Various questions about hats.. First Time Hat Buyer Info Thread - A Compendeum of Advice First Time Hat Buyer Info Thread I'm asking our intrepid Lounge Members to write out their advice to first time buyers. While this covers a variety of type of hats, I'd say the initial focus would be on FEDORAS. If you write about other style hats name the type of hat in the title of your post. One thread that gets repeated a lot is First Time Hat Buyer Inquiries. While it’s great that people want to learn more before jumping into the deep end of the hat pool we seem to wind up repeating a lot of the advice. Currently there is about 3-5 similar threads and the core information is repeated in each one so I thought we might make a main theme to direct some of the usual FAQ’s regarding the first time hat buyer. One: What style hat should I get, what fits my face? There are rules or general guidelines as to what should work and what should not work. Same thing abut what color to get. Online Miller Hats has taken the time to publish a number of guides that are generally accepted ”rules” regarding hat versus your mug and what color goes with your complexion as well as some care tips and measuring sizes etc. Go to the link below and note along the left side of the screen should be a variety of subjects first time buyers may wish to read before making their selection. This link will get you there: http://www.millerhats.com/hatcare_index/hatfaces.html Please note that the Fedora Lounge has a number of Hat Sellers and Makers that are associated with the Lounge. Their support is much appreciated; you should consider visiting their sites before making any purchase. The style you choose is up to you as you have an idea as to what you are looking for. However, it is good to ask questions if your interest is in vintage and you have a style or era that you are shooting for. Then it helps our members to help you when you let us know that you’re looking to recreate a specific style or era or have a movie hat in mind. Feel free to use the search button and if you use Google sometimes that will take you to a thread on the Fedora Lounge. (I am willing to bet a Google or Yahoo search brings a lot of people to the Fedora Lounge when they start on a vintage question.) So of course any Indiana Jones hat question will bring up a lot of threads here (and at Club Obi Wan.) But if you are interested in James Cagney or those hats from Mulholland Falls a search will bring up a number of threads too. The depth of information here is pretty awesome and goes back for many years worth of discussions. If you are getting into hats for the first time please note that as with everything of importance there is a learning curve. If you jump in and just buy without learning you are more likely to make a mistake. There is a good chance you can avoid that mistake with a little research here and around the Web. Nomenclature, if you are asking about a type of hat you’ll want to know if there is a specific name for the type of hat you are interested in getting. You can visit the vendor’s sites for some of that nomenclature. Plus if you have a specific example that you can direct your fellow Loungers to it will help to get everyone talking about the same thing. All hats are not created equal. Most of the hats we are are going to talk about are not a total machine made item, there will be some handling to make it or it can be an all hand made hat. The more hands on it takes the higher the cost usually and the level of quality of the components will influence the price of the finished hat. So first off we have production hats which are factory made, these are the famous brands like Stetson, Borsalino, Dobbs and others. The hat is not a custom order but the production run of a specific number of hats made to the specification of a specific model. They use a number of machines and the workers have one or more tasks that they perform as a sort of assembly line so it is not one individual make a hat from beginning to end in this type of manufacture. The level of fit and finish depends on the price of the hat and the quality control taken in production. The quality of the materials used can run from low to high and again affecting the price. Custom tends to be a special product made to your specifications by usually a single hatter from beginning to end. The quality control is much higher than production and the quality of the materials used can be much better than production hats. The hat is usually made to measure for your head alone. That is the jist of custom, you pick style, color quality level of materials and it is made for your head. Custom hats are like custom cars what you want and what you can get is all based on your check book. In cars the question is “how fast do you want to go” in custom hats it is the level of quality of components and other factors in the making that will lead you to the ultimate question of price A third option that comes up frequently is Vintage. Here is a whole different view of the hat market. First off many people will say; “Ugh! I wouldn’t wear a used hat!” Well, if you read the hat section you will find a lot of people here will just do that. The search for vintage hats is one that many people find thrilling, enjoyable ad rewarding. If you’ve ever been intrigued by the Antiques Road Show program that we see on PBS here in the US then there is a good chance you’ll find vintage hats (especially Fedoras) very appealing. First they thing with vintage hats is the supply is not unlimited, what was made back then is all that was made back then and they can’t make anymore because we can’t go back to back then to have it made. However, they made a lot of hats back then and not all of them have been thrown out. There are all sorts of vintage hats in closets, basements, attics and storage places that have not been offered up to the great market of EBay yet. As a matter of fact, you can start by asking the older folks that are your relatives or relatives of your friends if they have any old hats tucked away that you might be interested in. EBay is a great place to look, thrift stores, rummage sales, estate sales, and even antique stores may have old hats for sale. Next educate yourself. Learn about what makes a good hat and what makes a great hat. You’ll find a number of discussions about the felt used to make fedoras. Fur felt tends to be a better hat than wool felt for a number of reasons, such as a fur felt hat can be cleaned and reblocked which can bring a number of hats back to looking good and a useful life. Old hats can get fixed, as in repaired with some components replaced as needed to renovate or restore the hat. It’s good to be aware as to the cost of such repairs but a special hat that was a good value may be repaired to its former glory and you’ll have a great hat that would be hard to duplicate at any price. There are model styles and color combinations that are not made today, plus so many famous brands are no longer made OR the current production is simply a poor substitute for the really great hats made in the past. (Insert the brand Borsalino here.) As with any collecting- knowledge is key to getting a good deal in Vintage hats but there are some great hats still out there needing a good home at a reasonable price so it may be worth the search. If you read some of the threads the incredible luck of some of the members in finding a great vintage hat is astonishing. I ask others to add to this thread with their advice as to what to consider when making someone is making their first hat purchase. John in Covina Maybe then this can become a sticky?! Last edited by John in Covina; 01-22-2011 at 02:45 PM. placed by permission of Historyteach24 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- QUESTION FROM HISTORYTEACH24 I am thinking about buying a brown hat since it is one of the colors my hat collection is lacking but honestly have no idea what it would go with other than my brown blazer and jeans. Any other colors and a light brown would go good with? As always any guidance is welcome!