Best hat shops in New York City

From bowlers to chapeaus, these stores (and milliners) can hook your head up.

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  • The Hat Shop

  • The Hat Shop

  • The Hat Shop

  • The Hat Shop

  • Leah C. Couture Millinery

  • Suzanne Couture Millinery

  • Victor Osborne

  • Victor Osborne

  • Victor Osborne

  • Victor Osborne

The Hat Shop

RECOMMENDED: Best shops in NYC


Barbara Feinman Millinery

  • Price band: 2/4

The 15-year-old shop has a very old-fashioned feeling to it, with chandeliers, golden lighting and antique-y furniture. The majority of the men’s and women’s hats are handmade in the store, but milliner/owner Feinman rounds out that collection with a few manufactured lines. Prices range from $195–$400 for blocked hats to $200–$400 for dressier evening and cocktail hats. “I use a lot of antique findings in my hats, like vintage one-of-a-kind buckles and ribbons,” says Feinman. “When I say that the elements in a hat are exclusive to that hat, it’s really true. When it’s gone, it’s gone.”

  1. 66 E 7th St, (between First and Second Aves)
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Cha-Cha's House of Ill Repute

  • Price band: 4/4

Owner Dina Pisani is heavily influenced by New Orleans, which is evidenced by both her designs and her studio (exposed brick, chandeliers, gold velvet chairs). The fedora is Pisani’s perennial bestseller. “For fall we do felt [$200–$250], and for spring we do straw [$180–$220],” she says. “We’re in New York, so neutrals [sell] the best: black, browns and charcoals.” Top hats cost from $275–$400, depending on embellishments, and porkpies and bowlers are priced between $1805–$250.

  1. 68 Jay St, (between Front and Water Sts)
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Ellen Christine Millinery

  • Price band: 4/4

Ellen Colon-Lugo has a flair for creating ornate headpieces: Says the milliner, “Something different to me means a patent-leather orchid sitting in the middle of some lime-green fur fashioned as a cocktail hat.” Her “jewel box of a shop” opened in 1995, where in addition to creating the bestselling fur hats ($450-$950) and fur felt cloches ($245) that fly off her shelves each season, she has fashioned hats for such runway shows as 3.1 Phillip Lim, Jil Stuart and United Bamboo.

  1. 99 Vandam St, (at Greenwich St)
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The Hat Shop

  • Price band: 4/4

Milliners Guild founder Linda Pagan opened this shop 18 years ago, and stocks her own designs, as well as though by Tracy Watts, Heather Huey, Jill Courtemanche, and Cha-Cha’s House of Ill Repute. Most of the inventory is priced between $158–$350, says Pagan, though “you can also buy a $20 beret or a $900 Kentucky Derby–style hat.” The clientele is mostly female, but Pagan boasts of an ever-loyal male customer base.

  1. 120 Thompson St, (at Prince St)
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J.J. Hat Center

  • Price band: 4/4

No one knows more about hats than the men at New York’s oldest chapeau shop, where you’ll find classy gents outfitted in berets ($25–$110), fedoras ($50–$625), newsboy caps ($30–$225), rain hats ($50–$125) and porkpies ($50–$200), the flat-brimmed toppers made popular by jazz musicians. Around since 1911, the wood-paneled store feels entirely masculine, like a place Don Draper would frequent, but ladies are welcome and encouraged to try out the unisex offerings, including 100 percent wool berets ($25) and straw panama-style hats with striped bands ($150). Since prices can go as steep as $625 for Italian fur-felt fedoras, the spot-on sales team will teach you how to care for your new headgear (keep it away from heat and brush it counterclockwise), so that it’s sure to last you for years to come.

  1. 310 Fifth Ave , (at 32nd St )
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Leah C. Couture Millinery

  • Price band: 4/4

Leah Chalfen prides herself on the one-of-a-kind pieces she creates in her private studio (she operates by appointment only). She specializes in bridal, black tie and cocktail hats, which often feature intricate feather work, detailed trim techniques, silk veilings and vintage elements. Although Chalfen’s hats range from $250–$1,250, the average price hovers in the $325–$525 ballpark.

