The Search for the One [Many] True Hat[s]

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Cashmere, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Cashmere

    Cashmere New in Town

    Dahlonega, GA USA
    Waah... Everytime I drive through it, I'm floored by what a wide state Tennessee is. And then I forget. Eight hours! 420 miles!

    Lessee... Caddy gets about 22 mpg... 420 / 22 * 2 * $3.40.... I get $129.82. Tack on $60 for a hotel. Round to $190. Prolly need to eat something.... several times in fact. But then, we'd have to eat even if we didn't go. But, it would't all be eating out. Let's say that the diff is a mere $15. Call it $205.

    Now, checking prices at Buckaroo...

    Hrm, a standard fedora is... gosh. $205!

    I know folks out west feel like the east is dinky... I grew up in Texas (in the big part). I hope I'll get to Covington at some point, but I don't want to put off getting a proper hat until then.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  2. Duper

    Duper Practically Family

    Ontario, Canada
    Since first visiting the lounge I have become a "one-more-hat kinda guy". But whatever suits you is really what matters here so hang about and see where it leads.
  3. Go to Sacketts over in Jasper. They have some fedoras by Beaver Brand hats. Try some on & get your size zeroed in.
    You sound like me & a 7 5/8. I have a Fed IV that I sent to Falcon Park to have the brim bound.
    I also have 4 Akubra Campdrafts, that if I had to have 1 hat of modern construction, that would be the make & model but I'm a TAR type of guy = no Indy look.
    I've got a few modern Stetsons, 2 Pinnacles, a New model Stratoliner & a Roadmaster. Price-wise, they don't hold a candle to the Imperial Akubra Campdrafts, even at today's exchange rates.

    I think a hat shop on the square in Dahlonega would be a cool venture. Now just let me win the lottery....
  4. Rick Blaine

    Rick Blaine My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Hillbilly Heaven

    I'll drink to that!

    I grew up in Athens/Clarke Co. & went to Young Harris ( or "young hairless" we called it), so from one Ga. boy to another-I'd not steer you wrong on the subject.

    To equivocate
    ...if we expand the search to vintage ... well, with a little patience & attentiveness -the world is yr. oyster.

    If you are willing to drop three bills on a hat, I think you would have little trouble finding the hat you want (so long as you know what you want) in vintage.
    And the quality- for the most part- exceeds what is around these days, IMO.

  5. LoveMyHats2

    LoveMyHats2 I'll Lock Up

    I have to say it is that way for the majority of us here. If I had to say own only one reply would have to be O.K. one hat per day, another by night, and a different one for each day of the week! But if I had no choice....I would have to just do 2 would have to be silverbelly and the other a good straw.
  6. Yeps

    Yeps Call Me a Cab

    I fit that description (part of being a starving artist), but I definitely have 5 fur felts, 2 straws and a number of caps. Oops.

    By the way, to the question, I second the Campdraft. I don't have one, but my Open Road (same style) is my most versatile hat, and Akubras are legendarily durable.
  7. Woodfluter

    Woodfluter Practically Family

    Hi Cashmere, and welcome!

    You might catch me on the square in Dahlonega sometime as I have friends who live up there. Would indeed be a great spot for a hattery.

    I agree with all the things said about Akubra, but if you don't mind the slight bump in price, I'd definitely go for one in Heritage Felt. The Deluxe Feds are that, and some other models. They're more likely to keep their shape over all kinds of weather and lots of wear. Anyhoo, I think so for reasons I won't bore everyone with again.

    I also think, even if you're after just that one hat, that hunting on eBay is not a bad way to go. If you get a few that aren't right you can re-sell them there or in the classifieds here with little damage to wallet, and the quality of many of these mass-manufactured items is hard to duplicate now at many times the price. Of course, said by someone who really likes the Cavanagh edge...

