Hat Shops in London?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by nicolasb, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. carranty

    carranty One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    England
    Do you own any Akubra's, or other off the shelf hats, how would you say Bates's hats compare with these?
     
  2. daizawaguy

    daizawaguy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,651
    Location:
    Tokyo
    I have one Bates (Weekender) and had a few abubra`s (shorter brim, forget name). There is quite a difference. Firstly, lower level (cheaper) Bates don't use real leather in the band, and there is a high wool (if not mainly) wool component in my weekender felt. Bates seem to source hats from different places (my opinion, given the wide difference in leather bands and finish), although the more expensive ones did have nice felt. Abubra felt is much more standard across their range, and so is finish and the leather bands etc. For me it depends on what `look` you want. Akubra is a `country` hat, with a tallish crown usually, whereas the Bates is a more `city` look. The nice ones though if I recall do go for at least GBP300++. If it`s price you're looking at, you can't beat the Akubra. But frankly, go with a custom, and it will give you return over the years - just my opinion.
     
  3. Methuselah

    Methuselah One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    281
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    I don't own any hat from Bates, but a couple of years ago I went in to try some on whilst wearing my Akubra Stylemaster. Only the really expensive hats were better, most seemed about the same for quality - but that was just my uneducated impression.

    I think that there is a shop in Manchester that sometimes stocks Susquehanna hats - is that a brand that you've considered?
     
  4. carranty

    carranty One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    England
    Oh yeah, I agree you can't beat custom hats, I have two and I love them, but can't afford them every time;). I'd decided to get an Akubra fed, but its not available until January so I was looking into possible alternatives. From the sounds of it, I'll probably give Bates a miss - its probably great if you're near enough to actually visit and try some hats on, but for an online order it just sounds like their quality varies too much and the prices are a little high. Thanks.

    Hmm, I'm pretty close to Manchester but have never heard of this hat brand. Can you give any more info, all I can find on google is a music band or an Abbot & Costello routine
     
  5. mingoslim

    mingoslim Practically Family

    Messages:
    858
    Location:
    Southern Ohio
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  6. ManofKent

    ManofKent My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    They're not bad hats - made by Tonak in the Czech republic (one of the oldest European hat firms). Decent felt and an okayish sweatband. Certainly fair value.
     
  7. PHIL1959

    PHIL1959 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    anchorsholme england
  8. job

    job One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,325
    Location:
    Sanford N.C.
    I gotta get the pink one. :D
     
  9. Panacheman

    Panacheman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    London UK/Montana US
    Being a guest of the big city while I'm here studying, I will say after visiting Lock and Co, Bates, and Laird. the only one I've spent my money at was Bates. I bought a very nice very dark navy blue poet. It is high quality and gorgeous, the finish on the felt is a little more plush then I'm used to but not quite a long haired or silken finish. biggest plus for me was that it came as a open crown letting me bash it myself, which I insisted on doing in store with their steam much to the chagrin of the staff. All and all a good hat and worth what i paid for it in particular compared to the similar model sold at lock and co which is no better in quality and will run you another 75 pounds. that being said Bates is best with a visit. It is the best and only way to find the right hat in the store for you. Because their models range from overpriced to great value, and from the mundane to extravagant.
    On that note wait and buy your fed from akubra I've heard some great things about them.
     
  10. Daze

    Daze New in Town

    Messages:
    37
    Bates do a Poet? oooh I GOT to see one


    Checked the website, nice shape to it too;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  11. DNO

    DNO One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,815
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I have a lot of hats from a lot of makers (nothing custom, though): Borsalino, Stetson, Akubra, Knox, Biltmore, Dobbs, Christies, Dunn, etc. I have one Bates fedora. It's excellent quality, well made, and with lovely thick soft felt, akin to my higher quality Borsalinos. One of my favourite hats.
     
  12. Panacheman

    Panacheman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    London UK/Montana US
    For the money its the best hat they sell. If you make a visit to the brick and morter. I highly suggest that you try on the Bruand, if only for a laugh. When they say wide brim they mean WIIIIIIDE brim.
     
  13. PHIL1959

    PHIL1959 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    anchorsholme england
    just bought a weekender, 100% fur felt ( JL racing felt) not wool as previously stated
    its a nice lightweight hat with a 2inch brim.
     
  14. DJH

    DJH I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,352
    Location:
    Ft Worth, TX
    I used to have a Bates hat, from the 50's I believe.
    Quite nice and decent quality, although the felt was a little stiff compared to other hats I have from the same period.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. ManofKent

    ManofKent My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Looks good David. I wonder who made it for them? There were still a fair few hat manufacturers in the UK back then.
     
  16. daizawaguy

    daizawaguy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,651
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Good for you PHIL1959 - I like my Weekender, and I think it was me that referred to the wool. It says its all felt, but that does not refer to what the blend may consist of. Felt I believe is the process, and not the composition, though I may be wrong.

    [​IMG]

    I have no way to prove there is wool in there, but it does feel rougher and more `synthetic` than some of my pure beaver or rabbit felts - even has some shiny colorless threads that I`d really like to know their composition. My only point for a $300 hat ( I think thats what it converts to ), its on the lower grade of the felt ladder in my opinion. It`s not a criticism of the hat nor the company, just my personal view.

    Here are some more photo`s.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You will also see it`s not very dense, but as I mentioned, a visit to their shop did show that they had some finer felts of top quality further up the price range.

    I`m grateful though that they are still producing hats, and hope my views don`t distract purchases. I don`t regret buying mine, just state my views as to my experience.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  17. daizawaguy

    daizawaguy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,651
    Location:
    Tokyo
    If these hats are made by Tonak, they are available on the Tonak site for just over 1/3 of the Jermyn Street price.

    http://www.tonak.cz/en/e-shop/felt-hats/felt-hat-100036-s412000347

    They also are said to contain `non textile parts of animal origin` :eeek: although they do seem to be 100% fur felt, so I will retract my wool comments.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  18. ManofKent

    ManofKent My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Location:
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    daizawaguy - it looks like a Tonak to me, but whilst I'm sure Bates have a heavy mark up it may not be the same grade of felt as the ones you linked to. Tonak produce hats at various price points, and appear to supply most of the UK hatters.
     
  19. PHIL1959

    PHIL1959 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    anchorsholme england
    hi daizawagay,
    heres photo of my weekender-
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    my hat has 2inch brim-has yours
    im starting to think mine might not be a weekender!
     
  20. ManofKent

    ManofKent My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,039
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Phil - yours is an older model - it's not unknown for hatters to keep the name yet drastically alter the design!

    I think yours might have been made by Christys for Bates from what I can see.
     

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