2015 Stetson Excellent Quality GREEN THIN RIBBON (Preview & Review)

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Joshbru3, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,409
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    DISCLAIMER******

    I have no affiliation with Stetson or its subsidiaries. This preview and review is my own observations and opinions.

    *******************************************************************************************

    That being said.......THIS HAT WILL FOREVER CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK OF MODERN FACTORY HATS

    I am unable to say how I was able to procure this hat, but this hat will be available sometime for sale in 2015

    This hat uses Stetson's new EXCELLENT QUALITY felt which was developed by Matt Deckard at Stetson/Hatco. I am unsure of the exact felt formula (its proprietary obviously), but I have been informed that it is MOSTLY BEAVER. What "MOSTLY" means I am unsure, but its at least 80-90 percent pure beaver (maybe more...like I said, I was not privy to the exact formula). The other furs such as nutria, rabbit, and chinchilla have been added for softness, denseness, and ruggedness. This is NOT a bad thing. 100% beaver bodies don't necessarily make the "best" hats. Every type of fur has its strengths and weaknesses and I feel that this particular formula embraces the absolute strengths of each type of fur. Matt really nailed this formula!!!

    THIS FELT IS IDENTICAL TO FELT PRODUCED BY STETSON IN THE 1940'S/1950'S!! Its every bit as good as a Stetson 50, 7xCB, or Stetson 100 from that time period. I do not say this lightly and have put the felt through many tests in order to give this review. It is VERY dense without being tough and thick. It is light, without being floppy. It is thin, without being weak. It holds a crease without being too stiff. I have owned, bought, and sold MANY 1940's/1950's Stetson hats and HONESTLY the very first time I took this hat out of the box I thought it was vintage. Let this felt age another 50 years as so many of our golden age Stetsons and it will get even that much better. In the couple weeks that I have owned it, every time it gets wet, creased, brushed, or handled, the felt gets better and better.

    Color Saturation:

    The color of this hat is incredibly even throughout the hat body. There is no spottiness, mottling, or weak dye spots. I have creased this hat dry, with steam, and with water and the felt color DID NOT BLEED. It also did NOT leave green color on my fingers. I have wet creased many vintage hats and have been left with color bleed on my fingers so I was VERY impressed at the color impregnation of this new felt. There was NO POWDER of any sort and even when I purposefully soaked the hat under the faucet, the color refused to bleed. Absolutely fantastic dye work on this felt body.

    Shellac Impregnation:

    By far the best shellac impregnation of any MODERN factory AND custom hat I have seen to date. Period. As soon as I received the hat I put a dry crease in the crown and snapped the brim. This crease did not move despite windy conditions and being handled. The crease didn't move until I purposely popped it out. When creased dry there was NO SPIDERING, NO HARD SPOTS, NO WEAK SPOTS, and the felt molded like clay. The brim snaps up and down effortlessly. The brim was pounced to a beautifully thin weight which allows the wearer to shape the brim any way they like without the use of steam but will hold shape in the windiest of conditions.

    Felt Finish and Pounce:

    The pouncing on this hat was beautifully done. It has a VERY soft hand and the finish was very consistent all around. On the very top (peak) of the crown there was a small area which could have been pounced a little more, but after some steaming and brushing was not noticeable at all. I would say the crown was pounced 97% perfectly and the brim was pounced 100% perfectly. I do not look at this as being a flaw because I have owned vintage 40's/50's Stetsons which did not have perfect pouncing or perfect felt. It in no way detracted from the hats beauty, wearability, or high quality craftsmanship. I was VERY impressed that a modern day factory hat could have been made with such a great finish. Just a side note.....the inside of the crown (under the liner) was pounced perfectly smooth as well. Just as smooth as the outside of the hat. It was a marvelous touch of quality that is often overlooked by modern day hat makers. Many modern factory and customs have un-pounced inner crowns because the mentality is..."no one will see it." Well this 2015 Stetson Excellent Quality took quality to a whole other level. If it was a hot day, you could take the liner out of the hat and be proud to wear it without the liner because the hat would still look perfectly finished.

    Crown:

    As I mentioned before, the crown molds like clay and can be creased with or without steam or water. The crown has a little more shellac than the brim in order to hold a dry crease but I think this is a FANTASTIC touch. The crown is NOT stiff by any means and is just as pliable and soft as a vintage Stetson hat. I have not measured the felt thickness with a micrometer yet, but just from feel I can tell you that its right in line with vintage felt denseness, thickness, and pliability. There is NO spidering in the felt when creased dry or wet. The crown profile looks identical to a 40's/50's Strat/Open Road. Its a full crown profile which can take a c-crown, teardrop, center crease, diamond, chicken foot, etc. I have tried all of these creases on this hats crown and not only did all of them look great, they creased in and then popped back out with ease.

