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Stretching a Bowler

Nonk

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I have just taken delivery of a Christy's bowler (wool felt, not fur) from ebay and sadly, despite ordering my normal hat size, it is just too snug for comfort. (This from a quick try on before I left the flat this morning)

Now this is where the sage advice of Style Forum members comes in handy.

I am only used to wearing soft hats these days, caps or maybe a trilby at best, so of course a stiff hat such as a bowler will feel differently, but I am not prepared to sacrifice my head in the name of style.

It was a bargain, and so it may not be possible to exchange it for the next size up. If not, what do you recommend?

I have seen hat stretching devices on ebay, are they worth a go?

What about just giving it a damned good steam, plonking it on and letting it stretch/mold to my head?
 

garmentmerchant

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You mentioned it. Spray the inside down with hot water and put it on wear it till it dries it should stretch it for you. Or you can go with the hat stretcher they work to if it is just snug you should be able to get away with steam or hot water.
 

SoCal2NYC

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Jawbreak

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This technique was given to me by a hat maker, and used it on my own bowler.

If you have a steam iron/kettle, then steam the bowler inside and out, especially around the brim and wear for about an hour. Repeat until fit is comfortable.

Be carefull not to over steam, if the bowler is too hot to hold or wear youve overdone it...
 

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