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

Jamesbond1

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Stephen Temkin has formally announced that he has retired from hatmaking so that he may move onto other interests. Happily, he will be transferring his studio and materials as well as some training to a new hatter, who I hope will continue Leon Drexler's distinctive offerings. (I would hope for a refurbishment service some day too; I'm honestly not sure anybody else has even heard of the flange used to make my Milaner)
He retired in 2020!
 

josepidal

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Where is the best store to buy a montecristi (aka panama) hat from Ecuador from? There are more sellers who go online and I'd rather talk to someone in Ecuador than someone in the USA or UK. (Or is this a question better asked in Fedora Lounge?)

Do people here generally go for the classic fedora or something else? And do people really roll their ultrafino hats and squeeze them into suitcases?

On another topic, is anyone still in touch with Marc Kitter, who made the Adventurebilt hats? I just wanted to drop him a line to say that his beaver pelt fedora he made for me around 2009 is still in perfect condition and well loved. Especially after inadvertently dropping it into the Amazon River cleaned out the countless hidden layers of bird droppings that accumulated on it through my travels.
 

josepidal

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My favorite flat cap has been Lock Hatter's cashmere Gill cap, a treasured souvenir from London along with my Swaine Adeney cases and Brigg umbrellas. I find myself wanting linen caps for the summer.

Is there anything in particular to look out for linen flat caps? Or is it simple in terms of construction that you should be happy if it fits right, the color looks alive and the fabric looks like it has interesting texture when worn?
 

Mercurio

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I would suggest that you contact directly with different manufacturers instead of going to a USA or UK based shop: you are going to get better prices and a variety of models according to what you want.

Normally they have international shipping and accept most credit cards. Ecuador uses American dollars as their currency so it's easy to buy without currency exchange rates.

Some of the Ecuadorian shops, among others:

 

josepidal

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I was recently recommended this source for genuine Panama hats, but I haven't bought anything from them myself so can't speak to how the service or quality of the hats is:
Why are you recommending this store? The store is based in Switzerland and the founder is Mexican, not Ecuadorean. The store does not give the details of its grading system, and does not describe the fineness of the weaving of its hats in an objective way.
 

blueberry7

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Just going by what it says on their website, they work with select local hat weavers in Ecuador and would get you in touch with the weaver directly (videocall).
They do explain why they don't rely upon just grading, and I think I have seen a comparison of various finenesses on their site (pictures of weave next to tape measure).
As I said, I haven't bought from them, just happen to know about their website.
 

johng70

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I've been extremely happy with the panamas I've gotten from Panamahatsdirect.com. You can pick the style of hat and order out of stock or have one made. Sure, having that name on the inside of the hat doesn't look as nice as say; Optimo. But the weaves are genuine and every bit as nice as what you can get at Optimo for less than half the price. Let's face it, the weave is what's important. I did have a Cuenca designed/made by Mike Miller at Northwest Hats - I really wanted one of his custom bows. Great work as usual - but the Cuenca doesn't compare to a Montecristi so I bought my next Panama back at Panamahatsdirect again.

In answer to the other question: I would never roll one up and pack it in a suitcase. I'm not sure what they would have to do to a true Toquilla straw hat to make it packable and yet be able to 'bounce back' into shape.
So, when I go on vacation, I bring a hat box as my carry-on.
 

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