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A few questions on hats



1) I recently bought a black fedora in felt for winter. Is that a good first color? I have seen grey hats, both lighter grey and darker, and they look good. I was thinking black because I have a black overcoat and know it will get worn then, and then black is ubiquitous and dressy, but it may look too austere with just a suit. So, for someone who does not want to collect a lot of hats, black first or grey?

2) I have seen very light grey felt fedoras, bordering on a tan color, that might look good with summer wear. Still too hot for 80 plus degree weather?

3) Packable or foldable. I have seen a hat that is said to be foldable, a Bailey hat in the Guthrie model. Said to be light, in the shape of a fedora, but it has some straw and paper content. Has some sort of wicking properties. I know to go a bit wider in the brim for a summer hat because of sun protection.

4) Say I have the felt fedora and a panama hat. What is a third hat that fills in the rest of the seaons and/or fills in for more casual wear? Another fedora or say a newsboy?
I don't look good in a fedora, so I can't supply experience with that particular hat type, but--

-From high school through college, I wore a black felt tricorn every day regardless of the weather.

-After a multiyear non-hat-wearing time, I started wearing an ascot (image), also felt, also black, also every day.

I've never had a huge problem with the black felt being too hot.


I wore the tricorn in the Northeast US, where it never gets hugely hot. It was great for rain protection, though.

I was living in Florida when I switched to the ascot, but rarely wore it to work because it wouldn't fit over my bike helmet :) Any time I went out without the bike, though, I had the hat.

I think black's a great first color--it goes with everything, it's fairly easy to keep clean.

It's a matter of personal preference as to whether or not you can wear a non-vented hat in the summer. Some people can't even stand their own hair in the summers. I ordered a fedora from hats.com (I don't know if it's the same company now, though) and didn't like it. Their return policy is quite liberal and they returned my money with no problems. Experiment!
Black felt is very good. I also have a nice Panama to wear in the spring/summer.

For casual, I like to wear a Irish Flat Cap. I have a couple that are pretty formal as well.


Stumpy in cold weather
Staff member
1) ... black first or grey?

Since you already bought the black, I think you answered your own question. :tongue_sm

But seriously, I'd say that black isn't the most versatile, as it is disproportionately austere with too many outfits. It's great if you have a black coat, and then you look like you are an undertaker or something. :001_rolle

A mid-grey would tend to go with everything more, and combine that with an earth-tone-ish hat in a more casual style (sorry, I'm terrible with hat names).


Doc, the hatter is ordering me in a grey one, forgot the name, cobalt, it will come to me, but same model in medium grey. Graphite is a dark, dark grey. I will wear a blue suit to his place and if I like grey, exchange it out. I am thinking I will go with the grey if it is a medium grey.


I dont know if this is a Montechristi or lower (I think they call those Cuencas?) but I am thinking of this one

For $50 and up, I was told to contact panamahatsdirect.com or panamabob.biz and since they are in ecuador, cut out the middle man and get a better hat cheaper.

Thinking of going with the grey hat. The hatter ordered in the grey one and I will wear a blue suit in and see between the two, though the Saxon model fits me well (the other one was a Firenze and looks like a 2 3/8" brim rather than the 2" on the Saxon). For the price I am paying, I want a great looking one. For the price of the panama, less than $60, I dont expect the top of the line, or the best looking band, but more so for sun protection and some style

Here is me in the black one



By the way, it's nice to see a discussion of real hats. Baseball caps are great for many uses, and I often wear one myself, but IMHO they are too often worn in situations where something with a little more substance and panache is called for.


I exchanged the black hat for a caribou color, or medium grey

Here is the black hat taken back


Here is the new grey hat




and arriving today is my panama bob diamante. I think the brim is a bit too wide considering that the Saxon is a 2 inch brim, but I understand that it to be the case since it is more of a sun hat. Anyway, the crown seems higher, but it is a nice hat. For some reason, many guys post pics of the inside crown and I will do as well


I think it's more important to match your hat with your suits and sportcoats rather than a overcoat. Since you have already bought a black hat, I think if it works for you than it's great. However, I think that dark grey, brown, blue and moss green are much more versatible.

You can wear a hat any old time, with any outfit, of any color. But when you want to look particularly sharp, make sure your hat color complements your suit or outfit.

The Brown Hat

Brown hats look best with brown or green suits or coats. If wearing a dark blue or dark gray suit, a dark brown hat may also look acceptable.

The Gray Hat

Gray hats are quite versatile and can be paired with black, blue, and dark gray suits and coats.

The Blue Hat

Wear a blue hat with a blue or gray suit or coat. Alternatively, you can pair a dark blue suit with a light blue hat or vice versa. You can also get away with wearing a blue hat with a light brown or tan suit.

The Green Hat

Green hats are surprisingly versatile. They look best with tan or light brown suits. But they also accent black, green, and gray suits very nicely.

Like a tie, you want to complement your outfit with a hat. It doesn't have to match. I get the most compliments from people when wearing my moss green fedora.

I have my hats customed-made, including my cowboy hats. I prefer to wear straw cowboy hats, straw panama hats during hot weather. But, I also have a straw fedora. I also have a tribbley (think Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady), it's like a fedora but has a very small brim and has a tapered crown (meaning it gets narrower). I actually wear it with shorts and jeans in casual settings.

Don't get a new's boy cap. Get a flat cap that has a rounded shape, a small brim and a high back. Long associated with working class men, the flat cap can be a stylish way to add interest to a casual outfit. Choose the more masculine flat cap over the similar, but rounder and puffier newsboy cap. The latter has been almost entirely co-opted by the ladies.

I also have a light grey with black trim homburg. I only wear it for funerals and formal settings as it has that distinctive "Godfather" look.

What ever hat you choose to wear, remember the line from the original Ocean's Eleven, rat pack, film. A hat is not a hat until to tilt it.

■ Tilt your hat pushed back to seem more open and accessible
■ Tilt your hat over your eyes to seem mysterious and intimidating
■ Tilt your hat up 1 inch from completely straight to project an all-business attitude.
I love hats and love felt and love black and love fedoras. Er...good choice! :smile: I find its something I've never regretted spending maybe a little more than I could afford at the time on. I've got a couple of Stetson Vitafelts (brown Delaware and blue Broadway), a Tilley TH5 Hemp in "naturally-greeny-browny", a black suede Barmah Squashy, and a green, herringbone, Derby Tweed cap with a brown leather brim, which looks surprisingly classy.
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