Collector or Consumer?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Rmccamey, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,141
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Collector or consumer? Yes. My curiosity finds me with many hats. It even finds me having some of the same models from different decades or same models in different felts from modern makers. I start not with a collectors eye, but from curiosity or fancy. I am a hat enthusiast, but because I procure hats and seldom let them go, thereby, by my estimation, I am a collector.

    The Fedora Lounge, courtesy of the founders and the internet allows me, an isolated enthusiast to watch and listen to others. More time is spend watching and listening than participating or sharing. I share on fewer threads than my early years.

    The forum thread What Hat Are You Wearing is the real deal for me. The frequent weekly postings are of most of the hats that get worn at my house. My outside escapades find me wearing hats/caps all the time. My work frolics have my hats/caps spending time sitting on my desk or in the backseat of my vehicle. I dress and choose my head gear as I do.

    All my hats are of my size and all get worn. I do share daily activities in my hats. I do have a couple of hats that are my go to's for really hard efforts, but all hats are eligible for outside chores or long walkabouts. It is because I have many that I can gently wear them - wear them and let them dry/block/steam/condition/store while I am off with a different hat. Hats, modern and vintage, are remarkably durable.

    Putting on a vintage hat/modern hat does provide protection and comfort, but it also provides me a connection with what they represent. Maintaining my hats is relaxing and after years of wearing many I have a connection to the adventures we have shared.

    Obsession or compulsion: I start any potential hat acquisition with the reminder, I certainly do not need this hat and am not afraid to walk away from anything but "my price." Many more failures to acquire than success, but here I am with a full hat rack! I have given away many hats to many friends and relatives of like size.

    I hope I have contributed to the conversation. Best, Eric -
     
  2. I have a deep deep sense of history instilled in me by my grandfather from the stories he told me about our ancestors while I was growing up. It wasn't until after his passing & I had settled into the routine in my 20's that I wondered if all the stories were true & factual, & started my own research. I have a strong collectors gene. Everything I collect, I collect from a historical perspective. If it has managed to find its way to me after 50-100 yrs without being molested it deserves to continue on without damage from me.

    I'm really only interested in American hats with my primary interest being Stetson & Resistol.
     
  3. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

    Messages:
    15,359
    Location:
    Maryland
    Alan, Thank you! I feel the same.
     
    dkstott likes this.
  4. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

    Messages:
    15,359
    Location:
    Maryland
    Daniele, I will post a interesting (at least I think so) story in the next couple days so stayed tuned. :)
     
    Daniele Tanto and dkstott like this.
  5. dkstott

    dkstott One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'm definitely a consumer of hats. Mine get worn daily and swapped out depending on my mood and the weather.
    My favorite hat is the Stetson Roadster in Walnut. I've been told recently that it's being discontinued.

    So, I purchased a spare. A few days ago, I discovered a seller with the Roadster in Sage. So I bought it too.

    Maybe I'm becoming a collector of specific models.

     
  6. Boomerang

    Boomerang One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    162
    Location:
    Washington State
    I'm definitely a consumer. My hats are all the same size, and they are out and at-the-ready for wearing. All but the black "dressy" fedora get worn regularly. Wearing 1 hat per day, my selection is small enough that I can work through it in a little over a week. And I make darn certain that I don't wear the same hat twice in a work-week... although I have no idea why that is so important to me.

    I live in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range where it is mossy and wet. Except for a few stretches in the Summer, any day could find me in a downpour. So my hats are all Akubra, and were purchased new. I love to look at the vintage beauties and great customs here at the Lounge, but owning one is not on the agenda. Previously-owned anything doesn't usually work for me. I've considered a custom, but I don't want anything that is too precious, or may end up owning me. That attitude could change, but right now I'm content with my humble stable of hats.
     
    hatsRme, Rmccamey, steur and 5 others like this.
  7. Gobi

    Gobi One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    110
    I have hats that I rarely wear because they seem too nice. I'd hate to wear a hat from the 50s to the point of being tattered and sweat stained. Then again, I'd like to enjoy the quality and use it as it was intended.
    I have some 7x , 10x Stetsons from the 60s/70s that are really nice but I dont feel as guilty wearing them and using them hard.
    I usually don't buy hats not in my size though I do have a few. When I do it's mostly just to enjoy the specimen. Also they fit my girlfriend's head and once in a blue moon I talk her into wearing one.
     
    hatsRme, Rmccamey, steur and 3 others like this.
  8. Rmccamey

    Rmccamey My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,085
    Location:
    Central Texas
    I suppose location might also be a factor. I wonder if those on TFL who live in more cold or rainy areas approach a hat purchase from a little different perspective than those who live in a hot or dry climate and is one or the other more likely to consume or collect?

