In this online marketplace, I am often tempted by hats that might be above or below my measured-by-machine 7 3/8 (+ 1/4 Long Oval--see my profile for my REAL profile). However, every time I get a new or used hat, in my size, the fitment variations are significant enough to make me wonder if I were able to try it on, if could have gone one size up or down. Collecting cowboy boots as I do, I am very aware of brand and hide variations within each of my favorite makers' sizing so I can sometimes "play" the market and go for the odd size (12.5 E, 11.5EE), again, depending on that brand's last. So, I wondered what you feel is a reasonable gambling range? Do certain brands tend to run large or small? And if the sweat needs to be replaced what's the extra margin of error? I read somewhere that a repair service won't go beyond 1/4 inch. Do higher grades of felt withstand stretching better? I think the collected wisdom on this could be significant for all members. Thanks.