View Full Version : What size brim do you prefer

Mr Maltby
12-18-2006, 05:34 PM
I was going to make this a poll but screwed it up. Anyway, what size brim do you chaps sports??

12-18-2006, 05:48 PM
I sport everything between 1-3/4 to 3 inches.
I look best in about 2 and a quarter- 2 and a half.

K.D. Lightner
12-18-2006, 05:53 PM
I have a heavy face, am overweight, and so look best in a 2 1/2 inch to 3 inch brim and a not too high hat, no taper.


The Wingnut
12-18-2006, 05:59 PM
2 3/8" - 2 1/2" Looks best on me. Any bigger and the hat wears me. Any smaller, and my ears (since they stick out a bit) look huge.

12-18-2006, 06:01 PM
.. a 2 3\4' and no more than 3'..

Mr Maltby
12-18-2006, 06:17 PM
im a 1 1/2 inch man, myself. I like em stingy!

12-18-2006, 06:31 PM
2 1/2 to 2 7/8 Look the best on me.

12-18-2006, 06:59 PM
Sometimes I still get in the mood for a 2-inch brim, but overall I seem to favor a 2 1/2 to 2 5/8 inch brim.

12-18-2006, 07:12 PM
Just a bit over 2 1/2.

12-18-2006, 07:24 PM
The hat in my avatar is 2 3/4" front and back, and 2 1/2" on the sides. The 2 1/2" is a bare minimum for me, and I think I do better with 2 3/4" - 3". I'm having a "Howard Hughes" beaver hat made for me with a 3" bound brim right now. Should have it within a couple of weeks or so.

12-18-2006, 07:41 PM
2" with a shorter crown up to 2 1/2" with a taller crown suits me.

12-18-2006, 07:42 PM
2 1/2 is about min. 2 3/4 is best although, I have a Itialian job at 3" I REALLY LIKE.
Nothing under 2 1/4
However, I think hat size plays into this
62 cm

12-18-2006, 07:48 PM
2 1/2" minimum.


12-19-2006, 10:26 AM
I have to do the larger brims - 2 1/2" to 3" because of my round ol' noggin.

12-19-2006, 10:33 AM
2 3/4 to 3, Have a couple of nice westerns at 3 3/4

12-19-2006, 10:37 AM
I think 2-5/8 is best for me, although 2-1/2 is not bad.

12-19-2006, 11:38 AM
I used to think that nothing narrower than 2 and 1/2 inches would work for me, but then I came across a very clean light blue 1957-vintage Stetson Ambassador with a Mode Edge brim that measures only 2 and 3/8s, and it's now among my faves. So it kinda depends on some other factors, I suppose, such as crown height and shape and color. Still, I've yet to find a truly narrow brim (2 inches and under, say) that looks right on me. I've passed along some quite nice old stingy brims, not because they weren't nice lids or that I wasn't happy to have them in my collection, but because I never wore 'em.

Baron Kurtz
12-19-2006, 11:46 AM
thin face, thin shoulders. 2 1/4" to 2 1/2" is best. I can wear wider brims (in fact need to) if i have on a jacket with wide (18") shoulders.


12-19-2006, 12:45 PM
Most of mine seem to be in the 2" range, to about 2?" on my Panama, iIrc. I go by the overall look.

12-19-2006, 12:58 PM
3" absolute minimum and prefer a 4". Will take up to a 5". But I wear western hats mostly.

12-19-2006, 01:06 PM
1 7/8" is my widest, and I definitely consider those my formal hats. Everyday hats range from 1" to 1 3/4", with my preference for 1 3/8" above all, though if I'm going extra stingy, my 1" brim is hard to beat.

12-19-2006, 01:07 PM
1 7/8" is my widest, and I definitely consider those my formal hats. Everyday hats range from 1" to 1 3/4", with my preference for 1 3/8" above all, though if I'm going extra stingy, my 1" brim is hard to beat.
As if we even had to ask.....;) ;) lol

12-19-2006, 01:19 PM
As if we even had to ask.....;) ;) lol

Tommy, you were reading my mind.:D

......and Adam, you pull off the "look" in grand form!

