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Men's Hats: A Discussion Thread, Questions, Opinions, Suggestions...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by GusW, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. TheMangelo

    TheMangelo Well-Known Member

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    Any thoughts on Magill hats? They appear to be the nicest I've come upon (in Montreal), though I certainly haven't looked very hard.
     


  2. AdamWill

    AdamWill Senior member

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    TheMangelo: honestly, all the remaining traditional North American hatmakers (excluding Bailey, who've gone a bit downmarket) - including Magill - produce pretty similar product. I'd buy from any of them and be happy. As it happens, my local hat shop's good hats are mostly from Magill, so I have several of them, and they're good hats. None of the contemporary manufacturers except possibly Borsalino really has quite the trimmings that good hats had back in the 30s and 40s, but that's getting pretty nitpicky. I can upload pictures of a couple of my Magill hats if you like, but really they look just like what you see on the website.
     


  3. phoenixrecon

    phoenixrecon Senior member

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    Picked up this HAT on a whim and I think its actually a pretty good buy. They say its 100% beaver felt to and at that price i figured why not since i saw they were at Pitti Ummo or however that show is spelled. Plus I only have 1 porkpie at the moment that leaves something to be desired.

    [​IMG]
     


  4. AdamWill

    AdamWill Senior member

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    omgitswes: I'd be very surprised if Atlanta doesn't have at least one decent hat shop. Dunno about Birmingham. If I get bored I'll do a bit of googling for you, but really, just google "hat shop" "atlanta" and pick through a bit.
     


  5. TheMangelo

    TheMangelo Well-Known Member

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    Good info, thanks!
     


  6. mhdena

    mhdena Senior member

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  7. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    ^^^Thanks for the fedora lounge link. A fun place to hang about. Loved the beret thread :)
     


  8. decogeo

    decogeo Active Member

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    Great thread. I'm new to hats, and was wondering about an earlier post mentioning hat styles may have certain class or family background connotations in England. I don't live there, but I'm just interested. Can someone point me to some information about that? Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013


  9. AdamWill

    AdamWill Senior member

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    decogeo: yikes, I grew up in England and I'm sure there are ones I don't know / have forgotten, but just as a fr'instance, here are some fine Englishmen from the venerable University of Cambridge, in very nice three piece suits with impeccable bowler hats:

    [​IMG]

    now imagine you were to roll into town dressed somewhat like that, so someone might mistake you for one of those upstanding citizens. Would you be impersonating a professor, perhaps? A top-level university accountant? Even a vice chancellor?

    Nope, you'd be impersonating a college porter is what you'd be impersonating. Fine upstanding citizens indeed (one or two of whom specifically I would never desire nor dare to cross in any way!), but not perhaps what you wanted your choice of headgear to convey. :p

    The American stereotype of the Brit in a bowler seems to be, if anything specific, City of London gent (note: the confusion of two in fact rather different things there is intentional), and for all I know with the right accompaniments and in the right circle it might actually convey that to someone. Definitely not one you want to get wrong, though :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013


  10. decogeo

    decogeo Active Member

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    Thanks AdamWill. Great example, hilarious. I guess when I'll travel to England I'll either leave my hat at home or make sure to ask an English acquaintance of mine which character I am impersonating.
     


  11. ManofKent

    ManofKent Senior member

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    It's perfectly possible to wear a black bowler in the UK without looking like a college porter - you'd have to be wearing a dark suit, vest, and tie, and be in Cambridge/Oxford for anyone to make the mistake :)

    I've got a black one I occasionally wear, but I mainly wear a brown one - it works well with tweed, amd suits my head/face better than most trilby/fedoras.

    As daily wear for London businessmen they'd pretty much died out by the end of the 70's, and were on a steep decline from the 50's onwards.

    Guardsmen still wear where them to some degree (but it's no longer a requirement).

    Avoid wearing one in Northern Ireland in July unless you want to be mistaken for an orangeman (to be honest I find bowlers too warm for the summer anyway).

    You do see a few people wearing them, and not just for the Steampunk look, but they're a definite minority choice, in an age when hats are a minority sport anyway.
     


  12. Celadon

    Celadon Senior member

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    How are the hats from Pachacuti compared to the older and better known British brands such as Lock, Bates or Christy's? I like the fact that they are fair-trade certified.

    http://www.panamas.co.uk/hats/men

    Oh, and I should probably add: How are those other brands compared to one another when it comes to panama hats?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013


  13. AdamWill

    AdamWill Senior member

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    celadon: Pachacuti's Panamas are excellent, very competitive within their price ranges. Their felt hats are just okay - obviously they're wool felt (as Pachacuti's a pinko liberal hippy company :>), which is never as good as fur felt. If you want a wool felt hat in the UK, Pachacuti's not a terrible choice. I got a couple from them; one I had to send back because the brim was ridiculous. Their customer service is very good; they're happy to take returns and are very accommodating. If you want a specific brim size or you know you're a 'larger 57' or a 'smaller 52' or whatever, they'll take that kind of request - they'll just pick through the stock till they find the hat you want. I kept the second felt hat I got from them, it's my UK beater hat now. It would in no way measure up to a high-end made-in-England Lock or Christy's hat, but it's probably of a quality or slightly better than their low-end made-in-China lines. Seems to be very heavily shellaced, though (i.e. the felt is extremely stiff, almost cardboardy).

    When it comes to panamas, one thing to be aware of is that most big hat companies that sell them are pure resellers. The definition of a panama hat is basically that it's a hat made with one of a few basic types of straw weave, in Ecuador. In practice this means they're pretty much all woven by various local operations of various sizes, and all the 'big' hat brands just buy in from those suppliers and re-sell. The key quality differentiator for panamas is the cuenca vs. montecristi thing which is explained at http://www.panamahatsdirect.com/subnav/cuenca-hats-vs-montecristi-hats.htm , and between montecristi hats, just the quality of the weave - the finer the weave the better and more expensive the hat (obviously, a finer weave takes longer to make). As a panama hat is just one big piece of woven straw with a basic hat band and sweatband, there's really not much more to it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013


  14. ManofKent

    ManofKent Senior member

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    Lock haven't made hats for a while - I don't know who makes all their stock, but their bowlers are just rebranded Christy's.

    I thought Pachacuti's panamas weren't bad for the money. My summer hats tend to get pretty bashed around so I tend to stick with the cheaper weaves.
     


  15. mcarthur

    mcarthur Senior member

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    [​IMG]
    tobacco brown
     


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