standard-issue LA fedora.

  35. Abe
    on Apr 26th, 2009
    @ 4:12 PM

    you should’ve been at the manhattan vintage show yesterday; so many beautiful boaters. the best find was an italian made brooks boater with a navy and red ribbon, and only $95. sadly i still didn’t have that but such a deal.