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The Lee Lounge

DaveProc

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,614
Location
Rhode Island
Interesting. My Smartlee is actually a super thin and soft lightweight felt weighing 76g. More like a Borsalino featherweight or maybe a Lee Bon voyage. No mention of light weight in the ads. Maybe the later Smartlee was more lightweight
Joe, it looks like 1958 was the last year for the Smartlee and this is the only ad I was able to find mentioning light felt.
Poughkeepsie_Journal_Tue__Mar_18__1958_.jpg
 

Blare

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,824
As perfect time as any to post my Lee Smartlee

possibly from Dave’s research around 1958

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Lee Fifth Avenue - Smartlee
Ultra lightweight felt 76 grams
Off white with tan/brown undertones
5 inch open crown (4 1/2 as shaped)
1 1/8 light brown grosgrain mid ribbon
1 7/8 raw edge brim

I took a flyer on this Lee Fifth Avenue Smartlee. I knew from the photos it would probably be a lightweight felt but upon arrival I was blown away by how incredible thin and airy it is! This unlined hat weighs in at just 76 grams and I attribute a good amount of that to the sweatband as the band itself is bit thicker and heavier than on my ultra lightweight borsalinos which weigh in between 64g and 74g. I believe in felt alone this one may well be the lightest. It is incredibly soft to shape and the color combination is just beautiful in person. An off white cream color with tan and brown undertones with a light chocolate brown grosgrain mid-ribbon. It does have one small hole In the felt toward the rear of the crown. Luckily it is well hidden in the crease. I may attempt a repair Or at least place a small piece of tape on the inside just to ward off further degradation in that area... but it is not any big issue visually. I think this one may become a perfect Florida Friend.

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DaveProc

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,614
Location
Rhode Island
As perfect time as any to post my Lee Smartlee

possibly from Dave’s research around 1958

View attachment 285791

Lee Fifth Avenue - Smartlee
Ultra lightweight felt 76 grams
Off white with tan/brown undertones
5 inch open crown (4 1/2 as shaped)
1 1/8 light brown grosgrain mid ribbon
1 7/8 raw edge brim

I took a flyer on this Lee Fifth Avenue Smartlee. I knew from the photos it would probably be a lightweight felt but upon arrival I was blown away by how incredible thin and airy it is! This unlined hat weighs in at just 76 grams and I attribute a good amount of that to the sweatband as the band itself is bit thicker and heavier than on my ultra lightweight borsalinos which weigh in between 64g and 74g. I believe in felt alone this one may well be the lightest. It is incredibly soft to shape and the color combination is just beautiful in person. An off white cream color with tan and brown undertones with a light chocolate brown grosgrain mid-ribbon. It does have one small hole In the felt toward the rear of the crown. Luckily it is well hidden in the crease. I may attempt a repair Or at least place a small piece of tape on the inside just to ward off further degradation in that area... but it is not any big issue visually. I think this one may become a perfect Florida Friend.

View attachment 285792 View attachment 285793 View attachment 285794 View attachment 285795 View attachment 285796 View attachment 285797 View attachment 285798 View attachment 285799 View attachment 285800
Another beauty Joe!
 
Messages
15,556
Location
Nederland
As perfect time as any to post my Lee Smartlee

possibly from Dave’s research around 1958

View attachment 285791

Lee Fifth Avenue - Smartlee
Ultra lightweight felt 76 grams
Off white with tan/brown undertones
5 inch open crown (4 1/2 as shaped)
1 1/8 light brown grosgrain mid ribbon
1 7/8 raw edge brim

I took a flyer on this Lee Fifth Avenue Smartlee. I knew from the photos it would probably be a lightweight felt but upon arrival I was blown away by how incredible thin and airy it is! This unlined hat weighs in at just 76 grams and I attribute a good amount of that to the sweatband as the band itself is bit thicker and heavier than on my ultra lightweight borsalinos which weigh in between 64g and 74g. I believe in felt alone this one may well be the lightest. It is incredibly soft to shape and the color combination is just beautiful in person. An off white cream color with tan and brown undertones with a light chocolate brown grosgrain mid-ribbon. It does have one small hole In the felt toward the rear of the crown. Luckily it is well hidden in the crease. I may attempt a repair Or at least place a small piece of tape on the inside just to ward off further degradation in that area... but it is not any big issue visually. I think this one may become a perfect Florida Friend.

View attachment 285792 View attachment 285793 View attachment 285794 View attachment 285795 View attachment 285796 View attachment 285797 View attachment 285798 View attachment 285799 View attachment 285800
Excellent find, Joe. I think these lightweight felts are fascinating.
 

