Wearing hat askew -- Do you need a different size?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Lawrence Ullman, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Lawrence Ullman

    Lawrence Ullman New in Town

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    Looking at old photos, it seems that many if not most men wore their hat (fedora or western) at a jaunty angle, in some cases what appears to be a rather extreme one. But when I try to do this with a hat that "fits" when worn straight, I end up with one uncomfortably smooshed ear. I normally wear a 7-1/4, but I'm wondering if a smaller size is necessary to make this work, or does having an angled hat mean getting used to it sitting on top of an ear on one side?
     
  2. Tedquinton

    Tedquinton A-List Customer

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    Mmm, that would explain the number of small sized hats available 2nd hand. Did everyone wear their hats a size too small back in the day..
     
  3. John Galt

    John Galt Vendor

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    Smaller people, smaller heads..,


    "Faint hat never won fair lady."
     
  4. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

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    I asked myself the same question when I started wearing hats three years ago. Since then I've worn vintage hats (with various fits) and custom hats (conformed oval, perfect fit).

    To answer your question, I don't think it's necessary to consider a different-sized hat. A well-fitted hat is all you need to wear it either tilted or nearly straight.

    A heavy tilt like only very few Hollywood actors (Jay C. Flippen and Francis Lederer come to mind, since they did heavy tilts all the time) used to do means that the lower side does indeed just touch the ear, or at least it should (I think) because otherwise the hat would be too small, thus sitting too tight. A less dramatic tilt should work fine, without touching the ear.

    Keep in mind also that there may be a difference in how you perceive the tilt as you look in the mirror compared to how you see it on others, i.e. on old photos and in movies. It could be that you underestimate the amount of tilt on you. I know I did.

    As a side note, I have a suspicion that many of the hatwearers that used really heavy tilts (one side high up, the other side still not touching the ears) did so because the hats had shrunk a little in the sweatband over time. I've seen it mostly on photos of poorer men that looked like they owned just the one hat they were wearing.

    It's also a question of personal preference and the mode of the time. On early photos (1920s and earlier) you frequently see hats being worn much higher than what would be considered a good fit in the 1930s-50s, even with the crowns being as high and straight as they tended to be. Again the 1960s with their tapered, lower crowns sometimes saw hats sitting a tad higher (and tilted).
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  5. The Wiser Hatter

    The Wiser Hatter I'll Lock Up

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    As Rabbit said No you don't. I wear both my fedoras and caps that way..


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  6. Strapped-4-Cache

    Strapped-4-Cache One Too Many

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    This comment is coming from a recent "proper" hat wearer, so take it with a grain of salt.

    I've noticed that even adjusting my hat slightly will make it appear to rest at that jaunty angle referenced. I thought I'd have to rest the hat on one ear to make it appear so, but it only needed to be moved a bit to the left or right to change it from regular hat to 'hattitude'.

    - Mark
     
  7. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

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    You've nailed it, Mark.
     
  8. The Tommy Gun Bandit

    The Tommy Gun Bandit One of the Regulars

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    How extreme are we talking? Some have a natural tilt of the hat. If you're ending up uncomfortable on your ear, then the best advice most will give is just don't do it if it's bothering you.
     
  9. Lawrence Ullman

    Lawrence Ullman New in Town

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    I play old time and bluegrass music, and pretty much wear a fedora or Western any time I leave the house. Here's Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs. Seems to me these gentlemen are tilting their hats more than just slighly!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. deanglen

    deanglen My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    [​IMG]




    dean
     
  11. kaosharper1

    kaosharper1 One Too Many

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    I always tilt my hats. The one in my avatar is an Art Fawcett and it fits me perfectly. The only downside is that a stiff breeze will usually blow off a hat with a tilt. When the wind picks up I put my hat straight across and pull it down tight.
     
  12. DesertDan

    DesertDan One Too Many

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    "Hattitude", I like that! :cool::eusa_clap
     
  13. hatsRme

    hatsRme I'll Lock Up

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    Hats are much more relaxed and friendly with a tilt, and unless it's a hard one (derby, etc.) should easily accommodate a tilt in all directions if it's the right size. Here is one of my favorite hat-wearing mentors. Look at how it's tipped back, left, right... He really knew how to wear it with a rake!
    holly.jpg gr07cc.jpg psky2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  14. TheDane

    TheDane Call Me a Cab

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    Nahhhh Charlie, I think she wears it tilted a little too far back :D
     
  15. hatsRme

    hatsRme I'll Lock Up

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    :eusa_clap STILL a favorite, Ole! Possibly a first crush, even.
     
  16. TheDane

    TheDane Call Me a Cab

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    Pardon my "hand-tourette", Charlie. Sometimes I simply don't know what my hands are doing to the keyboard. Not to mention my sign language translations! :eusa_doh: :D

    Well, my serious contribution to this subject is, that I always wear my hats tilted to the right. The brim actually touches my right ear, which by the way usually will result in a small light salt spot on the brim. Who cares ... I like to wear it that way :)

    My size is 7 1/4, no matter if I wear the hat straight or tilted to the side. If I on the other hand tilt it backwards, a 7 1/8 (or a size inbetween) would fit better
     
  17. Annixter

    Annixter Practically Family

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    When I first started wearing fedoras about four years ago, I naturally favored a medium tilt to my left shoulder to where the brim almost touches my ear. I later found out, according to my mother, that that was how my grandfather wore his hats since the 30s. He told her that a tilt of some degree adds style to the man, although I think one can have great style without a tilt.

    I'd like to point out that there are practical reasons for positioning one's hat at a certain angle on the head. I never realized it until I experimented months into wearing fedoras, but like I found out that we may benefit from choosing a hat's brim, crown, and ribbon dimensions/designs and the type of dent and pinch to compliment our facial/body shape/features, some people may also benefit from positioning their hat at certain angles to compliment their facial features. For example, I have a semi-short, semi-slender face, so I've found that tilting the fedora from right to left and also tilting it back to where more of my forehead shows gives my face and body height and my face some width, whereas no side-to-side tilt and the brim just above my eyebrows makes my face, and thus body, look much shorter. So hat angles might help people adjust their appearance to some degree if desired.

    Here's a generic style recommendation page from Felthats.com that might give people some ideas for trying different angles: HERE
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  18. TheDane

    TheDane Call Me a Cab

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    When a person or an article tells me, what is the "correct" and/or "incorrect" way to position my hat, I know I'm reading something or listening to someone that shouldn't be trusted. A hat has some strictly practical uses (ie. keeping the eyes shaded from the sun), but the mentioned article only talks about (the author's more or less personal preferences on) looks. If you wear glasses, you would probably wear your hat differently and probably choose another brim-width - but practical "details" like that is completely neglected. It seems like many hat wearers of today completely have forgotten about the practical reasons to wear hats. Maybe that's a contributing factor, why so few people wear hats today(?)
     
  19. tommyK

    tommyK One Too Many

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    I wear my hats all over the place, tilted back off my forehead if I'm warm, forward if I'm shielding my eyes from bright sun, a tilt to the side just because i feel like it, etc. Tighter fitting hats I have do seem to wind up more often with a jaunty angle. A tighter hat does seem to lend itself to a better tilt I've found, weather that means one should go a size smaller to facilitate this is probably so.
     
  20. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    I don't wear hats with much, if any tilt at all because I need to keep my head warm and/or the sun out of my eyes and face. But a 'properly' tilted hat (and I use 'properly' in the most non-literal sense) can look great with the 'right' hat on the 'right' head.
     

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