Hello to all of my new friends in the forum! I've been lurking about a bit and learning quite a lot as well as thoroughly enjoying all the pictures of you fine ladies and gentlemen in your awesome hats, that I felt the need to join and briefly introduce myself. Also... I have a lingering question I only discovered as I first began wearing a fedora. A bit of background: due to a skin cancer concern about two months ago (I'm that new to hat wearing) I learned that my old trusty baseball cap wasn't cutting it and wide-brimmed hats were the way to go. Where I live (central WI) baseball caps and the occassional cowboy hat (usually the straw variety mostly worn by farmers in my neck of the woods) are about it and I just couldn't get into cowboy hats. I remembered the hats my grandfather used to wear and felt that was the only option. I also felt I didn't have the guts to actually wear one, let alone where to buy one. My wife found an inexpensive fur felt off of amazon she liked and got one for me without my being aware - turns out it's the "officially licensed Indiana Jones" one. I felt a little corny - like a 47 year old man playing Indy in the backyard - but my wife likes it and it's beginning to grow on me. I know it's not a "real" fedora, but I'm learning. Anyhow, I'm discovering that I'm either more self-conscious than I realized, or just gutless. It seems to me that it takes a bit of steel in the nerves when you first begin wearing a fedora inspite of all the sound medical reasons in the world to charge on. Honestly, like many of you, I've made the commitment and am not turning back - like I said, it's growing on me - but I still must be honest that I can feel a little uncomfortable, especially in busy public places like a department store or eatery. It seems I'm the only man in my town of 45k that wears a fedora! Standing in line is almost painful sometimes. I'm sure this timidness will pass as this becomes a part of my daily routine, but how did you begin? Were your experiences similiar? I never thought twice about how wearing a fedora takes courage - and I only recently learned of all the hating online associated with fedoras which only adds to this (thank God for the fedora lounge) - but it seems that not only am I taking measures to protect my skin, I'm growing more as a man. Maybe that was what my wife was thinking? I would love to read some of your stories of those early days to help add steel to my nerves.