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Grades of Stetson dress hats/felt?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by dawgvet, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. dawgvet

    dawgvet Familiar Face

    I'm somewhat familiar with Western hats and their grading systems (10x, 5x, etc) but was wondering what the hierarchy of Stetson dress hats. I've seen Royal, DeLuxe Royal, Soverign, Pinnacle, etc. but I'm foggy on what, if anything, they mean? Did this change over the years? Any info appreciated as I am considering beginning to collect vintage hats and want to be as well-informed as possible.
  2. thebroker

    thebroker One of the Regulars

    Thank you for asking this question...it's something I've been wondering about for quite some time, and I look forward to seeing the replies!
    M Hatman likes this.
  3. Dewhurst

    Dewhurst Practically Family

    I'm afraid I cannot answer your question in it's entirety but I can tell you this much:

    Royal quality is a low grade fur felt, the finishings are lower quality but durable. These are their low grade (think budget) fur felt dress models.

    Sovereign quality is a higher grade fur felt body, the finishings are of a higher quality than Royal. These are their high quality fur felt dress models.

    All Beaver quality (models include the Benchley and the Pinnacle) are all beaver fur felt bodies, with the highest quality finishings offered. These are their highest quality dress hats currently being offered.

    They also offer an Imperial quality fur felt, specifically on the Dexter model. I have heard that the Imperial bodies are positioned between Royal and Sovereign, but do not know if this is true. I have also heard that the Imperial bodies share more in common with the western bodies, but are being used in a dress model. I don't know if that is true either.

    Stetson also offers cashmere and fur felt mixtures which would be positioned below any of the fur felt models. AND they offer 100% wool models. You get the point.

    They have a lot of different finishes that they apply to various hat bodies as well.... so yeah...

    Any of this could be wrong, sorry.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  4. thebroker

    thebroker One of the Regulars

    Dewhurst, you addressed my biggest question: the difference between Royal and Sovereign. I have owned a couple of Sovereign hats, but never a Royal, so I was unsure how the two compared.

    I own two of the cashmere/fur blend hats (both are the Lodi model, one mink and the other steel), and while they aren't nearly as nice as the better fur blends, they aren't bad at all, especially compared to Stetson's all-wool hats, which I do not care for at all. I bought one of the all-wool hats (the Fredrick), and the first time I wore it in the rain, it dimpled and the finish now looks horrible.
  5. Fedora Jay

    Fedora Jay Familiar Face

    I've got two Stetsons now, a wool and a Chatham in Sovereign. The Sovereign is very nice, I'd call it a medium weight felt, with a nice finish. Its very supple (at least the brim is, I haven't had the heart to mess with crown as I really like the bash), and I had no trouble with it in the rain the other day.

    The wool is pretty good too, but it has a much coarser finish, is much heavier, and won't take a bash at all. But I like it anyhow, since it was my first real hat.
  6. rclark

    rclark One Too Many

    Anyone know if there is a difference between the Stetson Royal DeLuxe and Royal Stetson DeLuxe? The latter seems much more rare.
  7. T Jones

    T Jones My Mail is Forwarded Here

    If I recall, I think there was a little difference in the felt density between the two, but not much of a noticable difference. Even though they were thinner and lighter than some of the other higher grade Stetsons, both the Royal and Royal Deluxe were still good quality felts. Some of the most sought after and expensive vintage Stetsons to be bought, (like the Stratoliner, i.e.), are of the Royal quality.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  8. With the words in that order, the Royal Stetson DeLuxe was a little earlier and seen a little less frequently.

    Jhoff_1979 and M Hatman like this.
  9. and a vintage Royal Deluxe Stratoliner is really sweet....
    M Hatman likes this.
  10. rclark

    rclark One Too Many

    Thanks Alan. I recently acquired a Royal Stetson DeLuxe Open Road and the felt quality seems similar to the felt on other Royal DeLuxe Open Roads. Cool hat. Will post photos soon.
  11. SurfGent

    SurfGent Suspended

    I have a older temple in black. id say from the box 80's its sovereign quality. But is much thicker felt better made hat. I remember feeling it when i found it in the box at that garage sale, and I was wearing a new grey temple at the time witch felt thin and flimsy in comparison. There was also a much older 50's 60's Dobbs. Who ever he was he like'd black center dent fadoras. Scored them both for a song !
  12. rclark

    rclark One Too Many

    Royal Stetson DeLuxe open road clone




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