Wholesale hats flow to retailers in every state and around the world. What’s so intriguing about the wholesale hats that retail stores stock? Why can’t customers just ignore them without trying them on, even if it’s just for fun?
Wholesale hats add personality, individualism and character. Yes, but we already know that. The deepest attraction is the identification with the heroes. Hats define so many heroes and retailers provide the statement that helps the common person identify with the heroes in their lives. Before you write this off as a wholesale hat add-on, read on and see if your heroes aren’t here.
First is the cowboy hat. These wholesale hats reach all age groups. The older generation remembers John Wayne, Marshal Matt Dillon and Captain Gus of Lonesome Dove. Perhaps your interests go beyond historical figures like Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp or Buffalo Bill. The hat that dominates this look is the creation of John B Stetson who defined cowboy hats with his original design which he called “Boss of the Plains”. This wide-brimmed felt with a tall, wrinkled crown replaced the hat combination that cowboys used until then and became so popular that Stetson was making more than two million hats a year by 1886. This was the hat that almost all cowboys mentioned above wore and style their fans want today.
These are the heroes and cowboy hats that appeal to middle age and up, but what about the young? They have another group of heroes that you find on MTV or in country music. When J-Lo and Britney Spears appeared in rolled straw cowboy hats, the country was filled with rage over this beanie. Do you think that the straw hats rolled in Willy Nelson and even more current, Kenny Chesney and Jessica Simpson do not affect what their fans wear? Quite the opposite! Country music fans love cowboy hats that look good on their idols.
Now what about golfers? At the beginning of the 20th century, the sport captured so much public interest that the Sears & Roebuck catalog featured pages of golf hats that looked like oversized newspaper vendors. For Ben Hogan it was either this or an ivy cap. Sam Snead was a fedora man and Greg Norman put the Australian on the world map. How many older adults do you see on the golf course wearing the hat that made their favorite golfer look good? The connection between hats and heroes seems so deep that you never get over it.
The sporty connection to hats doesn’t end there. Baseball caps need no introduction. This is the hat that everyone is comfortable wearing today. When all men wore a fedora with their suit in the 1940s and 1950s, stars like Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Mickey Mantle looked good in their caps and had a huge fan club. In the sixties, felt hats were put aside and the coolest hats were baseball caps. Since then, baseball caps have not missed a lick.
There are football fans. Coach Bear Bryant in Alabama and Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys probably inspired more men to wear herringbone or houndstooth felt hats than all the Madison Avenue advertising.
Then come the movies that are always delivering a new batch of heroes. Indiana Jones is back in theaters and even Cracker Barrel restaurants are selling adult-size Indiana Jones felt hats. And the Great Gatsby? Fans opt for the oversized ivy cap. Don’t forget Rocky on his pig. For women, Angelina Jolie fans will have to wear a hood after watching The Changeling. Movies have a huge impact on hats and fashion in general.
Then there is the vintage crowd and those who remember the hats that Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa wore. This stuff is steeped in happy childhood memories brought to life by wholesale hats: men’s felt hats from the 1940s or 1950s, women’s pillboxes from the same era. And those old family photos with bells? When someone sees a hat that rings like a bell with childhood memories, they have to comment, they have to try it on, and often they have to buy it.
Okay, kids don’t know anything about these hats, but they sure know celebrities. Do you think this does not provide heroes who meet wholesale hats? You know, J-Lo’s wide-brimmed hat, Hillary Duff’s ivy cap, Britney’s hat, or Brad Pitt’s newsboy. Here’s a wholesale hat market that goes on and on and on like the pink bunny.
So why do some of the wholesale hats that are shipped to wholesalers explode while others are barely sold? Take cowboy hats in 2007 for example. Many wholesalers and retail stores sold more cowboy hats in 2007 than any other style. However, department stores reported that cowboy hats are their worst hat results. It’s about knowing your market and playing with them. You wouldn’t expect the buyer looking for Ives St Laurent to be trying on rolled straw cowboy hats. Likewise, fashion stores that cater to young junk display dress hats. Hats have to fit the market and relate to the heroes of that age group.
In some ways, hats, more than any other accessory, help the average person to acquire the aura of larger-than-life personalities that touch them. Often conscious, sometimes subconscious, the consumer gravitates towards hats that identify him with his heroes.