12-19-2006, 01:20 PM
2"->2 1/2"


12-19-2006, 01:21 PM
Originally Posted by RedPop4
As if we even had to ask.....

Tommy, you were reading my mind.

Indeed I was.

Rick Blaine
12-19-2006, 01:27 PM
:eek: http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g222/Greghats/BrimPlus.jpg:eek:

12-19-2006, 01:56 PM
I'm getting queasy just looking at that.

Anything over 2 1/2" is asking for trouble, especially with most modern hats that taper so much in the crown. With a 7 5/8 knob, and with my brows and jowls, the combination makes me look faintly comical.


12-19-2006, 01:58 PM
I have as small as 2" but average around 2.5 to 2 5/8 except for my panamas which are a minimum of 3 inches. But that seven inch brim is something else. Just not sure what that is.lol

Aaron Hats
12-19-2006, 04:04 PM
For dress it's usually 2 1/4" to 2 1/2" max. For westerns 3 1/2" to 4".

12-19-2006, 04:09 PM
For dress it's usually 2 1/4" to 2 1/2" max. http://static.flickr.com/135/327587269_ac63e7f7a8_m.jpg
duuuh...but what if ya name ain't Max???

Aaron Hats
12-19-2006, 04:42 PM
duuuh...but what if ya name ain't Max???

Surely, it would be no wider then 2" then...and don't call me Shirley.

12-19-2006, 05:29 PM
:eek: http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g222/Greghats/BrimPlus.jpg:eek:

Now we are talking. :eusa_clap
I'll wear 'em from 2 1/2 on up to this baby. Although today I am wearing a 2 1/4" Knox. Works ok. Just ok though. I got to the end of my rotation of hats being it is near the end of the year. [huh]



12-19-2006, 05:30 PM
I'm stayin' with 2 3/4" for all except my work hat down at the farm in Virginia - Resistol straw at 4" - gotta love the shade!

12-19-2006, 06:20 PM
Rick, that hat is neet allreet! You gotta zoot suit to go with that hat? (and maybe a pheasant feather?) lol

Tony in Tarzana
12-19-2006, 09:49 PM
Dobbs 2-1/4" brim:


Dobbs 2-3/4" brim:


That's about the range that works for me. I've sold all but two of my stingy brims.

12-19-2006, 10:52 PM
Tony, That Dobbs with the 2-3/4 brim looks fantastic on you. You could pass for an old detective.

Mr Maltby
12-19-2006, 10:57 PM
is that your car in the background?:offtopic:

12-19-2006, 11:30 PM
Tony, That Dobbs with the 2-3/4 brim looks fantastic on you. You could pass for an old detective.

Why not a young detective? :p ;)



Tony in Tarzana
12-20-2006, 12:38 AM
A young, jowly, grey-haired detective. lol

That's a 1956 Clipper, and I only wish it were mine. If I recall correctly, that was the only year that Packard spun the Clipper name off to be its own brand. It was also the last year Packards were built in the old Detroit factory.

This one is owned by the owner of the company where I work. The body is straight as a string, and the faded original two-tone turquoise paint bears no evidence of any body work or rust repair. The interior looks cherry, and the only missing part I can see is the radiator.

Parked next to the Clipper is a 1958 Packard Hawk, a Studebaker Golden Hawk with a different front clip, built at the Stude plant in South Bend Indiana, as all "Packardbakers" were from 1957-58 before the Packard name disappeared for good.

There's also a 1932 Plymouth rumble seat convertible coupe, a '57 Caddy Eldorado with the stainless steel top, and a '61 Chrysler New Yorker among others.

12-20-2006, 03:43 AM
My favorites are in the 2 1/2 inch range. http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/3448/emohattipjv1.gif

...Although today I am wearing a 2 1/4" Knox. Works ok. Just ok though. I got to the end of my rotation of hats being it is near the end of the year...


