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765 Centre Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

617 522 5047

Tuesday to Friday 12-8pm
Saturday 11-8pm
Sunday & Monday 11-6pm



Check in to see the latest from salmagundi!



The Shop willl be CLOSED Friday the 4th of July! 

Come see us in store until 8pm tonight for all your
Independence Day Shindig Styling Needs!  



It's a Hat, Stupid.

By James Stanfill

When Gary Drinkwater walked into the store, smiled, and handed us a thin bamboo tube, we had no idea we were about to become part of a story that was equal parts Tuesdays with Morrie and Romancing the Stone. Gary Drinkwater, the owner of a stylishly curated gentleman's shop (click for link) in Porter Square, saw our curious looks and quipped, “It’s a hat, stupid.” A masterful understatement. Out of the tube came one of the finest woven parasisal hat bodies we’ve ever seen as well as the story of an amazing man, John Hardy.

As a member of the greatest generation, John lived an astounding life. He left his schooling at Harvard to join the Navy during World War II and served for four years. When he returned home, he finished his degree, earned a master’s in education from Boston University, and taught history in his hometown, Medford. Leave it to a man who made history to teach it. His time traveling the world was not finished, though, and he continued to explore, befriending interesting people and gathering more stories. John met Gary Drinkwater at a gentlemen’s shop, and while their love of style led the way, their conversations would cover everything from history to politics to fashion.  As John grew older, Gary would spend every Tuesday with him, taking him shopping, visiting the doctor, or just swapping stories in front of the television. Ever the history teacher, John would entertain by sharing little known gobbets of history from his learning or his life.  In September of 2013, John passed away at the age of 91, but before he died, he handed Gary Drinkwater an old bamboo tube with the name Joseph McCarthy inscribed on it. John had inherited the hat body from his friend Joseph, and it was time to pass it on again. When Gary asked what it was, John replied with characteristic wit, “It’s a hat, stupid.”

It is rare that a hat can hold a story as fascinating as the person who owned it. Like the American handshake to seal a business deal, bamboo tubes containing hat bodies were given away as a ceremonial part of land deals. We estimate the hat to about 80 years old because of the fineness of the weave, the bamboo tube, and the information we have about the hat’s previous owners. In order to transform this vintage hat body, we did everything by hand.  Hand blocking is generally long a three-step process, but because we were working with such a one-of-a-kind piece of history, the initial blocking alone took two and a half times as long:  

Before we could begin shaping the hat, we conditioned the body
in order to make the straw suppler for blocking!






First we string blocked the body to an open crown, giving it the recognizable hat-shape.  
Second, we blocked the crown into a teardrop shape.

Third, we cut, wired, and welted the brim before flanging and binding the edge. With the hat basically created, all that was left were the finishing touches and the final fitting. In a lot of hats that are made nowadays, the sweatband will be machine sewn, but we decided to hand sew the sweatband because we were worried the machine would compromise the straw. Then, we trimmed the hat with a grosgrain ribbon that Gary had chosen earlier. When Gary entered the shop, we showed him the hat, and made sure that hat fit his head, face, and style. After some consultation, we reblocked the crown to a 1930s diamond crown to suit his proportions better.

Here you can see Gary, beaming in his newly blocked hat!




Cloche Call!

LOADS of SALMAGUNDI Cloches just arrived!
Aurelia features her trio of colors here: a Vision in Raffia and Knotted Cotton!
see her in our online shop HERE 

Tula! Crochet Seagrass Cloche for casual comfort:
Multicolor Grosgrain Looped Trim with Faux Tortoise Buckle for styling ease
Dress up your Denim and compliment all your Sundresses with this gal!
see her in our online shop HERE
Sadie: a charming Twisted Toyo Profile Cloche lavished
in rumples of wide Grosgrain Trim and Antiqued Buttons!
available as shown in Ivory, and also in Grey...
see her in our online shop HERE
meet Fern: a Seagrass Sweetheart with Coy Gingham Check Trim!
available with Black or Red Trim...decisions, decisions.....
see her in our online shop HERE
and Plume, a cousin to Aurelia...
Profile Cloche in Raffia with Plume Print Knot Trim in Navy 
a reminder to keep it light as a feather everyday!
see her in our online shop HERE


aw, shucks...

a Grade 3 Panama C-Crown in Oyster!
Trimmed & Bound in Grey, featuring Vom Bauer Sweat, 
Canvas Crown Tip, and Tip Sticker for comfort
Graham: an instant Classic made right here in Massachusetts!
see him in our online shop HERE


Hat Day in the Sun!

Hat Giveaway Update!
Unfortunately, our Giveaway Mens Hats were not delivered...
Gents: pick up a Hat for your Lady OR a $10 Coupon for the Shop!

read more about it HERE! 


going bananas!

nothing says Casual Cool like this Banana Leaf Braid by Tommy Bahama!


Major League

Swing Batta Batta, this Baseball Cap by Bailey is like Butta!
Pincord Look Lightweight Cotton with Oiled Leather Brim 
this ones Batting 1000 in our book!



Meet Arturo...and his Twin!

Introducing...ARTURO! a New Addition to our Panama Diamond Family: 

a Grade 3 Panama featuring a Two Tone, Contrast Brim & Crown 
1 1/2" Stingy Snap Brim and 3 1/2" Diamond Crown

Pick your Pleasure: Bleach OR Almond Brim, you can't go wrong...
ARTURO is available in both varieties! 
view him online HERE 



Treats for MOM!

Helpful Hints for Mom this Mother's Day...

Give Mom the gift of ACCESSORIES! 
Medallion Laser Cut Clutches & Light Weight Spring Scarves
say we're "Thinking of You..."
Does Momma need some GLAM?
Don't be silly, of COURSE she does!
Gardening Gal?
Help Mom stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer
in a Soft Braided Sun Hat like this one:
featuring Vinatge Inspired Sunflower Print Bow!


Calling All Casual Ladies...

We have NEW Ladies CASUAL Straw Hats!
this BEAUTY by Helen Kaminski is one of Our Finest This Season!

a Grade 8 Panama woven in Ecuador features a
Delicate weave that Lets in Light as if you were Sitting
Under a Tree on a Sunny Day...How Lovely!!

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