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Faramir2
05-23-2022, 02:04 PM
Since I'm starting up a professional job soon, working on updating and diversifying my business clothes wardrobe a bit (some new chinos and khakis, more biz casual shirts, sport coat and linen blazer, stuff like that). Also want to add a nice hat in the mix, since I love the men's professional style of the '30s and '40s, updated with somewhat more modern fabrics and cuts.

Does anyone have good lines on reasonably priced felt fedoras? Suggestions on colors for flexibility? I'll mostly wear dark suits but have some browns in my other clothing. I've got a little money I can put into this stuff but want to be reasonable with it. Not sure I want to quite spend the coin on a Stetson, although nothing beats a Whippet hat in brown or dark grey.

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LawDog
05-23-2022, 02:31 PM
I have an Akubra that I really like. I picked it up as a souvenir in Australia. It's dark grey rabbit fur, and dressier than the typical outback hat. I also have a brown fedora-ish hat from Chile (unknown maker--probably some old guy with 18th Century equipment and six generations of hat-making knowledge). That one is made from horse hair. I think one black(ish) and one brown hat cover all of the bases. But if you want a specific hot-weather hat, you could add a fine straw hat, too. (Especially in the south, that pairs well with a seersucker suit.)

I like them both, but don't wear either one frequently. I use them as rain gear. A good hat is more effective than an umbrella and it keeps both of your hands free. Win-win. The negative, for me, is that they are eye-catching. Men just don't dress that way anymore. You can lament the passing of days when men dressed like Cary Grant, but the clock has turned. I often wore baseball caps when I was young, but I almost never do now. They look childish to me today, but sometimes serve a purpose. The fedora is much more purposeful and effective, but it will make you stand out in a crowd. I don't embrace the full "Grey Man" concept, but I would generally prefer to go unnoticed in a crowd. In 21st Century America, you will not go unnoticed in a fedora. Even in Texas, where 10 gallon hats and book-sized belt buckles are quasi-normal, a Stetson still draws the eye.

Just plan accordingly. Sometimes you want to be seen. Sometimes you don't.

Added: I remember the model of Akubra. It's a Banjo Patterson.

Papa
05-23-2022, 02:42 PM
Once upon a time in Texas--and Louisiana:

62951

Fella might even wear such a hat with a vest, no suitcoat. Gets hot in Texas, I hear.

LawDog
05-23-2022, 02:51 PM
Fella might even wear such a hat with a vest, no suitcoat. Gets hot in Texas, I hear.I'm pretty good at concealing my gear, but a suit vest isn't enough to cut it. And something about these hats evokes the same response as a handlebar mustache: it just screams, "I'm your huckleberry." If you're gonna wear a fedora, carry enough ammo to match it. And maybe an old-school leather sap.

TangoFoxtrot
05-23-2022, 04:43 PM
Someone threw away my grandfather's hat collection so I found an "expensive" unused vintage hat a few years ago and put it away waiting for special occasions to wear it, which has not yet happened.

I also found a decent looking website store for modern versions, but I've only so far bought the Indiana Jones (I hear you laughing) version. Since I live in the land of rain and bad weather I wear it all over town and into the grocery store all the time. It has held up fine for years. It sticks out a bit since most people don't wear hats even when it is pouring rain, but I don't like rain on my face.

https://www.villagehatshop.com/show_product/451139-124456

Greg Nichols
05-23-2022, 04:46 PM
Take some time learning about hat etiquette first. For instance, the make of the hat isn't about weather, it's about season, a straw or palm hat should not be worn outside of April-October, it's a seasonal hat. Felt can be worn any time of the year. A good businessman stetson will run a couple hundred, but will last decades with proper maintenance. I've had my grandad's that were perfect at 50 years old and my oldest felt cowboy hat 20x ($800 ish) I passed along to my daughter and is around 20-25 years old and perfect

Badger
05-23-2022, 05:12 PM
https://herbertjohnson.co.uk/

You are welcome.

Marco Innocenti
05-23-2022, 06:16 PM
Take some time learning about hat etiquette first. For instance, the make of the hat isn't about weather, it's about season, a straw or palm hat should not be worn outside of April-October, it's a seasonal hat. Felt can be worn any time of the year. A good businessman stetson will run a couple hundred, but will last decades with proper maintenance. I've had my grandad's that were perfect at 50 years old and my oldest felt cowboy hat 20x ($800 ish) I passed along to my daughter and is around 20-25 years old and perfect

Good advice.

As a Detective and later a DA Inspector, I wore felt fedora-style hats all the time, from late September into early April. (Or any rainy day.)

Still do if I’m wearing a suit in colder or rainy weather.

If you are looking for a classic fedora for wear with a suit: go with a good quality wool felt in black and dark brown. Or a dark charcoal instead of black.

