Hawke's Bay needs a bit more of a hatmosphere ... and Hatman is here to save us.

Simon Smuts-Kennedy, owner of Hills Hats in Petone, has been on a very, very, visible scoping mission in the region over the past few days.

He's been looking for stylish inspiration in a region of people that he believes need a bit more between their ears.

"It's not just Hawke's Bay that has this problem," he said.


"I meet a lot of people who will see a hat they like, it doesn't suit them so then they instantly give up. People also seem to think hats are for certain occasions and won't wear them all the time.

"I've met people who had never worn a hat in their lives and once they found the right one, they now pick their outfit specifically to match the hat.

"There's no wrong time to ever wear one."

Smuts-Kennedy, whose style has been rocked by Lady Gaga, on Tuesday and Wednesday visited his Hawke's Bay retailers such as Thomson's Suits , Chris Wiig and the Art Deco Store.

He also trawled through a few boutique shops in Havelock North and Napier to see what the region's hat game was like.

Hatman said he often visited the region for Art Deco, but also does a something a little special for the boaters in the region.

"We bring in hand-woven straw from Ecuador to make a true New Zealand panama."

Smuts-Kennedy said a cheap hat with cheap material was a waste on a face.


"Fifteen years ago people didn't mind buying a shirt and wearing it for a couple of outings and it deteriorated because it was cheap.

"But it's now getting to a point where it's fashionable to wear a shirt for a long period of time because it shows the clothing's quality, it's much the same with our hats."