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stephena310

One of the Regulars
Messages
100
Location
Palos verdes estates, Ca
I am new here, so I will apologize in advance if I am asking a silly question or asking a quesiton in a incorrect way, as I am a total "newbie" to hats.......

As we may all know, "agism" seems to run rampant in our society, and as we grow older, often those great looking "gray streaks, start filling in with more gray and we may choose to dye our hair, so as not to be seen as "older than we really are - or feel" ! The problem I learned in doing so and living in CA, was that when large amounts of sun hit my hair, it tends to change the color to a "red hue".....Since I am not a fan of baseball caps, I decided to look into "hats" and found this site....!

I "sized" myself from other sites on the web and determined that I was between 57 1/2 - 58 centimeters - or a 7 1/4 - or a Large.....I lucked out and purchased a few vintage hats on Ebay...a few "flat cap" and a few fedoras.....And they all seemed to fit perfectly, except one.....It is an old Stetson "Stetsonian", with wide brims...when I put it on, it seems to sit in the right place, but when I look in the mirror, it looks "too big" and too low on my head.....I lifted it up a bit, and noticed that if it sat, higher on my head, it would look more "balanced". I noticed that "yes" the hat is old and perhaps a bit "streatched out...But is seems to be extremely "stretched out" and the other felt fedoras that I have are not !....All of which made me ask the question:

THE QUESTION....( sorry it took so long to get to it...LOL ) : Should hats or more specifically fedoras, with larger brims, be sized a tad smaller, so that they naturally sit "higher" on your head?????

For larger brimmed fedoras should I be looking at a 7 1/8 instead?

What is the verdict? What is your advice????
 

elveston

Familiar Face
Messages
66
Location
Lake Houston
Quick answer from my experience with 20 to 30 "used" hats. You never know what a previous owner did until you actually put it on. I have several size 58 Abubras that I've stretched to about 60 without any noticeable signs other than the fit. I also have a wide assortment of types from fedoras to western to custom. Even with new off-the-shelf hats, the actual size may vary although they are marked identically ... even by the same manufacturer.

As other will probably tell you, newer oversized hats with "shrink" as the leather sweatband get wets and drys repeatedly with wearing. But the older, vintage hats may not have much ability to "conform" as much. With oversized hats, a little padding under the sweatband can go a long way. I've got a $1300 American in size 7 5/8 that I can't part with but requires a bit of padding to allow me to wear it on special occasions. Although I have several types of hat stretchers, I don't use them on the really old hats I have (over 30 years old or so). I don't want to take the chance of splitting the sweatband.

Just enjoy the experience of trying a variety of hats in styles and sizes. Hopefully, you have family and friends who would appreciate a nice hat as a gift (when you just can't make it fit you).
 

stephena310

One of the Regulars
Messages
100
Location
Palos verdes estates, Ca
Thanks Eleston....That helps....I just watched a number of youtubes on how to re-size large hats and went out an purchased some "window sealing tape".....For a DIY approach.....

I am finding myself dealing with hats from, say, the 40's through possibly the 60's..(maybe those are not considered "old"?)......So again, do you think I should go "small" (trying the 7 1/8 - 57 cms) and "stretch" them if they are too small, or am I better off with going with "safe" 58 cm/7 1/4 size, when dealing with wider brimmed hats???
 

tropicalbob

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,956
Location
miami, fl
From my fairly limited experience (compared to some of the other members) I'd say that you almost never want to go "small." For me, an even slightly small hat is an unworn hat. A slightly large hat, on the other hand, will normally shrink a bit over time, and you can use spacers until it does. I don't quite understand why you think a wider-brimmed hat wouldn't fit the same as any other hat. Perhaps the Stetsonian simply doesn't suit the shape of your face. I've been surprised on a couple of occasions when I tried on a couple of hats in a shop that I thought were similar, and one suited me perfectly and the other I couldn't get off my head quickly enough. A great deal depends on the shape of your face and head, the taper of the crown, and sometimes just the style of the hat.
 

40Cal

One Too Many
Messages
1,689
Location
California
Thanks Eleston....That helps....I just watched a number of youtubes on how to re-size large hats and went out an purchased some "window sealing tape".....For a DIY approach.....

I am finding myself dealing with hats from, say, the 40's through possibly the 60's..(maybe those are not considered "old"?)......So again, do you think I should go "small" (trying the 7 1/8 - 57 cms) and "stretch" them if they are too small, or am I better off with going with "safe" 58 cm/7 1/4 size, when dealing with wider brimmed hats???

In my experience the width of the brim doesn't have anything to do with the sizing . Sounds to me like the Stetsonian you got was stretched a bit by the previous owner. If most 7 1/4 hats fit you well , that would be the size to get. If you can get the seller to measure the hat opening for you before purchase that can be helpful too. Length of opening + width of opening divided by 2 = hat size
 

Kirk H.

One Too Many
Messages
1,196
Location
Charlotte NC
Thanks Eleston....That helps....I just watched a number of youtubes on how to re-size large hats and went out an purchased some "window sealing tape".....For a DIY approach.....

I am finding myself dealing with hats from, say, the 40's through possibly the 60's..(maybe those are not considered "old"?)......So again, do you think I should go "small" (trying the 7 1/8 - 57 cms) and "stretch" them if they are too small, or am I better off with going with "safe" 58 cm/7 1/4 size, when dealing with wider brimmed hats???

just to add my 2 cents worth. I am between a 7 1/4 and 7 3/8 and have found that if I go with the 7 3/8 the band will shrink and fit perfect. Like you I have done the DIYS with the tape and have had good luck and can usually remove it after a couple of weeks. I have not had great luck in getting the smaller hats to stretch well without distorting the brim so much and then shrinking again back on my head and causing head aches. If the 7 1/4 fits you the best I would stay with that size and add tape or felt strips as needed.

Forgive me if this question has been asked, but did you get one of the new Stetsonians or a vintage one? They are very sharp looking hats.

Regards

Kirk
 

stephena310

One of the Regulars
Messages
100
Location
Palos verdes estates, Ca
Kirk, it is a vintage Stetsonian....And, although it is a bit out of shape, it is a beautiful hat !


Hey, Elvelston, Tropicalbob, 40Cal, and Kirk - thank you all so much for your insight and advice....I will stay with the larger 7 1/4 and see how it goes.....It may be that this one hat has been "stretched" and I will try the "diy sizing" and see how it looks and goes ! !
Thank you all so much.
 
Messages
10,179
Location
Boston area
One more thing... don't use the adhesive if you don't have to. I think it's okay to start out (as was done back in the day) using folded paper or cork "shims." Then, of course, the leather will shrink some to your head.
 

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