Hat Shopping in Wichita’s Delano Neighborhood
I like to think that I have a good head of hair. That also means that I prefer not to wear hats, but one of my favorite shops in Wichita has always been Hatman Jack’s in the heart of the Delano Neighborhood.
The building isn’t much on the outside, but the moment I stepped inside I could hear the steam from the backroom as the hatter himself, Jack Kellogg, was making sure one of his customers had some “attitude.”
Jack is well known in the Wichita community. He’s owned his hat shop for 38 years and has produced hats for films such as The Quick and the Dead and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. His clients have included Mickey Mantle and Luciano Pavarotti. For me, Jack is the guy who helped me in my first assignment in Journalism School.
I remember walking into his store as a 19-year-old kid and asking him if I could write a series of articles on his shop. I believe Jack said, “Let me think about it,” but ultimately he agreed and let me hang around for a few days. Eight years later, Jack still has that helpful spirit. He invited me into the backroom to watch him work and made sure I got some great shots for my first vlog.
I asked him what people should do if they’re trying to find a hat. Jack says it’s all about capturing personality.
“Hats are the one thing that people can wear that says the most about them,” Jack told me. “It’s the most obvious accessory you can wear. If it’s right, it can be great, and if it’s wrong, it can be the biggest eyesore ever.”
As for me, I walked out of the store without a hat that day. I don’t think it’s going to be good for my budget before I head to Central America, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t go the store again. I’m sure I’ll find a reason to buy a hat that makes a statement about me.