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Open Crown Stetsons: A Call (Plea) to Retailers!!

majormoore

Vendor
Messages
802
To also be fair to Hatco, it was hard for them to oversea the many differences that we were asking for in the hat run. There was a lot of people on the FL that wanted the hat, they offered to send me the ribbon used for the hatbands if I wanted to sew them onto the hats, that way the ribbon would hide the thread from the sweatband sewn in, my thoughts this would have just added to the overall cost of the hat, and I did not have the time to take every hat out and sew a ribbon on. Hatco does make some really nice hats. We are some very demanding hat people here on the FL and some times its hard for a factory to run a hat that can meet all of our needs in a hat, from the color, brim width, ribbon size, liner color and type of sweatband. But Hatco did try to make the basic hat for me at that time, but I did not think it was going to meet our overall requirements .
Did not mean to come down hard on Hatco in my other post,

Major Moore
Major Moore was the retailer and I an many others where the customers. Money was there Retail was ready Hatco Binked and said no.
Simple answer. Today's retail environment is not set up for full service Hat sales. Most cities in the US do not even have a hat store. Most might have a Western hat store. I can one at the very entrance to my subdivision :). While they do carry hat brushes and cleaning supplies they are not set up to Steam and adjust hats to a customers wants like Major Moore's shop. There just is not the instructor of fully equipped hat shop's to support a open crown hat at the level that
Hatco needs to produce the product plain and simple.
 
Last edited:

Richard Warren

Practically Family
Messages
681
Location
Bay City
The turn to pre shaped hats was accompanied by lower crowns. I doubt a typical Stetson (non western) hat would have enought crown material to be sold open crowned.

I suspect at some level this is similar to the reason the tails on my shirts are too short: material costs money.
 

scotrace

Head Bartender
Staff member
Messages
14,349
Location
Small Town Ohio, USA
Something that occurs to me is that we, here, are spoiled: In shopping vintage hats, we see the full span of hat production from beginning to now. It's a smorgasbord of styles, crowns, colors, ribbons, etc. Even within a single model, we see the full run of, say, Stratoliners from start to finish, in all the colors that were produced. That's our shopping frame of reference.

A guy buying a hat in 1938 didn't have the range of choices we have in hats. He had to deal in what was being made and sold that season. He had to deal with the here and right now. And he wasn't able to choose from all the hats ever made, as we are. So he bought from currently available models, or went with a custom hatter if he wanted something more off-the-path than the local haberdasher could supply.
Hatco, et al, have to deal in the right now, also. What can be produced right now, at this moment? What will sell right now?
They can't (re)produce enough colors and styles to satisfy a customer base (us) that is used to having an 80 year span of models from which to choose.

In buying a new hat, we know who makes hats, and we know what those makers offer. Those are the choices. Or go custom. Same as in 1938.
 

theinterchange

One Too Many
Messages
1,673
Location
Why do you ask?
Another photo of the prototype Strat:
tumblr_mnp1kxm0zC1sti2mko1_1280.jpg
HatWrks is in the process of getting an order in.

Randy
 

Jedwbpm

One Too Many
Messages
1,031
Location
West Coast Florida
OK I'm lost. you started the thread at 4:00 yesterday and Hatco closes at 5:00 and is not open on the weekends. Where are you getting these pictures and what order is going in?

Jeff
 

RBH

Bartender
I would have to be seriously convinced about the quality of this lid before I stated any potential interest in ordering.

You are right JLee...that is why our intrest died out.
Not enough quality assurance.
Also interchange...check out our open crown Stratoliner
thread, we had plenty of proto photos.
Also something about the ribbon seems wrong on
shot you posted...maybe one tail is longer than the other.
 

majormoore

Vendor
Messages
802
Looking at the photo, is this a new hat ( sample they sent to the person in Nashville)? or is this a older hat ?

Major Moore
 

facade

A-List Customer
Messages
315
Location
Conklin, NY
Dear Fedora Lounge associated Stetson retailers, and Stetson retailers at large,

Recently, the bug for a modern production Stetson Stratoliner hit me. However, being one who likes to shape his own hat, I hit the wall. The hat is made with a factory crease only. Matter of fact, all of the modern Stetson dress hats I've seen have a factory crease. Nothing wrong with that, but the option of having an open crown is one that I think should return to the Stetson lineup!

Enter a photo I saw on Facebook this morning that made my jaw drop.
View attachment 1708
THAT is a modern, open crowned Stratoliner made on an original block, and I think it looks amazing!

They do exist, or at least can exist!

Following up on this pic, I was told by someone at Stetson that these CAN be made, but that retailers haven't expressed interest in selling them, so Stetson hasn't! That's a terrible shame! Retailers, why not strongly consider ordering some open crown options for your customers?! I, for one, would pledge my patronage to you and Stetson if this would happen! I know others would jump on this, too!

