Summer Headwear feat. Alex Mroz
July 18th, 2013
Chicago native Alex Mroz is the manager of the Goorin Bros. hat shop on Bleecker Street in NYC. Needless to say, the guy knows a thing or two about how to wear a hat.
“Goorin Bros. is a family owned hat company dating back to 1895. Currently in their fourth generation of family ownership, the company was exclusively a wholesale brand, until Ben Goorin decided to open his first retail store in hometown San Francisco in 2006. The success of that store inspired Ben to invest in opening more shops in neighborhoods across the country and try to reignite the hat shop as a common sight as it had been for so many decades prior to the 1960’s.
Being my own boss, I can dress as high or low as I want, but I believe in dressing in a way that is seasonably comfortable and appropriate for the social functions of the day and evening.
My coworkers throughout Goorin are also an influence. Style at its’ most fun is a call and response, and the team and I have a lot of fun trying to push each other’s game. Of course, working on Bleecker street in the West Village, our clients’ style is always an inspiration as well!”
Here’s three examples of Alex’s summer style, headwear and all.
1. Create Your Own Shade
“New Orleans is a big influence on my summer style. I was there in July of 2011 to help open our first store there, and in the sweltering heat and heavy humidity I finally understood the pure functionality of the wide brimmed straw hat. Up until that time, I had worn a lot of stingy brimmed straw hats, fashion pieces, as I call them. Nothing wrong with them, of course, in a summer climate like the West coast. But in the South, you need sun protection and you need to create your own shade.
New Orleans also inspired some Dandyish color in my style. In that town, men are not afraid to wear some LOUD prints and patterns, along with great colors and formal layers of linen, cotton and seersucker.
As Dan has said in the past, the panama hat can be surprisingly versatile. It’s a shame so many man are intimidated by the wide brimmed hats our Grandfathers and Great-Grandfathers wore every day. To ease the wide ‘feel’, start playing with angles and tilts….as Sinatra said: Angles are attitude!”
“The signet ring was a gift from a few summers ago. I was intimidated to wear it for a long while, but as we grow older and our fashion sense grows with us, sometimes we are ready for pieces we once thought were ‘not for us’.
Being aware that so much of my summer wardrobe in NYC was stripped down, heading into this year I decided to invest in some man-jewelry for the first time. Taking this signet ring to get it engraved with my initials inspired a nice introduction to jewelry from the fine folks at In God We Trust, and I ended up walking away with the simple leather and brass bracelet in look 2. Perhaps in a year or two I’ll have five fingers full of rings, perhaps not, but this pinky ring is where it started…”
“I cannot say enough about these walnut captoes. They were the most expensive shoes I owned at the time I got them, and they still look great today with just about any of my wardrobe staples regardless of the season.
Invest in high quality pieces that work with a wide range in your wardrobe and the price you paid for them seems more worth it every time you wear them, I guarantee it.”
2. Go-To Gatsby Cap
“Nothing helps deal with the reality of New York subway platforms in the summer (which is the closest things to recreating New Orleans humidity) better than linen. Some darting added by Franklin at TheTailoringRoom (thanks Dan) helped snug up the silhouette of this linen shirt, so it looks fantastic when tucked in as well – not too billowy.
This hat is my everyday go to. It’s an 8 panel linen ‘Gatsby’ cap, made by hand in the last standing cut-and-sew hat factory in America, located right over the river in Newark, New Jersey. Last year I bought it in two colors; this navy one and a light grey. From those two hats I learned the lesson that if you’re going to go with linen, go darker in color to hide sweat stains.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask the professionals to help teach you, whether you’re buying hats, shoes, jewelry, suits, etc.
If you got to places that care about their quality and craftsmanship, they will be knowledgeable and will be more than happy to explain the value of their products. With craftsmanship comes passion; let the pros share their passion and knowledge with you.”
“The shoes are from Oak Street Bootmakers, a Chicago company that designs Maine-made shoes. I owned a pair of boat shoes last year, but, being on my feet all the time, wanted something that looked similar but with a little more support. These vibram soled oxford trails hit the spot…I could walk for days in these babies.
It’s from owning quality hats and shoes like these that I’ve really come to understand and appreciate how investing in quality, versatile pieces is the smartest way to build a wardrobe.”
- Blue ‘Aaron’ linen Gatsby-style hat by Goorin Bros
- Wayfarer sunglasses by Ray Ban
- Dark Navy Linen L/S shirt by Uniqlo
- brass barrel and leather bracelet by In God We Trust
- Orange ‘Winchester’ Trouser by Freemans Sporting Club
- Black Vibran sole Trail Oxfords by Oak Street Bootmakers
3. City Safari
“This is a weekend at home and it’s July hot kind of outfit.
I detested shorts for years, but again, the New York humidity forced my hand into more temperate comfort. These Brooklyn Circus linen numbers were my first entry back into the shorts game in many years.
Again, all about comfort. The super thin henley is a year-round essential that works as a layering piece in the colder months or a striped-down basic as seen here. I think a well-fitting henley lends a very masculine look and is a nice alternative to the t-shirt.”
“This safari fedora is from the Grenadier Line; our outdoor specific hats. It’s made in that same cut-and-sew hat factory in Newark.
The body is linen and lined in cotton – making it waterproof and easily packable. This is the perfect traveling hat and it will look better and better as it gets beaten up.”
“The PF Flyers are more Brooklyn Circus inspiration. I love a simple, clean canvas sneaker for the summer and I think the PF Flyers offer a choice that you don’t see every day like the Chuck Taylors…plus their comfort beats Chucks any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Thanks, as always, for reading and special thanks to Alex for participating!
Yours in style,
Articles of Style
Photography by Alex Crawford.