    Brim:

    As I mentioned before, there is less shellac in the brim than in the crown. This was intentional to allow the wearer to shape the brim any way they wanted on command without the need for steam or water. The brim is NOT flimsy in any way and will absolutely hold shape. The finish is absolutely beautiful. There are no "pock" marks in the felt finish. The brim bends and flexes evenly all the way around with NO spidering. The shellac was impregnated perfectly and the brim has NO weak or hard spots due to improper shellac impregnation. The brim binding was executed VERY well with even stitches. My only "complaint" about the brim binding was that the rear stitch seam did not line up with the rear sweatband seam/rear centerline of the crown. This is my own personal picky-ness and in no way reflects on the quality of the trim work. Out of the hundreds of vintage hats I have had in my hands, very few of them ever had a rear brim binding seam line up with the back of the hat/rear sweatband seam. Its a detail many or most hat wearers would never notice.

    Trim (sweatband, ribbon, liner):

    The sweatband is a beautifully soft and amazingly comfortable leather. Within 15 minutes on my head, the sweatband conformed to my head and for the rest of the day had no idea I was even wearing a hat. It appears to be a soft roan leather sweatband with a acrylic clear coat in order to protect against oils and salts from your skin. It will prolong the life of the sweatband for years to come and is very smooth and comfortable against the skin. I have worn the hell out of this hat in the last couple weeks and there is NO sign of any sweat staining on the leather. The gold foil stampings have been executed very well and seem to have adhered to the acrylic clear coat very well. The liner is made from a beautiful material with a nice sheen. The gold piping in the center is a great touch and the tip stamp must have been printed on an old Heidelberg stamping machine because the stamping is extremely detailed and clear. The sweat from the top of my head has NOT flaked any of the gold printing foil away and appears to be extremely durable. the ribbon/bow work looks vastly improved from other modern day Stetson hats I have seen. Yes.......the stitches are NOT hidden or blind stitches, the operator who stitched my ribbon/bow on did a very neat and tidy job. The stitch is half way up the ribbon, but its is even and consistent all the way around. I'm sure the reason the stitches can't be as small as they were on vintage 40's/50's hats is because today the thread being used is a monofilament plastic verses a natural cotton thread. The monofilament yields a bigger stitch mark, but when executed properly makes a fine tack. I have no complaints about the ribbon/bow stitch work on this new Excellent Quality.


    I could honestly go on and on about this new 2015 Stetson Excellent Quality. As many of the lounge members know, I have collected many vintage hats through the years and have had the opportunity of comparing many of them. This new Excellent Quality Stetson honestly could be confused for a vintage hat for many of the reasons I stated above. Matt Deckard and Hatco have done an EXCELLENT job in creating a hat that any "Golden Age" hat maker would be proud of. This hat is the BEST I have seen from any large Modern Hat factory and many customs as well. Before you buy another custom or before you buy another Akubra, Bailey, etc.........check out this new 2015 Stetson Excellent Quality. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!
     
  2. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,409
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
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  3. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,409
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    cont.....

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  4. Monte

    Monte A-List Customer

    Messages:
    374
    Location:
    North Dakota
    Looks really great. I probably would purchase this hat, rather than a blue grass Akubra, because of your description and pics. Thanks for the thorough sneak peak and it looks good on the noggin shot too.
     
  5. viclip

    viclip Practically Family

    Messages:
    560
    Location:
    Canada
    At last a vintage quality hat presumably available in 7-5/8 &/or 7-3/4 ...
    where can I pre-order?
     
  6. tommyK

    tommyK One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Glad to see someone here got this. Have you compared this to the existing offering, that is the Premiere Royal Deluxe Quality being offered on the new Stratoliners.
     
  7. fedoralover

    fedoralover Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,006
    Location:
    Great Northwest
    Wow Josh, what a thorough review!! And coming from you it's one I can trust. The one unanswered question is "how much does it cost"? Will it be out of reach for too many people for Stetson to continue producing it? Also, how do you compare it to Fepsa beaver felt?

    thanks fedoralover
     
  8. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Thanks, Monte. I have handled a blue grass Akubra and honestly its like night and day between these two hats. The Akubra is a tried and true durable hat that will take a beating and keep on ticking. However, the Stetson is felted denser, finished finer, has better use of shellac, better trimming materials, and has better color saturation. The Stetson Excellent Quality is just a better hat. I have no idea on price difference though.
     
