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What hat to wear with business dress?

Tabman

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Any advice on the sort of hat to wear with a smart suit and overcoat? This is a practical consideration, given that my head is less than hirsuit these days, alas!
 

Sator

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A fedora for most seasons but a Panama for really hot summer days is smart.

It doesn't really help you since you must remove it when you greet or chat to most people anyway - particularly ladies. You must remove it on reaching the office.
 

Tabman

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Many thanks -is a feodra the same as a trilby?
 

Cary Grant

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Originally Posted by Tabman
Many thanks -is a feodra the same as a trilby?

No- but a trilby is a smart choice too depending on the design... and not all fedoras are the same. There are many types, even among the same maker.

Borsalino makes a very smart fedora in their current line. Dobbs, Stetson, Optimo are others to look at.

Borsalino Como fedora:



Borsalino Classic fedora:



Borsalino trilby:




Which looks rather fedora like... many trilbies are rounder in general. Many are dressed down like those by Kangol. The hats you see a lot of kids sporting with street-wear, vests, etc tend to be cheap trilbies.


As you look around you will see that the top crease varies from fedora to fedora- I tend to prefer the current Borsalinos with a single pinched crease in front and round in back. Some are taller than others too. And then there's adornment... feathers in the hat band etc. I'd say unless you're over 60, stay away from that. Just my opinion
 

Sator

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Trilby's tend to be much more narrow brimmed and sportier.

BTW, the general consensus is that you should stay away from Borsalino as a maker. They were once a truly great brand but have gone downhill in quality severely. They have a bad reputation for dissolving in the wet.

The best makers are bespoke. Search old threads and you will find references to US makers.

Alternatively, you could consider:

http://www.bates-hats.co.uk/index.html

Their prices are better than:

http://www.lockhatters.co.uk/home.aspx

Another highly regarded hat comes from here:

http://www.hatsdirect.com/federation/index.html

The hat guys over at the Fedora Lounge are highly enthusiastic about it. It needs to have the crown shaped a bit for best effect. It is probably the best cost/quality ratio hat you can buy and with the AUD at a low vs the USD, it is a good time to buy.
 

Cary Grant

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I wouldn't agree with that consensus on Borsalino- not from my experience anyway.

My newest got rained on pretty good recently and it still looks great. I have two, both purchased in the last year- So I cannot speak to how they might have been years ago.

EDIT: And my two Akubras? Well- they didn't do so well but I didn't treat them as nice as one should either. Didn't know any better back then.

/shrug.
 

dopey

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Originally Posted by Cary Grant
I wouldn't agree with that consensus on Borsalino- not from my experience anyway.

My newest got rained on pretty good recently and it still looks great. I have two, both purchased in the last year- So I cannot speak to how they might have been years ago.

/shrug.


I don't think Borsalino are inferior to their competitors. It is just that they are vastly inferior to what they were and currently represent bad value. The Akabura hats aren't better. They are just a lot cheaper for as good of a hat. I can't say what the relative quality is for a Bates or a Locke hat, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were no better than Borsalino's best.

But you can do a lot better with the bespoke hatmakers.
 

bmulford

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I take it something like this would be out of the question?

 

Cary Grant

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Originally Posted by dopey
I don't think Borsalino are inferior to their competitors. It is just that they are vastly inferior to what they were and currently represent bad value. The Akabura hats aren't better. They are just a lot cheaper for as good of a hat. I can't say what the relative quality is for a Bates or a Locke hat, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were no better than Borsalino's best.

But you can do a lot better with the bespoke hatmakers.



Sure- for a lot more cash. I get Borsalino's for a good price from my local so I can't complain. And as much as I love hats- I just can't justify 500-600 or much more for bespoke.

Truth be told, however, next time I'm near Optimo I certainly want to go in to talk... just talk... and I'll leave my CC under lock and key.
 

Sator

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Originally Posted by dopey
The Akabura hats aren't better. They are just a lot cheaper for as good of a hat.

The Federation IV Deluxe is a custom order made only for the store that sells on-line. I would say it is easily as good a RTW hat as I have seen - whether English, or Italian. The felt is a lot firmer and full bodied than the soft and thin ones that Borsalino favours, while being just as smooth. It means it is a much more structured hat in a traditional way. It is a great buy provided the style suits you (it is wider brimmed with little taper to the crown). It has obviously been recently tweaked to cater for the Fedora Lounge crowd's demands - hence we are now up to version IV of the hat. To looks its best, it needs to be blocked and shaped.

As for the rest of the standard Akubra range, you get what you pay for, I quite agree, though I remain unconvinced that a Borsalino for 3-4 times more is any better.
 

Cary Grant

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Not sure what Borsalino's you're comparing to or maybe it's Australia versus America?

But where I shop, a basic Borsalino fedora runs about $180-$250 and Akubra around $150, so the Borsalino isn't 4x more expensive. 4x Akubra prices would put it past the starter range for an Optimo, around $500-600 for OTR.
 

JLibourel

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I have a couple of Cervo fedoras I am very partial to. I know some hat mavens have supposedly proclaimed Cervo the "new" Borsalino.
 

vitaminc

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Wouldn't wearing a hat stand out too much for CBD?
 

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