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Akubra Sombrero : Remplacement hat bands?

One Drop

One of the Regulars
Messages
185
Location
Swiss Alps
After wearing an Akubra Bushman for a few months I've really come to love these wide brimmed open crown hats, I had been looking for an old Stetson Boss raw Edge or similar before realising how similar these style of Akubras can be to those old all weather wide brimmed majesties.

I've come to the realisation that the Sombrero can be styled very closely to those old Stetsons of the 1920s or whereabouts, and have decided to order one very soon, but I really don't think the supplied cow hide hat band does that hat justice or any favours!

Although less practical for hard wear in all weathers than a leather band, I really dig the look of the mid size grosgrain cloth bands as seen on those early Western hats, and was wondering if anyone had suggestions regarding where I can get hold of one, similar to the linked photos. A replica of the old Stetson frayed band would be even better, if someone here makes these with vintage ribbon I'd be very interested (in beige, that bronze/gold colour found on the BOP, or very light brown/green for example).

Thanks in advance for any help, or for photos of your or other replacement bands you've seen other than leather ones - I'm aiming for a fairly simple or elegant look.



 
Last edited:

jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,055
Location
San Francisco, CA
Yeah, its shame about the vent holes in the Sombrero, otherwise it would be a dead ringer for those old BREs. But if I can duplicate that bow, most any hatter should be able to do it.




I used 12 ligne ribbon, which was the best match I could find in vintage ribbon. The real ribbon was ever so slightly wider. Stetson also used a cream color a lot.

 

One Drop

One of the Regulars
Messages
185
Location
Swiss Alps
Yeah, its shame about the vent holes in the Sombrero, otherwise it would be a dead ringer for those old BREs. But if I can duplicate that bow, most any hatter should be able to do it.




I used 12 ligne ribbon, which was the best match I could find in vintage ribbon. The real ribbon was ever so slightly wider. Stetson also used a cream color a lot.


Really nice, that's what I'm looking for, I'd like to avoid too large a contrast with the Akubra fawn colour, which the cream ribbon would be.


Not many hatters in my area, I might be better off finding someone here who has sone nice vintage ribbon who could make one up for me.
 
Messages
18,937
Location
Central California
After wearing an Akubra Bushman for a few months I've really come to love these wide brimmed open crown hats, I had been looking for an old Stetson Boss raw Edge or similar before realising how similar these style of Akubras can be to those old all weather wide brimmed majesties.

I've come to the realisation that the Sombrero can be styled very closely to those old Stetsons of the 1920s or whereabouts, and have decided to order one very soon, but I really don't think the supplied cow hide hat band does that hat justice or any favours!

Although less practical for hard wear in all weathers than a leather band, I really dig the look of the mid size grosgrain cloth bands as seen on those early Western hats, and was wondering if anyone had suggestions regarding where I can get hold of one, similar to the linked photos. A replica of the old Stetson frayed band would be even better, if someone here makes these with vintage ribbon I'd be very interested (in beige, that bronze/gold colour found on the BOP, or very light brown/green for example).

Thanks in advance for any help, or for photos of your or other replacement bands you've seen other than leather ones - I'm aiming for a fairly simple or elegant look.





I’ve requested an email alert from two sellers for when the Sombrero in my size is back in stock. It’s been around five months and it’s still not available. Is your size currently in stock?
 

One Drop

One of the Regulars
Messages
185
Location
Swiss Alps
Just pulled the trigger ! Super price, even better with the great exchange rate from AUD to Swiss Francs.

This is the look I'm going for, Ideally. I'll flatten the sides a tad and maybe reduce the curl a bit to more closely resemble the 1920s style.

I was considering a braided horsehair band but I think a ribbon adds a touch of class and gives a real classic look that you don't see much these days :

Gold ribbon Vintage Stetson.jpeg
 
Messages
18,937
Location
Central California
Just pulled the trigger ! Super price, even better with the great exchange rate from AUD to Swiss Francs.

This is the look I'm going for, Ideally. I'll flatten the sides a tad and maybe reduce the curl a bit to more closely resemble the 1920s style.

I was considering a braided horsehair band but I think a ribbon adds a touch of class and gives a real classic look that you don't see much these days :

View attachment 403217


Are you going to cut the brim down? Once you remove the curl to get it close to the vintage hat you’re after you’ll have a lot more brim width.
 

One Drop

One of the Regulars
Messages
185
Location
Swiss Alps
Are you going to cut the brim down? Once you remove the curl to get it close to the vintage hat you’re after you’ll have a lot more brim width.

Probably not, definitely not at first. I'll leave a decent size curl, see how that goes., asI need as much protection from the sun as possible. and I won't be turning the brim down in front too much. It'll probably en up looking more like this than the last photo,, which was posted more to show the band colour I'm looking for.

 
Last edited:

One Drop

One of the Regulars
Messages
185
Location
Swiss Alps
I wanted to post an update, I picked up some beautiful vintage grosgrain ribbon from an Etsy seller and had my local seamstress make up and attach a ribbon, after sending her some very helpful links from this site.

