One hundred and ten years ago, a semi-professional baseball player and part-time railroad engineer named George “Stormy” Kromer got sick and tired of losing his hat when he stuck his head out his locomotive’s window. He asked his wife Ida, an expert seamstress, to make him a hat with a ball cap’s bill, a flap to keep his ears warm, and something – anything – to make sure it didn’t get blown away. Ida went to work and the Stormy Kromer Cap was born. It wasn’t long before Michigan’s railroad engineers and barnstormers were sporting Ida-made hats secured by tight two-inch thick fabric strips and bragging about them to lumberjacks and hunters. Stormy Kromers have been a North Woods style staple ever since.
Still based in the blue-collar town of Ironwood, the Stormy Kromer company has changed little in the last century, which is all the more reason to buy their carefully constructed goods. The highlight of the line is the Original Benchwarmers series, which offers NFL fans a chance to support their team by wearing their colors (the blue and red hats work for fans of the Patriots, Bills, Texans, and Giants). The green and gold Stormy benchwarmer is a mainstay at Packers games – and with good reason. The low-key hat looks sensible in both the bleachers and the boxes and, despite being made for December, is light enough to wear all season long.
And the wind will never blow it away. [$50; StormyKromer.com]