Milan Mania

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Not-Bogart13, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. Not-Bogart13

    Not-Bogart13 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,502
    Location:
    NE Pennsylvania
    I never see Milan hats mentioned on the Lounge. Anybody have opinions or experiences to share? Are they good summer hats? Comfortable? Durable? Any information would be helpful. I'm thinking about getting one.
    NB
     
  2. Nathan Flowers

    Nathan Flowers Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,609
    Unless you get vintage, the only way to get a decent Milan straw (that I know of) is to get one from Optimo ( www.optimohats.com )

    Here's mine:

    [​IMG]

    It's made from some sort of wheat straw. When I open the box, it smells like freshly cut hay.

    All of the "milan" hats that I've seen from other vendors are made from plastic or paper, and are shellacked till they are stiff. My Milan from Optimo is soft and pliable.
     
    totallyfrozen likes this.
  3. Magus

    Magus Practically Family

    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Southern California
    Does anyone know when the "synthetic fiber" Milan hats started being made?
     
  4. Johnnysan

    Johnnysan One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,170
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    I picked up a Dobbs Milan straw about a year ago that hasn't seen much service as it is waiting on a new ribbon. The hat is very light and comfortable to wear and seems to "breathe" better than my panamas in that I don't seem to sweat as much when wearing it. The lightness of the hat also gives it the feeling of being a bit flimsy (in my opinion), so I'm not sure how well it will hold up to lots of use and handling.
     
  5. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Acton, Massachusetts
    Vintage Dobbs 5th Ave Milan Weave...

    Here's mine! I can't wait to wear this baby this summer.

    As to weight; it seems a little heavier than my Panamas, but the weave is looser, which may allow a bit more air to flow, but this is pure conjecture.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,713
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    Hmmm. I recently bought a Beaver brand straw that touts itself as a "Milanette" weave. It's a pretty stiff straw, but has a really snappy brim.

    Any theories as to where the "Milanette" terminology comes from?
     
  7. Not-Bogart13

    Not-Bogart13 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,502
    Location:
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    Thanks Guys

    Looks like I'd better think long and hard about this, and be sure of what I'm getting if I do take the plunge. I like the sound of better air flow, but I don't want a shellaked paper hat! If the description says "Genuine Milan Straw" can I be fairly sure it's not total garbage?
    NB
     
  8. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Location:
    Acton, Massachusetts
    If it is vintage, yes! ;)
     
  9. Not-Bogart13

    Not-Bogart13 Call Me a Cab

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    :rolleyes:
    Then it's probably garbage.
     
  10. Snrbfshn

    Snrbfshn A-List Customer

    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Here's one...

    I've got four Milan straws, two Resistols and Dobbs and a Stetson (with another on the way). I really enjoy them. Here's my gold Resistol:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Right now prices still seem pretty good on most straws I've been watching. You can find some fine lids, with shipping, for around 20 bucks.
     
  11. SHARPETOYS

    SHARPETOYS Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Titusville, Florida
    Terminology comes from ?


    Milanette: (China)

    Twisted, coated paper yarn used in inexpensive straw hats, often made from recycled materials. Also Chinese twisted paper.
     
  12. Havana

    Havana One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    249
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Please don't crucify me for saying this. I have a Miller milan fedora (made in Canada by Biltmore) that I actually like. I know it's a cheapie. It just feels great and looks nice and I can wear it with no worries about how much it cost. If it was run over by a truck, I wouldn't shed a tear (provided I wasn't still wearing it at the time). I love putting on the ritz with a premium panama but I think these "lesser" hats also have a valid place in the world of daily hat wearers. A lot of Rolls Royce owners own a Ford too.
     
  13. I have to dig through the stack but I have a milan or two around. They are a versatile hat that is for sure. The prices for vintage are good. Straw season is approaching so if you want one you had better make a decision soon because the prices will likely go higher when the demand is greater. I buy my straws in the winter. Then again it doesn't make much differnce here. ;)

    Regards,

    J
     
  14. SHARPETOYS

    SHARPETOYS Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,425
    Location:
    Titusville, Florida
    My Ford...

    I like my Biltmore Milan "The Rio" style fedora. The color is not listed but they do have it in the "natural" a gorgeous color. A great price a fantastic block.

    http://www.mikethehatter.com/ItemSearch.asp?StyleID=6
     
  15. Rundquist

    Rundquist A-List Customer

    Messages:
    431

    The funny thing about Milan straw hats is that more than with any other type of hat, quality doesn't necessarily have anything to do with looks. Some of the modern inexpensive Milan’s look really good (hip). Cheers


    Here’s my Milan. It’s an Optimo.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    johnnycanuck likes this.
  16. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,221
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    How's this Sharpey?

    Sorry for the largish photos.
    My Cavanagh. The ribbon got hosed in storage over the winter.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    6,098
    Location:
    Acton, Massachusetts
    Very nice, Scott,
    The brim looks generous and the crown looks like an Optimo block.
    I would wear that!
     
  18. Michael Mallory

    Michael Mallory One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Glendale, California
    I've come to like Milan straw a lot. I have a vintage Cavanagh, which I found almost by accident (and which is REALLY heavy), a Dobbs homburg, which is really great but not that versatile (but I got a fantastic deal on it), and my favorite of all, a Miller (Biltmore) fedora that is not A-list quality, but has a terrific look and is bullet-proof. I find Milans good for summer evenings or early fall.
     
  19. gekisai29

    gekisai29 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    199
    Location:
    paramus nj
    Are there any modern brands you would consider A list for milan braid? Glad to hear that you love the Biltmore 'cause i preety sure i will be ordering the pokpie soon Do yu know if Biltmore sizing runs true to head measurement? I am 22&3/8".
     
  20. Not-Bogart13

    Not-Bogart13 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,502
    Location:
    NE Pennsylvania
    So Maybe...

    Maybe I'll try a Miller, or that Rio you mentioned Sharpetoys. Does that brim snap down?
     

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