Simple matching grosgrain band with no feathers, adornments, chin straps, etc. I would avoid anything with a narrow brim. I know Frank and Dino loved them, but they look really dated and almost too “Rat-pack fan-boy” today.

Hat color to match the basic color of your belt/shoes.

I have hats by Borsalino, Stetson, and Biltmore. Very pleased with all.

Try a bunch on until you find the right overall shape/crown/brim to fit your particular face shape.

Read up on old school hat etiquette as well. Some wonderful, gentlemanly stuff to learn if you aren’t already familiar.

Good luck!

LV_MD
05-23-2022, 08:31 PM
Read up on old school hat etiquette as well. Some wonderful, gentlemanly stuff to learn if you aren’t already familiar.

Good luck!

Thanks Marco,

Any links or references for suggested reading?

Faramir2
05-24-2022, 08:06 AM
Thanks Marco,

Any links or references for suggested reading?

Ditto that.

Appreciate the remarks and pointers, gents, including your admonition to consider the fact that wearing such a hat draws attention in this century, LawDog. I'm with you on preferring, generally, to go unnoticed, but I'd most likely wear a hat like this to and from the office. Not so much to worry about there, at least in my estimation, so far as an ordinary commute goes.

Marco, what do you think of something like a dark gray, kinda in the vein of the charcoal? Obviously it's not the same color, but I've read in a few random interweb sources (which may all be full of crap, for all I know) that a dark gray is a pretty versatile color. Plus I happen to rather like the dark gunmetal sorts of grays out there.

LawDog
05-24-2022, 09:14 AM
what do you think of something like a dark gray, kinda in the vein of the charcoal?In my opinion, charcoal is much more versatile than a true black. While I described my Banjo Patterson as dark grey, charcoal is more accurate.

Marco Innocenti
05-24-2022, 01:14 PM
I think a grey or charcoal hat works just fine in place of black.

But if you are wearing brown shoes and a brown belt, the hat needs to be brown as well.

BUT... I'm a total traditionalist when it comes to suits, ties, overcoats, hats, and formal/business dress. If Frank, Dino, or 007 (other than Moore) wouldn't wear it, I probably wouldn't either.

I only/always wear black shoes, black belt and black/grey hat with suits or sport coats/slacks that are black, any shade of grey/silver, black/white/grey tweeds, and dark or traditional navy. Black, dark navy or dark grey rain/overcoat as well.

Brown shoes, belt, and hat with suits and sport coats/slacks in lighter blues, browns, tan/khakis, a Navy Blazer, brown/earth-tone tweeds, etc. Traditional tan/khaki or brown rain/overcoat.

And NEVER novelty or "rainbow" socks. Black, grey, navy, brown, or khaki/tan. Solid or with a very subtle pattern of same colors.


For shirts: With an actual suit, only white or light to medium blue shirts with point or spread collars and French Cuffs. Very simple silver cufflinks, since I wear a stainless Omega Seamaster.

With a sport coat and slacks, button down collars and button cuffs are fine and more latitude in shirt color; maybe a darker blue, light olive greens with a nice Harris tweed, or even a pale pink or lavender with the right sport coat or a navy blazer in late spring or summer.


Ties: To paraphrase Ian Fleming on 007: Simple and understated, so as not to call unnecessary attention nor distract from one's face. Half-Windsor knot with a point collar, Full-Windsor with a spread collar. 4-in hand knot with a more casual sport coat/blazer.

As for pocket squares; For me only in a suit, and to match the shirt not the tie. White or blue. Simple rectangle fold, with 1/4 to 1/2 inch showing above the top of the pocket.


I like my suit suits well-tailored to fit me, but I will NOT wear one of the "modern, ultra-slim fit" with the those ridiculous pedal-pusher pants.

I wanted/want my suit and tie look to always be just a tiny bit more formal that required and intentionally a little intimidating. A mix of Connery/Brosnan/early Craig 007/Secret-Service with just a dash of Mafia hit-man.

I've had several defense attorneys tell me after court that just seeing me and the way I was dressed outside the courtroom was just that: intimidating and it made them nervous. They told they knew I would be a formidable and exceptionally well-prepared opponent before they asked their first question. (I actually made a newer Public Defender cry in frustration in front of a jury once, and had a few call me less than professional names after court. Each time was like winning a medal.)


I dressed like the above for work as a Detective and D.A. Inspector for over 10 years, 5 days a week and for most after-hours/weekend callouts. I only wore a sport coat and slacks on Fridays, unless I had court. Court was always formal suit tie, pocket square, etc.


Since I retired, I very rarely wear a formal suit anymore. (Funerals, and weddings if I actually care about the people getting married.) I do wear sport coats and slacks every now and then, and a sport coat with jeans quite a bit a la Sonny Crockett in the last seasons of Miami Vice.


