What Cap Are You Wearing Today?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Stuffsmith, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. Mm25

    Mm25 Practically Family

    Messages:
    699
    Cordova cap owners/wearers (you know who you are). Clearly they are premium, but can you discuss what sets them so far above all others that their price can range three times higher than other well made caps.

    I have no first hand knowledge of them and am not disputing their quality, just looking for specific qualities that make them so desirable.

    I assume premium fabrics and impeccable workmanship, but how exactly does that manifest itself in the completed cap.

    Thank you in advance.
     
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  2. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,909
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    I understand you are asking why buy a Cordova Cap over an off the rack cap?

    My personal answer is I like them better. I buy the caps for me and I am self aware that others may have no appreciation of the quality of cap or component parts.

    (1) They fit exactly as I wish them to. A bespoke cap is defined as being made for a customer or user. (BTW:Mr.Cordova has early in this thread suggested he likes to think of his caps not as bespoke but more as custom. I interpreted that as he continuing to be humble. ) Over several caps I have honed into the fit that I find comfortable for my uses. Different caps have different fits/characteristics based on my expectations of their wearing use.

    (2) Leather sweat and liners wear well and are durable. The liners (backing the wool and not the silk liners that can touch your head) really keep the caps holding their shapes.

    (3) I have choice of his curated vintage fabrics, specialty materials, or with coordination any of the best woolen fabrics in the world.

    (4) Cap style I get to choose. French cap, 8-6-5 point cap, panel cap or with coordination any cap style I choose from vintage pics.

    (5) Drape is my choice. I can choose in a given cap style to ask for a specific drape.

    (6) Features I get to choose. How about a back belt, buttons under brim, side or rear pleats. How about a liner that has mesh sides to wear wool in warm weather. How about no liner and just taped seams. How about a nubby thick wool for my neighborhoods couple of below zero weeks of winter weather.

    (7) Purchasing a cap that is just visually stunning. If you go through the many pages I see many terrific caps and I see some stunning caps.

    I am choosing to stop as I can see that the value proposition may be a larger issue than the few choice (bespoke) issues I noted above. Value or price is subjective. I see and experience the quality being worth the price. A cap is not a cap and the price is not the price. I know that a bespoke cap made of vicuna wool and a matching scarf is being worn by a different member an I was quoted that set would be short of $900 USD. ( This is a created and made by different bespoke cap maker.)

    Too high a price? If the cap is pricier than I think it should be I do not purchase. In the past I have told Mr.Cordova his caps, after taking in consideration the creative time, resources, stocking and hand work time may be underpriced. This said I see many artisians being passionate and not being able to price their time well.

    This may not be a complete answer, as I struggled a bit with interpreting what was being asked. As I reread my response it appears to be vague. Hopefully not. Please question if you have specifics.

    Best, Eric -
     
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  3. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,909
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    No worries Brent. Thanks for keeping me a learning adult.
     
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  4. Mm25

    Mm25 Practically Family

    Messages:
    699
    Eric,
    I appreciate your in depth response. It was exactly the type of answer I was looking for. It was never my intention to suggest the caps are not worth the cost (value) only to explore and understand the value. Your collection is amazing.
    Thank you again,
    Joe

    p.s. I was not aware they were lined with leather. I will have to back and look at that more closely.
     
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  5. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,909
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA

    Joe, I think that the question of value of a cap is a valid question to ask. Absolutely no offense taken.

    As kids we learned the axiom "the value is in the eye of the beholder." This rings very true at my house. Truth is I do not "need" as many caps as I have. My 1st world challenge is "which cap to wear." My Grandparents did not have this luxury.

    Specific to value, I have chosen several caps to be tough enough for me to do "normal" outside chores and wear. The bespoke caps with a coated/treated leather sweats last longer than the fabric. This is my experience. The better wools do not show the wear of outside chores. By this I mean the pilling, stray fibers sticking out and hold a shape. Excellent woven wool on jackets, sweaters and the like is decidedly different than inexpensive, looser woven wools.

    Posted on the thread over the warmer months have been some straw/hemp caps. They did exist historically . Without going the "bespoke" cap maker route this type of cap I have not stumbled across any store available models. Linen models are not available over the counter often. Warm weather caps are not common.

    On the leather sweat feature. The very soft roan leather sweats that are so comfy they do not work for me. During outside walkabouts or efforts the perspiration and body oils soak into the sweat. It can be dried and conditioned, but they wear out quicker. The leather sweats, more like a hat sweat, do require a bit of break-in to soften, they get plenty comfy and they do not absorb moisture or oils.

    Having a bald pate I prefer the cap to rest gently on one spot on the top of my head. I do not want a soft drape to get soiled or sweaty from my outside efforts. I had some off the shelf caps with drape and fabric sweats get dirty and soiled quickly. My experience is that the wool caps are really difficult to clean. Really difficult.

