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.