Fedoras

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Sam
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Post by Sam »

I just received a Bailey Barr fedora in what I was going to think was a much darker grey. It was not, however, it was darker than my Stetson. I have it up in the sales forum (nonshave related stuff) if anyone wants it before I return it for credit. A bit cheaper than what I bought it for, but tags still on it. Size medium fits a 7 to 7 1/8th but I think maybe a 7 1/4 could wear it. I am a 7 1/8 and this hat was not as snug as my Stetson which is a true 7 1/8
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Sam
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Post by Sam »

The wool fedora is gone, though I still have a black one for rain (scotchguarded it and it can take a beating)

I'll be picking out the ribbon treatment on a new custom fedora I am having made up the road in Covington, Tenneseee, at buckaroo hatters. Silverbelly color with what I hope is matching edge binding. Thinking of a little tie-type ribbon in a similar color, maybe smokey light grey, or a say 10 ligne ribbon treatment. Ill post picks when I can get them.
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Sam
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Post by Sam »

I actually got two hats today. My custom fedora from Major Mike at Buckaroo Hatters was to be ready today for me to pick out the ribbon. I was between a 12 ligne (medium width ribbon ) and the thinner treatment, I think a 6 ligne. I was able to see each on a hat and for some reason, the smaller ribbon made sense. I also was able to decide the color and wanted something to compliment the fedora and not be so much of a contrast. Mike was very helpful in suggesting the color. So tell me what you think?

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this pic is more representative of the color. As others have noted, lighting can play a big part in how it is perceived. In fact, I remarked that it would be hard for me, maybe not for others, to distinguish between the colors dova, silvermist, silverbelly, maybe natural, and the like. However, I did see a few silverbelly hats and some ribbon colors brought out a blueish tone, others a browner

Also, I was not originally a fan of the brown color of my acorn Akubra Stylemaster, and the fact that it has a much bigger brim was always off-putting. Rocky and Mike said I looked fine, but the crown is 4.5 inches, vs. 4.0 in the Stetson Saxon. Seems as though it is too tall, but I trust them. Also, Mike suggested going with a 2 1/4 brim and make it a bit bigger than the 2.0 brim of the Stetson. I agree. I had tried on other fedoras and 2.5 and wider was too big for me and without my even asking, Mike said they were too big. Here is a pic of me in each hat.

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Now, when I went to pick out the hat, a week or two before Thanksgiving, I had looked at some parbuntal straw hats that Mike had found that were 60 year old hat bodies. The hat body was super, super light, and not all that hard shellac that some hats are. I was worried about durability, and even then, some hats made from shantaung straw (which I read were paper) can feel hard shellacy and sometimes floppy. However, these things are so light and airy and one man that was there to visit Mike had one and he said he weighed it and it was like 3 ounces and maybe half of it was the ribbon:

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interior shot of the weave:

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I was worried about that optimo style, but the longer I had it on, the more I got over any objections. Besides, that man visiting said you wear the hat and not the other way around. Besides, he had like 25 hats, or maybe he said 35, that Mike had made for him and while I was there, he got another!

Now, there were several hats in my size there, maybe 6 or 7, and various treatments. One had a thicker black ribbon, b ut I have a panama hat with Black ribbon. There was a brown ribbon I liked. But I had an idea. Well, Mike did. He has a green ribbon with a design in it that looks great for a summer hat. But I dont do green much and I wanted something versatile. Mike had some felt fedora hats that had a contast in color with the keeper, and I asked him if he could do up a khaki color ribbon with the brown keeper. He did! I was thinking brown ribbon with khaki keeper, but Rocky and Mike thought the ribbon I have pictured would work better. Then Mike had an idea. What if I watned to come back and have him do up a new ribbon in other colors I changed my mind this summer. I wanted a blue and so he picked out a khaki keeper and a grey and I chose grey. He made it so that the ribbon treatments would not be tacked down, and I can change them out. Here is the other treatment, the khaki one:

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Mike is so easy going and, I was there for two hours and it seemed like five minutes. He really is an artisan, and what I liked is that he did not view other hatmakers so much as competition, but as keeping an artistry alive, which was a refreshing air.

