Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Keep Cool and Protected this Summer with High Tech Headwear

Lightweight and breathable fabrics offer year-round comfort

Whether you are working or playing outdoors, the key to feeling good and looking great this summer is to wear a hat with breathable fabric.

Hats with lightweight, breathable fabrics will provide safe protection from the sun along with built in ventilation to allow cool air to circulate and keep the sweat off your scalp.

The Headwear Association (THA), a 101-year old hat trade organization, and the creator of the official Headwear Hall of Fame™, Hat Person of the Year™, Hat Day in the Sun™ and Headwear for the Homeless™ recommends the use of technical fabrics for versatility, performance and practicality for warm and cold climates.

“Lightweight breathable fabrics such as microfiber, tight weave mesh, cotton straw and CoolMax provide moisture wicking capabilities to keep sweat off your scalp,” said David Goldman, president of The Headwear Association. “By keeping the sweat off your skin and scalp you reduce the odor and the bacteria associated with sweat and perspiration."

When hats get wet from perspiration it sticks to the skin and hinders the evaporation process. The evaporation process keeps our body temperature at its appropriate level to keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

When shopping for a hat here are some guidelines to help you determine the best choice for your activities:

Moisture Wicking – lightweight and breathable fabric that is used for outdoor activities such as running, walking, biking, tennis, hiking, and playing or working near water (e.g. lifeguard, boating)

CoolMax® is a moisture wicking fabric that can move perspiration away from your head, and through the fabric, where it can evaporate quickly, allowing the wearer to feel cooler and more comfortable. Whether you’re an athlete, construction worker, hiker, gardener or tour guide - Cool Max offers year-round comfort to match your needs.

Microfiber is a moisture resistant fabric. When dropped in water such as a pool, lake or ocean, microfiber will not immediately absorb water; therefore the hat will float. In addition, the microfiber will also serve as a quick drying material to help get the hat back in shape.

Quick-dry fabrics are lightweight, comfortable and durable. Fast-drying and sweat-defying fabrics wick away perspiration better than cotton to keep you cooler and drier in the summer and warmer in the winter. Great for travel.

For more information contact: Susan Weiss, SWPR at (312) 222-1337 or susan@swpr.biz

Friday, July 24, 2009


Below are a few men's hat customs and their origin compliled by asking an older, hat wearing gentleman. It's up to you to follow them or not.


Used when meeting a lady or as a way to say thank you, excuse me, hello, goodbye, you’re welcome or how do you do.

This custom comes from the military custom of saluting which is derived from the medieval knights raising their masks as a show of friendliness.


Hats are to be removed indoors except in places akin to public places such as train stations, hallways, elevators (unless women are present) and places of worship, depending on custom.

This custom is derived from military men removing their helmets as a gesture of good intentions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Online Voting Begins for The Headwear Association’s Hat Person of the Year

For the first time in The Headwear Association’s 101 year history, it will crown one person as Hat Person of the Year.

The male and female nominees include:
  • Justin Timberlake

  • Brad Pitt

  • Samuel L. Jackson

  • Sarah Jessica Parker

  • Jessica Simpson

  • Nicole Kidman

Nominees for Hat Person of the Year must meet the following criteria:

  • Living

  • Well-known publicly such as an actor, athlete, musician or someone easily identifiable to the general public

  • Wear a hat in their everyday life – not just performing on screen or stage

The voting process is open to the general public via an online poll at The Headwear Association’s (THA) website http://www.theheadwearassociation.org/. Voting will continue through August 31, 2009.

The winner will be announced on the THA website and via press release in early September.

For more information, please contact Susan Weiss, SWPR at 312-222-1337 or email susan@swpr.biz.

Monday, July 13, 2009

How about U.S. hat making?

I believe it is time for Americans to wake up! In the United States, 3,832,000 manufacturing jobs were lost between 2000-2008. A recent poll indicated that 81% of Americans believe America’s manufacturing industries have a significant impact on their standard of living. And also, 68% believe that America’s manufacturing industries have a significant impact on national security.

Is there a future life for U.S. manufacturing? How about U.S. hat making? As we all know, many American manufacturing companies have been forced to close or downsize due to the flood of imports from Asia. Unfortunately, we hear all too often about another manufacturer that has had to close its doors putting more Americans out of work. As president of one of the largest and oldest remaining hat manufacturers in the U.S., I can attest to the painful process of layoffs.

However, there are still consumers in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and elsewhere who place added value on “Made in U.S.A.” products. With U.S. unemployment nearing 10%, I believe there is a renewed interest among Americans to purchase products manufactured by American workers and American companies.

It’s difficult to compete with Asia on pricing given that U.S. labor rates can be 30 times or greater that of China. When you include employee benefits and environmental compliance, the playing field tilts even further. Clearly, manufacturers in the U.S. can’t compete on price alone.

Where we can compete is with a superior product and speed to market. For retailers looking to maintain a tight control in their inventories, U.S. manufacturers can respond quicker by virtue of the travel time to ship by boat or air from abroad alone. If the price is going to be twice as high, the perceived value must be as well. Quality, performance, styling, safety, brand identity, durability, and innovativeness are reasons why consumers might pay more. And, I would again add to this list “Made in the U.S.A.”
It is time to stand up for our jobs and create employment opportunities for our children and our grandchildren. Manufacturing is losing its place in America and that puts our economy into the hands of others. For this reason, The Bollman Hat Company is about to launch “Save an American Job” campaign. We will provide a branded identity for U.S. manufacturers to tell their individual stories with a unified voice. Founders and members of this initiative will choose from a variety of services, branding components, networking opportunities, public relations campaigns, and promotions.

A website is in the works and a membership recruitment drive will kick-off following Independence Day. Independence was the basis for creating the United States: saving American jobs may determine the future of the United States!
Don Rongione, President & CEO, Bollman Hat Company

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My favorite running hat

Early this morning I headed out on my morning run with my new sneakers, bright colored moisture wicking tshirt and my favorite running hat. Before I get to the running hat let me ask a general question...."who are these people who go running in the early morning hours or at night in a low light situation with dark clothing?" This is crazy. The cars on the road are most likely driven by people talking on the phone, day-dreaming or just don't see you in all the dark clothing. I saw one guy recently who looked like a cat burglar with his all black clothing. Hopefully he arrived home safely.

Back to my hat.

Years ago we all wore cotton twill or wool/acrylic baseball caps for multiple activities - little league baseball, cutting the grass, etc.
In 2009 I still see folks exercising in cotton twill baseball caps.
This seems a bit strange to me - - why wear a cotton cap with moisture absorbing properties so that your hat becomes a wet rag as you sweat. Just think of your sweaty scalp and nappy hair under that cap. I am sure the cap smells great the next day. Of course on a cool day when you begin to cool-off that wet cap now becomes a cold wet rag chilling your body.

Back to my hat.

My favorite cap is our #5508 - that is our local running club's logo on the front. It is unstructured, low crown "built for speed performance model" made of microfiber and mesh featuring reflective piping.
The microfiber and mesh combination provides me with a lightweight cap that allows my scalp and head to receive fresh air while the microfiber will not absorb the sweat but pull it off my skin and then dry quickly for a comfortable feel.

Hope that you try on a new athletic performance cap from Philadelphia Rapid Transit or another great headwear manufacturer sometime soon. Enjoy the cap and enjoy your run.