Options to fill "the gap"

Discussion in 'Hats' started by johng70, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. johng70

    johng70 New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Ohio
    So, I have 3 fedoras currently:
    Optimo Lasalle in Blue Pearl
    Optimo Chicago in Aubergine (my favorite hat)
    Stetson Downs in black

    So, the Optimos are fantastic, but pricey. I'd love to get some additional colors but was hoping to find something in-between - maybe in the $400 price range. I really love that Optimo has more than just standard black/brown/grey. Any suggestions for where else to look in that $400 range where I could find variety of color/style staying in similar styles to above - so not interested in Trilbys, porkpies, homburgs etc - I just don't look good in them. Any advice or direction would be great.
    Thanks!
     
  2. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,323
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA

    Any number of custom hatters will fit the bill. Most are limited to the color selections offered by Winchester. Some folks have access to FEPSA felts - whom supplies Optimo - and a wider array of colors.

    Off the top of my head and in no particular order, some hatters to check out: Gannon, Phoenix Hats/@humanshoes, Alley Kat Hats, Northwest Hats, Wellema Hat Co, HatWrks Nashville, Brass Rooster, Tatton Baird.

    I'm sure I've omitted someone....my personal favorite is Black Sheep Hatworks, but his queue is looooooooong.
     
  3. Rmccamey

    Rmccamey Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,635
    Location:
    Central Texas
    +1
    Yes, there are many custom hatters who can do the job.

     
    M Hatman and deadlyhandsome like this.
  4. Tonio

    Tonio A-List Customer

    Messages:
    430
    I believe Hornskov was using FEPSA felt. Haven’t tried them, but I think worth checking out: https://www.hornskovkobenhavn.com/
     
    M Hatman and deadlyhandsome like this.
  5. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,323
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Yup, that's one I definitely forgot! I also really like the work Mikael at Hufvud is doing. Two more!
     
  6. johng70

    johng70 New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Ohio
    Thanks everyone. That's what I was hoping for - some options. I'll check them out!
     
    deadlyhandsome likes this.
  7. deadlyhandsome

    deadlyhandsome I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,557
    Location:
    Central California
    I think he was left off due to pending retirement, but I think he could still be taking orders. In any case, Art Fawcett’s Vintage Silhouette (VS) Custom Hats deserves a look.
    https://vscustomhats.com

    I also like Tumwater, although, I haven’t ordered one for myself yet. “Yet.” :)

    http://tumwaterhat.com


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  8. johng70

    johng70 New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Ohio
    Thanks for the VS recommendation. I started looking, liking and then ran across the VS thread where he said 8/31 was the cutoff for ordering. I've got a message out to Mike at Northwest Hats and we'll see hot that goes. I appreciate everyone's help
     
    deadlyhandsome likes this.
  9. deadlyhandsome

    deadlyhandsome I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,557
    Location:
    Central California
    You might give Art a call. I’m not sure if the retirement is on schedule.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  10. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,661
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I am a big fan of Mike at NW Hats. When I was last in to his shop he related the story of a local doctor that would travel to Chicago every year and order a new Optimo. The doctor has since discovered Mike and now orders his yearly new hat from NW Hats. I have 8 of Mike's and they are all stellar. I have hats from all the others mentioned except the two Scandinavian hatters and can attest that all their product deserves space in my closet.
     
    deadlyhandsome likes this.
  11. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,723
    Location:
    New Forest
    Zombie_61 likes this.
  12. johng70

    johng70 New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Ohio
    Mike and I have traded a couple emails and I'm moving forward with having him make me a hat. Should be about 3 months. I'll report back when I get the hat!
     
  13. Héctor Fernández

    Héctor Fernández One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,266
    Location:
    Greatest Country, U.S.A.
    Those Tumwater's are very nice.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
     
    deadlyhandsome likes this.
  14. johng70

    johng70 New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Ohio
    So, got my hat from Mike today. It looks great IMO. It will get some use in tomorrow!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. johng70

    johng70 New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Ohio
    In a few more months I'll have a slate/navy hat from Wellema - so I'll post that as well when I get it.
     
    Tukwila likes this.
  16. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,661
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I have multiple hats from Northwest Hats, Phoenix, M Gannon (and about 6 others) and can attest they make great hats all for under the $400 range. I also love BlackSheep's work as well as Leon Drexler out of Toronto but both have wait lists over 12 months. I have one in the queue at BlackSheep and he is at the $400 mark while Drexler is at about the $500 mark.

    My review is that all of the hatters listed above make great hats. There is only so much you can do with a beaver felt and all the above use Winchester beaver felt. BlackSheep and Drexler I think pay a bit closer attention to detail (vintage fabric liners, vintage silk ribbon etc) and that is what sets them apart slightly. But if you placed the hats side by side by side I don't think you could discern the difference unless you very closely inspected and then you would be hard pressed to point them out.
    I know Mike at Northwest and Rick at Phoenix are very good at replicating your vision. Give them a picture and they can recreate your hat, at least in my experience.
     
    johng70 and Short Balding Guy like this.
  17. Rmccamey

    Rmccamey Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,635
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Very nice hat from Mike. Reminds me a lot of my Black Cherry from VS. Wear it well, my friend, and welcome to the Lounge. A3.jpg
     
    Zombie_61, johng70, Rumad and 2 others like this.
  18. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,661
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I have looked at Wellema so curious to read your opinion of his work. Almost ordered one from him but got Mike at NW to make me a clone instead.
     
    deadlyhandsome likes this.
  19. johng70

    johng70 New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Ohio
    Thanks everyone. I'll report back in a month or so to compare Mike's hat to the Optimos I have. I will say, I'd love to find a place to get boxes like the ones for my Optimo hats directly. Mike's hat came in a serviceable box but the Optimo boxes are fantastic (and as my collection seems to be growing, the boxes are going to be important). I've had no luck finding them though. Vintage here and there and other cheap cardboard that does the bare minimum but I'm really looking for a place I can get the build quality of the Optimo (and Wellema whose boxes from the web photos look very similar to Optimos).
     
  20. jlee562

    jlee562 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,323
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Don't know who supplied Optimo (I think VS has the same ones) but Sarah's Hat Boxes supplies Penman and its a nice box.

    http://www.sarahshatboxes.com/
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.