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Buying First Time Hat... For Someone Else?

mehmeh

New in Town
Messages
2
Location
Oregon
Hi folks,
I'm considering surprising my boyfriend with a new hat. He doesn't have a nice fedora, so I thought that was the better option. I'm stuck between the Stetson Downs or the Stetson Saxon. Which would you prefer, at least for your first hat? Other suggestions would also be appreciated. Also, I'm not exactly sure what his hat size would be. I know he has a smaller head, S/M, but I also know that nicer hats are more precise. How important is the sizing?
Thank you!
 
Messages
10,524
Location
DnD Ranch, Cherokee County, GA
Hi folks,
I'm considering surprising my boyfriend with a new hat. He doesn't have a nice fedora, so I thought that was the better option. I'm stuck between the Stetson Downs or the Stetson Saxon. Which would you prefer, at least for your first hat? Other suggestions would also be appreciated. Also, I'm not exactly sure what his hat size would be. I know he has a smaller head, S/M, but I also know that nicer hats are more precise. How important is the sizing?
Thank you!

Welcome & good luck with your surprise. Find a hat or cap that you've seen him wear & measure the inside circumference to get a good idea of his head size. Centimeters is a good standard to use. Size & fit are key. Brim width & crown height need to match his facial shape. Lots of good info & ideas here.
 

zetwal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,343
Location
Texas
How about a gift certificate that would allow him to choose and fit his own hat (with guidance)? You could even go together. Is there a haberdashery anywhere near you? I think that would be ideal.
 

Fedora Jay

Familiar Face
Messages
80
Location
Anaheim, CA
If you can post a pic of him here, we can help you determine what style should look good on him. Measuring his current favorite hat was an excellent suggestion too. Good luck with your gift!
 

jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,920
Location
San Francisco, CA
Of those two, personally I prefer the Downs, although the Saxon, with the shorter brims, tend to be easier for people to "acclimate" (if you will) themselves into hat wearing. Sometimes folks can feel a bit self conscious with a larger brim.

Knowing his head size is important though, especially with a hat like a Stetson.
 

cybergentleman

A-List Customer
Messages
331
Location
New Jersey
i have seen an increase in fedoras lately, which is nice. personally, I dislike taper and would suggest the stetson nostalgia. but the newer retro styles offered by stetson i think look better than the downs or the saxon.

next, regarding sizing, if you wish to surprise him, I agree with the others on here, take a tailoring tape and get the circumference of your boyfriends head. in either cm or inches. do be careful with this as sizes do come in fractions of an inch. and yes even a quarter of an inch is significant.

sizing too large? ensure that when the hat is purcased you have some sizing tape or foam etc with the hat. otherwise, he may need to fold some cloth etc and slip it behind the sweatband to snug it up.

bigger is better than too small of course.

keep us posted.

Hi folks,
I'm considering surprising my boyfriend with a new hat. He doesn't have a nice fedora, so I thought that was the better option. I'm stuck between the Stetson Downs or the Stetson Saxon. Which would you prefer, at least for your first hat? Other suggestions would also be appreciated. Also, I'm not exactly sure what his hat size would be. I know he has a smaller head, S/M, but I also know that nicer hats are more precise. How important is the sizing?
Thank you!
 

danofarlington

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,122
Location
Arlington, Virginia
Hi folks,
I'm considering surprising my boyfriend with a new hat. He doesn't have a nice fedora, so I thought that was the better option. I'm stuck between the Stetson Downs or the Stetson Saxon. Which would you prefer, at least for your first hat? Other suggestions would also be appreciated. Also, I'm not exactly sure what his hat size would be. I know he has a smaller head, S/M, but I also know that nicer hats are more precise. How important is the sizing?
Thank you!

Here's my idea, but it requires deviousness. Look up where a hat shop is in your city. Think of an excuse to visit a shop nearby. While there, then say "let's go over there to the hat shop! I want to see what I like." Pretend it's for you. As you are trying on hats, get him to do it. Make sure you find out what his size is in the process of him trying on hats. At the same time, take note a) what looks good on him, and b) what he likes. Finally: Go back and buy the winner. All this will work if you pretend it's for you.
 

Mike in Seattle

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,027
Location
Renton (Seattle), WA
As others noted and have posted here on F/L, a hat's a very personal thing. It doesn't matter what you or anyone else thinks it would look on him - he's the one who has to wear it. Above someone suggested getting him a gift certificate. That's your best bet. I've likened buying a hat for someone else in the past as a minefield. If he doesn't like it, you're going to be upset that he doesn't wear it. If he wears it just to make you happy, it's going to grate on him over time. Consider this - you have a very special event to go to and you're going to be making a presentation in front of everyone. Would you trust your boyfriend to go out with no prompting to find the "perfect" dress for you to wear to the event?
 

randooch

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,869
Location
Ukiah, California
First off, welcome to the lounge!

Have you and he seen many movies together? Does he ever comment about hats seen in the film? That could narrow things down a lot, whether he likes or dislikes a certain look sported by J. Depp or C. Eastwood, for instance. Try to get a grip on his taste, then measure his head while he's asleep!
 

Not-Bogart13

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,501
Location
NE Pennsylvania
Well, if you must have a gift to hand over, the measuring suggestions are good ones. Size can make-or-break when it comes to a good hat. As for suggestions on a hat to buy, I think the Downs is a good middle-road choice; not too much brim, but enough to avoid the "tiny hat" look on most people. If he's a bigger, broader guy, you want more brim and crown than either of those. But an average to slim guy should be fine with the downs. The Saxon would work best on a slim face and build, I would think.

