Hollywood Hatters

Best Summer Hats, July 2004

Sunblock may be noble, but when the occasion calls for a little Sophia Loren charm, no amount of SPF can compare to the shady charisma of a bonnet. With its overstocked hallway of floppy linen caps and canvas bucket styles, Fred Segal Hats in Santa Monica is a dependable source of happening chapeaus, but for the most comprehensive collection Los Angeles has to offer, Hollywood Hatters gets our vote. Sal Rovero opened the unpretentious shop along Melrose two years ago. “I first started selling to the Sunday-church and Saturday-synagogue crowd because there was a need for fancy dress hats,” Rovero says. Since then he’s provided head coverage for the tours of Christina Aguilera, Janet Jackson, and Madonna, as well as for Steven Spielberg’s movie, The Terminal. The room is filled with teetering columns of hats to suit just about every occasion—stingy-brimmed fedoras, straw panamas, cotton newsboys, motorcycle caps, classic porkpies. “Some hats are always in fashion, and other styles come and go,” he says, “but we’ll carry them all.” In the off chance it’s not in stock, Rovero will special-order.