Hats Wear It’s At 185 Ottawa Street North

Here at the Tour, we always appreciate a little flair and flamboyance, in whatever form that may come. We enjoy themes, dressing up, and accessories (we’ve been rocking our Tour buttons faithfully.) On my way to visit Cannon Coffee Co, I spotted Hats Wear It’s At and made a mental note, “I’m so going in there after my latte!” I hadn’t seen it before, and upon entering and meeting owner Suzanne Hampel, I learned that she just opened up the shop in December.

As you step inside, you are greeted with a multitude of hats. Hats galore! So many colours and styles – fedoras, top hats, the Indiana Jones, the Frank Sinatra, big floppy hats, you name it. Even fascinators! We are quite partial to the fascinator. All are beautifully displayed in their own little cubbyhole, with each shelf organized by style and designer. As Suzanne noted, each hat deserves its own individual display and place to shine; each are unique and are all handpicked by Suzanne, herself, and range in price from reasonable to a bit more upscale.

Suzanne at work in Hats Wear It’s At

The space itself is lovely and spacious to walk about, with sparkly chandeliers and floor-length mirrors to check your reflection as you try a hat on for size. Posters of celebs like Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, and Carlos Santana, each rocking a signature hat, of course, are hung on the walls and serve as some style inspiration. I thought of the other girls right away and how much they would love this store. We’ve often talked about hats and how we really need to wear them more, just because. I even spotted a few red hats and was reminded of when Avi, Jenny, and I got to meet some of the Red Hatters last summer (and how we rocked some fascinators of our own to fit in!) I happened to be wearing a little bronze-coloured tam, which at least was something, but it paled in comparison to all of these gorgeous headpieces!

Suzanne is new to owning her own business and spoke about how there was a need for a hat shop in Hamilton and that she wanted to take up the challenge. Many of the hats come from local sources, supporting local businesses such as Lizzy By Design, from Ancaster. Suzanne loves meeting customers and getting to know them and their style; she’ll work with you to pick out the perfect hat. Like us, she was also quick to speak of her love and pride for this city.


Seeing me being drawn to the stylish top hats on display, Suzanne mentioned that young guys have been buying them up (where can we meet these dapper young gentlemen?) Suzanne also noted that young people in general are wearing more hats, and we’ve seen the influence of celebrities in this trend. I also had a look at some wedding hats (which made me think of Jenny, who is currently planning her wedding!) and we noted the influence of the Royal Wedding and Kate Middleton’s style.

I even got a little sneak preview of some hats that will be featured in their spring line, which Suzanne is very excited about. She pulled out a bunch for me to marvel at, and we noted that you don’t even need an occasion to sport one. Why not take a stroll down the street in a fabulous hat? It would certainly add a little sparkle to your day.

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

2 thoughts on “HATS OFF!”

  1. Hi I was wondering if you made hats in your store? I’m getting married next year and I’m wanting to wear a floral barrette with a bird cage veil attached. I’d appreciate hearing back. Thanks.

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