    Good luck!
    - Bill
  8. 1961MJS

    1961MJS My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Norman Oklahoma

    Yep, Covington is a LONG darn way from Georgia, but my advice to see a good hatter stands. I buy a new Sun Body from our guy in Wichita every year to help keep him in business. He had me try on a few hats to see what sizes looked the best. The actual style of the hat seems to be less relevant to "fit" than does brim width and crown height.

    A hat shop is St. Louis wasn't as helpful in steering me in a viable direction. If you wanted a size 7 hat on a size 7 3/4 head in dark olive with a hot pink ribbon, by GAWD you got one.

    How is Garrison hatter's on the whole fitting idea? It's my opinion that if he's only wanting ONE hat, he needs to make an informed decision based on research, not trial and error (like I did). Fortunately my "errors" in purchasing have been in the range of "less than optimal" as opposed to "Oh my gawd, look at that!"

    I haven't even been to Covington yet, but I am going when time allows. I'm trying to decide on a second Western style hat (Boss of the Plains, vs Duke's Cavalry Hat, vs Rough Rider hat) and also (thank you Sam Craig) in beaver felt weight (Cowboy vs Fedora weight).

    Later y'all
  9. Cashmere

    Cashmere New in Town

    Dahlonega, GA USA
    This is all super helpful, guys. Thanks.

    While not totally ruling out custom, I'm leaning toward either the Squatter or Campdraft. I know I mentioned the Fed IV up front, but I've grown more convinced that my face just isn't as well suited to the dimensional brim. And while custom has fit and cachet going for it, the Akubra has price and (I would think) toughness.

    Couple questions...

    Other than the thin/thick band, what are the differences between the Squatter and Campdraft? I gather there are some differences in dimensions, but I'm having trouble pinning them down.

    And what's up with the three month wait on the Campdraft? What's behind that? Am I correct that there's not a waiting period for the Squatter ordered from David Morgan?

    Finally... This -- on Hats Direct's website -- looks like it might be just the ticket: "Coming soon and available for pre order - a special edition of The Campdraft in a Heritage Grade felt. It has the smoother finish of The Federation Deluxe. Stay tuned for more details."

    I appreciate your patience with all my gyrations about one little hat... Who knows, maybe after hanging out here for a while, I'll become a one-more-hat kinda guy too, but for now I'm enjoying the torment and discipline of narrowing it down to find *my* hat.
  10. Cashmere,

    One consideration: You may want to get a durable, less expensive hat for adventure wear, and any one of the standard makers mentioned would suffice, particularly Akubra.
    Then you could spend a little more for a "good hat" to wear for more dressy occasions.

    Just a thought.
  11. monbla256

    monbla256 Call Me a Cab

    DFW Metroplex, Texas
    Squatter vs Campdraft: The Campdraft is the renamed Open road that Akubra made under license to Stetson back in the 50s/60s and as such is made to the dims and specs of that hat of THAT time period. (NOT the same as the current Open Road Stetson makes today.) It has a taller (by about 3/8") crown and a shorter brim (2 7/8") than the DM Squatter (3") as well as the ribbon size. The Campdraft is sold ONLY in OZ and is not imported by DM ( the SOLE importer for Akubra in the US). The Squatter seems to be made in two versions based on dims given here on the Forum. The DM squatter has a 5 1/2" straight crown with a full 3" brim all around and is lined. Sadly, DM only offers it in two colors now. The Squatter offered in OZ seems to have a shorter hght. crown with more taper and is spec'd with a dimensionally cut brim and many shown here do not have a liner as seems to be the practice for many of Akubra's hats sold in their home market. It is offered in 2 more colors than DM offers. If your size is in stock, DM ships your hat when he gets your order. It looks like the OZ retailers OFFER all the variations of a model but do not neccessarily STOCK them all and when an order comes in order it from the factory and depending on stock on hand the factory ships to them. It is a small factory and from what is reported here, they pretty much produce to the home market demand and the Campdraft is not on their top 10sellers list in OZ. So to cover their butts, most of the retailers put in a disclaimer about the 3 mo wait about the CD. As far as the Heritage grade CD, it is a standard model CD in the Silverbelly only color offered in the Heritage grade felt and finish level. As to the "why's" of all these differences you would have to ask the individuals involved ( ie, factory and retailers) these questions and my experience with that is that you don't really get many answers that tell the "why".
    Akubra is probably the last production hat firm left that produces a hat in a quality and durability as hats used to be made and as such, you would be MORE than satisfied with ANY model you chose to purchase. Hope this helps and no matter which model you get, wear it well :) ( and often :) )
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  12. Gromulus