As for hat etiquette, here's what I came up with off Google. (I did first this research when I first made Detective in 1999, and followed the below quite closely.)


A house is a private space but the foyer or entryway just inside the door can be considered a public space. This goes back to the era when a butler would typically greet guests at the door and take their hats and coats. Similarly, an apartment is a private space but their surrounding hallways, as well as the lobby, are public.

This same general rule is typically true for hotels with the added caveat that spaces reserved specifically for hotel guests such as the pool or lounge are also considered private spaces.

One unique distinction for apartment buildings, hotels, and other such multi florid spaces, an elevator is considered a private space. This goes back to the days when most elevators still had human operators. As such, you would consider the elevator the operatorís office.

Related to the concept of entry fees are membership dues. As such, any club with specific members is also considered to be a private space.

Office buildings where the lobbies and hallways are are public spaces but specific offices are private spaces. In addition, cubicle areas are collectively treated as private, basically functioning as one large office. This isnít limited to the specific space inside each individual cubicle.

If a doctorís office has a separate reception area, thatís considered a public space but the waiting room is considered a private space because youíre already waiting for the doctorís services and in a manner of speaking, already in the office.
Also in the medical field, a hospital building is treated as an all private space. This goes back to the days when most hospitals were still run by churches.

A theater is a private space since you have to pay for a ticket to get in, however, since you have to buy the tickets in the lobby most of the time, the lobby is considered a public space.

Despite usually requiring a ticket for entry, an outdoor stadium is still often considered a public space because itís outdoors and fairly large. An indoor stadium, on the other hand, is a private space.

A restaurant is a public space, in general, but once youíve been seated at your table, it becomes a private space since, in theory, youíre paying to be there. Curiously enough, however, the bar is almost always considered a public space at all times.

Stores are typically public spaces with the exception being if youíre given specific attention from a salesperson. Because youíre requiring their services at that point, the interaction then becomes more private at which point, itís best practice to remove your hat.

Places of worship are generally considered to be private spaces but of course, some religious traditions do have specific rules related to menís headwear as well as womenís headwear. If you plan to attend a place of worship and donít know the rules relating to headwear, be sure to ask someone in the know. H

If youíre in motion, your hat should remain on regardless of the method or openness of transportation. This harkens back to the days when transportation was pretty much all done out of doors, either walking, on horseback, or in an open carriage. Even though we have many new methods of transportation and a lot of them are enclosed, the tradition of keeping your hat on while youíre moving still remains in effect.

A gentleman should take off his hat and hold it in his hand when a lady enters an elevator in any building which can be classified as a dwelling. He may put his hat back on in the corridor. A public corridor is a thoroughfare of sorts, much like the street, but elevators in smaller buildings such as hotels or apartment homes tend to have the character of a room in a house.

Men are also expected to remove their hats during the playing of the National Anthem.

Men's hats are to be removed for the passing of the Flag and funeral processions, outdoor weddings, dedications and photographs.

Removed hats are held in hand in such a way that only the outside and never the lining is visible.

When placing a hat on a flat surface, it always placed "upside down" so that it rests on its crown.

Never place a hat on a bed. Ever. Bad luck!

For men, hats are tipped, (or doffed) slightly lifting the hat off your forehead by grasping the front of the crown, when meeting a lady (remove your hat if you stop to talk), or to "say" to anyone, male or female-- thank you, hello, goodbye, you're welcome or how do you do. Tipping of the hat is a conventional gesture of politeness. This hat tipping custom has the same origin as military saluting, which came from the raising of medieval Knights face visors to show friendliness.



Hope the above is helpful.

Faramir2
05-24-2022, 01:34 PM
Hope the above is helpful.

Enormously. Thank you! I'm a little less traditional on certain points (what can I say, I was only four when you made Detective), like wearing a brown belt and shoes with my navy pinstripe suit. (Not a typical pinstripe, exactly; got fainter stripes of varying colors.) Same with gray. But a brown hat would still somewhat clash with a combination like that, and in other contexts I would be more likely to wear black shoes and belt.

Definitely appreciate the color combo and etiquette pointers; best summary in one place I've found so far.

mfjudge
05-24-2022, 02:47 PM
Quick suggestion is to call these guys:

Cowboy Hats - Albuquerque, NM - The Man's Hat Shop (themanshatshop.com) (https://www.themanshatshop.com/)

I was in ABQ a couple years ago for a conference and wanted a real cowboy hat...which is borderline useless in NH, but I wanted it...lol

Went in to buy a Stetson and they steered me in to a Resistol...hats were raw, they gave me different styling options, hand steamed it and mailed it out to me within a week...110 bucks...best service anywhere...they didn't do computers but kept index cards on the orders...said I could call and they could duplicate it within a week...

