A Tour of London's Hat Shops
If you've seen any pictures of me, you'll immediately know that I'm a hat person. Not your standard American style ballcaps, but fedoras, flat caps and the like. British history is full of men and women wearing gorgous adorenemnts (Royal Wedding, hint, hint) and you can find the perfect chapeau to compliment your style in London. Whether you're looking to emulate Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders or Lord Grantham from Downton Abbey, London's hat shops have you covered (literally.)
1. Lock & Co.
You can't mention hat shops in London without talking about Lock & Co. The oldest hat shop in the world started in 1676 and is one of the oldest family-owned business still in existence. They outfitted Sir Winston Churchill with his trademark Homburg and Bambridge hats and even created the Coke Bowler for Edward Coke in 1849. Find the very best of British heritage hats at No. 6 St. James Street.
The shop is quaint and full of history, hats, and panache. If you're looking to delve into British hat history, or visit the Kingsman storefront next door, Lock & Co. is the place to go.
Boasting a beautiful shop on Jermyn St., Bates Gentlemen's Hatter is the logical next stop after Lock and Co., possibly because it's just around the corner. With a presence on Jermyn St. since 1898, Bates offers handmade Panama's, a large selection of caps, and a showcase of fedoras and trilbies. It would be almost impossible not to find a hat that fits your liking at Bates. They even have a store in Paris if you decide to take the Chunnel over for a short visit.
Tucked away in a small shop in Prince's Arcade off Jermyn Street, Christy's is a delight for the hat-wearing man. Started in 1773 by Miller Christy, this British heritage brand has outfitted the UK Police, Brad Pitt, and even Marlon Brando's Don Corleone character in The Godfather. Christy's boasts a rich heritage with prices a bit under some of the other shops listed here. I picked up a brand new flat cap (pictured above) and my very first packable fedora in delightful olive green. The helpful staff will get you kitted out with a perfect fitting hat for any occasion in no time.
Last on the list is a bit more fashion forward than some of the other shops. Stumper & Fielding in Notting Hill is a great shop to visit when you're perusing the Portobello Road Market. Featuring hats, men's and women's fashion, and an Instagram worthy store, S&F has a bit of something for everyone. If you're new to hats, this is a great place to start as it won't break the bank and you'll get a lot of ideas of how to wear your new headgear.