    Gromulus Practically Family

    NE Ohio, USA
    The two major Australian sources for Akubras (EA and HD) are both great to deal with. I have ordered several hats from each and have never been disappointed.

    Everything Australian has better pricing on Akubras but the Silverbelly, Taupe Fawn, and Mid-Brown colors necessitate a three month (maximum) wait. The Bluegrass Green Campdraft is unique to them and they may or may not have specific sizes in stock at any one time between production runs. They usually keep their website updated re. size/inventory levels of this color.

    Hats Direct (The Hattery) seems to always maintain Akubra inventory, including the Silverbelly and Taupe Fawn Campdraft. They also offer a Glen Gray that I believe originated here on the forum. The Heritage Grade Silverbelly version also originated from interest on this forum and many of us comprised the initial pre-production orders for this hat. It is in stock and should be readily available as well. Whether or not the Heritage grade is worth the extra $ is a personal decision and has been discussed on this forum.

    The Campdraft is a great, versatile choice and one you will not be disappointed in, regardless of quality or color.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  13. Gromulus

    Gromulus Practically Family

    NE Ohio, USA
    If you like a bound edge brim and prefer a wider ribbon than another Akubra to consider is the CEO. Both HD and EA offer this hat in Black, Fern Green, and Cruiser Grey.

    It has a 30 mm (1.2" ribbon), 5.5" crown height, and a 2.75" bound brim.
  14. SteveFord

    SteveFord One of the Regulars

    It took quite a bit of doing but I've finally made my last hat purchase.
    I know, sacrilege!!!

    I was talking to my wife and saying I'm just looking for that one Dobbs or Knox silver homburg but nothing's turning up as they're so old and the ones I'm finding are all beat up and moth bitten but one will and lo and behold, moments later one turns up!


    En route are quite a few others, including an even older collapsible silk top hat which was a chore to track down a nice one in a 7 1/4. The silver homburg and the top hat were the two last things I needed to replace everything that was destroyed years ago when a basement pipe burst.

    Of course, I also wound up with maybe an extra 16 fedoras and maybe 4 additional bowlers and a derby or three and maybe 3 or four additional homburgs along the way.

    Okay, so my new hat collection is a bit larger than my old one!
    I think I have enough hats to last me the rest of my days.

    I'll post pics of the hats one by one over the next few weeks, I'll try to work in some motorcycles or guitars or something to spruce up the pics. I figure you're sick of looking at my mug in the Post Office.

    At any rate, it just feels great to have finally completed the collection, it was quite the task to track them down.
  15. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

  16. SteveFord

    SteveFord One of the Regulars

    It's possible another one or three may somehow find their way here but the pressure is off to find the ones that were lost.
  17. deadlyhandsome

    deadlyhandsome I'll Lock Up

    Central California

    Did you find the homburg you were looking for?
  18. Héctor Fernández

    Héctor Fernández Practically Family

    SteveFord likes this.
  19. SteveFord

    SteveFord One of the Regulars

    Yep, it's the one in the picture.
    I have a similar, modern one but it's not quite what I was after.
    I didn't realize how much those old hats meant to me.
  20. Frunobulax


    Funkytown, USA

    But the hat in that photo is not a Homburg...
    hatsRme likes this.

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