Ralph Lauren's idiotic PRE-DISTRESSED fedora

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Marc Chevalier, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    London, UK
    I actually remember when I was at university, looking at a pair of 501s one day. Now, bear in mind that unlike nowadays, back in the mid 90s they had started to come down in price from their Eighties heyday, but they were still expensive. An average price was GBP45.00 for a pair, at a time when I was buying Lee Coopers at £20 a pop. The pair I looked at - this must have been around September 1997, from memory - were a pre-washed treatment, and carried a label which stated clearly and in plain English that they might not last a long as other pairs due to that treatment. Levis still sold plenty of them, though.

    I suspect you're hanging out with the wrong women. ;) In general, though, it's a fair point: mainstream women's fashion is in my experience much more focussed on brands and constantly changing styles than in the men's market. There is also considerably more pressure on ladies these days to buy in to the fashion norm than there is for men (from what friends tell me, it can often even be impossible to find anything on the high street that's not the current fashion norm, whether you want to wear that or not).

    Heh, I've never seen anything that far, but in the Rat Rod genre, you'll see plenty of satin finish cars (a look I rather like, actually), a style which originated in mimicking semi-finished, rolling project cars from back in the day that hadn't reached the final painting stage. I've also seen many painted in a sort of rusty-brown colour which looks just like rust from a distance, as well as a few where in several spots the top layer of paint has been rubbed back to reveal undercoat and even bare metal before a final topcoat of clear sealant is put over it so that the look is maintained without leaving the steel body of the car open to weather-damage. I find this fascinating - it's not for me, but it does show just how far the 'heavy patina' effect has filtered through as a style choice.

    In guitar circles, there are frequent, raging arguments about the acceptability of the "relic" look (something first introduced on a commercial level by Fender, inspired by Keith Richards, and rapidly copied by many other makers with varying degrees of success). A good one can look exactly like a guitar that has been taken on the road and played hard for fifty years. There are also many guitars out there which have been subjected to amateur attempts to relic them with a belt sander, and look exactly like guitars that have been subjected to amateur attempts at relicing them with a belt sander. What fascinates me are the people who are morally outraged by this, guys who will in all seriousness argue that you have to somehow "earn" the wear on your guitar... For me, it's just another finsh option, really - not one I care for, but hey...... capitalism, right?

    I agree, but equally I think most folks who would make that choice for the most part assume that expensive, big name brand = top quality, good-looking suit. I remember at one time in the late Eighties one of the big names, might have been Armani, was doing very well with these dreadful, ill-fitting boxy suits that looked like David Byrne cast-offs and made the average man look like a bad fancy dress version of Danny Devito in Twins. Looked awful, but people were impressed by the name: it was a "designer" suit, and therefore a "good" one. [huh]

    Tomasso's point about impatience is also a valid one, I believe. It's a part of the instant gratification, consumerist culture.

    Saville Row is a globally known "brand", but it's a niche market, and a fancy-schmancy 'designer' fashion brand probably does have more cachet in certain circles where conspicuous consumption is all the rage - think about people like Puff Diddly, or whatever the hell he is calling himself this week.

    Well, quite, but you, Sir, have taste.

    Playing Devil's advocate, I have to ask is it really so surprising? Bearing in mind there are plenty of folks in vintage circles who will pay a significant premium for Eastman's "timeworn" treatment, or want pre-distressed Indy hats / jackets? The latter, I suppose, is a little different as it is costume replication of a very specific look. I do always find it a little bizarre, though, when folks buy new A2s and ten immediately want to treat them so they look sixty years old.... ;)

    I found a raisin the other day that looked exactly like Keith Richards. I thought it was some sort of sign until I realised all raisins look pretty much like Keith Richards. I'd like to see his baby photos. I'll bet he looked like a grape.
  2. fmw

    fmw One Too Many

    $500 for a wool hat is pretty outrageous regardless of whose name is on it. I don't argue with success, however, and Ralph Lauren certainly has had plenty of that. I don't like distressed clothing. I throw it out and replace it when it gets distressed. This one wouldn't last long for me.
  3. flat-top

    flat-top My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Palookaville, NY
    Doug Bihlmaier thanks every single one of them.
  4. Nah, I think he's always looked like a raisin. He has that pre-distressed "relic" look.
  5. Fake holes and dust on a new fedora don't bother me so much. It's fake sweat stains on a new fedora that I can't fathom.
  6. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Hardlucksville, NY
    I found comments about him being "sexy", "timeless ", "huggable", hilarious! We her not featured on a blog these same folks would and do avoid him on the streets of NYC like the plague.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  7. Tango Yankee

