It’s a law of nature; gentlemen wear hats and scoundrels don’t.
Who could imagine Sherlock Holmes without his deerstalker, Napoleon’s black, felt bicorn or Dylan’s leopard skin pillbox hat.
It is a sad indication of the loss of values in contemporary society that men have forsaken hats, and women no longer wear bonnets or carry baskets.
Fortunately, not all the news is bad, for Valencia still has hat shops, where you can travel back to the good old days just by opening a door near the Central Market, and passing the threshold into paradise.
Sombreros Albero has been selling hats since 1820, in an epoch where a man would stay at home rather than face the shame of not being able to raise his hat to a lady.
Those were heady times, and things went well well into the 1980s, when they opened their second shop opposite thee station, for those who had to catch a train in a hurry, or had lost their hat on the way to Valencia by looking carelessly out of the window of the steam train.
In 2009 they went viral and opened a branch in Zaragoza, followed by a second shop in that windy city the following year.
The hats come in all styles and sizes, for men, women and children, although so far not for pets, and they remain true to their philosophy of quality and comfort at a fair price. As their catchy little slogan says: “you have your style, we have your hat”, although not in the criminal sense.
Their hats know no national barriers, specialising in models from Italy, such as those of Cappellificio Cervo S.R.L. or the German company Gottman Caps.
Their prices are reasonable, given that they want all men to be gentlemen, and you don’t have to lose your shirt to afford one.
Their Valencian shops are in Plaza del Mercado and Calle Xativa.