Grey bowler hat

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Enig, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Enig

    Enig New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Norway
    Hi! This is my first post here, have been looking around on this forum the last couple of days, looking for info, and I felt this was the right place to ask.

    I have for a long time felt that the bowler hat was "my" hat type, I really like how they look on me. But haven't got around to getting a proper fur felt yet, I have only had a worn wool felt, which really isn't suited to other purposes than when I want to dress up up like a bum :p

    I feel a dark gray colour would be my first choice at this point. I'm a student, and money is scarce, so I have tried finding some at a nice price, but it's not easy.

    The most affordable ones I've found are these two:

    A Lagomarsino:
    http://www.hatguys.com/onlineStore.cfm?storeAction=_view&prodID=206&srow=na

    and on this site they have the Biltmore derby and some other, cheaper unnamed brand:
    http://www.hatalog.com/MensDressFeltsFurFelts.htm

    Have any of you experiences with these sites/brands? I have been looking around this forum lately, and I found something about the Lagomarsino having problems with the shapes and trimmings, but I think that was about another hat style, so if anyone would like to elaborate on this, it would be much appreciated.

    I sent an e-mail to the adress on the second link I posted, asking for pictures and info on the unnamed brand. Got no answer.

    Any info would be appreciated, some pics would be useful too, if you have :)

    And how rare is it to find vintage gray bowlers on ebay? I'm a size 59cm (7 3/8)

    Cheers
    Enig
     
  2. Dreispitz

    Dreispitz One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,164
    Welcome to the Lounge!

    Gray vintage Bowlers are ultra rare. The easiest for you will be to check Ebay UK for 7 1/4 (UK size for 59 cm) Bowlers. Beware, there is a lot of modern junk around.
     
  3. Enig

    Enig New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Norway
    Thanks for the welcome and the advice :) What kind of hat have you got in your avatar? It looked good!

    Too bad about the difficulty in getting a gray vintage one, but I'm saving a couple of search strings on ebay nontheless. I might get lucky one day.

    I found out the "unnamed" brand on one of the sites I linked to was a Bailey (for some reason I read the word Bailey as another word for derby :eusa_doh:).

    Neither the Bailey, nor the Biltmore looked right to me. The picture of the Lagomarsino looked more correct, and the charcoal colour shown when you choose colour on the site looks like the colour I'd like. The picture of the hat isn't that good, though, doesn't give a good feeling of the shape. Still, I think it's the closest I've found to what I'm after.


    Found one on Miller that looked nice:
    http://www.millerhats.com/homburg_index/homburg3.html
    It says it's brown in the description, though, and too bright gray colour, but it looked alright in the shape.
     
  4. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

    Messages:
    16,113
    Location:
    Maryland
    I think you are going to have a hard time finding a current one that can match a vintage one like Dreispitz's.

    You may want to look at this thread. It has some info on current makers like Patey, Christys', ect and how they match up to vintage.

    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?t=46085

    This thread has all kinds of info on (mostly vintage) bowlers / derbies / melones.

    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?t=34544
     
  5. Dreispitz

    Dreispitz One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,164
    It is a mid 50ies Lincoln Bennett.

    Do follow Mayserwegener´s advice and have a look through the threads. Then, get a vintage - pre 70ies - one. You may be lucky in getting one for very little money. Unless I am fishing in the same pond. I am a 59, tooooo lol
     
  6. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    Especially don't get a wool felt bowler. A bowler needs to be very rigid and you're not going to get this with wool. Spend some time looking at the hats here and learn. Don't rush into anything.
    Welcome! Enjoy!
     
  7. Enig

    Enig New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Norway
    Thanks :) That was almost the first thing I learnt when I started browsing this forum, that fur felt was the thing to go for (found out just before paying for a wool fur I had been looking at) :)

    Good threads. Especially liked this one:
    [​IMG]
    Would have loved getting that hat on some point.

    Stumbled upon this hat:
    http://www.dirtybillyshats.com/c24.htm
    It was available in gray, and from the picture it looked alright to my untrained eye.

    [​IMG]
    http://www.dirtybillyshats.com/c24.jpg
    If it's a reproduction, it should be closer to the vintage style, shouldn't it? So if I can't get hold of a vintage one, maybe this'll do? (at least until a real vintage shows up?)
     
  8. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

    Messages:
    16,113
    Location:
    Maryland
    It looks pretty nice but I have no personal experience with this hatter.

    As stated it is going to be hard to match a vintage bowler. For example here is a early 1900s P. & C. Habig bowler of mine. Notice the extreme curl, binding and blocking work. When you tap the finely finished felt it pops due to the shellac process. I would be very surprised if any hat maker today could produce such a hat.

    [​IMG]

    There are plenty of black vintage bowlers / derbies / melones available. I think it is going to be next to impossible to find a vintage one in gray though.
     
