Paul’s Hat Works The Customizablog


If you were a Galapagos Tortoise — or, if you’re not a shell type of person, you can be a Rougheye Rockneck, but not much else in this scenario; bear with us, we need you to be older than 100 —  and you stopped paying attention to the world in 1918, then decided 2014 would be a good time to reintroduce yourself to society, your findings would be absolutely terrifying.

Cars run on electricity. IBM makes more than cash registers. Radios have pictures. Football players wear helmets. So do baseball players. Babe Ruth turned out to be a Yankee. Watches make phone calls. Phones make videos (Videos, you would need to be reminded, are similar to motion pictures). The Ottomans? Gone. Twinkies too. Yourself, the regal Galapagos Tortoise, would be on the outs too.

But grounding yourself in the pleasures of the past would be easy, because Paul’s Hat Works, around since 1918, is still making the best custom hats in San Francisco.


Started by a man most definitely not named Paul, Paul’s Hat Works specialized in Panama straw hats. The founder, whose name was Napoleon Marquez, passed the shop to his godson, who ran it for 30 years before selling it to Michael and Judy Harris.

The Harris’ owned the business until 2009, when they sold it to four ladies — Abbie Dwelle, Wendy Hawkins, Olivia Griffin and Kirsten Hove — who then apprenticed under the former owners to ensure quality continuity.

Translation of two presumably boring contextual paragraphs: The crew at Paul’s Hat Works is using centuries of hat-making knowledge to construct the best Panama and Beaver-Pelt hats around.

The Downtown hat is what we over at Modify assume inspired not only the character of Sam Spade, but Dashiell Hammet’s entire The Maltese Falcon. The Fillmore is more responsible for Al Capone’s downfall than Elliot Ness.

The Howard Driving Cap? Rumored to be the inspiration behind Citizen Kane.

But it’s not all about the pre-made staples: Paul’s specializes in custom hats.

Feel like getting a little Humphrey Bogart-ish? Go ahead. Want to unleash that inner Brando? Paul’s has got you covered.

It’s easy, and it’s awesome. Take it from us: If you are ever an appointment away from Bogart, you take the appointment.

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