Hat sizing revisited

Discussion in 'Hats' started by armod, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Golden

    Golden Familiar Face

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Golden
    hmmmm
    so going up 1 size is ok fit wise then?
    how to "convince" the hat into that?
    there is a vintage nice whippet at 7 3/8 I want...

    -j
     
  2. Lotsahats

    Lotsahats One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,370
    It's really important to know your head size with some precision; also keep in mind that vintage hats might be loose or right around their size depending on the head that wore the hat. I'm a 7 3/8, but there are some 7 1/4s and 7 1/2s I can wear, too. As you get more familiar with hats, you'll figure out what works for you.
     
  3. hatsRme

    hatsRme

    Messages:
    10,102
    Location:
    Boston area
    Lotsahats is right on the money, IMHO!

    Ebay has lots of folks selling hat stretchers, averaging about $20. Well worth the investment for a noggin of your size.
     
  4. fedoracentric

    fedoracentric Banned

    Messages:
    1,362
    Location:
    Streamwood, IL
    I have found that it is safer and easier to stretch new hats only one size. But more than that you need to have a hatter tear out the sweatband and re-assemble it to your size. Others here have said they can stretch two sizes, but I have found that it doesn't work well more than one size. It warps brims, put bends in crowns and tapers crowns more than one size, I have found..

    Stretching vintage hats can be dicey. Sometimes they stretch easily. Other times it rips the sweatband all to pieces. You can never tell what an old leather sweat will do. Sometimes they just rip in crazy places or the stitches pop and get ruined. Other times they are fine.

    Like I said, one size can work. But more than that and you would be safer to just re-build it.

    Finally, you may stretch a hat to a perfect fit. Then put it away and go back to it days later and find it shrunk right back down to where you started. One stretch doesn't always do the trick.

    This has been my experience.
     
  5. carldelo

    carldelo One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Astoria, NYC
    I agree with fedoracentric re stretching - every hat I've stretched later went back to its original size. Even one done by a hatter.

    Also, vintage hats often have shrunk over time, and one marked in your size may not fit. The sweat band circumference dimension is the best indicator of fit, but is hard to get, and hard to trust if done by someone else.
     
  6. hatsRme

    hatsRme

    Messages:
    10,102
    Location:
    Boston area
    All Felt (especially wool) does have a tendency to shrink when it gets moist from rain or perspiration. Even high humidity, over a long time will cause it, too. Couple this with the shrinkage of the leather sweatband, and your hats get slightly smaller. This is why heaven invented band blocks and hat stretchers, I think.
     
  7. Golden

    Golden Familiar Face

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Golden
    Maybe I just need to find someone to make me one then...

    ty everyone

    -j
     
  8. Socially Distorted

    Socially Distorted New in Town

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    UK
    UK hat sizing question

    Hi guys
    I wonder if anyone more knowledgeable than I would know when abouts the UK started to add metric sizing to hats? I have acquired a nice bates hat (it was in awful shape with the original ribbon being hacked off and replaced by a velvet monstrosity). The hat is labled 6 3/4 55. Was it purely post metrification (1970S) or earlier with the European market in mind? I have emailed the company but received no response. I made a wearable hat out of it and would love to date it if at all possible, cheers, S.D
     

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