Know Your Spring Trends: Broad-Brim Hats Are The New Flat Caps
Know Your Trends is a new column where GQ's style writers offer suggestions on how to make the season's biggest menswear trends work IRL. Here, we look at how the broad-brimmed hat got cool.
Watching the Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring 2020 runway unravel in Paris this past June, all I could think about were the hats.
Poised like big straw canopies on the model’s heads with colourful drawstrings dangling around their clavicles, these were hats I’d seen many times before: on the farmers I grew up around, on the men at the beach who’s skin looks like it could be used to upholster a couch, and, more specifically, on tradies who shop exclusively at Bunnings Warehouse.
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Obviously, LV’s artistic director Virgil Abloh devised a decidedly more ‘fashion’ iteration of this Bunnings-esque hat – most of them were spray painted pastel tones and the aforementioned drawstrings looked far more hip and utilitarian than ones I know, which seem highly prone to fraying.
But still, they weren’t far off. And, paired with Abloh’s technicolour hoodies and embroidered cargo pants, they looked cool.
Watching these hats bob around Paris’ Place Dauphine, where Louis Vuitton’s SS20 runway was held, I felt a pang of regret for the numerous times I’d rolled my eyes at my boyfriend’s own straw Billabong hat, which he insists on wearing all summer despite (or in spite of) his highly-qualified girlfriend’s opinion.
Now I know that he was just ahead of the curve. I probably won’t tell him that, though.
Anyway, I’m digressing, because even though the broad-brim straw hat was definitely the headgear takeaway of the season – and one that we expect to fare quite well in Australia, given half our male inhabitants probably already own one – LV’s big-top wasn’t the only hat to make an SS20 debut.
At Fendi, headwear options ran the full gamut from bucket style to those with flaps at the back and even pith-esque numbers, such as those you might accessorise with on safari.
At Simon Porte Jacquemus’ third-ever men’s show, the hats were floppy and medium-brimmed in circumference, kind of like the ones we wore at primary school.
Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli favoured a bucket-style bonnet, which probably won’t do much to shield the sun but definitely looked cute. Dolce & Gabbana did as Dolce & Gabbana do, plopping multiple hat species on their model’s craniums (though we’re not yet convinced of the fedora’s comeback).
So really, when it comes to putting a lid on it this summer, you’ve essentially got free reign to choose whatever compliments the shape of your head. But if you want to be really ‘on trend’ – like, Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh ‘on trend’ – dust off your straw Bunnings/Billabong number and proclaim it ‘fashion.’
You have our permission. Because no one's immune to a good big hat moment. Not even Rose Byrne.