A Few Questions About Fedoras?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by BryanB, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. BryanB

    BryanB New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    So first I'm thinking of Bailey medium brim fedora. They're pretty expensive. Anyone recommend Bailey hats for the price? I'm looking at the Baker for $115, maybe the Winters. I just want something casual to wear running chores. I hate the sun on my head, and have gotten used to wearing them as I live where it's 9 months of summer and glaring sun rays, and want something for the cooler weather.

    Second, I've noticed all the fedoras today are about as thick as wool blanket. As a kid I had a few vintage ones my grandfather left when he passed. I've noticed the older ones were thinner, as this pic of Frank Sinatra wearing one. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/458311699553974865/
    Do they still make the thin Fedoras? Are they more or less comfortable in heat vs cold?

    Third, what up with fedoras getting such a bad rap? I'm seeing articles and vids all over the web that wearing a fedora is now literally one of the lamest things you can do. It's the instant mark of being the dweller of the dingy underworld of mom's 3 bedroom ranch, and it's online equivalent the internet incel community. Seriously what the frig?

    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8gevn4/i-bought-a-fedora-to-see-if-it-would-ruin-my-life

     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  2. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,069
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    The Bailey Baker is a wool hat. Vintage hats are almost entirely fur felt. To be sure, wool was used and sold, but they tend to not last as long as fur felt. Older hats are better because felt production was superior (spend some time on the lounge and you'll fill in the gaps of this reader's digest summary).

    Sure, thin, pliable hats exist, but not particularly in the price range of $115, unless you get a good vintage deal.

    As far as the 'fedora guy' thing....a lot of folks pick bad hats, coupled with a misplaced sense of 'chivalry' that seems out of place in modern culture and viola.
     
    TheOldFashioned likes this.
  3. TheOldFashioned

    TheOldFashioned Practically Family

    Messages:
    652
    Location:
    The Great Lakes
    First, for a casual chore hat at that price point I'd recommend Akubra. Many around here will agree they're a durable hat at a great price, the best value modern hat in production today. Here is just one thread, Akubra Overload, but there are many others.

    Second, most here will also agree that the quality of vintage felt is superior to modern. Thin felts still exist, but if you're looking for quality lightweight you're probably looking at something custom. For me, personally, felt is hot in the summer regardless of thickness. Once the temp gets above 75F I either wear straw or there has to be A/C. Again, that's just me personally.

    Third, a lot of what you see today are modern made cheap stingy brim trilbies (~2" brim), and to some degree I can understand some of the bad rap. There is a clear difference, though, between a modern mass produced department store hat versus something vintage or a modern custom. A well thought out ensemble still looks sharp regardless of the decade.

    That being said, regularly wearing hats as part of a wardrobe has been out of style for decades. Once you buck convention and go against the herd mentality you're opening yourself up for ridicule as you're likely to stand out. Humans are creatures of habit and society pressures us to conform. Just be like the honey badger...
     
  4. BryanB

    BryanB New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    The Akubra is even more expensive. A bit over $100 is really as high as I can go. But thanks for tip. Yeah those cheap trilbies look terrible almost no matter what, for sure.

    Felt for sure is too hot around here almost the entire year.

    As for being pressured to conform, it's so true. I've always been self conscious of that, but always wanted to wear them, even being out of style. Now it gets worse, it's associated with weirdos and losers. Just great. But who cares. I'm gonna do it because I want to, and that's all.
     
    Zombie_61 and deadlyhandsome like this.
  5. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,970
    Location:
    New Forest
    Welcome to The Lounge, good to see you around. The internet, and in particular, social media, has given everyone a soapbox to stand on and tell everyone else that they shouldn't live their lives in the way that they do. Don't wear that, wear this. Don't say that, say this. Your choice of politics, of marriage, of lifestyle, have all come under the social media microscope, and if you are not doing what the social media dictators say, then you're in for a sh*t storm.

    Former Spice Girl, turned fashion guru, Victoria Beckham, was photographed coming out of London venue, looking the worse from having one to many. Her husband, David Beckham, was described by those whose lives revolve around celebrity watching as looking dapper. He wore a blue double breasted suit, which he matched to a T-shirt and trainers. This was approved by the social media mafia.