     
  9. I think it has more to do with your generation & how you were raised, & if you grew up in the planned obsolescence throwaway world of today.
     
    M Hatman, Bushman, steur and 2 others like this.
  10. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    I think these are both important factors to consider simply because the conclusions drawn would both be based on the experiences of the wearers.

    To the first point, most of my wife's family lives in the Chicago area of northern Illinois, while I was born and raised in the Los Angeles area of California. As such, they are far more familiar with how to deal with snowy winters simply because they had to learn how to survive such winters, so they would know which clothing items (for example) are actually better for protection against that kind of cold and wet weather. I, on the other hand, realistically have no need for such protective gear here simply because it doesn't get nearly as cold and doesn't snow. Location, location, location; where you live can often dictate precisely what you need to live there.

    To the second, I agree with this as well. My mom and dad were very practical people for whom "the best" meant the most reliable, the most durable, the one that out-performed the rest, not the flashiest/prettiest/most expensive. So as long as it still functioned and/or could be repaired, that was the plan; an item was only replaced when it could no longer perform it's intended function. That's one of those traits I must surely have learned from them, because I don't like to discard anything that still serves it's purpose.
     
    M Hatman, hatsRme, steur and 3 others like this.
  11. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,014
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    When my Mother died and I closed up the family home the house was a 1950 time capsule, original stove and kitchen table/chairs. Original bedroom furniture (3 bedrooms worth) original dining table, chairs & hutch. She had replaced the living room furniture as we kids had worn out the original but the original was downstairs in the 'Rec room'. And she covered the hardwood flooring with carpeting in the mid 1960's as she tired of having to strip and shine the wood regularly. She grew up dirt poor on the Canadian prairies and received one new dress as a teenager.....and that was the only new thing she ever received until she escaped out west and began working. Needless to say I grew up in that mindset and while I have no problem indulging myself often......I also take care of my 'things' and keep them for a very long time....that is one reason why I have so much stuff.
     
    M Hatman, hatsRme, steur and 4 others like this.
  12. My contention & point is more along the lines of how people treat things that are older than they are and have survived long before coming into their possession. Not the daily, necessary items of life that are easily replaced. The everyday stuff of life that gets used wears out & gets replaced. That's why those items yrs later that haven't been worn out & are mint, are special.

    I agree 100%. I have no problem in how people spend their money or what they pay, so long as they have been the ones to earn it. I do have a problem when people buy the latest fad because they can afford it, & proceed to trash it with no respect or reverence to what it really is or what it has been thru in its life.

    And I get a kick out of guys in our throw away society who couldn't even replace the cord on their electric toaster if it wasn't for the Internet to show them how.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  13. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,014
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I have fun telling young'uns that complain about the difficulty of learning 'how to' things that I grew up in the era of having to read a book or a manual to learn......we didn't have YouTube back then and were lucky to find a book/manual.....even more fortunate if it had pictures.
     
  14. SteveFord

    SteveFord A-List Customer

    Messages:
    406
    I only wanted a couple and then I met you guys.
    Now I can't even walk into my walk in closet.
     
    Snowman, M Hatman, Bamaboots and 5 others like this.
  15. Rmccamey

    Rmccamey My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,085
    Location:
    Central Texas
    You too? In about 4 years my 3 cowboy hats + TFL = Lots and lots and lots of hats!

     
    M Hatman, hatsRme, SteveFord and 3 others like this.
  16. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    My sincere apologies; I didn't "get" that the first time 'round.
     
    Hurricane Jack likes this.
  17. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,141
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Collector or Consumer is the question. A side question is why consume or collect if you already have a hat? What makes having more hats important? To this, most respondents have answered with a degree of historic appreciation, lineage appreciation, beauty appreciation or acknowledging they are collecting within hat categories. What about those who are seeking external approval?

