Giant Pith Helmet Thread of Doom

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Richard, May 16, 2005.

  1. KingAndrew

    KingAndrew A-List Customer

    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Shanghai
    Yes, Silver Springs: Home of the Glass-Bottom Boats. A classic old-time Florida attraction (I'm actually 2nd or 3rd generation Floridian on both sides of my family).

    But if you want to see mermaids, you have to go to Wiki-Watchee, near the Gulf coast. They're not quite topless, but the do wear some skimpy bikini tops (and long fishy tails).
     
  2. Mr. Godfrey

    Mr. Godfrey Practically Family


    Ahh, those mermaids!

    819326_422f_1024x2000.jpg
     
  3. Mr. Godfrey

    Mr. Godfrey Practically Family

    Traditional hunting attire?


    image.jpg
     
  4. Warden

    Warden One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,332
    Location:
    UK
    I have always admired Professor Elemental's pith helmet.

    Bringing pith helmets to the masses.

    (The Prof is on stage after the brief dalek intro)

    [video=youtube;YBLsq_-5zrA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBLsq_-5zrA[/video]
     
  5. Mr. Godfrey

    Mr. Godfrey Practically Family

    Harry, ever considered a happy valley / colonial event themed event? Just reading this thread while the English patent was on.
     
  6. Mr. Godfrey

    Mr. Godfrey Practically Family

    I watched Jungle Moon Man yesterday on TCM, plenty of pith helmet's abound.


    image.jpg
     
    johnnycanuck likes this.
  7. Max

    Max New in Town

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Seattle
    If your noggin' is large, the Village Hat Shop won't suffice. I have a size 8 cranium, and they don't have anything that comes close to fitting me. However, I did find one in a haberdashery in Portland, Oregon.

    The Store is John Helmer.
     
  8. Mr. Godfrey

    Mr. Godfrey Practically Family

    image.jpg
     
  9. Warden

    Warden One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,332
    Location:
    UK
    You know not a bad idea, thank you for the idea.

    We wondered about doing something based on retro sci fi / H G Wells, perhaps something "The Time Travellers Ball". Gives us a little more scope on what we can include.
     
  10. Mr. Godfrey

    Mr. Godfrey Practically Family



    Let me know if you plan one, quite fancy that.
     
  11. Mr. Godfrey

    Mr. Godfrey Practically Family

    Like the outfit too .


    image.jpg
     
    Robert Heyer and johnnycanuck like this.
  12. totallyfrozen

    totallyfrozen One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    What the hey, I'm a little late to the dance but I'll chime in with my opinion in case it can help anyone at all. Let me first get the negative out of the way: Yes, pith helmets are historic and bring to mind British colonization and safari adventures, etc. but that's not a legit reason in my opinion to disregard them today. I've seen posts in this thread about these helmets and in other threads about various hats with comments about not wearing [insert type of hat here] where people might see you etc. Hats are not a part of pop culture like they once were in the US. The days are gone when no man would step outdoors without a hat. So to wear ANY hat is going to require a little courage on your part. You won't make any hat look good if you wear it in shame and walk around with insecurity. People can see insecurity. It's in your body language and in your eyes. Celebrities bring the absolutely most ridiculous attire into fad and fashion because they exude confidence while doing so. So if you like a hat, whether it's a pith helmet or anything else, gird your loins like a man and wear the d*** hat! People hate what they don't understand so if people stare at you or make comments it's usually because they like your hat but don't have the gonads to wear one themselves, they admire your gonads for wearing that hat, or they're jealous of something. Who cares! Let 'em rot.
    Alright, sorry guys, I just had to exhale and vent that out. No offense intended toward any individuals here.