  1. 124 W 30th St, suite 203, (between Sixth and Seventh Aves)
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Lisa Shaub Fine Millinery

  • Price band: 2/4

“There are not many places you go where someone is hand-sewing sequins onto something,” says Lisa Shaub of the hat shop she’s owned since 1998. “I do heavy lifting like dyeing and blocking and things that are messy at home, and I do finishing work like wiring and beading at the store’s studio.” Soft roll-up hats that are packable like cloches and fedoras range from $180 to $350; blocked and cocktail hats cost $227 to $350.

  1. 232 Mulberry St, (between Prince and Spring Sts)
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Suzanne Couture Millinery

  • Price band: 4/4

Suzanne Newman’s Upper East Side showroom and atelier has been kicking around for a quarter of a century. Known for extreme and unusual women’s hats, her custom-made creations start around $400 and can reach into the thousands, especially when Kentucky Derby season rolls around. Well-known among New York society, she’s also made pieces for Beyoncé and Tina Knowles, Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn and several royals.

  1. 136 E 61st St, (between Lexington and Park Aves)
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Victor Osborne

  • Price band: 4/4

Victor Osborne’s Lower East Side shop and atelier opened its doors in 2009 with an ample selection of handmade hats for men and women. In addition to collaborations with Diesel Black Gold, Trovata, Andrew Buckler and the Blonds, Osborne partnered with Opening Ceremony on a capsule collection of spring pieces. Non-custom hats range in price from $100 to $225.

  1. 160 Orchard St, (between Rivington and Stanton Sts)
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Plus, one very special milliner: Albertus Swanepoel

Albertus Swanepoel, a 2009 CFDA nominee for the Swarovski Award for Accessory Design, is lauded in the fashion industry for his runway head dressings; notable clients include Alexander Wang, Carolina Herrera, DVF, Proenza Schouler and Thakoon. His almost six-year-old company is predominantly wholesale at the moment, but his fedoras ($250-$400) are available at Barneys New York and Odin. “I don’t like the idea of a hat looking incredibly new,” says Swanepoel. “I like things that look vaguely sort of distressed or like you’ve had them for a while. It looks like something that you can make yourself, but it’s designed and executed in a way that you couldn’t.”

  1. 124 W 30th St, (between Sixth and Seventh Aves, room 208). 212-629-1090, albertusswanepoel.com. By appointment only.

Users say

7 comments
JAY HODSHON
JAY HODSHON

I FOUND A HAT BOX "THE HODSHON CO. FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK" THE FACTORY WAS IN DANBURY, CT. 1898/1940+- LOOKING FOR A HAT TO PUT IN IT, A HODSHON HAT!

annamaria
annamaria

hi there, i'd like to ask for help... i try to find a hat shop which is (was?) called La Roche or Laroche, it was the shop of a Hungarian actress, Katalin Karady. I'm talking about the past because she passed away in 1990. I am a big fan of the Hungarian diva and i would really like to find out more about her life after she escaped from communist Hungary in the 50's and since then, disappeared from the public. Thank you in advance, Annamaria (my email address is feketemanka@yahoo.com)

Holly Wojahn
Holly Wojahn

As Co- Author/ Illustrator of the soon to be released children's book, "That Hat's Fedorable", I'd love to get input on where this delightful book/ with music CD, might fit in teems of specialty hat shops! Our seven year old heroine, Bridget, travels the world discovering Hat's from a variety of countries! Written in rhyming language, with music composed by the Award Winning L.A. Jingle writers, Roger and Scott Wojahn, "That Hat's Fedorable" could top off any fantastic collection of Hats!

Lois Rochford
Lois Rochford

The Hat Depot in Brooklyn should be listed here. Hidden treasure in East New York Shellie McDowell, Owner

Kathleen Lisson
Kathleen Lisson

Thank you for this list. I love wearing hats and look forward to visiting some of these shops the next time I am in the City.

Virginie
Virginie

there is also a very cute atelier with beautiful different design, Selima hat, on 7 bond street.... go check it out:)

Wanda R. Umstead
Wanda R. Umstead

It was very interesting to see an get to know some of NYC's Finnest hat designers from the last 10 years. It seems that hat creations and designs are an expensive and lucretive business; I wonder if I can create and design hat similar, but a little cheaper for the average income or household whose income is under $60,000 per year. I need to know where and who are the suppliers of materials and goods for these milliners.