Engel & Co. Hats

Discussion in 'Hats' started by moontheloon, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. Bama, thanks for your compliment & support. I appreciate that very much.

    No one likes to be ignored or talked down to. Especially when most everything posted in this thread, starting with the OP has been opinions except for the physics that come into play. And the thread got OT from the OP pretty quick.

    My entering this thread was not to defend or denigrate Engel & Co or other hat makers, what they charge, or anyone posting opinions here. I wanted to point out that it is my opinion that the word "custom" is over used & gets thrown around a little too much. What is custom about a hat ordered from a small shop made in standard colors on a standard sized hat block? What makes that hat custom compared to the one in the Stetson outlet store? If I order a new Stetson Premier Stratoliner because no one has one in stock & wait 6 wks or more to get it, does that make it a custom hat? Of course not.

    That's how I came to use the phrase "made to measure" from the boot collectors world to denote what custom means to me and apply it to hats. That doesn't mean I don't order hats from time to time made in my large size; I just don't consider them custom when they are just made to order. I happen to like the fact that I can order a clone of a 1940's Whippet for example, but I wouldn't necessarily consider it a custom. I was attempting to lay that out in my first post with the 3 levels of product & service as I see it. And that each level should be priced accordingly but ultimately pricing is whatever the market will bear.
     
  2. Bamaboots

    Bamaboots

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    Well said, Hurricane. What you said just reminded so much about custom boots. Enter custom cowboy boots in an eBay search and look at all the junk that pops up. The biggest violators are those selling "custom" Lucchese boots. That animal hasn't existed in years. Customer ordered is a long way from "custom" made and MTM.
     
    Hurricane Jack likes this.
  3. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I think the word "bespoke" fits really well to describe a hat (or any piece of clothing, boots) that is made specifically for the vagaries of my head (or body). To me, a working class kid, owning anything "bespoke" is a treat and a true luxury.
    That is why I think guys like Mike at NW Hats, Gannon and others are such bargains as their pricing is not that much more than off the shelf (rack). One day I will work up to buying one of Art's works of art and compare the work of a master.
     
  4. pgoat

    pgoat One Too Many

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    Interesting thread for me - I am on vaca in a rather posh town (not rodeo drive, but close) and just came across an engel ... I had seen the Facebook page but had never handled one and knew no details about pricing. So I tried it on and dang if it didn't fit my 7 3/8 LO perfectly... That doesn't happen too often. The color was gorgeous and the felt seemed thick if a bit softer than my art fawcett hats. So I figured : ok it'll be somewhere around twice what I'd pay outside a fancy boutique. In my mind I guesstimated $500, which I figured was a bit too much. But I like to splurge on vacation and I figure when in Rome...

    The price? $2300.


    I was told I could get 30-40% off. And I did the math....and came right here to see whether I was missing something.

    I don't know what fepsa is but I do know my vintage silhouette lids have super substantial felt that I believe is better quality. And I figured (rightfully, it turns out) I could get a new engel for less than the 40% discount price here.

    In a final twist I was also trying on some luchese boots in a nearby shop which were just under a grand. I'm glad I didn't ask how much the local vintage guitar boutique was asking for their items. I may have had a coronary.
     
    Bob Roberts likes this.
  5. Bob Roberts

    Bob Roberts I'll Lock Up

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    "Retail is for suckers."
     
  6. TheDane

    TheDane Call Me a Cab

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    From hats I own and have seen/handled, it's not my impression that Winchester felt is of better quality than FEPSA felt - on the contrary.

    On the other hand, the difference between a high and a low quality meal is not only due to the quality of the ingredients. A bad chef can kill the most wonderful meat and veggies ;)
     
    Bob Roberts and Frunobulax like this.
  7. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

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    Listening and formulating a more learned opinion by reading the posts on this thread. Thanks to contributors.
     
    hatsRme and Bob Roberts like this.
  8. RJR

    RJR

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    I agree,SBG,one of the real benefits of the Lounge,imo.
     
    Short Balding Guy likes this.
  9. avedwards

    avedwards Call Me a Cab

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    I'm a bit late to the discussion but feel that I ought to add my thoughts as I am Engel & Co's first customer. Please note that whilst Nicholas is a close friend I am not in any way affiliated with his company.

    I personally bought one of their hats because like Nicholas I find the blue grey colour particularly appealing. Whilst plenty of other hatters offer a similar colour and even some off the rack blue grey hats exist, none of them come without any green or earthtone undertones (however slight) like Engel & Co's. I appreciate that this may not matter to many on here but it's those sort of details that matter to me.

    I have never handled any Winchester felts so I can't make a comparison but the Fepsa felt Engel & Co uses is of very high quality, comparable to some of the better vintage hats I have owned. I particularly appreciate that it is both quite light but has proven to hold its shape well.

    Whilst the price does put it into the top bracket for custom hats, I consider it reasonable given the high quality and the specific colour that other hatters do not offer.
     
  10. TheDane

    TheDane Call Me a Cab

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    I'm not sure, you ever told us, what differences in quality, you are referring to? Lots of other custom hatters use 100% beaver fur from FEPSA - and their hats hold their shape too. The latter is not a feature, btw - it's a fundamental must!

    Aside from the color it's still unclear to me, what make Engel hats so exceptional in quality, compared to other hatters'.
     
    moontheloon likes this.
  11. RJR

    RJR

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    Fair question.
     
  12. buler

    buler I'll Lock Up

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    Avedwards, can you describe the fitting process. Were you custom measured and fitted or is it just made to a stock size measurement?
     
  13. Bob Roberts

    Bob Roberts I'll Lock Up

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    Whilst enjoying this conversation abt Engle hats, Im wondering about the use of the word "whilst" in the OP. Does one still use the word "whilst" whilst engaged in contemporary conversation or writting...?
     
  14. avedwards

    avedwards Call Me a Cab

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    I cannot compare my Engel & Co hat to those made by other hatters since I don't own any other custom hats, nor would I want to attempt any such comparison. I therefore simply stated that it is of a comparable quality level to some of the finer vintage hats I have owned.

    I do however understand that Nicholas didn't just use a standard Fepsa felt but got them to custom make him a felt to his specifications (in terms of both finish / quality and colour).

    In terms of sizing I elected to just give Nicholas an accurate measurement and asked him to use that, as I wanted to avoid shipping any sort of conforming device across the Atlantic and back.
     
  15. DJH

    DJH I'll Lock Up

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    Bob, the gentleman is from the UK so is writing in English, not American. [emoji1]
     
  16. Bob Roberts

    Bob Roberts I'll Lock Up

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    Im aware of that my friend. Im under the impression that even most Brits consider the use of the word "whilst" in contemporary non fiction writing a bit archaic and pretentious. Whilst not minding it personally, I consider it a slightly "affected" speech pattern. :)
     
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  17. DJH

    DJH I'll Lock Up

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    Dunno, Bob - I'm an English speaking person and I use the word in question quite often - I'd say it is still in pretty common use, although it might be a regional thing.
     
    Bob Roberts likes this.
  18. Bob Roberts

    Bob Roberts I'll Lock Up

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    I can appreciate that Sir. Reminds me of my favorite George Harrison song... "Whilst My Guitar Gently Weeps." ;)
     
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  19. DJH

    DJH I'll Lock Up

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    I was certainly weeping whilst reading all this.
     
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  20. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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