    So I have a pith helmet. I bought a French style from the Village Hat Shop online. Bought the French because it has the widest brim. You're probably familiar with them already. Made of cork, covered in cotton twill, etc. I think they have changed their sweat bands from the uncomfortable vinyl they had before. Mine has a cotton twill sweat band. While it's not thick, it does absorb sweat. It's adjustable with Velcro at the back. Yeah, I know that's not purist but these helmets aren't show pieces in my opinion. For me, this is functional headgear. I'm a 7-1/4 and the Large fits well with some space around my head for air circulation. When I replace this one in the future, I'll probably get a larger one (big head size) to allow even greater air flow. One mistake I made was getting a white one. I should have bought a khaki one. I actually wear mine when working outside in the Texas summer heat and white shows all the dirt and smudges. Cleaning it is a time consuming PITA. I use a toothbrush and white toothpaste or Woolite or white shoe cleaner, etc. just to clean a work hat! The alternative is that the hat would look really awful otherwise. Hats go on your head--above your face--so they effect your look more than any other piece of attire. So my hats have to be clean and in good repair. Eventually, I'll probably tire of that and simply wear the hat until it either breaks or becomes so filthy that I just toss it away and replace it. Earlier in this thread someone stated that piths are outdated and can't do anything a good straw hat can't do. I'm here to answer that comment particularly. I did an A/B comparison over 2 days between my pith helmet and a Dorfman Pacific 388 (genuine rush straw, 4" brim, vented crown, safari style). During this 2 day outdoor test, the ambient temps were around 99°F with the heat index between around 106° to 110°F. For the record, I absolutely love that $10 straw hat. It provides tons of shade, is light, very breathable, and has a comfortable grosgrain sweatband. I often wear it daily when working outside. What I found in my A/B is that a genuine cork pith helmet that fits properly (with open space between head and helmet) works just as well and feels just as cool as that large vented crown straw! One drawback to the pith is the cotton twill sweatband isn't quite as comfortable as the soft grosgrain sweatband. Both sweatbands absorbed a lot of sweat and I did not have sweat running into my eyes. IMO, below about 95°F a good straw hat can usually suffice; however, the pith has one major advantage that you really notice. You cannot drench, soak, or wet a straw hat. The pith helmets perform wonderfully when drenched. When the temps here were above 95° and I could barely stand working outside in the straw hat, I drenched the pith helmet and instantly noticed a drastic improvement in my comfort level. So my take on it is: If you are in serious heat, a pith helmet is more versatile than a straw hat. Dry, a pith is at least as good as a straw. Wet, the pith takes on a whole new dimension of comfort.

    In summary, comparing my $40 French-style pith helmet and my $10 wide brim straw hat...the straw has a wider brim and gives more shade. Both hats are breathable with good air circulation when dry. The pith helmet is several degrees cooler when wet than a straw hat.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
    johnnycanuck and Erik White like this.
  13. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,973
    Location:
    Japan
    Hello,
    Do any of you esteemed ladies and gentlemen know where I can find a Bombay Bowler;

    Unidentified-possibly-Skinners-Horse.jpg Churchill.jpg

    or a Khaki Solar Pith Hat/Cawnpore Tent Club Hat?
    KSPH-Royal-Armoured-Car-School.jpg Cawnpores-tiger-hunting.jpg

    Does anyone make these anymore? I'm a rather large size, and have therefore failed thus far to find a vintage one that fits.
     
    johnnycanuck likes this.
  14. APP Adrian

    APP Adrian A-List Customer

    Messages:
    364
    Location:
    Toronto
    I agree with everything you said.
     
  15. Topper

    Topper Vendor

    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    England
    The ones I get from Asia are Pith - Typically Vietnam are Pith ( but without seeing the hat you are looking at I cannot say for sure) , highly unlikely would be cork as Pith was introduced historically as shipping cork from Europe was too expensive - so a local alternative Pith was used.

    It may be the same material but merely different prices, or styles, some makers are more costly that others.

    With my modern versions Cotton is usual covering on top, with a cardboard/paperboard material in between for smoothness. As such I would not dunk/soak a pith-helmet due to any interlining. But if you are willing to experiment happy to hear any results !

    Use - longevity depends on how often you use them and the maker. too open a question.

    I own a quite a few - worn in Summer and typically at Polo Events as a social headgear. People often interested in them.

    Water resistance - you can always cover the cloth with water resistant sprays. I understand that in history that the marines may have used a diluted mixture of paint.

    The Jaunty Hat from CP Mills http://www.militaryorphanpress.com/ has a lot of history
     
  16. Topper

    Topper Vendor

    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    England
  17. Mr. Godfrey

    Mr. Godfrey Practically Family

    I noticed that Christopher Clarke antiques have some new artwork for sale and perfect to keep this thread going.


    Photographs from the Kings Emperor’s Indian Durbar Tour 1911-1912.

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    Would I just to love to travel like this! (With Renault and Old Sarge along for the ride! :) )



     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
    Robert Heyer likes this.
  18. johnnycanuck

    johnnycanuck Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,304
    Location:
    Alberta
    Fantastic photos. One I would love is the Bombay bowler. Like the one Connery and Cane wore in the man who would be king.
    Johnny
     
  19. RJR

    RJR

    Messages:
    10,622
    Location:
    Iowa

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