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Looking for a hat

Rafal

New in Town
Messages
20
Location
Ontario, Canada
Hi Everybody,

I have recently joined the Fedora Lounde and I am interested in trying a proper felt hat. I'm not sure if I can pull it off, but it will be interesting to try. When int comes to choosing my first hat, I'm stumped. I think I'd like a classic fedora (like Bailey Madison) in a dark gray color of a good quality in size 7 3/8. I'm thinking that a vintage hat may be a way to go to save some money but ultimately I'd rather pay a litle more if it meant that I'd get a hat that would really suit me and I'd end up using.

Can you maybe give me some recommedations on where to look for such a hat, what are good brands and what should be avolded etc...?

Thanks very much,

Rafal
 

filfoster

One Too Many
Mad Hatter

Welcome to the Lounge.
It would help to see what you look like, age, shape of face. And, where would you wear it? To work in a bank, retailing, an art studio?

Most Lounge members are smarter than I am about hats, fashion and who-knows what, but I would suggest saving money on your hat is an illusory idea. You'll often regret not getting what you really want and end up paying more later anyway.

Besides, you may be surprised at the price you might pay for a really good hat-it may be less than you think. (For example the Akubra Federation IV see http://www.hatsdirect.com/federation/index.html
 

4and1

One of the Regulars
Messages
103
Location
central coast CA
Hi, Rafal. Welcome.

Do an internet search for matching a hat to face shape. Then watch some old movies. You'll see some hats that you like and have a good idea of what you want.

As for 'pulling it off', you can expect some comments on your hat. Mostly complimentary, some not. Most of the negative comments are pretty lame and easy to let go.
The best reactions are from women who could not stop themselves from smiling and saying HI. It Will happen when you are confident in wearing your hat.

I can't recommend a new hat as all my hats are vintage, but I can say vintage hats are better made than new manufacture. They are sewn together as opposed to glued and the details are done a little nicer. Things like the ribbon being all the way down to the break of the brim and stitches being well hidden make a big difference in the overall appearance of a hat. But, in size 7 3/8 you have a lot of competetion for the vintage hats.

Anyway, you won't really know if you like wearing hats until you try, but it is wise of you to look into what will work for you before forking out the cash. Good luck, Rafal.
 

cybergentleman

A-List Customer
Messages
331
Location
New Jersey
my 2 cents

Hi, welcome to the lounge. if you have a hat store or two or three in town, i say hop in and check out the hats. you will see that the quality tends to be less than vintage.

BUT, it depends on what you are going for. also; most crowns are tapered these days and lower. they also tend to be prebashed and some you can't re-bash too nicely, so try them all on, see what you like, and then you can make a decision.

best to inform yourself before making a purchase; buyer's remorse is unpleasant.
 

Rafal

New in Town
Messages
20
Location
Ontario, Canada
Thank you all for your replies. Here is my pic.

YZel7o3L0zvRv3sVSWs--w


I would like to use the hat to wear to work and just generally walk about town. I do office work (engineering / management) in a fairly young company. In a place of 300 there is only one other person I have seen wearing a hat.

Out of the vintage and new hats, what are some of the good quality brands?

Cheers,

Rafal
 

Not-Bogart13

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,501
Location
NE Pennsylvania
Well, compared to today, most vintage hats over 30 years old are better if they have survived this long. Stetson, Adam, Disney, Lee, Knox, and Schobel rank as my favorites.

Among current mass-produced hats, Stetson and Biltmore are fair hats, but are only a shadow of what hats once were. Best value for the dollar is Akubra. They are rugged and nice.

If you go custom, which expensive but sure to please, your options open up considerably.
 

jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,046
Location
San Francisco, CA
The Akubra Federation IV is a really nice hat that pulls off a more vintage look (and the Indiana Jones look). I've got one in Carbon Grey:

DSC05504Small.jpg


It's my go-to rain hat.
 

1911 Man

A-List Customer
Messages
350
Location
Utah
Welcome!
As the others have said, if your funds are limited, a good new hat is the Akubra. I don't personally own one, but know folks who do, and have handled them. I don't own any vintage hats, as I don't have much time to hunt thrift or vintage stores, although there are a few in town.

For me the choice was obvious from the start, buy new, custom made. It does cost a little more, in fact it costs quite a bit more. But IT IS WORTH IT! I have a few hats from our own member Art Fawcett, and cannot praise him enough. His prices are very reasonable for what you get. The quality of his material is second to none, and his personal expertise is outstanding. You cannot buy a better hat in the world at any price than what he can make for you.

Happy hat hunting. And don't worry if you can "Pull it off". Do it any way. I am almost 40 years old, and regularly get very flattering comments from many a lovely lady.
 

