The Sobering Truth About My Face

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Spatterdash, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. Spatterdash

    Spatterdash A-List Customer

    Messages:
    310
    Let's be brutally honest here.

    I'm not ugly. I'm not classically handsome. I'm not grotesque nor am I gorgeous. My face is my own, with it's particular dimensions and lines.

    I have some issues as a hat fan. As my tastes have refined over the years, I've earned a critical eye to my features. The proportion and placement and how they come together to form my face have new meaning to me.
    Millerhats has those broad "face and hat types" illustrations, nothing very specific when it comes to your personal hat choices.
    So, for the first time, I decided to really analyze my mug in relation to my lid and I wanted to share that.

    See, I have a small nose, (and you know what they say, ladies... small nose, small hanky :p) and my ears lie pretty flat against my skull. My eyes aren't huge, but they aren't close together and beady. I have a chin, but it isn't a Dick Tracy jawline by a long shot. All these features have good spacing and my face doesn't look small, just kind of a brunette, blue-eyed Peter Pan lookin' guy with gray streaking above the ears.
    So what does all that self-indulgent description mean?

    I found that a 5 1/4 inch open crown and a 2 1/4 inch brim looks exactly like a much larger hat does on other people.
    That 5 3/4 crown with the 2 5/8 brim folks love so much? My smaller proportioned hat looks like that exact hat on me. It's not that those measurements fit my face better, it's that those measurements actually look like the larger measurements when the hat is on my head.

    This the phenomenon of the Indy Hat. Someone recently described that hat as "Lightening in a bottle". Very true. Those measurements fit Harrison Ford. Take the exact same characteristics of that hat and apply them to your face and suddenly you have "The Indy look" much better than you thought possible.

    I don't have a small noggin, either. I wear a 7 3/4 hat! It's just that my face isn't a 7 3/4 face, I guess.

    It was really eye-opening to realistically consider the right brim width and crown size for me. I've been so in love with vintage styles in the past it never crossed my mind to consider how to make a vintage look like a vintage on my head.
    I encourage you to do the same. It's a liberating thing to learn you can wear a vintage hat and make it a part of you, instead of a vintage hat sitting on your head and hoping you don't look cartoonish.
    And if you find that a 1 3/4 brim or a 3 1/8 brim looks like a 2 3/4 brim on you, embrace it.
    You just found your bottle of lightening.
     
  2. metropd

    metropd One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,762
    Location:
    North America
    I agree. I always wanted to wear a 2 3/4 brim but I find 2 5/8 does the trick for me.
     
  3. EVEN-STEVEN

    EVEN-STEVEN One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    254
    Location:
    SoCal
    Two eyes, two ears, nose, mouth and hat. End of story.
     
  4. Sefton

    Sefton Call Me a Cab

    I think you summed up in one post what has been written about countless times here. Good advice.
     
  5. MattC

    MattC A-List Customer

    Messages:
    424
    Location:
    San Francisco and New York City
    Brilliant post & the subtelty of the fedora

    I've had a similar experience; I wear a 7 1/2, but like you, look 40s vintage in a crown (bashed) at 5 or 5 1/4" and a brim around 2 1/4". One word of advice; in some hats, you can push the dimensions. I have a Borsalino Allesadera with a higher crown and a much broader brim. But the, for lack of a better word, "flourish" in the brim and the "brio" in the bash of the crown makes it look good, if over the top.

    Fedoras are subtle. An eighth of an inch here, a quarter there, a little less taper, and the look can change dramatically. I've had stingey brims that look terrible, and stingey brims that are way too cool. I'm finally figuring out what the dimensions are. My first Indy hat, a custom from Peters Bros, was a near perfect Raiders hat, and looked like a clown hat on me. That Borso gives me the look of an artist.

    But the subtlety is what makes fedoras fun, no?
     
  6. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,402
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    The difference between "right" and "not quite" can be almost as dramatic as Twain's distinction lightning and the lightning bug.

    This is certainly not to say that only one style will work for a particular hat wearer, but that a hat that one guy can wear like he belongs under it can look a bit "off" on the next guy's noggin. To echo Matt's observation, an eighth of an inch in crown height and/or brim width, or just a touch less (or more) taper, can make a significant difference in a hat's look.
     
  7. Art Fawcett

    Art Fawcett Sponsoring Affiliate

    Messages:
    3,709
    Location:
    Central Point, Or.
    :eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap

    Spot on Dash!!!!
     
  8. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    I have a full face, strong features and a big head. If I don't choose a hat with care I look like a big botch-a-galoop with a pointy noggin. Tapered crowns are verrry tricky, altho if the brim is not too wide I can bring one off.
     
  9. Viper Man

    Viper Man Banned

    Messages:
    860
    Location:
    Stone City, IL
    OK, Art, plan on more messages from me. :p
     
  10. Spellflower

    Spellflower Practically Family

    Messages:
    511
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    No problem- simply apply a nice burst of steam to your face and play around with it until you get something you like. Just don't over steam your face or your head will taper. :eek:

    But seriously, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes even two hats of similar measurements will seem drastically different. My Whippet and my Borsalino have almost the exact same brim width and (bashed) crown height, but the Whippet looks much bigger to me when I see it in the mirror. Could be the wider ribbon and the binding on the Whippet, I don't know.

    I also feel like my Federation is a very big hat, but I've seen pics of others wearing it who make it look just right. [huh]
     
  11. carldelo

    carldelo One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Astoria, NYC
    Well said

    I tried a 2-1/2" brim Stetson Windham on Sunday, and looked like I was about to take flight (same goes for the Akubra Sydney I ordered recently). The Borso Alessandria made me look like a circus clown. The 2-1/4" brim Stetson Ashland made me look like I walked out of a movie, even though it's the lowest quality of all of them. Guess which one my wife bought me for a present? I guess I'll have to shop for hats in person from now on...
    Cheers, Carl

    PS - I have to say it's amazing that 1/8" difference in the brim or ribbon width can make so much difference, but it does.
     
  12. PhilS

    PhilS One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Upper West Side Gotham City
    Great Thread

    And Spellflower's advice made me laugh too.
     
  13. fletch31

    fletch31 Familiar Face

    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    Rexburg, ID
    Me too brother. I cant do with anything wider than a 2 5/8" brim. 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 looks best on me. I cut my Adventurebilt down to fit my face. I just looked like I was wearing a sombrero otherwise :)
     

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