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Gift giving a hat. Is it a good idea?


One Too Many
Sorry if I'm asking a question asked before. I don't wear hats, and the only man I know that wears them is my dad, and it's a cowboy hat.

My husband wants a fedora. He's an idiot about hats, I've gotten it down to "gangster" style, for everyday wear rather then the ball caps he's currently wearing.

What do you guys suggest? He's not an overlarge head, 7 3/8. Suits are in all kinds of colors: black, olive, grey and a tweedish brown. I don't want to start the hunt for a good vintage one if he's not going to wear it, just a good starter hat for him to see if it's what he wants. Is it even a good idea to get him one for Christmas? Should I get a gift certificate and let him pick it out...uh help? Please?


A-List Customer
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
I'm far from an expert on Hats, but if it's something your hubby has expressed interest in then it's a good gift. Only you can judge just how much he wants it.

For example, was it a passing flight-of-fancy while watching Road to Perdition that he said "Cool hat!"

Or has it been to the point of him looking for hats himself? Making it a goal of his to find a hat, perhaps?

Obviously it won't be so black-and-white as this, but it's something for you to think about, as only you can really tell.

You see, if you get him a hat when he just thinks they are cool, while I have no doubt he'll like it, he may not be comfortable wearing it and it'll collect dust, or worse,he will wear it anyway to make you happy, making it a bit awkward. But, if he really wants one and you get him one--he'll be thrilled beyond belief.

I would reccomend www.hatsdirect.com; they offer great service and a wide range of Fedoras. Plenty of styles, plenty of colors, and Akubras are a very sturdy hat (I own a Federation, and I've worn it through thick and thin)

As far as colors go, I've personally always preferred shades of Brown or Gray (grey?). They tend to go with a variety of suit colors. There will be more informed folk then I chiming in here shortly, though, so stay tuned, and perhaps browse the above site to get an idea of what you are looking for.

Personally, I would LOVE to get a hat as a gift, so if it turns out he doesn't want it, PM me for my mailing address :D :p



A-List Customer
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Hi Elaina,

I think what you mean by 'personal' is that it's like, say, a Suit--a man has to get a suit that not only fits him physically, but mentally as well. That is to say, he has to FEEL good in the suit to LOOK good in the suit.

Inso far as hats go, I'd say it greatly depends on the man. There are folks here with dozens (I dare say, on occasion, over 100) different hats. Then there are those like me, who have very few--3 or 4.

By purchasing a hat for your hubby, while it may not be the be-all-end-all hat (As many loungers can attest, that is rarely the case!)--it does introduce him to hats and hat wearing.

The gift certificate idea is a good one, save for 2 reasons.

1) Hard enough to find a hatter; harder still to pick a price for hats; and near impossible to correctly peg a price for a gift certificate

2)It's a bit like giving a ring with the price tag still tied to the box :)

'Course, you can throw in a card with the Lounge's URL on the gift too!

Again, this is just my opinion on things--I'll be interested to see what other loungers think, as I've often considered getting a hat for my Dad.


My Mail is Forwarded Here
I have often given hats as gifts. I have given to both men and women. I can be difficult to pick the right style or color but I feel that if the hat you gift is well made and is generally a good color and shape then who ever recieves it will be pleased by virtue of it being from you.
I do a lot of leg work when giving a hat I make sure the color is right and the porportions are close to the wearers figure, head and face shape so the hat won't look strange and make sure that it will fit well. I find the type of hat is less important than it fitting well and being well made.

Byrne Sherwood

Familiar Face
New Orleans, Louisiana
There are a lot of variables when buying a hat, such as color, brim width, crown height and shape, etc. If possible, you should bring him to a a hat shop to try on different ones to see what suits him. Your encouragement might make all the difference in getting him to take the leap. Beginning to wear a hat is a big step as you are inviting attention to yourself through being a bit unique, so he may be reluctant. That is, he may like the idea, but be shy about executing. I know gift certificates take some of the fun and mystery out of gift giving, but it's probably a good way to go under the circumstances. It's also worth perusing this site for advice on who makes quality hats these days. Akubra and Biltmore seem to get high marks. Also, don't spend an arm and a leg on the first hat as he might decide to change styles after getting used to a hat. Likewise, don't buy the cheapest available as he may be disappoited with the quality and turned off of hats. I would guess that $100 would be a good figure with which to work. Good luck and keep us posted.


Hardlucksville, NY
A gift can make a great hat if someone is interested.
In the 90's I had a friend who was very into the group U2. Bono and the Edge used to wear cowboy style hats quite a bit then.
For my friend's birthday I got him a black cowboy hat with a silver buckle style hatband and he loved it!

I say go for it.
Covina, Califonia 91722
Many questions more to ask.

Hi Elaine!

Do you have an idea as to how much you want to spend?[huh]

Figure in new you will start at $100 plus for something decent, and say from Art Fawcett about $300 for a custom and then up higher for others.

From Ebay you probably can do pretty good, only a fraction of hats listed tend to go above $100 at this time, and those that do are highly prized. Many really nice hats can go for less on Ebay, but you take a chance on fit and condition.

There is a lot of advice in various threads on Ebay buying and selling here so try some searches.

What type of quality do you want?
If it is a passing fancy, a wool felt hat may suffice, but you may want to get fur felt as the higher quality. It will last much longer if fur usually.

A style? What will fit his face and build. Go Here:

Miller's has some general guide lines that tend to work well for getting a match for style to the man.

What will match his clothing tastes and suit colors?

There are some rules as to hat colors to suits which you can find here by doing some searches.

A gift certificate may be the thing if this seems overly complacated. You can give what you want and he can add to it as needed to get what he wants should he go for something special in a top quality hat.


A-List Customer
Charlotte, NC
Why not do it like they used to?

In the old days, if you wanted to give a man a hat, you gave him that era's equivalent of a gift certificate - a miniature hat. He then went in and chose the hat best suited to his tastes. These were very common, and there is a collectors market for them today.

I have bought several on ebay, typically for $5 to $15 (though you can pay a lot more for rarer ones). Here's an example:


Just search for "hat sample," "fedora sample" or "hat miniature." Most sellers call them "samples," but they are indeed gift certificates used from around the '30s until into the early '60s.

After giving him the miniature, take him to a local hat shop, or have him go to one of the Lounge professional members' websites (like Aaron's Hats or The Fedora Store) and pick out a favorite.


One of the Regulars
suburban philadelphia

you seem to have good taste and a sense of style. i am sure your choice would be excellent. think of it this way; if his sense of style hasn't as yet included hats, then his chance of finding something really flattering in his first purchase are rather remote anyway. i have found it takes a bit of trial and error to come upon your signature.

your choice will be great . . . not only because of your sense of style but because it is YOUR choice. go for it!

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