    Not my description of dapper, having the two buttons positioned high on the suit jacket ruins the effect of what could have been a classy look, as for the T-shirt and trainers, not for me, but the social media police approve and therefore I am a pariah. Here's David in his blue suit, followed by me wearing my blue suit to a Hawaiian themed wedding. What do you think of the fedora? Am I a social outcast?
    dapper.jpg old photos 476.JPG
     
  6. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,069
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I would suggest pinching a few more pennies and making the investment in a good hat. Akubras are really not much more than a Bailey or Goorin, but are much better quality.

    The Campdraft is Akubra's version of the venerable Stetson Open Road (they were originally produced under Stetson license).

    $112 at Hats Direct: https://hatsdirect.com/collections/the-akubra-campdraft/products/campdraft-open-crown

    $109 at Everything Australian (backordered): https://everythingaustralian.com.au/row/campdraft-hat.html

    The Fed IV is a popular vintage styled hat that is based around the Indiana Jones fedora, it'll run you $112: https://hatsdirect.com/collections/the-federation-iv

    Akubras don't quite meet the standards of vintage and won't be mistaken for a top of the line hat, but they are well made, durable hats that are worth every penny.
     
    scottyrocks, DOGMAN, GLewis and 6 others like this.
  7. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,746
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Please don't ignore the great advice that you're getting from the serious hat guys here!

    Spend a little more and get an Akubra, they are indeed the best buy in current production hats. Mine look nearly brand new after a decade and more of wear in rain and snow.

    Or go cheap and get a wool hat, and watch a few rainstorms deform and destroy it in a year or two, like so many of us have.

    Consider the Akubra Stylemaster, a medium-brim/crown fedora similar to the Bailey Winters that looks great on nearly everyone. It's a modest-sized fedora that doesn't require you to have the additional guts that wearing a larger-dimensioned hat like the Campdraft or Fed IV do. It's always my recommendation for a first "real" fedora to folks starting out.

    https://everythingaustralian.com.au/stylemaster.html
     
  8. Clifton

    Clifton New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Along the south coast, UK.
    Hats are a matter of the wearer's taste. If one isn't comfortable in an item of clothing, particularly a hat, then it won't be worn or only when no one is looking. My Akubra Cattleman has, and still does, provide excellent service in all weathers and being a horse person I have put it to use in all weathers. My Banjo Paterson is, in my opinion, best mix of quality and style although I don't wear it in rough weather as it would stain (it's the Sandstone colour). Now for cheaper versions - I have a few wool fedoras and have stood in the rain watching the dye dripping in front of my eyes like the scene from Last of the Mohicans behind the waterfall. Akubras are worth the extra and will last longer and, are due to the breathing holes, cool enough on hot days. The Banjo is lined and hole-less, so raises the temperature and better for cold days.

    If the Akubra loses colour then it just looks better. Be happy with your choice and have a couple
    of
    (cheap) straw hats for days when wool or fur is just too warming.
     
    GLewis and dkstott like this.
  9. deadlyhandsome

    deadlyhandsome I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,288
    Location:
    Central California

    Most of us are self conscious, but not everyone will admit. If you wear a suit to an office where everyone else is wearing polo shirts and chinos you’re going to stand out. If you wear a tie to barbecue or spectators to the movie theater you’re going to stand out. If you wear any type of brimmed hat you’ll be “the guy in the hat.” Most of the people around me just accept the hats and feel comfortable to comment on them. They aren’t a big deal and I didn’t adopt a new personality to go with the hats.

    For me, adding new elements (hats) to your wardrobe isn’t the issue; it’s when some people take on a new persona. Perhaps some are drawn to fedoras as a way to stand out or to help with some internal role playing going on in their minds. Those folks tend to be a bit socially awkward and a fedora doesn’t help. If it’s just something to wear because you like the aesthetic and/or the protection from the sun then it’s really not a big deal.

    In the final analysis it’s just a hat. Don’t overthink it.

    Mind sharing your hat size with us?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  10. dkstott

    dkstott One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Both of the Bailey models listed are wool lite-felt hats. They're sturdy and will take a bit of a beating.

    But after a few times in the rain, you're going to wish you bought an Akubra.

    My Bailey's are collecting dust since I got my Akubra Stylemaster.
     
