Akubra sizing: I wear a 57.5... What should I order? Shrink or stretch?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by bluesmandan, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. bluesmandan

    bluesmandan One of the Regulars

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    Alright, so I wear a 57.5. The only 58 or 7 1/4 I've worn that fit is my Borsalino. 7 1/8 is just a little snug.

    So what I've recently done is buy a Hatjack, and used it to stretch smaller hats out a bit. Seems to work okay.

    But I know some people go the opposite route, and prefer to shrink a hat with the water&lamp method.

    And then I've also read that Akubras come slightly large to begin with, so maybe a 57 would fit my 57.5 head just right from the get go.

    What say ye? Shrink, stretch, or is the Akubra 57 actually 57.5 to begin with?
     
  2. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    As a rule, err on the large side. You can tuck a little emergency cab fare under the sweatband to tighten it up a tad.
     
  3. ccc118

    ccc118 New in Town

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    I measure to 57.5 and I ended up going with a Fed IV in a 58. At first it was big on the sides, but I was able to get it to fit by putting the included foam strips under the sweatband. After only a few wears, it shrunk up enough to remove the foam strips and fits just fine now.
     
  4. bluesmandan

    bluesmandan One of the Regulars

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    I'm looking to purchase a Moonstone Campdraft Deluxe. So you think 58 would be the size, and it will shrink down after a few sweats?
     
  5. Ginseng

    Ginseng One of the Regulars

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    I wear a 58.5 equivalent pretty consistently. I bought a Fed IV Deluxe in 59 and it is a bit large but starting to snug up ever so slowly. The sweatband is supple and I rotate the location of the foam around to make it even out all around. Call me a nut, but I wear it for a while in the evenings backwards so the rear of the hat (and the sweatband back there) is in contact with my forehead just so it gets some humidity as well. I am hoping that this rotation snugs it around more completely.

    Another thing I've done is not use the included adhesive foam strip. I cut up pieces of the wider, softer, non-adhesive foam that came with the hatbox. Then I strategically placed segments several inches long where I need them. A piece at the rear, pieces at the side, and none in the front. This is because when the foam is put it, the expansion causes the leather to buckle up a bit. No foam insures the sweatband stays flat at the forehead.

    Consider it an experiment in progress.
     
  6. Kirk H.

    Kirk H. One Too Many

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    I too wear a 58.5 and made the mistake of trying a 58. At first it fit fine but then it became too tight and I ended selling it. I have two Fed IV and a Stylemaster al size 59. they have all shrunk just enough to wear they fit great. I also did the same with a Stetson Whippet and only had to wear it with padding for about a week before it fit fine.
     
  7. KingAndrew

    KingAndrew A-List Customer

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    If you are ordering from Hats Direct, they will gladly advise you on the right size in a given hat. For the Fed, they had me order the slightly bigger hat and siad it would shrink up to fit over the course of a few months of sweating into the band. And my experience has proved them correct.

    As others have noted, it is probably less trouble to shim your sweatband with paper or foam than it is to stretch all the time. Stretching can also distort the shape of the hat (my experience when I had to stretch out a shrunken Dynafelt after being soaked in rain).
     
  8. bluesmandan

    bluesmandan One of the Regulars

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    I haven't had any real distortion happen yet when stretching... except for one thing: if you plan to stretch a hat with a tapered crown: it will increase the taper, and make the hat look a little cone like. I stretched a 7 up to my 7 3/16 or 57.5 Didn't work out. I like a very slight taper, but not much. But it's worked out on a straight-sided 7 that I stretched, as it added just a tad of taper like I like. And the 7 1/8 I don't notice any visible change regarding the taper. Even on an old wool 6 7/8 cowboy hat I had, I stretched it and it looks right. So it's worked great on straighter sided crowns, but not so much on tapered crowns as it exaggerates the taper.

    The Campdraft looks like it is a straight sided crown from the open crown photos I see... but it sounds like everyone here is recommending the 58, and let it shrink down a bit.
     
  9. Bob Roberts

    Bob Roberts I'll Lock Up

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    Buy the 58 Akubra. It will fit perfectly after a few wearings. Contrary to what some say the Akubra 58 runs spot on. I recieved my Camp Draft a few weeks ago. I'm a perfect 7 and 1/4 and I got a 58. If anything it was a tad snug after a few wearings. So the 58 will tighten up fine to fit you.
     
  10. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    Akubras are well known for their "shrink to fit" sizing. Yes, they arrive slightly oversized, but that's because the material they use for their sweatbands shrinks as you wear (and more specifically sweat in) the hat the first few times; Akubra knows this, and they manufacture/size their hats accordingly. I own two Fed IVs and two Campdrafts (all size 60), the sweatbands on all of which shrunk approximately 1 centimeter after only two or three wearings.

    As has already been stated, the general rule-of-thumb is to order the larger size when you're between sizes simply because it's much easier to put padding behind a sweatband than it is to stretch one. If you're a 57.5, a size 58 will probably shrink down to a nice snug fit very quickly.
     
  11. bluesmandan

    bluesmandan One of the Regulars

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    What about Akubra straw hats? I'd also like to get one of their "Country Club" straw hats, for wearing during golf outings.
     
  12. Historyteach24

    Historyteach24 Call Me a Cab

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    Buy a size up in all hats not just Akubras in your case
     
  13. Bob Roberts

    Bob Roberts I'll Lock Up

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    Especially straws.
     
  14. bluesmandan

    bluesmandan One of the Regulars

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    Really? I was not aware of that with straws.

    Wait... Even with a cloth sweatband, or just with leather sweatbands?
     
  15. Bob Roberts

    Bob Roberts I'll Lock Up

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    Especially with leather. My straws have tightened up w moisture
     
  16. Bob Roberts

    Bob Roberts I'll Lock Up

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    BTW I dont believe the Country Club is Straw. Look closely to the Akubras "straw" descriptions. Many are not tru straw. The Akubra thread is very informative.
     
  17. Hat Dandy

    Hat Dandy One of the Regulars

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    Maple, ON
    I wear a 57.5cm hat as well. The two Akubras I own are 58cm. They shink a little and now fit perfectly. Buy them a little larger.
     
  18. bluesmandan

    bluesmandan One of the Regulars

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    Whoa! You're right. It says "polypropylene". I never would have even thunk to check on that! And yes, "thunk" is the past tense of think, in case you didn't know : )

    That is weird for it to be a plastic hat. I don't think I would like that. Though I suppose it wouldn't stain. But I didn't care for my Bailey straw panama after I had it refinished... they "painted" it I would say (Mister Hats in Memphis) and it was kind of plastic-like after that. That was maybe 3 years ago. It's 9 years old and needs replaced. I'll look for a natural option.
     
  19. RJR

    RJR

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    Double check their listings some are hemp,some are poly.
     
  20. Historyteach24

    Historyteach24 Call Me a Cab

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    A good rule of thumb when you are in between sizes is to go up because it is much easier to make that hat fit rather than stretching and possibly screwing up a smaller hat
     

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