Kangol Celebrates 75 Years of Awesome

Basques, Berets, and Bold Beginnings

From the iconic berets of British WWII generals, to the stylish caps that crowned the Beatles, to the rise of hip hop to modern day celebrities, Kangol has remained one of the most prestigious, stylish, and finest cap companies in the world for over three-quarters of a century. On October 29, 2014 Kangol will be celebrating 75 years of quality and renown by hosting several events around the world in New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, featuring live performances, high-fashion, and lots and lots of hats.

Established officially in 1938 by Jacques Spreiregen, and initially marketed as the premier producer and distributor of the “must-have” post-war fashion item, the Basque beret. In the same year, Jacques created the name KANGOL, as a means of standing out from the competition. Though the true origin of the name isn’t confirmed, the leading theory is that the creator combined K from knitting, ANG from angora, and OL from wool. Regardless of the origin, the name served as an incredibly effective branding vehicle and helped secure Kangol’s role as the leading provider of berets worldwide; most memorably, with the British army and 1948 English Olympic team’s opening ceremony outfits.

In the glory and style of the 50′s and 60′s, Kangol hats stretched their boundaries and created some of their most iconic hats to date: the ’504′, ‘the Carricap’, and the ‘Tropic’. Pop-culture figures like the Beatles were wearing Kangol, and they made an overall expansion into the larger fashion scene. With the addition of the ‘Tropic’, Kangol successfully solved one of the largest problems of the hat and cap trade – how do you sell hats in the summer? The tropic was light, cool, and fit into just about anyone’s style of the day. This was a huge success and would further solidify Kangol as a global icon of fashion.

Golf, Princesses, and the dawn of Hip-Hop

It’s not common to find Princesses and Hip-Hop in the same sentence, but Kangol hats could be found on both. From the now famous 1983 cover of Vogue with Princess Diana proudly sporting a Kangol hat, to the hip-hop album covers and music videos of L.L. Cool J, Slick Rick, and Grand-Master Flash, the 80′s were absolutely transformative for the brand. In 1983, Kangol made a brilliant branding move and adopted the Kangaroo logo. This stemmed from the newly grown american customer base going into hat stores and asking for “kangaroo” hats.

Hipster-Hats and Secret Agent Bosses

Kangol still has a strong presence in mordern popular culture. Possibly the most well known celebrity rocking the Kangol brand now, is everyone’s favorite level 10 agent, head of S.H.I.E.L.D., snakes-on-planes hating, hollywood mega-star [Nick Fury] Samuel L Jackson. The old friend of the Avengers can be found sporting Kangol’s ‘Furgora’, the furry black beanie of legend. Let’s put it this way, if the beanie were an item in an MMORPG or dungeon crawler video game, it would be legendary, grant +all-the-money, give x10 to all stats, but would also give -10 defense to snakes (if they are on planes). It is woven from threads of awesome.

Besides the mountain of Hollywood stars, Kangol can be found down at your local whole foods on the ironically-stylish heads of Hipsters and cleverly dressed individuals alike. If you are so lucky to find you way to one of the many 75th anniversary events around the globe on October 26th, you can bet you will see all walks of life in a colorful sea of hats, both on the stage, and in the crowd.

I Can Haz Kangol?

Of course you can, but only if you say ‘plz’! Here at Levine Hats, we have been carrying Kangol since they were first available. Since we’ve been around for over a century, we have had plenty of time to curate the best Kangol products. Come check out our huge selection of amazingly priced Kangols today at levinehat.com, and you too can join the party in style on the 26th to celebrate the legacy of Kangol with the world!

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National Hat Day is January 15th

January 15th is National Hat Day!

I’ll be doing a LIVE! spot on Fox 2 News at 9am and should give some ideas to get your hat day started off right.

Celebrating in style:

We are going to build a big collage of all our customer photographs and post it on our Facebook page, so you should post your best photos on Facebook or get them to us somehow and be included.

How to send in a picture:

Let’s make this the best National Hat Day yet!

P.S. All you really need to do to celebrate is wear a hat. That’s what it’s all about.

EDIT: Here’s the link to the video.

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Promo: Review your purchase and be entered to win a gift card

We are running a promotion where you can win a $25 gift card. Just add a review for a product that you purchased, and you’ll be entered to win a $25 Levine Hat gift card. Gift cards can be used online or in the store.

Q. When is the drawing?
A. 1 month from today, Jan 24th, 2013.

Q. Do I have to be logged in?
A. Yes.

Q. I purchased as a guest, but I still want to be entered.
A. No problem. Register and login, then write your review. We’ll make sure you get entered properly.

Q. I bought the item somewhere else. Can I review it?
A. Yes, and you should! But you can’t be entered into this drawing unless you got it from us.

We’ll notify the winner by email. Good luck!

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Now offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50!

Just a quick note in case you haven’t checked out the site lately; we’re now offering FREE SHIPPING on any order over $50.

This is meant to be a permanent change, as well, it just means that we now pay your shipping charges.

We haven’t raised prices or changed carriers, and we will continue to ship just as fast as we always did, except now it’s free on orders over $50.

Thanks for being a customer!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Announcing the hat of the week!

This gallery contains 12 photos.

We are going to be running weekly specials on top selling hats, overstock items and exclusives that we have here at Levine’s. If there’s an item you’d like to see featured, leave us a comment! Hat of the week this … Continue reading

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Levine Hats at COGIC 105th Holy Convocation

We just completed working our first COGIC Booth at the COGIC 105th Holy Convocation at America’s Center, here in St. Louis.