I dont think Ill have 35 hats, but I can see me getting another one to two hats. I wish everyone could go to a hat maker, not just a hat shop, as it is neat to see the tools of the trade, and also ask questions. Having someone who can suggest and guide is nice, because Mike was able to tell me what did and did not work. I can see where having custom color combinations can be addicting, and it can be like a kid in a candy store experience. I tried on a few western hats, and because I was in a suit after church today, remarked that I felt like I had on a JR Ewing hat in one black hat. They thought it looked fine, but Im not a western guy. Mike even turned the brim up on the Optimo panama hat into like a homburg and said it looked good that way. Me in the Optimo:

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jww
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Post by jww »

One day I do hope to own a panama straw hat. For now, I'll have to live with my two Tilleys, Mad Bomber and tweed driving cap.
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Post by GA Russell »

They all look great on you Sam!

I bought a Panama hat in Las Vegas 30 years ago and really liked the look. But I think that my bald head perspires more than most men's, and I'm concerned that my investing in a good hat would be wasted because of that. Maybe I would need a higher crown.
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Post by SRD »

Great lids Sam!! Congrats.
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Post by JayTrek »

Sam...you are getting closer to making me put aside my aversion to the fedora. Nice hats.
Regards,
Jason

Upon Further Review...
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Sam
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Post by Sam »

Jason, the fact that my hair is thinning on top and stories, like from my Father, of melanomas having to be cut off his face. That and working downtown and the wind whipping off the Mississippi River and going through the street between buildings creates a blast of cold air. With a hat on, I feel that I am 10 degrees warmer. I hate keeping up with coats and they are so bulky (long overcoats) and so I prefer a hat. Now it is like second nature. And the panama really works in summer, believe me.

My wife did not like the color of the silverbelly, nor did she think that the crown height suited me. Well, she did not want to go with me to pick out the hat (she did with the grey Stetson) and so I was on my own. I don't think there is that big a difference between the crown heights (4 inches on the Stetson, 4.5 on the Buckaroo). Colorwise, okay, but I needed a color that would go with anything and maybe I could have gone with an ivory or a dove but really, those really light colors can all be lumped into one.

I will say that being able to pick out the hat body color, shape and color and sizing of the ribbon are really both daunting and exciting, and I know a lot of guys love Art Fawcett but rather than over the net, I was able to go in person.
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Fishin Phil
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Post by Fishin Phil »

I really need to get a good fedora one of these days. I had almost supressed this desire, but this thread has made it resurface.

Thanks, I think.
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Post by JayTrek »

Sam, I do have a brown felt outback style hat that I used to wear a good bit in Winter. I may have to pull it back out.
Regards,
Jason

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Sam
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Post by Sam »

Jay, grab it and post us a pic.

Was heading over to the Courthouse today to leave an order for entry by the Judge and a 30-35'ish man, in a suit, smoking outside, looked at me and said sharp hat. Was wearing my Stetson Saxon. I get lots of compliments on it, and I am wondering if it is the hat itself, or the fact that I am wearing such a dress hat? I never got compliments on my Akubra Stylemaster (then again, wife and I agreed that the acorn color and the fact that it has a much wider brim did nothing for me) and I do so hope people say that they love my Buckaroo Silverbelly hat I got on December 30th

Dont know what the color silverbelly does for me, but the hat felt feels great, lighter than the Stetson and well, I prefer how it feels to the Stetson.
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Post by JayTrek »

Sorry to be so long in posting this image. But, Sam, here is my hat.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/91269679@N06/8355857773/
Regards,
Jason

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JayTrek
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Post by JayTrek »

Bumping an old thread...but I really have my eyes on one of these...

http://www.kangolstore.com/product.aspx?id=217181
Regards,
Jason

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jww
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Post by jww »

I have always been a fan of Kangol hats.
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Post by JayTrek »

I want it in the dark flannel. Hoping I will not have to get it online though.
Regards,
Jason

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Sam
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Re: Fedoras

Post by Sam »

I used to think I looked silly with a hat, but then, receiving compliments, I began to realize that my perception of me is just that, MY PERCEPTION. So I have opened up my mind to things that may be a bit out of my comfort zone. With fedoras, it seems that most everyone thinks I look good in them. And a couple of people that own them tell me so.