High Pockets

Practically Family
Messages
569
Location
Central Oklahoma
Welcome Rafal,.....:)

Hat shape in relation to face shape is best judged in a mirror with several hats to choose from. If you have access to a shop, that's the only way to fly.
Fortunately for you, judging by your photo, you seem to have a normal face shape,....any hat will probably look great on you, you're lucky. I myself have to be a little more careful.:)

I would suggest you not buy a vintage hat from the well known auction sight we refer to as "the bay".....not just yet, you don't want to get burned on account of not knowing what to look for. Becoming familiar with the differences in many of the sellers on ebay and what they are or aren't saying is crucial, so is knowing whether or not the hat up for auction is truly "vintage". For instance; most hats offered there are not from the "forties" or "fifties" but from at least the "sixties", usually because the seller doesn't know and is assuming.
A much better choice for purchasing a vintage hat would be (in my opinion) the Classifieds thread right here on the FL.

As I said, if you can go to a shop and try hats on in comparison it would be best, next best option might be to order a new one that you think looks cool from someplace like; http://www.hats-plus.com/m-4-biltmore.aspx?categoryID=4

My first order from Hat's Plus was the Biltmore Ark in black and I was instantly hooked on fedora's! Biltmore makes a fantastic modern hat, you'll hear a lot about Akubras here also, which in my opinion are not my favorite hats but they do make a decent hat.

Again,....welcome!
 

jwalls

Vendor
Messages
741
Location
Las Vegas
Welcome

I hope you find the group helpful and informative. As for advice; find a good custom hatter and get the hat you want. Save vintage hats for later when you have learned more about your own style. It will not take long.:) :) :)
 

Chuck Bobuck

Practically Family
Messages
715
Location
Rolling Prairie
Welcome Rafal. I would do as much research here as possible. "What hat are you wearing today" and "diamond authority" are a couple of great threads. Check out the Akubra threads. The Fed IV, Campdraft and Stylemaster are popular fedoras here. :)
 

filfoster

One Too Many
FED rave

jlee562 said:
The Akubra Federation IV is a really nice hat that pulls off a more vintage look (and the Indiana Jones look). I've got one in Carbon Grey:

DSC05504Small.jpg


It's my go-to rain hat.

I've got three Feds in other colors and am waiting on this carbon one. Beautiful hat. Nice bash. Rafal, take note-this is as close as you can get to a 'Thirties fedora with a new-made hat.
 

DC3

New in Town
Messages
48
Location
Northern California
Welcome! You are already finding out what a nice group of helpful people there are here. As to the type of hat you should buy? Others have already given the best advise. Find a well stocked hat shop and try on a bunch of different crown heights and brim widths. First hat I'd look at would be something traditional in the fedora style just because you have to start someplace.
David
 

DougC

Practically Family
Messages
640
Location
San Antonio
You're an engineer. Perhaps the Stetson Open Road with a tear drop bash would look good on your head and be useful on a daily basis. Silver Belly is a good,all purpose color but you live in Canada--maybe the Federation is a better choice as it comes in different colors.
 

mineral

One of the Regulars
Messages
136
Location
Boston, MA
Rafal said:
I'm thinking that a vintage hat may be a way to go to save some money but ultimately I'd rather pay a litle more if it meant that I'd get a hat that would really suit me and I'd end up using.

Rafal, good luck with your search.

Nonetheless, I think for your first hat you should try to avoid spending big. You would come to decide on what you like and what you don't, but from my experience developing these tastes requires wearing hats on a regular basis for a time. I think it would be a wiser idea to "pay a little more" on your second hat.
 

scottyrocks

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,160
Location
Isle of Langerhan, NY
The chances of a new hat wearer finding their ideal hat on the first buying attempt is slim. If there's a hat shop near you, that is merely a starting point because the majority of today's factory made hats are stylistically inferior to what they are trying to emulate, which are vintage, and custom made hats, which are closer to vintage in materials and workmanship because dedicated craftsmen make them.

I say first look at as many pictures of fedoras as you can find. There are threads here that will show you just about everything that exists. Then go to sites such as the Akubra sites (hatsdirect) to see good factory made hats. Then go to the guys that custom make hats - Art Fawcett at Vintage Silhouettes, Optimo, Penman, and Steve and Marc at Adventurebuilt, to name a few. Although AB makes only Indy hats, you will get quite an education about fine hats there. In fact, all of these talented men's sites will open your eyes as to what a great hat is all about.
 

Rafal

New in Town
Messages
20
Location
Ontario, Canada
Thank you all for being so helpful and inviting. I saw the picture of Jonny Depp wearing a hat in the moview "Public Enemy"
http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?t=45408and it really appealed to me. Do you know what modern hat would look simillar to it?
On another hand, what's your opinion of Biltmore hats? I like the idea that they are made fairly close to where I live (Toronto if I'm not mistaken). Are they of decent quality?

Thanks again,

Rafal
 

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