    DOGMAN and belfastboy like this.
  11. T Jones

    T Jones I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,937
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    As others have already said, I think an Akubra would be a good beginner's hat. They're moderately priced and they'll last years longer than a wool felt fedora. You're better off saving up a bit more money and paying the little higher price upfront for an Akubra that could very well last you a lifetime rather than spending your money on a cheap wool felt hat that won't be worth crap after the first rain storm.
     
  12. The Wiser Hatter

    The Wiser Hatter I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,750
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky
    If I worried about people making fun of me I would never walk out of the house.
    I have been wearing hats long before it was a thing.

    The problem when first starting to wear hats is finding the style that fits your personality. What brim width and crown height works with your head shape.

    Most modern hats are made with a very small brims and short crown heights. They do not look good on many people heads.

    So when you start wearing hats you will go on a journey to find the style that works for you. So you will buy a few hats that you will never wear again because they end up not being your style.

    Read the forum an look at people’s head shapes that are close to yours an see what they are wearing.

    Enjoy wearing a hat it will make you memorable an that is something you will enjoy. When I go in the drug store or grocery store the employees remember me and treat me better than the average customer because they remember my hats.
     
    Jhoff_1979, DOGMAN, quikrick and 5 others like this.
  13. BryanB

    BryanB New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    I love it. It looks great!
     
  14. BryanB

    BryanB New in Town

    Messages:
    28

    That's true about not worrying about what people think. I'm looking now at the Akubra Stylemaster in Carbon Grey after everyone recommended it. I'm not sure how it will fit on my head, but i did recently buy 2 safari hats, 1 a Stetson rain gable, and the other a Connor Rugged Mountain Hat which is basically a worn looking safari hat. I"m a 59 cm, and both are a large. The Stetson looks better but doesn't fit quite how I like, and i feel it's more flashy. The Connor fits slightly lose and is more what I like. I would have never had the guts to just start wearing safari hats all the time, but the sun is relentless around here, and I hat the burning sensation, and also getting new freckles constantly. Now though, it's just become part of my style.
     
  15. BryanB

    BryanB New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    Yikes! $200 for a "beginner" hat? I'd just like to tell myself that it's just a dusty old hat I had lying around the closet and just threw it on my head for convenience. What's more than a $200 akubra style master? I have to stop asking forum communities for help. lol Whether it's watches, banjos, guitars, hats or stereo systems, you guys always manage to convince me to spend hundreds of more that I wanted to or can easily afford.

    What happens to wool after a rain storm? Are the rabbits for fur felt killed in horrible ways? I'm not big on torturing animals for fashion statements. I've seen some videos of animals in China being skinned alive. It still makes my blood run cold.
     
  16. BryanB

    BryanB New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    I'm a 59 cm. It's so true. I am socially awkward, but not like that. I'm a bit pissed these my lil pony fetishizing, katana wielding, anime obsessed weirdos with neck beards have hijacked the fedora.
     
  17. BryanB

    BryanB New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    Can you post of pic of you in your Stylemaster? I'm not sure if I am willing to drop the extra mullah, but I'm really intrigued now.
     
  18. BryanB

    BryanB New in Town

    Messages:
    28

    You guys have seriously spiked my interest in the Stylemaster. Can you post a pic of yourself in one? I'm undecided if I like it enough, or will wear it enough to justify dropping $200 before shipping. I bought this Indiana Jones wool fedora from Connor that I never wear, because I felt like I would stick out too much, but then started wearing a similiar looking canvas safari hat from Connor all the time.
     
  19. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,746
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Where are you getting this $200 number?!? The link I posted above for Everything Australian is showing $112.70 US for the Stylemaster right now. Shipping adds another $15 or so. What country to do you live in?

    Alas, I don't have a good recent pic of myself wearing my Stylemaster. But lots of other folks here have posted nice ones. Here's one thread (of several) with some:

    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/love-my-stylemaster.84912/
     
  20. BryanB

    BryanB New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    I live in Israel. It's sunny as hell here 9 months of the year, and cold an rainy a lot of the winter.

    This forum won't let me upload or embed pics. For what it's worth here is a few pics of the hat I am currently wearing, if it will help with any tips on what sort of hat to get.

    https://ibb.co/h2y3MDr
    https://ibb.co/nb6HF0L
    https://ibb.co/y0Cb4qH
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.