Finally got me first fedora

Discussion in 'Hats' started by matei, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. matei

    matei Practically Family

    Messages:
    995
    Location:
    England
    Hello all!

    I've got my sights set on an Akubra Federation, but that is a month or two away.

    After I whinged about not having any decent hat shops in Dublin, I stumbled upon a shop in the "touristy" part of town that had a tiny selection of hats. They appeard to be of decent quality and they were in my size.

    I picked up a grey Herbert Johnson "Gloucester" fedora in 7/38. Not having spent all that much on it, I am able to experiment with bashing and general hat ettiquete.

    Now that I am wearing the hat, it is amazing how many appreciative glances one gets from the ladies - much to my wife's chagrin!
    ;)
    She is a good sport though.

    Speaking of my darling wife - at first she was against the whole hat idea, as she hadn't seen me in anything that suited my face/head/skin tone... But now she has been converted.
     
  2. Canadave

    Canadave One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,284
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Congrats! Nice to just stumble into a find like that, huh? That's not it in your avatar, is it?

    Enjoy the purchase!

    David
     
  3. binkmeisterRick

    binkmeisterRick A-List Customer

    Messages:
    477
    Location:
    The Island of Misfit Hats
    Great find and a good story, to boot! I always love stumbling accross good hats, especially when the price is right!

    bink
     
  4. matei

    matei Practically Family

    Messages:
    995
    Location:
    England
    That is it indeed. I am having fun trying to modify the shape. It came with this really naff block, almost like you'd find on a cowboy hat.

    I've been using a little penguin-shaped steamer that my wife bought about a year ago. She uses it to clean the range, curtains etc. It works really well as you can control the steam and it isn't too hot. I had tried the kettle, but we have an electric one and it cuts off as soon as the water is boiled.

    I am having a lot of fun re-attending to my wardrobe and presentation now since I came across this forum. I have always felt that in my field (IT), people tend to dress way too casually. I had one job in NY where a co-worker actually came in wearing slippers and pyjamas. I love to dress well, and a nice hat is the final piece.

    I've received a few of the predictable comments so far (gangster, Indy, cowboy), but I've been called far worse. I like it, my self esteem has soared and my wife likes it as well... What more could a bloke ask for? :)
     
  5. MK

    MK Founder Staff Member Bartender

    !

    Herbert Johnson! That is odd. That is from a very expensive hat shop in London. Until just a few years ago, they made quality hats. What did you pay for it? What are the specs and color?
     
  6. matei

    matei Practically Family

    Messages:
    995
    Location:
    England
    I paid 75 EUR - approx. 100 USD. Emmm... okay, it was more than I thought! [huh]

    I don't usually pay much attention to the exchange rate except for when we are in the US!

    Don't be scared away by that price though - because here in Ireland, everything is expensive. We are vying with Finland for the most expensive country in the EU, and I think that Dublin has surpassed Helsinki as the most expensive European capital. Even London is cheaper. That being said, this hat was less expensive that some of the others I had looked at, and the same as the "cheapest" feeling ones.

    I was surprised by the maker - the label states it is indeed Herbert Johnson, Saville Row. Matt Deckard recommended them in a reply to one of my posts.

    The hat itself is gray fur felt - I'd imagine rabbit. Yer man at the shop didn't have the foggiest when I asked him.

    The inside tag says "260 - 4039", ''GLOUCESTER XL - 60CM / 7 3/8"

    The crown is about 6 3/4'' high, the brim about 3 3/4''.

    Compared to some of the other hats I came across here in town (no name to real dodgy names that I can't remember), it is of noteably higher quality. As I have not had the occasion to handle a really high-end hat like a Borsalino or Optimo, I have no way of telling how this would stack up.
     
  7. Dakota Ellison

    Dakota Ellison New in Town

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Atlanta Ga
    6 3/4 " crown height and 3 3/4" brim width? That's a big hat! Glad you like it, though.
     