And now, fellow Loungers. Please add your voice to mine in saying to our vendors "WE WANT OPEN CROWN STETSONS!"! If enough people say they want them, and retailers step up to order them, it can happen!

The bottom line is, Stetson is ready willing and able to make these, all it would take is orders. So please, retailers, order already!!

Yours sincerly, an unusually empassioned,

Randy

My question would be why? Why the desire for an open crown Stetson? Is it nostalgia? Loyalty to the Stetson brand?

Unfortunately Stetson hats are no longer made. They haven't been made since the 1970's. What passes for a Stetson hat is just an officially licensed product. You pay enough you get to slap Stetson on whatever product you happen to manufacture. The John B. Stetson Co. makes hats like the NFL makes jerseys, that is to say it doesn't. Hatco and the "Stetsons" they produce have nothing in common with a true Stetson hat.

My advice is to buy an open crown hat from a custom hatter and slap a Stratoliner pin on it. It will be just as much a Stetson hat as the "Stetson" hats made by Hatco. And it will be much better quality and fit you much better than an off the shelf hat.
 

theinterchange

One Too Many
Messages
1,673
Location
Why do you ask?
Dear fellow Loungers,

Let me start my response with a question. Why are you all so against this? There hasn't been a single response that said "Yeah, I'd like to see it!". Thus far, it's all been "It will never happen!" "They don't exist!" "Buy another brand!". I and Matt Range of Stetson/Hatco have both stated that they do exist, and it can happen.

As for the photos I'm sharing, they've been floating around the internet for a few weeks, I only discovered them Friday. I contacted someone I know at Stetson to verify what I was seeing and to ask when/were I can get one. I was told they're ready to be made, only that retailers had to ask for them, that I should make a pitch to get interest if I really want one.

SO, I came here, the gathering place for hat enthusiasts, and a core of retailers dedicated to our hobby, to try and spark interest in a product that you were all previously ready and willing to buy. I fully expected to come here with this and at least have some positive reaction, all I've gotten is dissent and negativity. Quite frankly, I find your biased, negative attitudes disheartening.

You've been throwing out arguments that open crowned hats won't/don't sell, yet in the next breath say I should just order an open crowned Akubra. You've said Stetson won't make an open crowned Stratoliner and I've shown you photos of one and Matt Range has said they will make them.

No, it didn't work out last time. The reasons of "why" I personally found to be vague at best. I've read every page, every post of the FedoraFest III Strat thread. There was no real "resolution" no real, definite answer as to what the issues were, just a blanket statement of "there are issues" and then "this ain't gonna work, so don't ask questions!" and the whole thing was dropped and the thread closed. But in a few years time, things can change. New people can come into a company, new/old ideas can be rekindled. Progress can be made.

But you've all chosen to believe things can't change. That something that now exists, doesn't. You choose to pick apart photos of prototypes that you believe don't exist, question the quality of a product you've never touched or worn, and come darn near close to calling me a liar.

As for the question of my desire being nostalgia. Yes, yes it IS nostalgia! What's wrong with nostalgia? Wasn't it the appreciation for a bygone era, nostalgia, that brought each of us here in the first place? But it's not just nostalgia, it's the fact that an American company can and will make a product I thought we all wanted in the first place. It's the fact that we have the option of an American made factory hat that meets one of the criteria of many members here. But you've chosen to hold grudges, and wave a plague flag in the face of someone who points out that it can now happen.

Meanwhile, I've been chatting with the owner of Nashville's HatWrks via Facebook. She immediately expressed interest in stocking such a hat. She spoke with her Hatco/Stetson rep YESTERDAY (Saturday) and he said he'd need to do some research and get her the order details Monday. THAT'S how someone has made motion toward an order. I didn't say she'd made one, I said she was in the process of putting one in.

While you've sat back and argued the "why" of how it won't work, while you spat at the idea, I made a connection and have an interested retailer.

I'm being frank and honest in this, my closing remark. Your vitriolic responses have made me question the friendliness and good will of a group that I once held in high esteem. I thought the Lounge was a place where ideas were fostered, member opinions were valued, and that we all had something in common. I'm beginning to question all of it now. Thank you for taking what I considered to be a gesture of community spirit toward my fellow Loungers and hat wearers everywhere and deficating on it.

Yours, a disheartened,

Randy Webb
 

jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,896
Location
San Francisco, CA
The thing is, for the crowd here, it's not enough that Hatco just makes an open crown hat. We all know that they can do it. They made the Nostalgia (and yes, by Hatco's own admission it was a poor seller - thats not idle lounger speculation, but a verified fact). Let's be frank, most of us here prefer a hat that is of much higher quality than Hatco produces. We've seen those powder dyed Stetsons. We've seen hats that don't hold up to rain. We've seen badly tacked ribbon. We've seen Stratoliner pins that arrived with wings snapped off.

