Hats Off (On!) to a Perfect Summer

Mod Hatter Celebrates 25 Years ‘a Head’ of the Game
By SANDRA WEYANT | May 30, 2017
Source: Facebook

If recent spikes in temperature are any indication of the weather to come for summer ’17, then it’s going to be a hot one. That means now is the best time to invest in your headgear for the season. From floppy hats to chic fedoras, these styles will have you looking and feeling cool all summer long, from the beach to the boardwalk and back.

The Mod Hatter, located in Beach Haven, is celebrating its 25th year in business, and owner and style expert Tina Berman gave us the scoop on what you’ll be seeing, loving and wearing from sunup to sundown. Whatever you need, she’s got your head covered.

When Berman was a senior in college, her mom came up with the name of the store, The Mod Hatter, a play on “Mad Hatter,” to evoke a fun and contemporary vibe. They were looking to provide a “modern approach to an old-fashioned idea,” hoping to eradicate, once and for all, the misconception that hats are no longer needed or worthy of their own boutique.

The store’s mission is to help men, women and children find a hat they are comfortable in that also protects them from the sun. “Anyone can feel attractive in a hat,” Berman said. “You just have to find the right one for your needs.”

Get ahead of the beach crowd and take note of the hats you won’t want to miss out on.

All About the Details. What’s hot right now? “The more embellished, the better,” Berman said. Express yourself with tassels, fringes, pompoms, the works. Basically, accessories on your accessory. “It’s a time when women want a little something extra to jazz up their look.”

Berman is very crafty. In the early days, when the concept of the Mod Hatter began as a pushcart on LBI, she began experimenting and designing her own hats.

“When I started, I bought everything plain. I glued sunflowers on the front part of the hat and thought it was a work of art.” Look around today ­– those hats are still fashionable for all ages! Berman was clearly way ahead of trends from the get-go.

Batter Up. Messy hair, don’t care. Baseball hats and visors are sporty-chic and the perfect fix if you’re heading out to do some errands and don’t feel like styling your hair. Pair a cap with your favorite tee for a cool and casual ensemble – it’s a home run.

Brimming With Style. Floppy hats were the epitome of elegance in the 1960s, but have since reemerged with a more “boho” look in a new scene: festivals. Berman explained floppy hats are still popular styles, but with slight variations. “A pinched crown with a floppy brim” is what’s highly sought-after now to shield your face from the sun. A wide brim also adds an element of mystery to your look when adjusted to cover portions of your face. (There’s a reason why celebrities opt for these elaborate hats.)

Show Your True Colors. Be bold. Be confident. Be you. Don’t be afraid to make a statement with a colorful hat.

“This year, it’s all about being fun and vibrant. It wasn’t always this way. Usually, when people think of a hat, they opt for neutrals. Don’t get me wrong, neutrals are still in, but you’ll be likely to see new options trimmed with a ribbon of color,” Berman said.

Wild, Wild Best. You don’t have to be on a ranch to rock a cowboy hat. This look is perfect for backyard barbecues, concerts or summer road trips. Another plus: This type of hat easily transitions into cooler weather. Wear it with denim shorts or with a long-sleeved flannel. Yee-haw.

On Our Bucket (Trend) List. Rejoice! The bucket hat is back. Nothing says you’re ready for an outdoor adventure more than this hat. Fisherman-inspired but totally cute – you’ll be sure to catch all the compliments if you incorporate this style into your daywear.

Fedora Fever. It’s the trend that’s here to stay. The fedora was all the rage about five years ago, and it hasn’t gone anywhere since. “People gravitate toward this hat because it has a very distinct look and feel and it protects the top of the head without feeling too big or too heavy,” Berman said.

We’re All a Little Mad. Can you guess which style of hat Berman loves the most? “My favorite hat is from an Australian designer named Annabel Ingall. It is shaped similarly to the Mad Hatter shape, so people have come to recognize me by that hat. It’s made out of raffia palm leaves. You can bend it and shape it, but you can’t kill it, so to speak. Even water reshapes it. I wear it year after year and get so many compliments on its uniqueness.” How fitting.

As an architecture student in college, Berman always looked forward to spending her summers on Long Beach Island, but she never imagined she would stray from her degree and take her career down a different path.

“I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I did not have any intentions to end up in retail. It happened by accident, but the Mod Hatter is truly my happy escape from everything else.” Sometimes things have a funny way of working out.

Berman is also a huge advocate for local businesses. Many store owners are passionate about their products and invest their entire lives into making a difference and catering to people’s needs, one customer at a time.

“I think that’s why we are still here. We love what we do. Customers will walk away having had an experience with us, and it’s all about making that connection that brings them back.”

We certainly agree with that. We tip our hats to Tina Berman for many years of success and many more to come. Be sure to visit the Mod Hatter to stock up on trendy looks for the summer.

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