Friday, 28 August 2015

Buying a Hat

This post is not about what style of hat to pick when you don't want another baseball cap, what looks best is ultimately a personal choices so this is about what you should look out for, where to find your hat and what to pay.

Why are you buying a hat

I use hats for general use in the modern world, Medieval reinactment/Living History and most often Live action roleplay/LARP
Hats are fashionable, most are very comfortable, some keep you warm, shaded or dry, hats say something combined with the rest of your clothing they set scene and persona in the viewers mind before you even speak.

I used to do mummers plays and all that I changed between characters was the hat, some hats are evil, posh, good, dumb, poor, old, young, inquisitive, authoritative many other things.

Hats can also be job or hobby, related such white plastic safety hats construction, riding hats, flying caps, cowboy hats etc.
And they can represent a country hats with corks around them say your Australian, the tam o'shanter Scottish, the sombrero Mexican etc.

Where to Buy From

This easiest place to find your hat is the internet, but to get a good fit, feel for the quality and most importantly check if its the right hat for you then the only way is to try it on and thus the internet fails.

However you can finds hats in other places such as at fairs, car boot sales, charity shops and antique/vintage shops, most of my hats have come form reenactment and larp markets like 
Larp Awareness Party
To name a few, I'm sure there are many more around the county or world.

Soft hats are usually stretchy or one size fits all even so some are way to small for my head, for hard or rigid hats its essential you know your size, if you already own hats you can get the size from that if its on the label, if not use the guide below.

Personally I find most hats size labels are in cm (centimetres) but the modern way means you now get small, medium, large and extra large, large seems to be around 58cm but you really never can tell for sure so as mentioned above try it on.

Use a soft tape measure. Place it around the head, position it mid forehead and above ears. Measure in inches or centimetres. Find your size on the hat size chart.

20 1/2"
20 7/8"
21 1/4"
21 5/8"
22 1/2"
22 7/8"
23 1/4"
23 5/8"
European or cm
6 1/2
6 5/8
6 3/4
6 7/8
7 1/8
7 1/4
7 3/8
7 1/2
6 3/8
6 1/2
6 5/8
6 3/4
6 7/8
7 1/8
7 1/4
7 3/8

Don't be generous, be accurate or the hat will fall over your ears. 

You should be able to pick up a good soft hat or cap, new for under £10 and basic quality rigid/hard hat for £ 30 but I have found a bowler hat in car boots for £ 10 and a leather cap in a charity shop £ 3.

Fancy dress hats are very cheap and if its for a one off use then why not, some are actually very good and real bargain, definitely worth a look on Ebay or Amazon or similar.

For quality hats though you will be paying upwards £50 even second hand, the most I have paid is £90 for hat and it was something I really wanted to make me pay that, I see many hats more much more expensive than that but I always walk by them although sometimes I wish I didn't the following day.

The good thing if your buying historical is many reproduction imports are coming our way and these are well worth a look. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

I'm in the Army now

This Peaked cap is I believe a army officers dress cap.

The hat has no badge or other indication of rank, the lining says made by Moss Bros, it was well worn before I purchased from a Army Surplus depot, but very well made and in good condition.

The hat is made from canvass like fabric with the stiff peak also covered in the same fabric, it has a leather band at the front which can pulled down over the peak and help secure the hat on windy days.

I have had this hat a few years but not yet found opportunity to wear it outside these photos taken for this blog.

 I would like to think of this could be used for Dads Army type character.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Dark Age Hat

This hat is a Viking/Norse style of hat 

This one is made of 4 panels of wool sewn together to form a bowl shape to fit the head, then trimmed with fur.

This hat is not well made, it was purchased from a historical market for £10 and probably worth that.

Better hats in this style are made of leather or thicker wool and trimmed in genuine fur

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Enter the Dragon

A round Chinese wealthy merchant, scholar or nobleman's skull cap.

Sometimes called Water Mellon caps on some sellers sites. 

I wear this hat to play triad or oriental noble characters.

In the photo below I'am taking part in a larp based enter the dragon competition called Death Match.
(further photos at bottom of post)

This a fancy dress hat with a pre-attached pigtail of a style worn by Kwan Tak-hing in Enter the Dragon. Its made of cardboard then covered in fabric, their are similar fancy dress just made of fabric that sit uncomfortably on the head, this one is fine to wear.

The pigtail seems to have grown in modern copies of this hat from tassels that denoted ranks, often by expensive beads woven into the tassel or the number or colour of the tassels.

In this hat the tassel is much longer than it should be that why its more of a pig tail. 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Ecky Thump

Wi dis hatah progressed frama novice ta a masta hint secret hart o Ecky Thump wit ranka gold pudding.

Usin't tha ancient fightin techniques ha "Fatty Smash" "The Eye of Hovis" and "The Full English" an armed wi ma black pudding, ah's gunner t'fight fo truth ant justices an fo't local chippy ta stay opun till afta't pub shuts.

If thou dus na know wha' ecky thump iss then thar muss use ya nouse ant watch this youtube link

This oversize flat cap was purchased from my favourite trader Chow's Emporium, looking at it I wondered if it was one of those used in the London Olympic games

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Robin Hoods Hat

This hat seems to be generally known as a Robin Hood Hat although its also been named a Bycocket.

Made famous by Errol Flynn as Robin Hood, this hat makes perfect sense, as an archer hat the front brim provides a bit shade and the lack of the brim at the sides stops the hat interfering with the draw of the bow string.

Since Robin Hood is just a legend all I can say is it was worn in 14th Century illustrations.

I tried archery for a bit with long bow during my many years as a medieval re-enactor, I didn't get hooked preferring the fun of hand to hand combat with a sword, axe or polearm.

This hat was purchased from Mike the Hat while he was trading at Tewkesbury Medieval Festival.