    Tango Yankee Call Me a Cab

    Lucasville, OH
    I thought it was, only they were once called "used". Lately the term is "Pre-owned." ;)


  8. In the 1970s, New York City's first vintage clothing store called its wares "experienced clothing". I sorta like the ring of that.
  9. animator

    animator One of the Regulars

    What shocks me is how terrible the hat under all that dirt looks! At least start with a decent looking hat -or maybe they didn't have the heart to ruin a good hat.
  10. Wojo

    Wojo Familiar Face

    Munster, Indiana
    No RRL underwear for me then.
    I'm quite capable of distressing them myself, thank you.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  11. The Good

    The Good Call Me a Cab

    California, USA
    You see, the pre-distressed thing really only works with western cowboy or adventurer's hats (think Indiana Jones, Fred C. Dobbs, etc). I don't think pre-distressed hats falls in Ralph Lauren's market, and this is just an unusual that they're doing this. A company like Ralph Lauren should market themselves towards businessmen and other professionals, and a pre-distressed fedora hardly fits that image. At the least, do they sell a non-distressed version of that hat? It's wool though... An incomprehensible rip-off that will separate fools from they're money. It's frightening to think that some people probably really will buy that type of hat, at that price.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  12. vintage68

    vintage68 Practically Family

    Nevada, The Redneck Riviera
    Oh dear, that really is an unfortunate hat.
  13. JimWagner

    JimWagner Practically Family

    Durham, NC
    In the 50's I remember a tv episode of "Spin and Marty" on the Mickey Mouse Club, a serial about a rich kid named Marty from New York spending a summer at a dude ranch, showing up in a suit with his first pair of blue jeans ever in his suitcase. Spin, the local cool kid, decided that what Marty needed was for those new jeans to get aged fast so the poor rich kid wouldn't look like such an out of place freak, likely getting beat up. So they dunked the jeans in a horse trough, jumped and stomped on them, drug them in the dust behind a horse and generally did what people are paying good money for today to be "cool".

    It was funny when 12 year old boys did it then, sad when grown men do it today. Sadder yet when grown men pay someone else to do it for them.
  14. alanfgag


    Buffalo, NY
    I have to say I am mystified by this thread.

    From the auction photos, the styling looks interesting to me.

    Though I don't tend to buy jeans with prefab tears, I understand why my kids want to.

    It's fashion after all, not brain surgery and this is a thread that celebrates fashion... where is your sense of whimsy?


  15. Filthy, salty, dirt-encrusted sweat stains on a fedora -- whether from my brow, someone else's, or artificially manufactured -- seem repulsive to me. That's it in a nutshell.
  16. MCrider

    MCrider A-List Customer

    hills of West Virginia
    I think I can find whimsy for a lot less than $495 LOL

  17. alanfgag


    Buffalo, NY
    I guess I'm just not feeling all those bodily fluids from the auction photos.

    Reminds me of this hat, which seems to inspire much homage on the Lounge.


  18. Perhaps wrongly, I reckon that Fedora Loungers would prefer to buy a nice Lindy hat without fake sweat stains on it.
  19. DJH

    DJH I'll Lock Up

    Ft Worth, TX
    Mr Penman sells a pre-distressed hat for the Indiana Jones fans as well.
    Not my cuppa tea (although I like his other hats), but there is presumably a market for this kind of thing.
  20. T Rick

    T Rick Practically Family

    Metro Detroit
    And at least his is a quality felt hat, not some wool POS (for an absurd price). But I'm all for Freedom, and for Entrepreneurial-ism. So for them to make it, and others to buy it if they want, more power to them! I just doubt you'd see the likes of those Buyers here on TFL...

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.