So yes, we are a bit skeptical. But it is not without good reason if the prototype FL Strat didn't meet the Major's standards, no, I don't want one. I also don't want a hat if it has the exact same felt which is used in the Stetsons I see. I think the felt needs to be slightly thinner for an open crown hat. I'm not going to buy a new open crowned hat just because it's open crowned.
 

carldelo

One Too Many
Messages
1,568
Location
Astoria, NYC
... Your vitriolic responses have made me question the friendliness and good will of a group that I once held in high esteem....

Hey Randy - I just re-read the thread. While there is a great deal of skepticism on the topic, there actually isn't much vitriole, with the exception of the old-timey run-of-the-mill Stetson-bashing from facade (which probably triggered your disappointment). That attitude is a worn-out position that most here have moved beyond.

If there were a Stetson open-crown hat offered in anything close to the proportions I like, I would absolutely be interested in it. I think the worry, as expressed elsewhere in the thread, is that we're a hard-to-please bunch, and if sales aren't brisk (in the eyes of the manufacturer) the idea will run out of steam. But as you and others rightly state, if the ball is in motion, then it's worth a try. Please post any progress as it occurs.
 

facade

A-List Customer
Messages
315
Location
Conklin, NY
Hey Randy - I just re-read the thread. While there is a great deal of skepticism on the topic, there actually isn't much vitriole, with the exception of the old-timey run-of-the-mill Stetson-bashing from facade (which probably triggered your disappointment). That attitude is a worn-out position that most here have moved beyond.

If there were a Stetson open-crown hat offered in anything close to the proportions I like, I would absolutely be interested in it. I think the worry, as expressed elsewhere in the thread, is that we're a hard-to-please bunch, and if sales aren't brisk (in the eyes of the manufacturer) the idea will run out of steam. But as you and others rightly state, if the ball is in motion, then it's worth a try. Please post any progress as it occurs.

Personally I don't consider my comment to be bashing or vitriol. Hatco hats are what they are, one is all but guaranteed to get a better quality hat from a custom hatter. That's not bashing it's just stating a fact. Further nearly all famous hat brands have been sold and resold so many times that any inferred quality, craftsmanship, or style that one might identify with original maker and brand name is moot.

I've nothing against seeing a quality open crown hat sold. I was just wondering why it had to be a "Stetson". I can be as nostalgic as the next guy. But I want originality. If I wanted to collect a signed Babe Ruth card. I'd want it actually signed by Babe Ruth. Not a card signed by someone a 100 years later who paid for the right to sign Babe Ruth's name. To me that's just not a signed Babe Ruth card. Nor to me is a Hatco. "Stetson" a Stetson.

I mostly assume that most people don't really know the lineage of hat companies and have no idea that Stetson products aren't made by Stetson. For those that do, I was actually curious how one could feel a nostalgic connection to the current "Stetson". I mean its just a name. The people and their skills that gave meaning to that name are long gone.

That said, I have no desire to crush anyone's dreams nor to cause Hatco to lose potential business.
 

Brad Bowers

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,187
I have no problem with any retailer working with Hatco to produce and sell an open-crowned Stratoliner. I think it's great. As for the Stetson Nostalgia, I'd much prefer to see that style sold under the Dobbs brand. I think that style is a better fit for the Dobbs name and heritage. Hell, I'd become a retailer if I had the chance to offer a Dobbs Nostalgia-style hat (as part of a Heritage series!).

Brad
 

carldelo

One Too Many
Messages
1,568
Location
Astoria, NYC
Personally I don't consider my comment to be bashing or vitriol. Hatco hats are what they are, one is all but guaranteed to get a better quality hat from a custom hatter. That's not bashing it's just stating a fact. Further nearly all famous hat brands have been sold and resold so many times that any inferred quality, craftsmanship, or style that one might identify with original maker and brand name is moot.

I've nothing against seeing a quality open crown hat sold. I was just wondering why it had to be a "Stetson". I can be as nostalgic as the next guy. But I want originality. If I wanted to collect a signed Babe Ruth card. I'd want it actually signed by Babe Ruth. Not a card signed by someone a 100 years later who paid for the right to sign Babe Ruth's name. To me that's just not a signed Babe Ruth card. Nor to me is a Hatco. "Stetson" a Stetson.

I mostly assume that most people don't really know the lineage of hat companies and have no idea that Stetson products aren't made by Stetson. For those that do, I was actually curious how one could feel a nostalgic connection to the current "Stetson". I mean its just a name. The people and their skills that gave meaning to that name are long gone.