That's nuthin'! :p

I'm not even halfway through my array -- and I change 'em hourly! http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/7176/emogrinyespe7.gif

First liar never stands a chance... :D

(Come to think of it, you're probably not lying!) :eusa_doh:

12-20-2006, 04:11 AM
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 is my range. It is interesting how a few wider faced bigger guys can pull of shorter brims and alot of thinner faces guys can pull off wider brims. if you look at the pictures from the 20's to 40's many narrow faced slender men were wearing at least a 2 5/8 brim. And some picture in the late 50's and 60's showed bigger guys in stingy brims. Its all how you wear it, if its natural despite the face and brim in my opinion it will most likely work.

12-20-2006, 05:03 AM
But I go from one extreme to another:

2-5/8 Penny's Marathon yesterday.
1-1/2 Lee stingy today.

I always feel like I have antlers on my head when I wear the Marathon.

12-20-2006, 09:41 PM
Hacked it back by hand, then sanded the edge even.
Brim was 2 5/8", now 2 1/4".
Much better proportion with the crown and my mug.

Bandleader Joe Haymes (my avatar) was a good example of a small, lean-faced man who looked swell in a wide hat.

12-21-2006, 05:47 PM
(Come to think of it, you're probably not lying!) :eusa_doh:

Actually, I am not. :p
I don't even know how many I have anymore. :eek: :eusa_doh:



12-21-2006, 06:05 PM
Hacked it back by hand, then sanded the edge even.
Brim was 2 5/8", now 2 1/4".
Much better proportion with the crown and my mug.

Bandleader Joe Haymes (my avatar) was a good example of a small, lean-faced man who looked swell in a wide hat.

Please tell me you didn't do that to a Cavanagh edge Borsalino. :eek: :p



12-28-2006, 12:04 PM
My face is to thin and nose to long to go over 2 1/4". Usually use a center crease (cause of my classic roman nose), but I'm starting like how I look in a diamond crease.


06-20-2007, 11:17 AM
2 1/2 - 3"..... in a semi-formal hat for wearing with a lounge suit, anyhow. My top hats (a modern Christies of London fixed hat, and a vintage silk opera hat) are obviously narrowe than that.... My favourite hat for wear with a regular suit is a black wool Boston... TBH I'm ignorant of the difference between that and a Fedora, but the store call it a Boston. 30s style, very Indiana Jones in shape. Gorgeous thing to wear, though I must get a panama for this time of year.

I'm wearing more and more hats. Not always period hats, some are modern... well, ish - for warmth I typically wear a yachstmans-style corduroy cap, got a few of those in different colours, and I have a coule of GI boonie hats - all bought as modern, but they're really older designs, I guess. I started thinning over the top of my head at 26, got to the point about a year ago when I decided it was time to shave it all off.... I don't often leave the house without a hat now, even I don't necessarily wear it much. What this has also done is made me much fussier about wearing one that coordinates with my outfit...

06-20-2007, 12:20 PM
I have been told that my Stetson matches my face shape perfectly, so I have determined that the best brim size for me seems to be 2" flat.

06-20-2007, 12:49 PM
Typically 2 1/2 to 2 7/8 for a fedora. I have had some Akubra style hats which were 3 or a bit more and several cowboy 4 -5 that work well for me.

06-20-2007, 01:29 PM
The 2 5/8" to 3" seems to work best for me. Anything smaller seems to look odd on me.



06-20-2007, 04:22 PM
Until now it's been 2 - 2 1/4, but I'm getting braver and might try on a 2 1/2 one of these days.:)

06-20-2007, 06:34 PM
The majority of my hats have a 2 3/4" brim (all my ORs), but my work hat(western) for the farm in VA has a 4" brim.

12-19-2007, 04:30 AM
Jury's still out on this! As I have had shakes of heads and 'tut-tuts' over the 'stingey look.'

The hats (shown below) range from the stingier (grey hats) Cavanagh and Henry the Hatter Fedoras to the wider 40's Borsalino (in the cream), the 30's Barbisio (the furry grey one) and the Aviator (wide brown one). There's also the medium sized one which is the blue'ish/grey (side profile shot) Fedora.

