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Discussion in 'Hats' started by illumin8em, Oct 30, 2009.
To me, it sounds like you are after a "Western fedora, like Woody Harrelson's in "The Highwaymen":
I can’t remember. What kind of crown does that have? Center? C crown? I did a quick search and Optimo hats made it but I find them cost prohibitive. Maybe custom from one of the other reputable vendors here.
Hi All... I am looking at purchasing a nice fur felt fedora. The Stetson Chatham and the Stetson Sutley are on my list. However...while searching retailers I'm finding a noticeable disparity in pricing. The prices range in difference from $100.00 to $200.00 for the same hat. What retailers can you recommend for good pricing (preferably lower) and does any offer a military discount? Thanks JC
This is a favorite of mine. Usually great prices too:
I have owned a couple of Chathams, grey and sage. A word of caution they are a very stiff cardboard like felt. Like the style but not the hand of the felt.
Stetson has a factory seconds store you can call up and get them to mail to you. I have never done this but a few people here have and reported it as a positive experience. I personally would look at the Akubra lineup. Fedora, style master, bogart, similar styles and dimensions. Akubra has a better reputation for a sturdy hat that can take the elements and last for years. Really depends on your budget and what you want.
Hope that helps some.
^^^^^What he said. If you feel adventurous, they are very accommodating at the Garland outlet. You can actually describe what you're looking for, they'll "shop" for you, and even text pics. Then they box it up and send it to you.
And they're just as nice in person.
Oh, also what he said about Akubras. Johnny's a smart guy!
Natch, he is a good Canadian kid!
Snagged the Stetson Stratoliner Premier in Cornhill (right) as my first hat from Delmonico Hatter in New Haven, CT. Yes, they did Military Discount, but it is the same 15% they offer during holiday sales. (CYBER20 is good until Dec 7th).
I fell in love with the open crown and the ability to shape as I desire, and then opted for the Akubra Campdraft Deluxe in Silverbelly (left) which is also an open crown. I went ahead and “bashed” both of these hats and shaped them to my liking.
A open crown hat in my opinion is the best first hat to buy seeing as you can play around with the shape that suits you best.
You have a great pair with those two.
Thank. Not something I hear a lot but I will take it.
That's what they felt like when they were new back in the old day. Perhaps you should embrace reality and not the nonsense some of your peers are guilty of. You see all of those crinkles in the old movies from hand manipulation? Right.
How do I know? I've owned some NOS Stetsons.
Not sure the point you are trying to make. I was just giving feedback on my specific experience of owning 2 Chathams. I have other vintage Stetsons and even a few modern ones that have a wonderful soft hand and not cardboardy at all. This is MY experience....you are welcome to your own.
My point is that you are saying "wonderful soft hand" is how it is supposed to be. This is nonsense you people made up.
The hats were cardboardy throughout history because of the shellac. If they're not NOS, then most of the cardboardy has been removed from them. Like it all you want, but that's how they came new and if you don't like the truth, that's your fault, not mine.
Have you felt good fur felt? The new Stetson Royal De Luxe in the premier line is decent. The recently discontinued open crown hats using the “Excellent” “Pure Beaver” felt are very nice, no “cardboardy” feel right out of the box. The Excellent grade felt has a great hand and was dense and easily molded quite like NOS vintage felt that I own several of. Nothing at all like the felt on the current Chatham which is what @belfastboy was giving his educated and firsthand opinion on.
I have a brand new 50X FEPSA felt that is also very vintage in hand and other characteristics; nothing at all cardboard like about it. If you look at quality vintage felt from the mid-1950s and earlier it was not full of shellac and it was/is nothing at all like anything in the current Stetson line up. It’s demonstrably untrue to say that felt from say 1940 is substantially the same as felt from 2020. It’s not the passing of 80 years that accounts for the majority of the change, but rather the materials and the felting process that have changed. The felt Stetson is using today will not become like the felt from 1940 if we wait 80 years. Just like the felt from
1970 hasn’t gotten any better with the passing of 50 years.
These observations are not some sort of groupthink aberration. We each come to this all on our own with experiencing new and various vintages of felt. “Hats were cardboardy throughout history”? Not by my firsthand observations. Many vintage hats were sold originally open crown and shaped in the stores or after purchase. The felt was different. Of course you have the right to your own opinion, but I don’t think many (any?) folks around here who have dozens and even hundreds of hats of various vintages are going to agree.
NOS to what time period?
We are sometimes guilty of over generalizing, but that is more due to the fact that it's hard to speak about specifics beyond decades as units of measurement.
There is something to be said that just by the sheer fact of age, any hat we handle today is not exactly as it was back in the day, NOS or not. On the other hand, for the first few decades of the 20th century even the Boss of the Plains was considered a "soft felt" hat. Stiff felts were used for Derbies and Bowlers.
"Stiff brim, soft crown."
I don't think a hat marketed as being able to be be "punch[ed]" into "most any shape" would have been "cardboardy" when sold new. Those two things seem incongruous.
NOS Stratoliners, so immediate postwar. My cadet blue Strat is quite stiff. Audible *snap* when you pull the brim down in front.
And yes, I have handled all sorts of felts; heck, I have three Brass Rooster Vintage 125s made from unused hoods from the 50s.
I don't believe anyone uses shellac as a stiffener these days, so I would not expect a new hat to feel anything like what they did back in the day.
I did just order one of the Stetson Pure Stratoliners since there was 25% off. Eager to see what "Alabaster" looks like in person.
Do you always read things into other's comments? I challenge you to find anywhere in my comments where I state how things 'should be. I only stated MY preference......I am still allowed that am I not? You could pop over and feel the hand on my Stetsonians, my 1940's Nutria, and my 1950's OR, all with a wonderfully soft hand and IMHO far superior to the cardboard feel of the Chatham and others.
The Brass Rooster hats may be demonstrative of vintage felt density, but being as they were finished by Brass Rooster, not so much indicative of how vintage hats were finished, nor representative of how a factory fresh NOS hat would have been.
Some among us have come to use "soft hand" to refer to the tactile qualities of the felt and not its malleability per se.