That said, I have no desire to crush anyone's dreams nor to cause Hatco to lose potential business.

Fair enough - upon re-reading your original post and this one, I tend to agree with your sentiments, and I overstated the downside - my apologies.
 

MCrider

A-List Customer
Messages
360
Location
hills of West Virginia
Why are you all so against this? There hasn't been a single response that said "Yeah, I'd like to see it!".

No, it didn't work out last time. The reasons of "why" I personally found to be vague at best. I've read every page, every post of the FedoraFest III Strat thread. There was no real "resolution" no real, definite answer as to what the issues were, just a blanket statement of "there are issues" and then "this ain't gonna work, so don't ask questions!" and the whole thing was dropped and the thread closed. But in a few years time, things can change. New people can come into a company, new/old ideas can be rekindled. Progress can be made.

But you've all chosen to believe things can't change. That something that now exists, doesn't. You choose to pick apart photos of prototypes that you believe don't exist, question the quality of a product you've never touched or worn, and come darn near close to calling me a liar.

Meanwhile, I've been chatting with the owner of Nashville's HatWrks via Facebook. She immediately expressed interest in stocking such a hat. She spoke with her Hatco/Stetson rep YESTERDAY (Saturday) and he said he'd need to do some research and get her the order details Monday. THAT'S how someone has made motion toward an order. I didn't say she'd made one, I said she was in the process of putting one in.

While you've sat back and argued the "why" of how it won't work, while you spat at the idea, I made a connection and have an interested retailer.

Yours, a disheartened,

Randy Webb

Well, Randy sorry you don't feel we're as friendly as you thought. I think your wrong on that. The reasoning that this won't work is because when Major Moore tried it last time it didn't work due to quality issues, real or imagined. I respect him for trying to make it work. If Hatco couldn't deliver a product he was happy with you have to respect his opinion. He was willing to put his own money up to order them. No where in your first post did you say this was something that someone was looking into. So that's why we all figured it was a dead issue with Hatco. If HatWrks steps up and orders them from Hatco GREAT! I'd love to see it made. If the quality is there then I'll be waving my money at them for one. But if the initial reports are bad then I'll order another open crowned Akubra, because I know the quality is there. Personally I don't care whether Hatco slaps Stetson on underwear. It's the quality of their hats that concern me. Make the hats able to stand up to a rainstorm without powder dripping off and I'll buy it. But don't take too long I think there's a tawny fawn Federation calling for me.
;)
 
Messages
16,528
Location
Maryland
My question would be why? Why the desire for an open crown Stetson? Is it nostalgia? Loyalty to the Stetson brand?

Unfortunately Stetson hats are no longer made. They haven't been made since the 1970's. What passes for a Stetson hat is just an officially licensed product. You pay enough you get to slap Stetson on whatever product you happen to manufacture. The John B. Stetson Co. makes hats like the NFL makes jerseys, that is to say it doesn't. Hatco and the "Stetsons" they produce have nothing in common with a true Stetson hat.

My advice is to buy an open crown hat from a custom hatter and slap a Stratoliner pin on it. It will be just as much a Stetson hat as the "Stetson" hats made by Hatco. And it will be much better quality and fit you much better than an off the shelf hat.

Side Note:

The John B. Stetson Co. licensed their brand back in the day. For example Mayser made Stetsons for the German market starting in the mid 1950s. The Mayser made Stetsons were probably better made than the US ones from that time period and later.
 
Messages
16,528
Location
Maryland
A guy buying a hat in 1938 didn't have the range of choices we have in hats. He had to deal in what was being made and sold that season. He had to deal with the here and right now. And he wasn't able to choose from all the hats ever made, as we are. So he bought from currently available models, or went with a custom hatter if he wanted something more off-the-path than the local haberdasher could supply.

Hat companies still offered older styles (both stiff and soft felt hats). There would have been dead stock available too. Also many great Euro makers with their specialized finishes and colors.
 

The Wiser Hatter

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,765
Location
Louisville, Ky
Randy this is a very long sore point here.
We will have to see how this turns out.
I do not expect a high quality hat from Hatco.
It would be unfair to expect that of them.
I hope it turns out great I contacted the owner of Hatwrks too as I have had email exchanges with her on her hats. I hope she posts what she finds out here. Stetson is a name known to non hat wearers as a company that makes hats the man on the street might not know all the other great old hat brands. So lets hope this hat is up to that great old model and is not like the current modern Strat Hatco is currently making but just a model that does not have the bash pressed into the hat. There are spec's on what a Strat is and crown height brim width would need to be
Correct to be a Strat for those who know and own the vintage ones.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
 

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