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Hat price perception in an inflationary environment

How much is the maximum price you would pay for a custom hat?

  • $400

  • $600

  • $750

  • $1000


Results are only viewable after voting.

GuitarGuy99

One of the Regulars
Messages
122
Interesting thread. I've never had a custom made hat, but I was looking at Northwest Hats and their rabbit fur hats seem reasonable at $299.00. I'm not sure how much higher the price would go when you figure in shipping and taxes. Any ideas on how high the price could go for a rabbit felt fedora?
 
Messages
18,818
Location
Central California
Interesting thread. I've never had a custom made hat, but I was looking at Northwest Hats and their rabbit fur hats seem reasonable at $299.00. I'm not sure how much higher the price would go when you figure in shipping and taxes. Any ideas on how high the price could go for a rabbit felt fedora?


I don’t live in Oregon, where Northwest is located, and he hasn’t charged me sales tax. His shipping was reasonable, maybe $20(ish) but then I’m only one state away.
 
Messages
10,268
Location
vancouver, canada
Pay off the right person/people and I'm sure you can have them put in your coffin with you if you're going to be buried, or in the retort if you're going to be cremated. :cool:
I suspect I will die before my younger wife so to take my money with me would be cruel. However, I am sure she would be pleased to put all my stuff in the cardboard box prior to cremation.....BUT it would be one helluva big box and not likely to fit in the furnace.
 
Messages
10,268
Location
vancouver, canada
Interesting thread. I've never had a custom made hat, but I was looking at Northwest Hats and their rabbit fur hats seem reasonable at $299.00. I'm not sure how much higher the price would go when you figure in shipping and taxes. Any ideas on how high the price could go for a rabbit felt fedora?
Many hatters stick with just the beaver felt offerings as it cuts down the inventory management headaches (especially in these times of supply shortages). $250 - $350 seems to be the range for a custom rabbit fedora. Western customs run much higher for both rabbit and beaver.....sometimes by a factor of 2 or 3 times. For a fedora sized brim the cost to ship across the USA is in the $20-$25 range.....depending on box size.
 
Messages
14,982
Location
Buffalo, NY
I've never had the urge to purchase a contemporary fedora or western hat, which seems odd when I think about it as I can accumulate with the best of them and have purchased quite a few vintage and antique hats. I've visited Optimo a few times and handled their felt hats but never found one that intrigued me enough to ask the price. I did admire their straw collection and have had Graham refurbish both straw and felt hats over the years. I love buying berets (hard to spend over $100 there) and have purchased a few nylon hats from Tilley for more rugged use. And I love the vintage inspired caps hand crafted by Keith Lo Bue and Jonathan Cordova, selecting mostly for the unusual vintage and antique fabrics that they use in their constructions.

I wonder if the vintage market will reflect the increase in the cost of new materials - as used cars have grown in price with the limited availability of new models? I haven't been hunting as I once did.
 

Lew Decker

New in Town
Messages
43
Location
exeter, nh
I recently wrote to Optimo a grievance on their prices. Their response was exactly as you imagine. I just can’t justify spending in the four digits. There are options though and so I’m in the process of purchasing a hat from Mr. P at HNC. I don’t hear much about him. If anyone here has bought one please answer me this: would you buy another?
 
Messages
18,818
Location
Central California
I recently wrote to Optimo a grievance on their prices. Their response was exactly as you imagine. I just can’t justify spending in the four digits. There are options though and so I’m in the process of purchasing a hat from Mr. P at HNC. I don’t hear much about him. If anyone here has bought one please answer me this: would you buy another?


I’m an unrepentant capitalist and don’t begrudge anyone selling for what the market allows. If Optimo’s business model allows for him to charge what he does and still get the volume of business he needs then good for him.

Mr. P has continued to improve his quality, but you need to have reasonable expectations at his prices. Have you read through the Agnoulita thread?

https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/agnoulita-hats.93020/
 

marzony

New in Town
Messages
11
I recently wrote to Optimo a grievance on their prices. Their response was exactly as you imagine. I just can’t justify spending in the four digits. There are options though and so I’m in the process of purchasing a hat from Mr. P at HNC. I don’t hear much about him. If anyone here has bought one please answer me this: would you buy another?
They seem to have decreased prices on mid to high-end of their hats after they launched their new website.
 

The Shoe

One Too Many
Messages
1,736
Location
Wakayama, Japan
I got my last two Hornskovs just after the price rise, but with a 25% discount due to points accrued to that point. I got a shock when I went to order them because when the prices increased, they changed the points system and I no longer qualified for 25% off. To Peter’s credit, when I messaged him about it, he gave me the discount without hesitation. But I suspect that they will sadly be my last Hornskovs, and I also suspect there will be only one more custom hat in my future - I’m pitching for a Gannon for Christmas this year.
That said, Wolfbrae have also been grabbing my attention of late. I haven’t messaged Robert for a quote, but that is another possibility. Otherwise, I’ll just be looking to our great enablers Stefan, Brent and Daniele to keep my head covered.
 