  8. matei

    matei Practically Family

    Messages:
    995
    Location:
    England
    I have a big head... ;)

    However, not that big. Revise those measurements minus an inch or so... Apparently not only can I not estimate EUR to USD conversion, I can't meaure correctly either!
     
  9. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
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    Location:
    METROPOLIS OF EUROPA
    Slanche!! nice hat for Irish weather

    I'll be sporting my Fedora this w/end when I fly into Belfast for a few days, go to my fav pub and devour a pint of Guinness and a plate of oysters, yum! Nice HJ by the way, you're certainly cutting a dash south of the border there!
     
  10. binkmeisterRick

    binkmeisterRick A-List Customer

    Messages:
    477
    Location:
    The Island of Misfit Hats
    You know, MK, I swear that somewhere I saw a HJ that was made out of wool felt. :eek: It was not what I expected to see from HJ, that's for certain. I believe the label said it was a Herbert Johnson made for some other store. I suppose it's possible that even a renowned hat maker could put out a "cheaper" hat for the masses. matei's hat sounds MUCH better than this one!

    That being said, matei, it sounds like you have a nice Herbert Johnson fedora and that it suits you well. I am in no way implying that you have an "inferior" hat by any means, or that it's not even fur felt, so please don't read it as such. You love your hat, so who cares who it's made by and how much you paid for it. ;)

    bink
     
  11. matei

    matei Practically Family

    Messages:
    995
    Location:
    England
    I hear what you are saying - no problems! :)

    Oh - one last bit... The band itself is leather - it doesn't appear to be that laminated cardboard faux leather.

    Have fun in Belfast! We're there quite often ourselves... Great town, friendly people. Oddly enough, we're most often in town to see the dentist! It is a great deal cheaper than here in Dublin. Not only is it less expensive, but the dentists are top-notch.

    One would usually cringe hearing ''dentist" and "cheaper" in the same sentence, but in this case there is a good reason!
     
  12. MK

    MK Founder Staff Member Bartender

    .

    That is not expensive. Most HJ fedoras were in the $300 range. The even have a top hat that has a nine hundred pound price tag.
     
  13. Mycroft

    Mycroft One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,993
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A. for now
    Very nice.
     
  14. Sounds like a good buy to me as well. Herbert Johnson still is a decent brand to me. I wouldn't even compare them to a modern Borsalino. The modern Borsalino stinks unless you go to Italy and pay dearly for one that is good quality.

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  15. Mycroft

    Mycroft One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,993
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A. for now
    Hey, is Borsalino any good when it is over 20 years old?
     
  16. Well, you are starting to get at the cut off point for good there. I stop at about 1980 for good Borsalinos. After that the Borsalino family sold out to a family in Asti, I believe.
    They licensed the name to a bunch of different producers and now they make umbrellas, ties and a host of other things---none of them well. :cry:
    If I were to suggest an era for the great Borsalinos, it would be from the late 1930s in the late 1950s. That gives you a pretty good number of years there. ;)

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  17. Mycroft

    Mycroft One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,993
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A. for now
    I see, thank you very much.
     
  18. Dylanfan

    Dylanfan New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    I second Mr. Powers, after Borsalino was sold in the early 80's and moved the factory, I believe they went way downhill. And they licensed some hats for manufacture in the US which are to be avoided at all costs. I also would try to go older than 20 years though, if you can find what you need. Actually, their current traveller crushable, is supposed to be all Belgian hare and is a good all-around hat. Mine was made for the European market (I don't know if that matters) and the felt is very nice, buttery texture, it doesn't require a lot of finishing so it may be their only current decent hat. Cheers.
    Jeff
     
  19. Mycroft

    Mycroft One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,993
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A. for now
    Thanks for the info guys.
     
  20. Their hats made for the European market are only about ten times better than the junk they send over here. :p ;) You can get a decent Borsalino from Italy for sure. The store in Alessandria has whatever you want.
    For the best vintage you look for those made for stores in Venice. Bampa is one of those stores that had great Borsalinos in the time period I mentioned before.

    Regards to all,

    J
     

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