Billy vs Night Hawk

Battle of our Core Styles!

Billy vs Night Hawk

It’s time to talk about two staples in my personal hat wardrobe. The Night Hawk is my everyday workhorse hat. The Billy is my loud wide-brim fashion piece. The link between these two hats is that I find their colorways (solid-colored bodies on both) to be easily wearable with a lot of versatility. The difference between the two is how LOUD a statement they make, not in color, but in shape. Whereas the Night Hawk is a relatively modest 2 ¾ inch mid-with brim with a low profile crown, the Billy stretches it’s 3-inch-wide flat brim wings out like a jumbo jet. It commands a presence. Add in the 4.5 inch tall crown and it’s completely the opposite of modesty. At the end of the day, these two are competing for my head’s attention before I walk out of my home, and it’s often a harder decision than you think.

Here’s three different outfits, each with Billy or Night Hawk. I give my preference below each one, but, before you read, what hat do you prefer? 

Let’s start with an outfit composed of similar tones to the hats themselves. Here I’m wearing a heather grey button down grounded by black on the lower half. Matching your hat color to your outfit color is something a lot of people obsess about and then make the mistake of forgetting about CONTRAST. It’s okay to wear the same color hat as the rest of your outfit but you want your hat to either be darker in color tone to your fit, or lighter in tone. On this one in particular, you can see how close in tone the Billy is to my shirt, so I’d personally go with the Night Hawk, which is clearly dark and blends the shirt and jeans in color. 

In this fit, we’re keeping it with neutrals and whites- there’s nothing about this fit that would ‘typically’ pair with greys (except maybe the faded denim). It would be easy to go with a brown or whiskey colored hat here. The reason these both work however, if because the dominant piece in this fit- the linen trench- is balanced out by the drama of both hats. The proportion of the fit here is best balanced by Billy- a wider brim always looks good with more length, but I think I might go with Night Hawk as the dark grey color helps compose the fit with the denim and neatly tie everything together. Your fits should always be easy on the eyes.


Lastly, I wanted to do a streetwear look as it’s common for a lot of guys to rock fedoras with nothing more than a nice tee, some jeans and fresh kicks. Here we’ve gone the opposite direction from the previous fit- there is no length or long proportion, so in a lot of ways, the hat (and the graphic tee) are the star of the show. In this instance, I think the bolder the better, and I’d go with Billy. Slim proportions topped off by a wide brim just kind of works here- I particularly like the black trim on this Billy tying in with sneakers.

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