In sun-drenched LA, wearing a hat is usually always a good idea — at least until the weather has a change of heart or sundown rolls around, rendering your chic chapeau useless. It's the kind of sitch we're surprised hasn't already been solved — until now. Seeking a non-boring solution to that conundrum, LA celebrity stylist Lindsay Albanese created Toptote, a genius bag accessory that takes the annoyance out of porting your hat around — and it'll cost you less than $50.
Rather than sprinting back to your car or tucking your topper under your armpit (eeew), simply put your hat into Toptote's magnetic clip and get on with your fuss-free day. It's essentially a luxe keychain with a spring-loaded closure and can be attached to any bag, suitcase, or belt loop, and any where else. Made from Italian leather, the accessory comes in four styles (including a luggage tag) and is available in a variety of colorways and hardware options.
It was deep into her career as a celebrity fashion stylist seven years ago when Albanese dreamed up the concept for Toptote. (She previously styled for shows like Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight and has dressed a range of names from Paula Abdul to Kathy Griffin to the cast of Pretty Little Liars).
"At that time I had a thriving career as a stylist and I knew it wasn't the right time to dive into inventing and developing the product so I kind of kept it in my back pocket, so to speak, and knew I would circle back when I felt the time was right," says Albanese. "Between that career and my own personal travels I was so annoyed with the hat wearing situation — you either have to commit to wearing it all day or carry it in your hand when you are sick of wearing it."
The LA-based fashion expert decided to pursue her idea two years ago and launched her brand at the end of last year; her accessories also landed on the shelves of Nordstrom a few weekse ago and is now shoppable at the luxe department store's online and IRL shelves (find it in the travel accessories corner).
We recently caught up with the LA-based stylist-turned-entrepreneur to find out more about her favorite hat brands and whose topper style she loves the most — read on below, then shop Toptote online here and at Nordstrom here.
How did your partnership with Nordstrom come about?
Months before Toptote even hit the market we already had our conversations going with Nordstrom — before I even had a website or anything. They loved the idea that much.
Since sunny LA is the epitome of topper weather, what are a few of your favorite hat brands?
Hands-down my two favorite hat brands are Lack of Color and Janessa Leoné. I feel like they both offer cool and contemporary styles at two very drastic price points. Gladys Tamez is also a millinery genius.
Who are some of your favorite famous hat wearers?
I always appreciate Lady Gaga going for it with a good hat moment. There's also Johnny Depp, Meghan Markle, and Beyoncé. The goal is to get Toptote to all of them!