Handcrafted products, nicely done. This is Made By Hand, a recurring series in which we celebrate great American things and the tradesmen who create them.
Once, the hat was ubiquitous – a gentlemanly ornament found on everyone from the dapper exec to the stylish rake.
And lo, the men’s chapeau is making a big comeback on the streets of NYC. Which is why you should meet Orlando Palacios, owner and resident mad hatter at Worth & Worth, an uptown hattery that’s crafted bespoke headpieces for everyone from Bogart to Bowie.
Then, he measures your skull’s unique contours with a 150-year-old device called a conformateur, before hand-carving a custom “block” (think hat mold) from fire-hardened hickory.
Once you’ve selected a raw hat “body” of luxe fabrics like rabbit cashmere or long-haired beaver (What are you snickering at?), Palacios shapes your hat over the block – steaming and ironing by hand to give it structure and buffing the raw fabric with everything from sandpaper to sharkskin on Prohibition-era machines.
Finishing touches include hand-stitched trim and feathers. Then you join W&W’s 90-years-running legion of stylish chaps.
Feels good to be a revivalist.
What type of cats are rocking Worth & Worth? Watch their brand new video series to find out.