The stingier ones all came first and the wider ones later. In the US I wore just the Aviator and it generated a lot of positive comments. But I'm still wondering for my head and face type, is the stingey or the wide brim the way to go...? (I know, every so often you hit these dilemmas in life!! ;) ).

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/th_PaddyMatt.jpg (http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/PaddyMatt.jpg)
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/th_HenrytheHatter007.jpg (http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/HenrytheHatter007.jpg)
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/th_HATEXAMP2.jpg (http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/HATEXAMP2.jpg)
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/th_HATEXAMP.jpg (http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/HATEXAMP.jpg)
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/th_Burtons1940suit003.jpg (http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/Burtons1940suit003.jpg)
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/th_Borsie1.jpg (http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/Borsie1.jpg)
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/th_Borsalino005.jpg (http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/Borsalino005.jpg)

12-19-2007, 06:45 AM
Having an average build with a large round head, I have to go with a minimum of 2.75" with a preference for 3" or even 3.25" and a lower crown. The typical low crown - wide brim Aussie look suits me best.

12-19-2007, 06:52 AM
For my part, something like the lid in my avatar. Or thereabouts seems to look best in my eyes.

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/th_HATEXAMP.jpg (http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc260/ROSSANDHARRY/HATEXAMP.jpg)

Nice collar pin! ;)

Doctor Strange
12-19-2007, 07:46 AM
2-3/4 seems about perfect on me. (E.g., the Akubra Stockman in my avatar.)

I regularly wear hats down to about 2-1/2 (Stetson Temple, actually 2-5/8 x 2-3/8) and up to 3-1/4 (Akubra Cattleman), but the ones that look best are generally 2-3/4. I find that I can't wear stingies at all. And while I do love the Cattleman for its practical shade in the summer sun, there's no getting around that it looks pretty big on me (especially here in the northeast, where big western hats are very uncommon).

12-19-2007, 08:02 AM
2 5/8" seems to be my ideal, but it can vary, depending on other factors. I don't have anything smaller than 2".

12-19-2007, 08:09 AM
2.5". A fair amount of money wasted experimenting until It got figured out though. That seems to be the only way - try 'em until it feels right.

12-19-2007, 08:10 AM
I'm looking at 2 3/4" on the Aviator hat, and although initially it felt 'big' in proportions (fits my head perfectly), I am getting used and comfortable with it 'now.' And from the PM's I've had about it regarding where it came from, there seem to be plenty of others who have taken a shine to it too.

So, I can only 'assume' that it is flattering on my noggin [huh] Which surprises me when I was attracted in the earlier days to more 50's styled mens' hats with the smaller brim. But others have said that they don't go well with my face/head type...[huh]

This is all 'useful' feedback because we don't always see 'ourselves' as we look to others. So feedback can be constructive in 'getting it right!'

12-19-2007, 08:19 AM
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 depending on the fedora. My everyday hat is really a newsboy.

Red McCutcheon
12-19-2007, 08:21 AM
I'm a bit on the lean side with a narrow face, and I currently sport a 2" brim with a center dent and high crown. The old ears poke out a bit and I fear that a larger brim might make them look like wings.


Marty M.
12-19-2007, 08:21 AM
I like 2 1/4 the best for me. My 2 3/4 that I wear looks a little like something that Sally Field from "The Flying Nun" would wear.
Marty Mathis

12-19-2007, 08:23 AM
2 1/4" - 2 3/8" seems perfect to me

speaking of sally field, my avatar is a bit "flying nun", no?

12-19-2007, 08:24 AM
I have gravitated to 2 3/4" brims, though I have two 2 1/2" (which I don't wear as much), one 2 5/8" and one three inch brim.

K.D. Lightner
12-19-2007, 08:25 AM
Paddy -- I am looking at the photos you posted and I think you look good in all sorts of brim sizes and shapes. Lucky you, some of us are more limited by our head shapes or weight.