  9. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,409
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    Chicago, IL
    I honestly have no idea about pre-orders or what retailers will be carrying it. I would have to assume that it will be offered in all sizes up to Size 8 like the other Premier models.
     
  10. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    San Francisco, CA
    Having handled as many hats as you have Josh, your words carry weight (at least with me!). Glad Stetson has continued to improve. I'll keep an eye out for these.
     
  11. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,409
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I have not compared it to the Royal Deluxe Quality felt, but I do know that this Excellent Quality felt is suppose to be far superior. I talked to Matt Deckard about this new Excellent Quality Felt and trust me when I say, this felt is the product of a lot of hard work and research at Stetson.
     
  12. LuvMyMan

    LuvMyMan I’ll Lock Up.

    Messages:
    4,561
    Location:
    Michigan
    Daniel and I have not been a fan of the color green in a hat. However, this one may change that as it sure has the right look, and from what has been reviewed about it, seems to add to the desirable factors. I think Matt has done wonders with what he has been up to with the Stetson line up. If more modern hats can follow this up beat trend, it will maybe give Stetson a sales increase to promote even more top notch fedoras. We sure also have to thank Joshbru3 for his super sweet review, as it is trusted coming from him. Thank you young man, outstanding job Sir!
     
  13. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,409
    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    Thank You Very Much for the extremely kind words, Gentlemen. They really do mean very much to me.

    I am unsure how much this hat will cost. I suppose it will be up to the retailers. If I were to compare this felt to Fepsa's 100 beaver hat body, I would say the density, color saturation, shellac impregnation, and overall finish is VERY similar and just as high quality. The Stetson has a buttery feel to it that the Fepsa bodies don't quite have. Its hard to explain. The fepsa bodies can feel a bit "dry" sometimes, for lack of better words, but this Stetson hat body has a soft, gentle, and smooth feel to it. Both are high quality hat bodies. Thats why I am so impressed......because until I received this hat....the best MODERN felt was produced by Fepsa. Now, Stetson has a huge contender that in some ways take the winning title.

    Every day Stetson is getting better and better and especially with the leadership of Matt, they are producing hats that are more and more in line with the stuff they were making in the 40's and 50's.
     
  14. Strapped-4-Cache

    Strapped-4-Cache One Too Many

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    1,112
    Location:
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    I'm interested to find out if this is the same type of hat which GregNYC has been wearing lately. If so, it seems that Greg's hat might not have been impregnated with as much shellac as Josh's hat. Recent comments by Greg indicate that the brim on his hat does not maintain its shape well.
     
  15. frussell

    frussell One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,409
    Location:
    California Desert
    Very thorough and enthusiastic review. Not being able to say how you procured the hat does taint the review a tiny bit for me. If it was a freebie, you should be clear on that. Not to question your integrity or expertise, but those kind of statements make my natural skepticism flare up. Why the mystery? Frank
     
  16. Tedquinton

    Tedquinton A-List Customer

    Messages:
    455
    Location:
    Teddington Middx UK
    Fantastic review. I look forward to seeing the finished product in the Autumn. I just hope they do a version with a wider ribbon like GregNYC's.
     
  17. Landman

    Landman One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,751
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    That is a great looking hat. Thanks for the detailed review Josh!

    Thanks to Matt too for all his hard work. I'm sure it hasn't been easy to get Stetson to change their ways. I hope it is a big success for them.
     
  18. Lotsahats

    Lotsahats One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,368
    Always good to be skeptical! Perhaps the person who gave Josh the hat wasn't authorized to do so, so despite the great review, revealing the source could have negative ramifications. Just speculating to so that it doesn't have to be nefarious. :)


    My thoughts exactly.
    A
     
  19. buler

    buler My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,979
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Frank, I've known Josh for quite a while and have no problem saying you shouldn't doubt his integrity. He would be the first person to mention any faults he found with this hat.

    Josh, thanks for the detailed and informative review! Most people on the lounge would not have spent the time it takes to come up with this much description.

    It's a great start to Stetson's 150th year.

    B
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  20. DOGMAN

    DOGMAN One Too Many

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    1,619
    Location:
    Northeast Ohio
    Wow!I want one.
     

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