The Beatles Beach Hat | Beatles Memorabilia
Now Beatles fans could "follow the sun" in a stylish protective fashion! It was likely a scientific fact that the sun shone more brightly on Beatles fans at the beach, and what type of headgear could they trust? Well, The Beatles Beach Hat, of course!
Manufactured in the U.S., the beach hat (or "sports hat" in some advertisements) was available in red and white, black and white, or blue and white fabric. Pressed onto the white space of the cap were graphics with Beatles faces and facsimile autographs in black ink. When fanned out, the hat was 9" in diameter.
The advertisement for the hat lured the consumer with enticing language: "Cotton Twill Stitched Brim Hat with The Beatles Flocking. Blue and white and red and white. One size fits all. Hurry! 99¢. Be In Rhythm with 'em!"
The label inside the beach hat contained the logo of the United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers International Union (Union Made). It also had a tag that said: "Made in U.S.A."
The hat first came out of England in black, then headed across the waters to the U.S. with the additional red and blue colors to the inventory for the American market.
Puritan Fashions had the license from NEMS to produce the beach hats via the U.K. company Kangol and U.S. solicitor/middleman Budd Hellawell. Many of the early Sixties ads for Puritan products included their sweatshirts, shirts, and beach hats grouped.
An interesting side note: Kangol Wear in the U.K. talked via phone on February 10, 1964 (the day after the first Ed Sullivan appearance), to Puritan representative Bud Hellawell. It granted Puritan a sublicense to manufacture and distribute "hats" in the United States. During that phone call, Kangol reminded him that he owed them $1000 as a "down payment" for the license.