    I have said before in posts on this thread that I looked far and wide and sourced a wooden cap block. I find it a godsend as it helps me when I clean, or dry, or reshape a cap after wear. Cap wearers in the earlier 1900's wore their caps hard and replaced them. Caps could be purchased cheaply (comparatively to hats). Wear it out - replace it. I have the luxury of having many and no one cap needs to suffer heavy wear and then be ready to go out into public.

    On the thread we have others who wear their caps in normal activities (not just dressy and pristine conditions). It would be interesting to hear from others on how their caps fair.



    This morning I ran a quick errand and tugged a Well Dressed Cap on. The bold fabric pattern is keen.

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    Best to cap folks, Eric -
     
  6. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,909
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    A cap and I headed back to work yesterday.

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    (Cap specific notes: (1) I chose a softer brim style to be made for this cap. The brim has concentric sewing of the insert of the brim. It makes the brim easily formable and then it goes back to the original shape. When the cap is on the head the brim can easily take a curl. (2) I chose a French cap style to showcase the glorious wool pattern. (3) The wool fabric was chosen to better coordinate with my day time coaching costume and light weight winter attire. I hope this footnote helps those thinking of custom caps.)

    Cheers, Eric -
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2021
  7. Mm25

    Mm25 Practically Family

    Messages:
    699
    Eric,
    Is there a reference you go to for cap styles. For example, what makes this a French cap? There are so many names for the same style, and so many subtle variations between styles, how does one know the options available.
    Joe
     
  8. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,909
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Joe, I learned the names of caps by reviewing the caps offered by Well Dressed Head, Cordva, Monsavais and Simmonds. I believe that I started using the pics and offerings they had listed on Etsy (Cordova, WDH and Simmonds). From that starting point I have been using vintage advertisements. I know that Dave Proc has posted bunches on the other cap thread.

    My understanding of a "French cap" is the flat, uninterrupted top fabric of the cap.

    BTW: Their is an active Facebook thread, https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cap.Department , that gets US and international posts. I find it interesting to see the breadth of what is caps.

    Eric -
     
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  9. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,909
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Cap adventures the past couple of days.

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    This blue hued Harris Tweed flat cap is just a treat to tug on and head out.

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    A Quiet Man inspired cap. The hues and wool are dynamite in person.

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    Cool weather yard chores in a Filson Mackinaw cap.

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    A Fox Brothers gray wool tweed (medium weight wool) cap was the Cat's Meow in the cool weather.

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    Cheers to cap folks, Eric -
     
  10. dh66

    dh66

    Messages:
    13,213
    Location:
    down south
    All are outstanding, Eric, but I do certainly admire that Filson. A classic look for outdoors.
     
  11. Fourman110

    Fourman110 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    250
    New restaurant in town accompanied by my beautiful bride and The Well Dressed Head. 20211113_112640.jpg 20211113_114438.jpg 20211113_112603.jpg
     
  12. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,909
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Thanks sir. I know you have a Minnesota Tophat (reed/black check cap). I do like yours. My charcoal I find very practical and useful. Tis the season!

    Gorgeous cap and thanks for sharing the mouth watering food pics.

    This afternoon I got home in my cap and grabbed a couple of pics to share. I left home way before the sun rose to head out for work escapades.

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    Cheers, Eric -
     
  13. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,909
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Enjoying breakfast on the deck meant wearing a cap.

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    Cheers, Eric -
     
  14. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend

    Messages:
    10,179
    Location:
    Germany
    Yeah, the real "frosty style!" :)
     
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  15. I'm still waiting for the weather here to cooperate. Including today the temperature range for the last four days has been 85-92°F; not quite wool cap weather. Starting Tuesday the temps are supposed to drop into the 70s and upper-60s for the next two weeks, so...we'll see.
     
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  16. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,909
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    I chose a cap with some color for a hazy and cloudy day.

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    Cheers, Eric -
     
  17. Mm25

    Mm25 Practically Family

    Messages:
    699
    B!wear cap. 58D7CDCA-203F-451A-B5C0-CB66A396E2B3.jpeg
     
  18. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,909
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    You wear that cap well sir. The flame red leaves make a dynamite background.

    Yesterday wind gusts in the aft/evening found me wearing a thicker, warm cap on my bald pate.

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    Cheers, Eric -
     
  19. Short Balding Guy

    Short Balding Guy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,909
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Continued cool and breezy yesterday meant I selected another thick cool cap for warmth.

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    I do like that the brim and crown are both the same thickness. The cap brim and drape are very comfortable.

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    I was outside this morning fixing the heater on the bird bath. I chose to be capped in zig zag wool.

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    Cheers cap folks. Best wishes, Eric -
     
  20. Mm25

    Mm25 Practically Family

    Messages:
    699
    Always top notch! I wish I could feel that thick wool. It looks so fuzzy-warm.
     

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