We decided to setup a dual booth at COGIC because our customers had mentioned that over 50,000 potential hat wearers from the community assemble there and suggested we reach out to them.

If you had a chance to stop by, it was great seeing you!  We’re planning on setting up booths at similar events in the near future (perhaps even venturing outside of St. Louis and to other places around the midwest), and we’re registering to return for the COGIC 106th Holy Convocation next year!

Overall, it was a great experience and a tremendous success for the company.

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Like Hell It’s Yours

If you want your initials monogrammed in Gold Leaf on the inside of your hat, just ask! It’s a free service.

A couple notes:

This only works on hats with leather sweat bands
Most fur felt and straw hats have a leather sweat band on the inside, but some hats do not (they may have fabric bands).  If you’re not sure whether your hat has a leather sweat band, just ask us.
Only do this if you are certain of your hat size
Once your initials are stamped, in order to return it to stock we would need to replace the leather sweat band on the inside of the hat.
Our monogramming machine supports two or three initials
If you only want two initials, the middle character will just be a diamond. The last character can also be a JR or SR, so check out these examples.

Lance gets L S L
Edward gets E ♦ L (no middle initial)
Pete gets J P SR

You can come into the store and we’ll stamp your hat, or you can make a request in the comments when you place your order.

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Top 10 Reasons to Shop at Levine Hats

Forgive us for tooting our own horn here, but there are at least 10 obvious reasons why Levine’s is everybody’s favorite place to shop for hats. Add your reasons to the list in the comments!

Top 10 Reasons to Shop at Levine Hats and online at www.levinehat.com.

Lowest prices on hats
If you find a hat somewhere else with a lower price, we’ll match it.
Hats on racks, not in stacks
Hat brims flatten out if flat for too long, and stacking hats crushes them so they lose their block.
Honest hat advice
Our staff are hat wearers and fashionable ladies and gents. Our salespeople aren’t commissioned, and will give you their best advice.
We do custom hat work!
If you can dream it, we can do it! Common requests:

  • Tack on (sew-on) vintage or specialty hat bands
  • Cut down hat brim
  • Change the block (add, remove or deepen pinches or crease)
  • Add more curl to the hat brim
  • Put a binding around the hat brim.
Come back to us for any hat maintenance
We can usually make your hats look like new even if you get a lot of wear out of them. Steaming your hat will loosen the fur and make it more pliable, so we block it back into the shape you request. If the brim is out of shape, we have the machinery (called “flanges”) to restore the brim to its former glory.
Any hat amenities included
Feathers, pins, gold initials, hat boxes are all included with any regular price fur felt or straw hats.
Same-day shipping
Shipments placed Monday through Friday leave same-day if you order before noon (CST).
Exact hat sizing
Your hats are measured using a special hat sizing device before they leave the store. This way, you’ll get the size you order even if a manufacturer’s hats are not running true-to-size.  See this hat sizing chart.
No questions asked returns
You can return anything you order online within 30 days. Just send it back to us. No questions asked.
Levine’s is the most fun
We enjoy what we do here, and it shows.
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10 things to do with your hat (other than wearing it)

True stories:

1. Paperweight

2. Eye Mask / Sleep Mask

3. Lottery enabler

4. Weapon (may require modification)

5. Book stand

6. Container
The old story goes: One morning when stuck in traffic, a Levine Hat worker simply could not hold it anymore.  With no other options (and apparently no soda bottles) he did the only thing he could, and urinated into his hat.  After arriving at work, he scrubbed it and steamed it back into shape and set it in the back room to dry.  A few hours later what does he see?  Somebody is wearing his hat!  Apparently, another employee had unwittingly sold it.  This was many years ago, but if you think you’re the lucky customer, next round’s on us!

7. Secret Hiding place
Slip an important business card into your sweat band.  A personal favorite is to keep a comb tucked in this spot to always have one handy.  Underneath the lining can be another excellent hiding spot, but may require re-sewing.

8. Badge
Just slide credentials into the band (at the airport, for example).

9. Gasket cap
Fur felt material found in winter hats is an ideal felt construction for some automotive purposes.  We have a customer who repurposes fur felt hat bodies  as auto parts in the old Ferraris he rebuilds.

10. Catcher’s mitt
At the ballgame, when you might not have your glove.

Please suggest more odd and humorous uses in the comments!

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We have a new look!

Product page view
We recently launched a new version of the website.  Here’s a list of what changed:

Big changes we made to category/brands pages:

  • Grid view with 4 columns
  • Color swatches
  • Click color swatch to change image
  • Filter products shown by selecting dropdowns for “Color”, “Size”, “Manufacturer”
  • Remove left column
  • Remove compare and wishlist links
  • View 40 or 80 products and remember your preference
  • Speed improvements

Major changes to product pages:

  • Color swatches
  • Click color swatch to change product image
  • Hover over image shows large product detail
  • Product Info Tabs
  • Brand profiles and manufacturer information
  • Remove compare and wishlist links

Changes to general style:

  • Shopping cart detail on hover display
  • Styled footer menus
  • Faster and more efficient on all pages

In order to focus on the things our customers really want and need, we have hidden a few of our lesser used features: product alerts, product compare and customer wishlists are all much less prominent because shoppers rarely used them.

If you have any suggestions or comments, you can leave a comment here or send us an email.

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