Blare

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,824
Excellent find, Joe. I think these lightweight felts are fascinating.
Thanks Stefan. I’m with you on that. Some of those old thin felts are quite incredible. And being a Florida guy they can come in handy
 

Lean'n'mean

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,031
Location
Cloud-cuckoo-land
^^^^The style of the sweatband does give off late 70s/ 80s vibes but both it & the lining look too pristine to be 30+ years old.
I don't know anything about LEE hats but could it not be one of the brands fallen to HatCo or the like & so may have been made more recently ?
 
Messages
15,576
Location
Central California
^^^^The style of the sweatband does give off late 70s/ 80s vibes but both it & the lining look too pristine to be 30+ years old.
I don't know anything about LEE hats but could it not be one of the brands fallen to HatCo or the like & so may have been made more recently ?


Thanks. If I had to guess I’d say 1990s or 2000s, but??? The blurred stamping on the sweatband, the Genuine Fur Felt labeling, and the style of the size tag...it all looks very recent to me.
 
Messages
15,576
Location
Central California
Lee Blue Label University:
7 1/4 long oval. 2 1/4” wide overwelt brim with three rows of stitching. The open crown is approximately 5 1/4 inches.

The seller couldn’t find the label behind the sweatband (I told her where to look), and somehow measured the inside length of the head opening at 8 1/2 inches...not sure how she came up with that.

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Short Balding Guy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,425
Location
Minnesota, USA
I would like to share some pics of my two Lee Commentators. One hat is brownish-green and the other green. The brownish-green fedora has a matching ribbon to the green hat. I found it interesting to see the two hues side by side. Thanks for letting me share.

i-sQKzHb8-M.jpg


The brown-green is on left and green on the right (pic below).

i-MmGSg8H-M.jpg


i-J2NRx7T-M.jpg


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Green hat on bottom in the pic below.

i-cB762WQ-M.jpg


Thanks for taking a look at my Lee Commentators.

Cheers to all Lee Loungers, Eric -
 

GuitarGuy99

New in Town
Messages
41
Hey all. I have a Lee that is in need of a restoration. I don't know how old the hat is. It has a two inch brim so I'm guessing it might be from the 60s or 70s. The sweat band has dried out and has nearly fallen to pieces. Any recommendations on where to send it for a restora
lee.jpg
lee 2.jpg
oration? Thanks
 

Just Daniel

One Too Many
Messages
1,314
Great hat!

The forum can be a pain to search through, so here is one thread on hat restoration places:

https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/hat-cleaning-repair-restoration-where.41543/page-2

If you get the hat cleaned up, definitely wear it and post pics. If you are looking at more hats, this is definitely the place to get hooked!

Daniel



Hey all. I have a Lee that is in need of a restoration. I don't know how old the hat is. It has a two inch brim so I'm guessing it might be from the 60s or 70s. The sweat band has dried out and has nearly fallen to pieces. Any recommendations on where to send it for a restora
View attachment 372568 View attachment 372569 oration? Thanks
 

Blare

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,824
Lee Hats - White Label - Gay Prince styling

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Lee Hats - White Label - Gay Prince styling
Very light silver felt with Velvet texture finish
5 inch crown with center dent (about 5 1/2 open)
2 5/8 brim with GP inspired slash/dash binding
7/8 self felted band with matching slash/dash pattern

This is the bell of the ball of the three hats to arrive yesterday. While the other two might not be too much to write home about, this one steals the show. I believe this my first Lee White label and I have never come across a Lee with this type of styling. I do own two Dobbs Gay Prince hats which this Lee is modeled after, which makes a great point of reference for me. As many brands did make their own attempt to copy the GP styling it does not surprise me that Lee made this offering. What does surprise me is how much they got right! First they chose to go with an alternating whip stitch and saddle stitch for the edge binding creating an appealing slash dash pattern a sort of GP upgrade. However beyond the visual aspect of the brim binding and self felted band. Lee went above and beyond with the felt finish. The GP hats generally have a very thin extremely short hair velvety finish. A quality of felt I haven’t really come across on too many other hats. Lee came VERY close here. Especially with what I am assuming a mid to late 50s hat. (Which I am basing on the later Lee logo… not sure when the change was made). Probably not same felt as my 40s GP but very similar to my 50s. The moths seem to agree as there are quite a number of small moth divots and tracks along the top of the brim but they really do not take away from the beauty of this hat. The color is an absolutely beautiful very light silver. The original price tag had this one retailing at $15. It came in a very cool Lee hats box. I’m really enjoying this rare unusual treasure. Thanks to @BobHufford for the heads up on this one.

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