  9. Sam Craig

    Sam Craig One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,356
    Location:
    Great Bend, Kansas
    try homburg first

    Enig,

    I don't know how things show up over there, but here it is much easier to find a vintage grey homburg that hasn't seen too much wear and then have it reblocked as a tall-crowned bowler.

    At least that is a possibility that will keep you to fur felt.

    I agree that, other than for a costume, you probably won't like a wool felt bowler for very long.

    Better to go with a good quality black bowler than a different color in a cheaper quality hat.

    I've dreamed of lucking onto a great old brown derby since the early 70s and have never seen one yet in my size.

    There's always tomorrow, though!
     
  10. Enig

    Enig New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Norway
    Hm, that Homburg idea wasn't bad. I'll try to find out the possibilities for reblocking my hat, though I don't think it's easy to find someone who can do it here in Norway. Through google I found a woman who makes hats, I'll send her a mail to find out if she is capable of doing it.If not, I think I'll try out that Lagomarsino. Have tried contacting the seller, but haven't got an answer yet. Won't buy anything until I'm sure I can get in touch with them if there's any trouble.
     
  11. mayserwegener

    mayserwegener

    Messages:
    16,113
    Location:
    Maryland
    It would also require a stiffening process to get a true bowler feel. Many times vintage ones will actually have cracks from being mishandled. Also the Bowler flange is different than a Homburg. I don't have a current dress bowler but my guess is that most of them are soft compared to vintage (plus the other issues previously mentioned).
     
  12. Enig

    Enig New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Norway
    Wow, actually got an answer. She said it would be easier if she got hold of a grey bowler for me. Hope she manages to find something good.
     
  13. Sam Craig

    Sam Craig One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,356
    Location:
    Great Bend, Kansas
    Go for it!

    Good luck with the grey bowler.

    That would be the best of both worlds.

    Let us know if she finds you one.:eusa_clap
     
  14. Enig

    Enig New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Norway
    It's weird. After the first quick replies she suddenly just stopped answering, and I haven't heard from her since then, even if I've sent a couple more mails after that too.


    Well, I went for that Lagomarsino I linked to earlier in this thread. Got it in the mail on Friday (just in time to use it on the first international derby day :))

    It was in a charcoal colour, and much darker than I had thought, almost black. But I'm still contended with it. Seemed nice in shape too, I was surprised how wide it seemed, as most modern bowlers I've seen around have had quite small brims. It felt a bit tight too, I'm a size 59, and I couldn't get it to more than 58 when I measured it, even if it was marked as 59. But a little steam+wearing it at the tightest point for a while seemed to do the trick. Now it's almost perfect.

    A poor webcam-photo for your amusement:
    [​IMG]

    At least I've got a dark bowler, I'm not gonna get me a black one until a vintage in my size pops up, this one works for that use, as it looks black enough. But I still need a gray one.

    Read that Christy's are making a gray one now, can't wait to see how it turns out. If it looks good, I'm getting it! I just hope Christy's have a bigger 59-size... How are your experiences in bowler sizes between brands? How about Christy's? Would it be possible to do anything yourself on harder hats, as Christy's probably will be? I can't imagine it's as easy as just steaming it a little then. I feel a full 60 would be too big, I tried a softer fedora in 58 (at least it measured to 58, didn't have a size tag), and it fit me perfect, so I thought 59 would be good enough for bowlers, but this hat made me a bit unsure.
     
  15. Sam Craig

    Sam Craig One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,356
    Location:
    Great Bend, Kansas
    That is one Cracker-Jack Bowler!:eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap

    Congratulations, it looks terrific.

    Remember it the first Friday of March as we continue to celebrate International Derby Day on the first Friday of each month, "bringing class to our culture since 2010!"

    OK, we're still working on the motto, but in our first outing, we were active all across the U.S. and on at least three contients, which ain't a bad start!
     
  16. Brad Bowers

    Brad Bowers I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,187
    Wow, for a modern Derby, it's got really nice proportions. Looks like you got a winner there!

    Brad
     
  17. Sam Craig

    Sam Craig One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,356
    Location:
    Great Bend, Kansas
    Brad is right

    Maybe we need to start importing those over the pond!:eusa_clap
     
  18. Enig

    Enig New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Norway
    Thank you for your kind comments :) Makes me feel even more happy about it! I'll try to get some better pictures when I can, but I'm currently camera-less. Maybe I should have used my money on a camera instead? Just kidding, of course ;)

    I'll certainly do my part in celebrating the International Derby Day every month, so Norway is represented!
     
  19. Sam Craig

    Sam Craig One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,356
    Location:
    Great Bend, Kansas
    Alt for Norge!
     
  20. runeflaten

    runeflaten New in Town

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Oslo
    I've asked at Holms hatter in Oslo once, and they say they can help with reblocking if you ever need that. Don't know where in Norway you live, though, but I suspect that's the only place in the country where you can have hats reblocked...
     

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