When I buy hats, I look closely at the workmanship. I like closely knit stitches, as they seem to wear better in the long run. I also look for yarn type, as much as I love the soft fuzzy yarns, they don't seem to hold up as well. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful Mother-in-law who crochets, but I have also bought many hats over the years. What store do I prefer to buy from?
If I am going to purchase hats, I buy them from A Chick W/Sticks. I don't say that because anybody tells me to, I just love the quality and how well the hats fit. Many of the hats I have bought from other places are way off in sizing. She is also extremely reasonable when it comes to hats and diaper cover sets. The best part of a A Chick W/Sticks is that she is crocheting to raise money for good causes. I love knowing that that the money is going to good cause when I buy.
One of my favorite things to do is buy hats in a gender neutral color and then add a colorful flower to the hat when photographing a little girl.