Add to Cart is Vanmag's weekly style column, in which assistant editor Alyssa Hirose offers honest takes on current trends, local designs, and whatever new clothes/jewellery/shoes she's talking herself into (or out of) buying.

COVID-19 completely aside, my dad has always been obsessed with PPE. Not for protection from illness, but from sunshine: the man loves his polarized sunglasses, SPF 50 sunscreen, 100% UV shirts and most of all, hats. He also loves lying in the sun for hours on end, so it’s good he’s taking necessary precautions.

dad at airport

One of my dad's most iconic looks: airport chic. Here, you see him wearing my sister's sun hat, which he demanded she bring but she refused to carry. Hirose archives circa 2013.

What’s less admirable is when you’re 16 and have put the perfect (hat-less) summer outfit together and he won’t let you leave the house without a baseball cap. And then strangers think it’s cool to bring up the hat like you’re a diehard baseball fan who goes to games for reasons beyond garlic fries.

I’ve never been much of a hat person. I have been wearing adult-size glasses since the fourth grade (the same time I got a mouthful of braces, thanks life!) and have trouble finding hats that fit my gigantic head. Deep hats with adjustable straps are the only way to go for me. 

So we’ve got three boxes to tick: Dad Approved, Actually Fits, and Not Ugly or In Support of a Sports Team I Cannot Hold a Conversation About. My big head is not so good with sports knowledge, but let me know if you want Shrek (2001) recited word-for-word.

add to cart wirth hatsWIRTH's All the Sage Cap

WIRTH Hats has read my mind in the dad department. Their summer-camp-cool, classic style is called the Dad Hat, nicknamed for the curved brim many dads sport on family vacations. They’re also unisex (read: adjustable), effortlessly trendy and made in Vancouver. But the biggest draw is this: when the aforementioned stranger tries to make conversation about the logo, you can tell them that WIRTH Hats are about providing mental health support for folks in need. The purchase of each hat goes towards free counselling sessions for those who would otherwise be unable to afford them. 

add to cart wirth hatsWIRTH's Espresso Cap

Founder Ben Miller tells the story of WIRTH Hats best, and it’s on their website here. Miller’s friend Jakob Wirth died by suicide in 2014, and the hats—and the life-changing counselling sessions they support—are in his honour. They have a page of mental health resources on their site, and are offering free shipping on orders over $150 in May to commemorate Mental Health Month. When you buy, you can opt for one hat ($55-$65) or their 1-for-1 program, which means the purchase of your hat will pay for an entire counselling session.

add to cart wirth hatsWIRTH's Bee Mine Cap

These hats make your head look good, and support the heads of others—it’s hard to find a better deal than that. A real standout for me is the Bee Mine Cap, a yellow number that really embraces the sunshine (while still protecting you—don’t worry, Dad).

The Look: WIRTH Hats' Bee Mine Cap
The Price: $55
Where to Find it: wirthhats.com
Where to Wear it: Changing the oil on your car, checking in on a friend, grabbing ice cream post-therapy