US Hat sizes discrepancy

Discussion in 'Hats' started by ALL*HeLL, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. ALL*HeLL

    ALL*HeLL New in Town

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Mussey, MI
    So, I've noticed that the hat size charts are different many times. I've seen 7 1/8 described as 22 1/4 all the way to 22 1/2.

    Anyone have a chart that is correct and we can forget all others?

    Reason I'm asking is because I won a Stetson Homburg that is 7 1/8 and I usually wear a 7 1/4 though some brands are too big and some too tight. I'm hoping that this will fit but am not sure. Unfortunately, I won't find out until Christmas, since I got it for that and the wife is adamant I can't have it until then.

    Would I be able to stretch up a size without replacing the sweat and ribbon?
     
  2. Andykev

    Andykev I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    4,092
    Location:
    The Beautiful Diablo Valley
    Hat size

    You are going to have to try the hat. It is like shoes..one manufacturer 8 1/2 is like another's 8. And wide, D, or E, EE or EEE can vary.

    Some hat makers use only S, M, L, XL..

    If the hat is vintage, expect that the sweatband shrank.

    Going from a 1/8 to a 1/4 is no big deal with a proper steam and stretch. BUT, you will have to do it regularly. I have found my vintage hats, too small but stretchable, need regular "coaxing" to fit me.

    Enjoy the hat. If it is far to small for a steam/stretch, and it is a quality hat..for little money you can have the sweat replaced and the hat up-sized for your specific needs.
     
  3. ALL*HeLL

    ALL*HeLL New in Town

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Mussey, MI
    Thank you very much Andy! That definitely eases my mind. Now to see if I can pull off a Homburg, though I rarely wear a suit-hehe.
     
  4. carldelo

    carldelo One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Astoria, NYC
    No chart needed - just a calculator:

    (hat size) x (Pi) = Circumference

    Which is to say, your hat size is the hydraulic diameter of your head ( Hat Size = Circumference / Pi )
     
  5. Wolfwood

    Wolfwood A-List Customer

    Messages:
    317
    Location:
    Finland
  6. daizawaguy

    daizawaguy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,531
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Mmmmmm...even if one two makers have the same size, one could shrink over time and the original difference could be negated. That`s why we all have several hats...lol [huh] lol
     
  7. J.T.Marcus

    J.T.Marcus Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,354
    Location:
    Mineola, Texas
    This is the best chart I've found. (Scroll down the page, to the chart.)

    http://www.hatlife.com/headsize.php
     
  8. Fedora

    Fedora Vendor

    Messages:
    828
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I never understood the variance in hat sizes. Apparently the circumference divided by pi was NOT used by all hatters. To this very day. You still see sizing charts online that don't match up with other sizing charts. But, I go by head circumferences and pay no attention to hat sizes per se. You don't get the returns by doing so. Fedora
     
  9. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,844
    Location:
    Isle of Langerhan, NY
    Excellent advice, as usual.
     
  10. zetwal

    zetwal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,343
    Location:
    Texas
    Variations among manufactures and charts aside, circumference isn't the whole story. The actual and unique shape of your head married to the particular shape of any given hat is critical. You can try two hats with the same circumference and find that one fits and the other doesn't. That's because one may follow the contours of you head better than the other.
     
  11. GClark

    GClark One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Virginia
    Nice chart - but I have to wonder - why does the metric size not convert directly to inches?

    e.g., a 59 metric converts to 23.0531 inches on the chart, while 59 cm is 23.23 inches.

    GC
     
  12. carldelo

    carldelo One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Astoria, NYC
    I'm right there with you on this one - I would not accept this lack of precision from my students. Did the chart makers not have access to a calculator?
     
  13. Fedora

    Fedora Vendor

    Messages:
    828
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Yeah, I can see that when talking about stiffer hats. That's why stiffer hats need to be custom fitted for some folks. The formillion and conformateur fitting deal.

    But on self conforming, i.e. hats that have real soft crowns and brims, they pretty much conform to any head, unless you got knots in the wrong places. Because the really soft felt "gives" to self conform to the head shape, if it is the right size for the head. That has been my own experience. Add some shellac and all bets are off! lol Fedora
     
  14. PabloElFlamenco

    PabloElFlamenco Practically Family

    Messages:
    581
    Location:
    near Brussels, Belgium
    Just one little comment, my "Stetson 100" (obviously sherished), was originally 6-7/8 and I had it stretched to 7-1/8 (yes, new sweat and ribbons) and, in order to keep it's size, I store it on one of those a wooden in-hat stretchers, just to prevent it shrinking back down.

    I also own a full-size hatter's stretching block, which I regularly use on hats I find a tad small. Really makes a big difference in the comfort department.

    In using that massive stretching block, I don't pay much attention to the size markings: I just turn the screw until the existing ("almost 7-1/8") hat is very, very tight over the block halves, and leave it a few days. That does the trick.

    One reason the size markings are useless, is the block halves tend to "tilt" a bit inwards at the top when spanning a hat, whereas the size markings are at the bottom of the block, hence a non-correct reading on the scale.
     
  15. Dewhurst

    Dewhurst Practically Family

    Messages:
    653
    Location:
    USA
    Here is a general chart for size equivalence (not supposed measurements):

    [​IMG]

    Opinions on what measurements equal what final size vary. The most reliable indicator is the metric size/measurement, in my experience.
     
  16. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,901
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Andy's likening this inconsistency to the same phenomenon in shoe sizes is pretty much on the money. I've found comfortable shoes ranging from marked sizes 10 to 12, and hats from 7 1/8 to 7 1/2. That's a whole lotta sizes in between, in both cases.

    The problem for the hat buyer as well as his remotely located hat seller/maker/refurbisher is that even with a measurement in inches (or centimeters) and fractions thereof, you can still end up with an ill-fitting hat. Some people just pull that tape measure tighter than others. And some measure in the 'wrong" place on their noggins. And sometimes the merchant is arithmetically challenged.

    A Homburg might take a bit of getting used to, AH, but you really gotta have a few. They seem to draw less interest than fedoras do in the online auction world, so really fine ones can often be had for what I consider bargain prices. But then, I really dig vintage Homburgs. Perhaps the finest factory hats I've ever handled are old banker lids.

    As Fedora Steve noted, stiffer hats are tougher to fit, and stretch, because, well, they're stiff. They have less give. So, good luck with the fit on yours. I'm guessing it'll be okay, though. Lots of old Stetson 7 1/8s fit me pretty well, and, as I noted above, sometimes I can wear another maker's hat in a considerably larger marked size.
     
  17. J.T.Marcus

    J.T.Marcus Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,354
    Location:
    Mineola, Texas
    Fluctuating exchange rate. :D
     
  18. Fedora

    Fedora Vendor

    Messages:
    828
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Yes, I do agree. I always suggest the person measure 3 different times, and supply all 3.(one inch above the brows) Many times they will get a little variance in the 3. But, you can use those and come up pretty close. This method seems to work better for me than using hat sizes. Hats, depending upon the brand just vary so much in the actual size.

    I got in several loads of HJs, that ran small for the size indicated on the sweat. My last shipment were dead on in size. So, it can be snake surprise when dealing with any hatmaker, it seems. When I used to buy alot of Akubras, they always ran large for my particular head size, but the sweatband would always shrink up to fit after some sweat and wear. So, it's good they ran a bit large for me. Fedora
     

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