She did a great job and I think the hat looks great now, If I would do it over I'd look for a slightly narrower ribbon and perhaps a slightly lighter colour (it doesn't appear as light in person as does in the picture). It looks much nicer in person in natural light or bright sunshine, I'll have to take some pictures in better light that also show off the bow.

IMG_3432.JPG
 

One Drop

One of the Regulars
Messages
185
Location
Swiss Alps
I had forgotten about this thread, might as well update it, as promised, after posting some photos of the finished product in the other Sombrero pictures thread. The brim was cut down slightly and reworked with a smaller pencil curl, I'm really digging the result.
 

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Corsa

New in Town
Messages
1
I had forgotten about this thread, might as well update it, as promised, after posting some photos of the finished product in the other Sombrero pictures thread. The brim was cut down slightly and reworked with a smaller pencil curl, I'm really digging the result.
That looks great! It's perfect on you. Did you cut it down and rework it yourself?
 

One Drop

One of the Regulars
Messages
185
Location
Swiss Alps
That looks great! It's perfect on you. Did you cut it down and rework it yourself?

Thanks! I considered it but what with getting a good clean cut and ironing out the brim and then ironing in a pencil curl, I decided to get a semi-local hattery to do the work, which I'm very happy with. The hat wears better now even though I barely took much off the brim, it balances better and doesn't catch the wind either. It used to feel like a canoe on my head and now it feels like a hat.

I think Akubra is missing a trick with their current choice of hatband, they might sell more with a nice ribbon that's a bit narrower than mine, or even a very narrow one.
 
Messages
18,937
Location
Central California
Thanks! I considered it but what with getting a good clean cut and ironing out the brim and then ironing in a pencil curl, I decided to get a semi-local hattery to do the work, which I'm very happy with. The hat wears better now even though I barely took much off the brim, it balances better and doesn't catch the wind either. It used to feel like a canoe on my head and now it feels like a hat.

I think Akubra is missing a trick with their current choice of hatband, they might sell more with a nice ribbon that's a bit narrower than mine, or even a very narrow one.


I’m sure there are customers who love the current hatband, but I am with you, and wish they went another way. In fact, if they ever get my size back in stock, I will have my second sombrero sent directly to a hatter to have the hat band replaced. Unlike your experience, I do not find the brim to be quite as wide as I would personally prefer. The large diameter kettle curl eats up a lot of the brim width.
 

Mm25

One Too Many
Messages
1,004
Thanks! I considered it but what with getting a good clean cut and ironing out the brim and then ironing in a pencil curl, I decided to get a semi-local hattery to do the work, which I'm very happy with. The hat wears better now even though I barely took much off the brim, it balances better and doesn't catch the wind either. It used to feel like a canoe on my head and now it feels like a hat.

I think Akubra is missing a trick with their current choice of hatband, they might sell more with a nice ribbon that's a bit narrower than mine, or even a very narrow one.
I kept the original band in mine, but I regularly think about changing it out. So far the only reason I haven’t is that it is unique to all my other hats. But I still think it would look better with ribbon.
 

One Drop

One of the Regulars
Messages
185
Location
Swiss Alps
I kept the original band in mine, but I regularly think about changing it out. So far the only reason I haven’t is that it is unique to all my other hats. But I still think it would look better with ribbon.

Nothing wrong with it at all, just not my style. The thing is, the cowhide one is such a particular and uncommon style of band that I think its limited appeal seriously reduces the overall appeal of the hat. Itt might make a fine aftermarket accessory but is misjudged as a stock item, IMO.

Perhaps it's just now that there's enough of an increased interest in the old Western hats to make it viable to the international market with a grosgrain band, perhaps it sells better in Oz than elsewhere, but I can guarantee this would be a far more popular hat if they equipped it with a more traditional band, whether a very narrow or wider one. or even a finer version of the current cowhide one, which is quite inelegant and looks like an afterthought to my eye.
 

One Drop

One of the Regulars
Messages
185
Location
Swiss Alps
I’m sure there are customers who love the current hatband, but I am with you, and wish they went another way. In fact, if they ever get my size back in stock, I will have my second sombrero sent directly to a hatter to have the hat band replaced. Unlike your experience, I do not find the brim to be quite as wide as I would personally prefer. The large diameter kettle curl eats up a lot of the brim width.

Fair call, but I think you have a bigger frame and a bigger head than mine, now I've reduced the curl the effective brim width is wider than it was before, any wider on my noggin and I'd look like a hatstand in it !
 
Messages
18,937
Location
Central California
Fair call, but I think you have a bigger frame and a bigger head than mine, now I've reduced the curl the effective brim width is wider than it was before, any wider on my noggin and I'd look like a hatstand in it !


I can only imagine the production difficulties if they made hats to different specifications based on the size of the hat. Along with the dearth of vintage hats in my size, getting my preferred proportions has been a large part of why I have commissioned custom hats. The proportions of the Sombrero, however, are just right for me.

I also chose the Sombrero in large part due to the brim curl. I’ve lowered the bumpers some on mine, but I love the big curl. Yours looks great on you and I’m very supportive of folks modifying their hats so they are comfortable under them.
Cheers.
 

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