Just received my oldest Stratoliner back from a cleaning & blocking by Oscar at South Street Hats.
He did another great job. Will post some photos soon but wanted to post another endorsement & thank you to Oscar.
Thanks to Matt again as well. Wish I had such a shop in my neighborhood. Send them some work to keep them in business!!!
There is actually a fedora of the brand Newfeld's for sale now on eBay which was sold at Dietz shop in Phili. Here are some pictures from the auction. I am thinking of bidding! It is a rare putty color with a very nice edge.
I went into Philadelphia today to look for hat stores. I had read in a posting here that the Hat Shopp at 810 South Street was open for business. It is not -- it is an empty space with just a couple of window stickers advertising Kangol.
There is, however, a place at the Hat Shop at 524 South Street. Its stock was mostly caps, trendy trilbies and wool felt hats. The man behind the counter did not seem especially interested in selling me anything. I was really looking for a hatband to replace the one on my straw stingy brim pork pie that has faded to purple. He said he did not have any for sale. I spotted one,a blue pug, lying on a shelf, unattached to any hat. I asked if he would sell me that one. He declined.
I then visited Hats in the Belfry at 533 South Street. I know these places generally do not rate highly at the Lounge because their stock is mostly trendy hats and less expensive wool felt hats. But this particular franchise has a large space that can accommodate both trendy and traditional hats. In fact, I saw my first Stetson Stratoliner -- both in straw and fur felt. (I have to agree with the criticism I read about the lightness of the hat -- its felt is tissue thin and overall the hat seems to lack heft. Still, it is a nice looking hat.)
And they stock Borsalinos as well, also in straw and felt.
But better yet, they had ribbons in stock. It took the salesman Robert a few minutes to steam and fit it. It was not a pug alas, but a traditional one complete with bow. Still, I like it a lot.
Robert also seemed knowledgeable about hats and did not mind chatting about them. He told me they offer free steaming/blocking and re-sizing services. So I am going to return and bring a couple of hats with that could benefit from those services.
Yeah, tell me about it. I still fondly remember shopping for hats with my Dad at the old Stetson store on 17th and Walnut back in the '70s. Great newspaper bar right next door that also closed down decades ago.
There was another nice place for hats on 12th Street close to the Reading Terminal Market that also seems to have closed its doors for good.
I must politely disagree. Philly is no rougher now than it ever has been. If anything, it's safer. Lot's of formerly sketchy neighborhoods are gentrifying or just getting nicer in general. The notoriously bad neighborhoods are still bad (and most criminal activity is there), but you'd have to really get lost and ignore visual cues to wind up in them. I approach Philadelphia with the same amount of caution as any major east coast city.