    For example, we are all aware of posters on social media and even on Fedora Lounge who post in the pursuit of likes. An internet or social media "popularity" contest requires demands that do not appeal to myself. I do understand the attraction, even though this "notariaty" has some benefits (social and economic).

    Another example is those who deliberately post in pursuit of internet social climbing. Internet social climbing is when posters embellish their posts. Overtly, or covertly the posts suggest embellished realities of the lives of the hats or conditions of hats or even of hats worn. (I post the above as I have been in the past accused (off-line and by messages) of participating in seeking external approval. (To the message senders I have responded in kind that What Hat Are You Wearing is a true test of real of fake.))

    As too External approval - I am of the personality and benefit from age were I care less about what others think about my hats than I do. My wife is of similar age and cares for me regardless of what covers my bald pate. She matters.

    I may be sharing inside thoughts about one of the many reasons folks participate on The Fedora Forum - external approval.

    I should end saying, I really miss the in depth details and history of the individual hats and makers of the years past. Often I query the historic threads to review or read along.

    It has been a long and fatiguing work day. After drafting this answer I paused, spoke to my wife about it and then posted. " I approved this message."

    Cheers to all hat folks tonight, Eric -
     
  18. johnnycanuck

    johnnycanuck Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,417
    Location:
    Alberta
    Consumer. Even the silly hats get worn from time to time.
    Johnny
     
    steur and Rmccamey like this.

  19. I always enjoy your well-reasoned and thoughtful posts.
     
  20. Humans are social animals and even those of us who profess indifference to the opinions or acceptance of others seek outside approval in some form. We might seek it from a subset of the population, but few of us are true sociopaths who completely don’t care what anyone else thinks. There is a strong pull for men in particular to act as if they are fiercely independent and individualistic in all their choices. Somehow we have been taught to think that caring what others think is a weakness or lack of self confidence. Men, and American men in particular, tend to not be honest with themselves as to their motivations. The male sense of masculinity, and the common failure to recognize our own true motivations, has given us a skewed view of the world.

    I dress in a suit and homburg when I want to make a certain impression on those I’ll be interacting with. I’ll put on a tie and a sport coat when taking my wife out to dinner. I wear some articles of clothing for the sole purpose of being attractive to the opposite sex. I wear some items as a way to show my position in my work’s hierarchy. In all those cases there is an aspect of caring what someone else thinks.

    As for hats, I have bought some for the joy of sharing them with others here. Most times my motivations are multifaceted, but I do enjoy sharing with others. I also enjoy when others share with me. When a FL friend finds a particularly great or rare hat I’m genuinely excited for them.

    For many years I collected firearms and part of the fun was uncasing the new acquisition at the range and passing it around. I had a lot of fun shooting them, and I enjoyed opening up my gun safe and just manipulating them, but part of the enjoyment of tracking down a rare pristine gun was the excitement of my peers when I shared it with them. I personally don’t think this is shallow or any less of a legitimate reason to collect something than any other. I also believe that there is some amount of this motivation in most everyone’s acquisitions even if they won’t admit it.

    I don’t revere physical possessions. I certainly have a materialistic streak, but I also see possessions as mere things. My maternal grandparents fit all their worldly possession in a car when they drove from Oklahoma to California. None of their possession, outside of photographs and the family bible, were valued for anything other than their utility. In the intervening years their lives became more comfortable but they never had possessions that they valued. What they had was family, friendships, and their faith. They instilled in their children and grandchildren that success was not being hungry or worrying about paying for the essentials of life. Possessions of any sort were never important. I’m much more materialistic than they were, and I have a lot more “luxury” items, but I don’t believe I’m any happier; and often wonder if they in their relative poverty were happier than I am. I’ve also had family heirlooms stolen and after a short anger at the loss I realized that it didn’t matter. The memories are still mine and the possessions just aren’t important in the end.

    Back to the original question: I’m both a collector and a consumer, but with as many hats as I have I have to be a collector more than a consumer. My motivations for collecting are complex and I’m alright with that. I’d also be alright if like Garrett I one day decide to liquidate my collection. They’re just hats after all.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.