J.Crew and Goorin Bros. Craft the Perfect Summer Hat

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Courtesy of Goorin Bros.

This month J.Crew is revealing an exclusive collaboration with Goorin Bros. available now online, and rolling out this June in the iconic hatmaker's brick-and-mortar locations.

The two brands share a common identity that's deeply rooted in American-made style, often pairing vintage classics with a modern edge. The result is the Mr. Kaito straw fedora, woven with Raffia palm and accented with a vegetable-dyed indigo cotton band sourced from Japan. "It breathes very well and it's light,” says Ben Goorin, a fourth generation hatmaker, of the casual style, perfect for a beach vacation. The San Francisco native who now heads up the 120-year-old company also gave us a few tips for how to avoid being overly cautious when traveling with your hats — the number one issue his customers encounter.

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"We want people to take their hats with them wherever they go, to feel like they can put their hat in their bag and it'll be durable enough to wear in a day," Goorin adds. He assures us that hats will always return to their original shape if they're packed right, or will open back up with a little steam. Just pop the crown open and gently fold the hat in half if not wearing while traveling. "Hats should look like they've been lived in. Like jeans, they'll get better with age. It doesn't need to look crisp and pristine every time you wear it."

If there are creases or folds in the brim, hang it up while you take a hot shower and 99-percent of the time, it will return to it's original shape from natural memory — holding it over a teakettle works just as well. The collaboration is a nice departure from the way retail has expanded over the last 10 years, offering a more intimate and one-off style that's personal, as an alternative to the high-fashion designer private collection for mass retailer du jour.

[$140; jcrew.com

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