Top it Off at The Berkeley Hat Company

There are few things as quintessentially Berkeley as a store like the Berkeley Hat Company. Located at 2510 Telegraph Avenue (at Dwight Way) just south of UC campus, the shop has been a Berkeley institution for over thirty four years. If you don’t know about it, you just might happen upon it by accident, as I once did when I first moved into the neighborhood years ago. With a welcoming entrance, step into the wonderful world of hats and accessories to top things off with stylish flair, practicality or maybe even a bit of humor. With everything under the sun, and for the sun for that matter, you’ll find something for your next elegant evening out, picnic, daily wear or whatever. Toppers for church ladies, masquerades, jogging and sports, winter chill, urban chic, daily noggin coverage, it’s all here. Heck, Dr. Seuss would be at home here, too.

Situated right on the curve of Telegraph and Dwight Way, their door is always open with helpful assistance for finding just what you’re looking for. It’s also one of those spontaneous Saturday afternoon wander-in places when you’re out with friends or a new romantic interest. With an abundant selection of every kind of topper under the sun, rain or any kind of weather, there’s something for everyone.

Need a hat to complete a masquerade costume? Looking for something unique for Burning Man? Or maybe something big and flamboyant for a Kentucky Derby party, a fascinator for a friend’s wedding, a cozy wool cap, a classic Fedora or a Tilly for your next camping trip. Berkeley Hat has Panamas and berets, church hats, top hats and pill boxes, too. It’s all here.

Upon entering the shop, one gets a sense that this place has been here for a long time. It’s compact and filled to the brim; colorful, festive and very lived-in. Just like your next chapeau might become, you could say. An hour spent in Berkeley Hat feels a bit like raiding your Great Auntie’s attic or the wardrobe room of an old theater company. In addition to hats, you’ll find masks and gloves, wigs, goggles and glasses and other sundry accouterments to round things out. You can also find basics like visors and baseball caps, Kangol hats and other urban streetwear.

Stop in to have a chat with the friendly staff and try a few on. It’s a great little shop with tons of variety to put the lid on it without breaking the bank. Visit the website for more info or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Open Monday-Thursday 10:30-6:00, Friday-Saturday 10:30-6:30 and Sunday 12:00-5:30


*all photos courtesy of Berkeley Hat Company*

Mary Corbin

Mary Corbin

Mary Corbin is a writer and artist who has lived in Berkeley for 32 years. She is always amazed with finding something new around the next corner while out on a walk, biking in the hills, or chatting with locals about food or fun events around town. Visit her cycling blog at and drop her a line. And view her work as an artist at
Mary Corbin