I had decided in my mind that my 2" brimmed hat, in light grey rabbit felt, was too short of a brim for me. Now, part of the reason I got it was that a hat maker had cut the brim too short for someone else, so he had this hat body all done up in a too-short brim for this guy and made me a deal. I did get to design the ribbon treatment. Now my first hat, a Stetson Saxon in caribou, is a 2" brim but it wears bigger. Don't ask me why, how or tell me that does not make sense, but it just seems that way. The light grey one seemed like a stingy, the Stetson normal. I have wanted to replace it for a year and well, I had a yen a couple of weeks back to sell it and get a new one. Well, before it sold, I determined in my mind to head on up to Mike Moore at Buckaroo Hatters for a new one. Seems like this is a yearly thing for me, about this time each year (well, last year it was around November, lol). I have the Caribou, which is medium grey, a brown hat and a silverbelly which wears to the taupe side. So I was going in, thinking graphite or steel or dark grey or maybe navy. One thing I appreciate about Mike is that he tells it like it is, and he told me navy did not seem right on me or was what I was wanting. He held up swatches and one tended to blue shades, but he had a hat in stock in my size that was charcoal grey. Ribbon edged and it had a thin ribbon. He told me that he could change it out to a 16 ligne and he did and it had a 2 5/8" brim. The first hat he did for me was 2 1/2" so I was good to go. Can't seem to take it off. Been thinking of selling my Stetson Saxon because, well, because it is not a Buckaroo is the only reason I can think of. It does have a non-leather sweatband and I may replace it but I do like the wider ribbon on the Stetson (2" or maybe an 18 ligne) and the brim snap to it just seems to suit me - seems more business like. So it may be a keeper. Anyway, it is always fun to go up to Mike's shop and they had Dickens Christmas on the town square, with everyone dressed up from that time period, hot apple cider given away, food in the little shops, and the place was bustling. Marlowe's was closed down - I had never eaten there - but Mike steered me to the Court Square Cafe where I had country fried steak, sweet tea (cut with unsweet) and veggies. Tried to talk my lady friend into a hat but she did not, but she did like wearing mine for a bit. Nice time was had. Saw some pugarees and may have to get up to Buckaroo come spring time to grab two or three to interchange with my Panama Bob Cuenca and my Buckaroo parbuntal straw hats.

the new one:

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this one I had last year, and it has a more western look. I was wanting a brown hat with the color ribbon, and he had this one in stock, with the pencil curl and I wanted casual, and well, I always get compliments and this is one that is out of my comfort zone

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the hat I sold, small brim to me:

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the Stetson, with the wider ribbon, not the best pic: edit: it could be that hat I sold as the swoop looks like it and it sits higher on my head. The Stetson ribbon is black and it would seem to be more of a contrast in the picture since the hat is a medium grey. Oh well, give you an idea of why I am trending to wider brims now:

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and the first custom hat I had made, silverbelly, which tends to taupe on me, with a thinner ribbon but oh, such great feel on the head, taken at Buckhead Church in Atlanta the Satursdy after Thanksgiving, so yes, I look bloated, lol

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One thing to be said - if you have ever had the ability to have a hat made for you, seems hard to go back to off-the-rack stuff. It's not necessarily a quality issue, which it can be, but a customization issue. You can pick the size of the brim, or change the swoop of the brim or the type of crown bash. You can make the hat with an underwelt, overwelt, no welt, and ribbon edge treatment and even a pencil curl. The biggest is the ability to choose ribbon colors, sizes and keeper treatments. My Buckaroo hats are also softer than Stetson. I have compared the hats that Buckaroo makes along with the one made by my now-sold hat and then others that people brought into Buckaroo and left behind. Mike has been doing it for years and it is evident in his sewing of the ribbons and in other lesser obvious places.
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Re: Fedoras

Post by Thalay Sagar »

Sam, a nice array of handsome hats. If I might add, I think the first and last are the best looking hats on you. Enjoy!
Best,
Chris

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