They had all kinds of hat styles, including fedoras...definitely strong recommendation...

LV_MD
05-24-2022, 03:07 PM
Quick suggestion is to call these guys:

Cowboy Hats - Albuquerque, NM - The Man's Hat Shop (themanshatshop.com) (https://www.themanshatshop.com/)




URL's can be tricky:

Is it "The Man's Hat Shop" or "The Man Shat Shop" :lmao::lmao:

mfjudge
05-24-2022, 03:28 PM
LMAO

The Man's Hat Shop...lol

Faramir2
05-25-2022, 05:55 AM
Quick suggestion is to call these guys:

Cowboy Hats - Albuquerque, NM - The Man's Hat Shop (themanshatshop.com) (https://www.themanshatshop.com/)

I was in ABQ a couple years ago for a conference and wanted a real cowboy hat...which is borderline useless in NH, but I wanted it...lol

Went in to buy a Stetson and they steered me in to a Resistol...hats were raw, they gave me different styling options, hand steamed it and mailed it out to me within a week...110 bucks...best service anywhere...they didn't do computers but kept index cards on the orders...said I could call and they could duplicate it within a week...

They had all kinds of hat styles, including fedoras...definitely strong recommendation...Will check them out. Sounds like a hidden gem there, at least for people on the other side of the country, like me.

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45Smashemflat
05-25-2022, 09:08 PM
Marco, great write up.

Gunstore Commando
05-27-2022, 10:04 AM
Young'uns, in particular, are advised to pay close attention to everything Marco wrote.


(I actually made a newer Public Defender cry in frustration in front of a jury once

You are my hero. :thumbup:

Mike OTDP
05-27-2022, 01:40 PM
Young'uns, in particular, are advised to pay close attention to everything Marco wrote.

If nothing else, remember to take your hat off when indoors. Unless you are holding something in your hands.

FWIW, I do wear hats, but they are Akubras with broad brims. Lawdog is right, they've got an umbrella beat six ways from Sunday. I own a fedora, but it just doesn't work with my face. I look silly, and am too old to run around looking silly.

Faramir2
05-29-2022, 11:23 AM
If nothing else, remember to take your hat off when indoors. Unless you are holding something in your hands.

FWIW, I do wear hats, but they are Akubras with broad brims. Lawdog is right, they've got an umbrella beat six ways from Sunday. I own a fedora, but it just doesn't work with my face. I look silly, and am too old to run around looking silly.I've got a Tilley LTM6 I wear on rainy days and for hiking (like today, with the wife). Paired with a decent rain jacket, I agree, totally beats an umbrella.

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Faramir2
05-29-2022, 11:25 AM
Does anyone know whether a shop in Birmingham, Alabama sells fedoras? I cannot find someplace via internet searching and am hoping somebody can give me a lead on a place. Haven't been able to find anything among consignment shops, although I may need to search out vintage shops specifically.

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jlwilliams
05-29-2022, 01:17 PM
There is an online community called "the fedora lounge" that you may find helpful.

Papa
05-29-2022, 07:38 PM
There is an online community called "the fedora lounge" that you may find helpful.

And for more than just hats.

jlwilliams
05-30-2022, 08:40 AM
And for more than just hats.

Yes, sir. They are aficionados of all things "golden age" over there.

If I were looking for a recommendation for a hat shop in any city, particularly a big city, I'd ask there. Someone there knows.

Marco Innocenti
05-30-2022, 08:55 PM
Big +1 to the Fedora Lounge.

Very “Vintage Man.”

Faramir2
06-01-2022, 05:34 AM
Been cruising The Fedora Lounge a bit to learn. Thanks for the rec, folks.

A question I've been chewing on and saw leading to some notable disagreement among folks on TFL: Is a Bailey hat worth the dough? Having a hard time justifying dropping the coin for a Stetson, Biltmore, or Borsalino, even some of the great-condition specimens I have found on eBay, for my first hat of this kind. Bailey is a bit more affordable, and while I know that will bring along certain quality and longevity drawbacks, I'm not looking to purchase an heirloom-quality hat the first go-round. Bailey does appear to put together reasonable quality "entry-level," if you will, lids that would meet my needs sufficiently. But I also don't know what I don't know.

Faramir2
06-21-2022, 01:06 PM
After doing a lot of reading and internet sleuthing, I decided to go ahead and spend just a little extra on a fur felt, rather than wool felt, hat for the sake of quality. So, ordered an Akubra Stylemaster in Acorn Fawn earlier, as that seemed a pretty versatile color for the sorts of clothing and colors I often wear. I'm going to see what I think, and if I like it, get one in Carbon Grey, either another Stylemaster or maybe another Akubra.

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Greg Nichols
06-22-2022, 12:36 AM
Don't discount a Businessman's stetson