StoryPNW

Practically Family
Messages
949
Location
Oregon
I got my last two Hornskovs just after the price rise, but with a 25% discount due to points accrued to that point. I got a shock when I went to order them because when the prices increased, they changed the points system and I no longer qualified for 25% off. To Peter’s credit, when I messaged him about it, he gave me the discount without hesitation. But I suspect that they will sadly be my last Hornskovs, and I also suspect there will be only one more custom hat in my future - I’m pitching for a Gannon for Christmas this year.
That said, Wolfbrae have also been grabbing my attention of late. I haven’t messaged Robert for a quote, but that is another possibility. Otherwise, I’ll just be looking to our great enablers Stefan, Brent and Daniele to keep my head covered.
I really like some of Hornskovs hats, really top notch. That would be my next new hat for sure but their prices went up again after the website redesign and I'm not sure I can justify it. I might swing for another Gannon or Wolfbrae though. I haven't tried an Agnoulita yet either.
 

glider

A-List Customer
Messages
389
Anytime I venture into high end products I'm doing it to satisfy myself, I'm not trying to impress anyone. That being said, I don't see enough difference in a 200 dollar hat and a 1000 dollar hat to dig deeper. What I really enjoy is finding a nice fur felt fedora at goodwill for 35 bucks and I have. I imagine most of us have. Stetson, Akubra, Dobbs, and a few others in that range suit me fine.
 
Messages
18,818
Location
Central California
Anytime I venture into high end products I'm doing it to satisfy myself, I'm not trying to impress anyone. That being said, I don't see enough difference in a 200 dollar hat and a 1000 dollar hat to dig deeper. What I really enjoy is finding a nice fur felt fedora at goodwill for 35 bucks and I have. I imagine most of us have. Stetson, Akubra, Dobbs, and a few others in that range suit me fine.


If there were enough vintage hats in my size I’d be right there with you. I doubt I would have commissioned a single custom hat if my hat size was between 6 ⅞ and 7 ⅛. To me, there is a huge difference in quality, fit, and beauty when comparing a recent Akubra, Stetson, etc. to a custom hat. If one can’t find a 1940s vintage hat in your size then I see the value in a custom…I’ve only broken $500 a few times and most have been less. I too can’t see the value, for me personally, in a $1000+ hat be it custom or vintage, but I’m happy that others can. Their purchases today are my bargain finds down the road!
 

Genuine Classic Gangster

One of the Regulars
Messages
159
Location
Canada
I have gone over $1,000 CAD before for Optimo hats, especially since I had to pay for shipping & taxes to Canada.

However, with Optimo's more recent jacking up of prices in the last few years, I probably won't be able to buy from them any more...they were already super expensive to me before that, and now they've gone way way way beyond my acceptable price threshold. I am nowhere close to being rich, but it seems like they are now catering exclusively to rich customers.

My long hair Melusline Emerald Green hat from them is definitely the best hat I've ever owned though, and I am guaranteed to get multiple compliments on it every time I wear it. It's super shiny and amazing-looking. It might very possibly be the best felt hat that is ever worn in my city.

I also paid about $1,000 CAD after taxes and shipping and currency conversions for one of Optimo's lightweight felt hats several years ago, but in retrospect, I regret that particular purchase since that specific hat didn't hold up over time.

I got it with a raw edge and some of the felt at one part of the edge disappeared after a while...and also its really bad at holding it's shape over time, and after being used for some years, the felt feels mighty frail to me (they might spin that as a good thing by saying "it becomes softer over time," but to me it became frailer, not just softer over time, which is a very bad thing, not a good thing).

I think it's probably not worth having me send it for them to service anymore, which I've done once before. I probably wore it for 3 years, then had serviced, but it still wasn't in top condition after it was serviced, and then I wore it for another couple of years, and then it became too messed up to wear any more or to redeem, I think. I don't think the relatively few years of use that I got out of it are worth the very high price that I paid to buy it.

I would still like to own a real pure silverbelly hat one day (the real belly fur, not the dyed color) and I expect that will cost me over $1000, but I'd be willing to pay that much if I can save up enough money for that.

Since I have wanted one for a long time, originally I was going to go with Optimo for that true Silverbelly, back when their prices for it used to be $1,000 USD on the dot, but now with their even more uber-increased prices I'm definitely, if I ever get the chance, going to buy it from another hatter instead, one that sells it at price closer to that $1000 USD mark.
 

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