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Fashion Stores

Goorin Bros.

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on May 30, 2012

Goorin Bros TorontoGoorin Bros. is not your typical downtown hat store. For one, none of its pieces come with stickers on the brim, nor it is not recommended that you keep tags on after purchase. That's a healthy start, now isn't it?

Indeed, this is not a place of team logos or snapbacks, but a shop with a rich history that dates back more than 100 years. Started by craftsman Cassel Goorin in 1895, the business migrated from Pittsburgh to San Francisco in 1949 under his sons' ownership, and has since opened more than 20 stores across the United States.

Goorin BrosAbout two years ago, Goorin Bros. made its Canadian debut on the streets of Vancouver, and now it is Toronto's turn. On Queen West just east of Spadina, Goorin Bros. has doused its shop in nostalgia with reclaimed wood floors, hanging lamps made from vintage gramophones, and other little trinkets of times past. But it's the hats, surely, that emit the strongest vintage vibe.

Goorin BrosFirst there's the Heritage line, which manager Jen tells me are cut by hand using the original 1920's hat blocks. These are primarily your classic leather and wool fedoras and cloches, including the short-brimmed wool "Smitty" for men in charcoal ($120) and refined "Blueberry Hill" for women in violet blue ($150). While all of the hats can be purchased as is, you can customize your piece with individual feathers ($3), and one-of-a-kind sterling silver pins ($51) that are sourced from an independent collector in the States.

Goorin Bros"This line is made in the U.S.," Jen says, referring to the Heritage hats. "But these," she says, walking over to the shelves of Panama pieces, "these are all hand-woven in Ecuador."

Goorin BrosJen tells me that Goorin Bros.' owner (Cassel Goorin's great-grandson) travels to any factory where production is outsourced. "Just to make sure it adheres to our values," she says. The Panama line seems perfect for summer, with a Kentucky Derby-inspired straw hat with an oversized rim and band steals the spotlight ($160).

Goorin BrosIn terms of contemporary streetwear styles, Goorin keeps up with its XO caps designed by artist Victor Reyes, and its Animal Farm snapback trucker hats with rooster, beaver, and cat patches on the front. Jen says most styles with stick in store for the summer before switching over to more cooler-weather options for the fall.

Goorin BrosThe coveted Goorin Bros. hat boxes do come at a price — about $18 for the nude boxes and $12 for black, though Jen says stretching and steaming will be offered for free.

Goorin Bros"If you got an old hat from your grandfather or something — even if it's not ours — we'll try to stretch and out and make it work," she says. "If we can rescue it, we will."

And if not, Goorin Bros. has more than enough new options that will give you that same feel. And no stickers on the rim.

Goorin BrosGoorin BrosGoorin BrosPhotos by Jesse Milns



Shane / May 30, 2012 at 02:40 pm
I, the time travelling victorian lady, love a woman in a hat. There are very few things more elegant than a fine hat upon the head of a lady.

Nonsense replying to a comment from Shane / May 30, 2012 at 02:49 pm
Fine set of titties sticking out a lady's top is another that comes to mind. I so want a hat with "COCK" written across it like the one pictured above!
Jmons / May 30, 2012 at 06:59 pm
Any of those hats made in Canada?
K. / May 30, 2012 at 10:50 pm
While I am sure that these are fine hats, comparable styles of hats can be found in Kensington for about $15. Which is less than the price of the box that these guys sell.
handfed replying to a comment from K. / May 31, 2012 at 01:39 pm
Yea, and the smaller the price, the smaller are the fingers that made it!
GranVizeer / May 31, 2012 at 04:34 pm
COCK, the prime cap for urban redneck wannabees stumbling down Queen Street after the bars close. Charge these rubes twice the price, proprietor.
sam / June 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm
I am a hat guy. Get past the convincing set dressing and the charismatic sales staff (who didn't know a hat from a hamburger six weeks ago). Smoke and mirrors cannot disguise the fact that most Goorin hats are stamped out in China, unpacked in the back of the store and are of disposable mediocre quality.
sam replying to a comment from Jmons / June 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm
China, like everything else.
DAVID / May 15, 2014 at 05:21 pm
Im with Sam....wife and i are out in turkey and she goes 'window shopping' and comes back with a hat.... a Goorin hat supposedly ....which she paid $50 for.....made from paper....made in china.....if Goorin have hats made in China they may as well be knock offs...poor quality

tho it looks nice on her she could of had a much better paper hat....but i carried on folding and made a boat

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