Best custom hats for cheap (2008)

Village Scandal Hats

I first discovered tiny, utterly adorable Village Scandal Hats just before a late-summer thunderstorm broke, on my way across town to a silly art opening. I was also sadly underdressed for what was likely to be a tony event, so I was hoping to find something that would not only 1) keep my head dry in the ensuing downpour, but would also 2) tart me up a bit. I struck sartorial gold in the shape of a black suede driving cap, very smart in an elegant, Edwardian way—and waterproof, too—for a mere $45. Since that happy occasion, I have bought too many toppers to mention, ranging in price from a mere $15 to about 10 times that. And, in addition to the shop's ever-changing line of men's and women's hats and caps that range from the classical to the whimsical, proprietress Wendy will make any style of chapeau for you, and she can dream it up, in any fabric or material, in 48 hours or less. Prices vary according to materials and style, natch, but it'll be worth it. And there's always the shop's $5 bargain basket.


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