While Edward de Bono (the famed Maltese physician, author and theorist known for inventing the term ‘lateral thinking’) may have stopped at six thinking hats, after taking a turn through Gertrude Street’s resident gentleman’s hat store, Smart Alec Hatters, one is likely to be left hankering after a different hat for every day of the year.
The wall-to-wall rows of fedoras, trilbies, flat caps, panamas and bowler styles in an array of hues, shapes and fabrics are both locally sourced and imported from France, England, the United States, Ireland, Colombia and Ecuador, the home of the store’s most popular style, the classic Fedora Panama. Since relocating from his original Smith Street space in spring 2012, owner Michael Albert and his band of enthusiastic assistants have been busily keeping heads of all shapes and sizes covered for everything from the Spring Racing carnival to a day at the beach.
The store also offers repairs and restoration services for tired vintage hats that need a little bit of life breathed back into them.
While headgear takes centre stage, Smart Alec also stocks a range of silk scarves, cufflinks, man bags and bowties, sure to add the final, thoughtful touch to any outfit. Although the purveyor of quality hats caters primarily to the elegant modern day man, no head is discriminated against on the basis of gender. Hence, ladies looking to channel Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca are more than welcome to do so.
The only problem? So many hats…alas, only one head.
Mon to Sat 10am–6pm