Better Deal - Optimo or VS

Discussion in 'Hats' started by wgiceman, Jul 29, 2013.

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  1. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    [​IMG]
     
  2. mingoslim

    mingoslim Practically Family

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    I have owned two Optimos . . . Both were very nice hats, and both set me back a bit when it comes to cash. The service was excellent with both purchases . . .

    I also have owned 5 VS by Art . . . Two standard weight fur felts (The Sportaire and Route 66) and three of his light weight "Tropicaire" hats . . . Hands down, these were the nicest modern hats I have owned.

    Art went out of his way to make me exactly what I wanted . . . The fit was perfect. The service was excellent, but also felt PERSONAL. It felt like Optimo made a hat for a customer, whereas Art made hats for ME.

    My vote goes to VS - Hands down.
     
  3. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    Remote purchase = Worst way to buy a hat--Hands Down!

    Face to face purchase from a hatter/hat shop = Best way to buy a hat--Hands Down!
     
  4. winter_joe

    winter_joe A-List Customer

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    Do I have to keep saying this or what? You can go to art FACE TO FACE to buy and get conformed for a hat just like optimo so that is an irrelevant comparison
     
  5. Andykev

    Andykev I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    That is the silliest comment or observation! You fail to consider the great care by personal consultation, the conformer sent out, the ribbon choice, felt style, weight, and color..all up to the customer, that is DONE OVER THE PHONE by Art. AND any corrections are taken care of without question.

    I hardly think "remote" purchase is so bad. And once you've established your size, oval, crown height...etc...the rest is rather simple. I think well over half of my hats were purchased from Art via phone...and all but ONE of my Optimo's were obviously done by mail order/phone. Air fare to Chicago from SFO is rather steep to be adding it to the cost of a hat!
     
  6. The Wiser Hatter

    The Wiser Hatter I'll Lock Up

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    As most people do not live near a hatter this would mean most would never purchase a hat Hands Down.
     
  7. My best fitting, best looking hats were purchased remote, so this may be your personal experience but not a general rule.
    I wouldn't have bought more hats that way if it didn't yield desired results, especially at the price point.
     
  8. TheDane

    TheDane Call Me a Cab

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    I may have completely misunderstood the purpose of this thread(?) As I see it, it was started by a lounger, trying to get some qualified help from experienced fellow loungers with nuanced mindsets. In my opinion it has grown into a discussion about two main points of view. The one is echoed by one - and only one - lounger. The other seems to be backed in a nuanced way by the rest of the participants.

    On that background 'the informed choice' should not be a hard one to make, so I guess the question was worth the effort after all.

    This post has been rewritten a lot of times. As I see the purpose of the thread as fulfilled, I will spare the bartenders any unnecessary work and leave it alone in the future :)
     
  9. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    Well, you can lead a horse to water.........

    I feel good that I tried to steer people in the right direction but I also feel sad that such poor advice is found on the world's leading hat forum. It really is a shame.
     
  10. Andykev

    Andykev I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Speaking of Horses...:censored:
     
  11. winter_joe

    winter_joe A-List Customer

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    Ignorance abounds... Even in a gentlemens forum
     
  12. job

    job One Too Many

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    I guess the thing is is that Optimos or VS would be mail order for 99.9% of us yet many here on the lounge have wonderful hats from both.
     
  13. Art Fawcett

    Art Fawcett Sponsoring Affiliate

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    Location:
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    Oh my gosh, another thread comparing Graham and I . I'm sorry Gentlemen, and you also Mr. Lyles, but this is a most uncomfortable thread that I wish I had been notified of sooner.

    First and foremost, Graham Thompson of Optimo is one of the few hatters today that I admire and look up to. He has the same quality goals as I do and the upmost integrity in everything I have been associated with involving him. His work is top notch , his employees are first rate, Tiffany is a Jewel. I consider him a personal friend and threads like this sometimes provide a good laugh between us. His prices, to me, are not relevant. They simply are what they are and the client has to decide value, not me or any other critic, friend or foe.

    This would be a good time to Thank everyone for their comments and in fact your support over the years. One poster noted my progress over the years and I'm flattered that anyone would take the time for that research. It has been an interesting ride but not without it's pitfalls.

    My success rate with pleasing clients is pretty high but I have also had some hurtful failures . One of my first clients many years ago asked for and received my best effort while starting off ( less than 25 hats made at that point) and after sending it to NY I didn't hear from him, so, I called to ask for feedback. The feedback I received was " I gave it away, I wouldn't put that piece of crap on my head". I was stunned by the reaction and to this day find it difficult to talk about without the bile rising. The insensitivity was staggering as the client knew I was a fledgling hatter when he ordered the hat. This client then went onto many forums spouting how terrible my hats are and me personally, trying to steer away any business from me. Why? good question. I have no answer other than I believe this trust fund baby has nothing better to do and hates his opinion being challenged. The opinions haven't altered over the years as anyone can tell in reading this thread and I'm sure no matter how improved I become they will not change. Such is life

    Frank, thank you for sharing your experience but nobody reaches 100% every time. I have no doubts that there are guys that will only send their stuff to Optimo because of some perceived or real failure on my part, it's only business life. Although it is still a goal, I have aged enough for the reality that I cannot please everyone no matter how hard I try so I accept there will be those detractors. I'm appreciative for each of my clients.

    To the OP, thank you for starting the thread even if it is a minefield. I believe your intentions are good but in the future, whenever we get into anything approaching "who is better" all of the biases, old and new, rear their heads and often become ugly. This is such a subjective topic that it can be volatile. Try a thread asking "What quality makes the best hat?" and you'll see that everyone has an opinion on what makes the best hat depending on THEIR needs. It's a lose/lose

    Bottom line Gentlemen, I am personally flattered by some of the comments made here and dismayed at others. As always, I will endeavor to improve my skills, make the very best hat I'm capable of making, every time, and let history take it's course. The word "value" has different meanings to different people so really, it can't be defined in a group way. All I can reasonably ask is that whoever represents the best "value" to you, keep supporting them. It's the only way improvements keep happening, choices keep expanding and thus improving the field. 80 years ago there was a hatter on every corner and supplier choices ran into the thousands. Not today. It is up to us, the enthusiast, to keep hat making and wearing relevant.

    I hope that everything that needs to be said has been. I'm asking that this thread be closed because although it has been civil to this point, I don't trust it will stay that way. Barkeep, will you please consider closing this thread?
     
  14. Preacher Man

    Preacher Man A-List Customer

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    South Central Kentucky, USA
    Art, well said! I second that.
     
  15. Andykev

    Andykev I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Art, well said. You are a fine gentleman, honest, and truly an artist. As you wish, CLOSED.
     
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