My absolute favorite on you is the light colored fedora in the second to the last photo (I think it must be the cream Borsolino). That hat makes you look like an adventurer and a gentleman. Which, of course, you are.


12-19-2007, 08:36 AM
2 3/4 to 3

12-19-2007, 08:38 AM
Believe it or not, I was considering bringing 'that' hat on the US expedition, but pulled it on the 11th hour, because I didn't think it would stick the punishment I knew it would get on the travels.
With it being 'vintage' I just couldn't risk it and I had to limit myself to just 'one' hat (on pure practicalities of moving around).

So I decided to opt for and 'road test' the Aviator which took a bashing (so to speak) from all angles including GreyHound Buses, Airlines, restaurant diners, the streets of LA to the alleyways of Boston and NYC and British Rail/London Underground. It took the 'slings and arrows' and still was robust enough to come back fighting and reshaped.

Sadly, I'm not sure the Borsie would have faired so well and in any case I wouldn't risk it with a fine hat of that age.

But I really appreciate your comments there Karol, as I do take on board what constructive things folk venture on here ;) Cheers!!

Mojave Jack
12-19-2007, 09:51 AM
2.5". A fair amount of money wasted experimenting until It got figured out though. That seems to be the only way - try 'em until it feels right.
Ditto on the experimentation, though I think that brims around 2-7/8" are best for me. At least that's what I'm most comfortable in. I think I agree with Metropd and Baron Kurtz. I'm thin and tall, and I think the slightly wider brim is more complimentary. Well, at least I don't as ridiculous as I do in a stingy!

As much as I work outdoors, I have my slouches with 3-1/4" brims that work better here in the desert. I don't wear them around unless I'm going to the field, though.

12-19-2007, 10:48 AM
It depends on the size and style of the crown as much as our faces, I think.

I have an Akubra Fedora/Sydney that looks really good at 2 1/2, on and off my head, but my Snowy River ...

It was 3 1/4, I think, but I cut it down to 2 7/8. It's still the widest brim I have, but it's starting to look too small to me now. The crown is so low and wide that it looks out of proportion with the brim cut down.

Just a thought

12-19-2007, 11:25 AM
I can go up to 2 3/4", and 3" on casuals . . .

12-19-2007, 02:54 PM
I prefer at least 2 1/2 in. brim.[huh] :)

Boris K
12-19-2007, 06:03 PM
I like 2 1/4 or 2 3/8" brims in fedoras for a medium to narrow face structure. Larger brims work well in western hats.

12-19-2007, 06:30 PM
Absolutely no less than 2 3/4". 2 7/8", 3", 3 1/4" are all better. I tend towards the Western/country side of the hat spectrum, so that's natural.

12-19-2007, 06:36 PM
Current Fedora is 2 1/2, so I am getting a stingy and a Giant 3 1/4 Borso Mattoni, just to see what I likes bestest.

Patrick Murtha
12-19-2007, 06:52 PM
I've got everything from 1' 5/8" to 3' brims, plus wider-brimmed cowboy hats, and I like 'em all just fine. Variety is the spice of life! I never settle on just one look -- like to mix it up. That applies to suits, shoes, everything else too.

jimmy the lid
12-19-2007, 07:09 PM
In a "Whippet-esque" lid, I'm partial to 2 5/8". For an OR-style, 2 3/4" to
2 7/8".


12-19-2007, 07:19 PM
Similar to Mingoslim, i guess. Sweet spot is about 2 3/8ths to 2 5/8ths. I will only buy 2 1/4th for something rare (last one was a green Barbiso peluche) and I have some 2 3/4 - 2 7/8ths. Funny, I didn't plan it this way, but the wider brims in my hats are only on OR thin-ribbon style hats, so I tolerate the widest ones on those sunny hot days only (I have some thin-ribbons with more reasonable 2 1/2 - 2 5/8 ths widths also). All the thin-ribbons are in the basement until late spring, wearing heavier regular fedoras now. . . . and on really cold days, add earbags. They are a neat addition!!! I went for one pair of the grey non-insulated.