If you go the gift certificate route, there are some great selections at millerhats.com, bencrafthats.com, and hats-plus.com. Good variety. I've gotten most of my off-the-rack hats from those places.

Good luck.
 

mehmeh

New in Town
Messages
2
Location
Oregon
Thanks for your responses! I wanted to avoid the gift certificate route, but it may be the best option at this point. The closest hat shop is about 5 hours away, so I don't think I'd be able to get him to visit without making it obvious. ;) He has a slender built and a slender face. He comments on all the hats he sees in movies, such as the fedora Roberto Downey Jr. wore in Sherlock and, of course, Indiana Jones. He also wants a tuxedo, so I thought a nice hat to go along with it would be perfect. He's in a lot of jazz concerts, so I know he'd love something that fit that element as well. I'll try out the sneaky move of measuring his hats!
 

The Good

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,363
Location
California, USA
Thanks for your responses! I wanted to avoid the gift certificate route, but it may be the best option at this point. The closest hat shop is about 5 hours away, so I don't think I'd be able to get him to visit without making it obvious. ;) He has a slender built and a slender face. He comments on all the hats he sees in movies, such as the fedora Roberto Downey Jr. wore in Sherlock and, of course, Indiana Jones. He also wants a tuxedo, so I thought a nice hat to go along with it would be perfect. He's in a lot of jazz concerts, so I know he'd love something that fit that element as well. I'll try out the sneaky move of measuring his hats!

If you want him to have a very proper hat to go with that tuxedo, may I recommend a black homburg or Godfather (same thing, different name) hat? Try to go for a fur felt if you can. A number of companies still make these, such as Stetson and Akubra. A black homburg is technically formal, but if you crease it "teardrop" style, it can look quite jazzy. :cool:
 

Mike in Seattle

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,027
Location
Renton (Seattle), WA
Don't buy a hat just to go with a now-non-existent tuxedo. How often will the tux be worn? A couple times a year? A hat that looks formal enough to go with a tux is going to look out of place with jeans and shirt or even with a suit or sportcoat. In this day and age, hat checks are few and far between. That means when wearing the tux, having to worry about what to do woth the hat during the meal and while dancing.
 
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The Good

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,363
Location
California, USA
Don't buy a hat just to go with a now-non-existent tuxedo. How often will the tux be worn? A couple times a year? A hat that looks formal enough to go with a tux is going to look out of place with jeans and shirt or even with a suit or sportcoat. In this day and age, hat checks are few and far between. That means when wearing the tux, having to worry about what to do woth the hat during the meal and while dancing.

OK, maybe my comment is flawed... You're very likely better off getting a fedora, actually. He can get a homburg later, if he so chooses to, they're great, but maybe not exactly what you're thinking of. In this case, I would recommend a light to medium shade of grey fedora with a bit of taper, and a relatively low crown height (no more than 4 1/2 inches creased maybe?). There are open crowned hats out there, and you can buy one if you want (I'd advise no higher than 5 1/2 inches when it comes to open crowned hats). They're great, but it may seem a bit intimidating at first to try to shape your own hat. As for the brim width, try to stick between 2 inches, to 2 1/2 inches. Anything that is shorter than 2 inches is a stingy-brim fedora, but if you're pretty sure it would suit him, go for it!
 

scottyrocks

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,100
Location
Isle of Langerhan, NY
I know that others have said that buying a hat is a personal process. I will say that buying a hat is an extremely personal process, at least for me. I would say that for every hat that I love on me, there are dozens, if not more, that I dont love.

I dont have many hats, at least compared to many here on FL (Oh, welcome, btw!). I have hats that I dont wear anymore because they simply dont look as good as the two or three that I think look best, and of those, there is one I wear all the time because when I put it on, I feel it looks perfect, and Ive had this particular one for about two years.

mehmeh, you did not mention whether or not your bf has shown a predisposition or desire for a fedora-type hat, so I can only assume that he may have mentioned it at one or more points? Or this is just an idea you have? Either way, I would get him involved in it before the purchase. Youll have much greater success rate that way, imho. :)
 

cybergentleman

A-List Customer
Messages
331
Location
New Jersey
reconsidering this...why not just be up front about it and say you want to buy him a hat and get the info from him and do it.

you will still surprise him when he receives it.

i don't know what your budget is..but rather than waste money on a tux that he will outgrow eventually (we all do) spend the money on a custom from one of the many custom hatters on here- then he has some creative control in the process and is still a very very nice gift.
 

gpotski

New in Town
Messages
13
Location
Ohio
Consider buying from some place with a good return policy. davidmorgan.com does great. I bought my first fedora from them, and had to return it for 1 size larger...no problems.
The Akubra Stylemaster is pretty nice!
 

DRB

One Too Many
Messages
1,621
Location
Florida
Here's my idea, but it requires deviousness. Look up where a hat shop is in your city. Think of an excuse to visit a shop nearby. While there, then say "let's go over there to the hat shop! I want to see what I like." Pretend it's for you. As you are trying on hats, get him to do it. Make sure you find out what his size is in the process of him trying on hats. At the same time, take note a) what looks good on him, and b) what he likes. Finally: Go back and buy the winner. All this will work if you pretend it's for you.

Dano: I like the way you think ! HA HA !!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll bet it would work.
 

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