Hats on Hats on Hats

By Liz Welker, Buffalo Exchange Chicago

Buffalo Exchange employee wearing a black felt newsboy hat with chambary button-up, black pants and tartan plaid coat.

Hats and I go way back. We first became acquainted when my mother decided she was tired of explaining to strangers that her very bald infant daughter was indeed female and chose to adorn my skull with frilly bonnets.

Hats and I became fast friends. We grew closer together through the years, experimenting in headwear that ranged from wide-brimmed Easter hats to medieval circlets (yes, I went through a shameful “princess phase”). But somewhere along the line, hats and I had grown apart. The strain of a four year stint in a plumed, nutcrackeresque marching band hat didn’t help matters much. I wanted to be cool and fit in with my peers. Hats wanted to stand out and make a statement and soon enough we went our separate ways.

Fast forward to my 29th year of life and it wasn’t until my move from Los Angeles to Chicago in February that I realized I missed hats. Being a fashion-obsessed individual, it suddenly dawned on me that not only was I depriving myself of an entire realm of accessorizing and self-expression, but also my head was seriously cold. I needed hats, but how could we rekindle things after all these years? We had a lot of catching up to do.

Buffalo Exchange employee wearing red bretton syle hat with bronze and gold stripped tee and scarf.

Buffalo Exchange employee wearing a brown newsboy style hat with a gray long sleeve and green and navy plaid peacoat.

Buffalo Exchange employee wearing a DEA inspired baseball cap with color blocked tee.

Buffalo Exchange employee weating a camo Ben Hogan style hat.

Buffalo Exchange employee wearing a black with red ribbion cloche style hat with a cheetah print coats and black blouse.

Buffalo Exchange employee wearing a black western cowboy hat with a black moto jacket and gray tee.

Buffalo Exchange employee wearing a leopard floppy sun hat with red sunglasses and graphic print tee.

I drew inspiration from my fellow Chicago Buffalo Exchange employees as well as our customers, who regularly don an amazing array of cloches, funky snap backs, beanies, fedoras and vintage headpieces that I’m not even sure there are names for. I jumped head first (ha!) into an adventure that began with a South Park-inspired hunting cap, moved on to fascinators (designed by yours truly’s mother), and currently consists of a bedazzled, wool baseball cap (a DIY creation inspired by the latest J.Crew winter catalog).

Buffalo Exchange wearing a black DIY bejeweled baseball cap inspired by J Crew

There’s no stopping me now! One thing is for sure, hats are IN! I don’t know whether credit is due to the Royal Wedding or Lady Gaga, but it seems like everyone is getting their relationship with hats back on track. So now I am glad to tell you that things are going great with me and hats. We’ve never been happier and the future looks bright. So go on, you brave cap couturiers, show us your stuff! For my style is bold and my head is less cold, and that is … good, anyway the point is: WEAR HATS!


Liz has a degree from FIDM and has worked for Buffalo Exchange in Los Angeles and Chicago. She has an obscene amount of chambray shirts and enjoys embarrassing her coworkers with her Soul Train moves.