How to Fit a Hat
“Bet you can't find a hat to fit this melon!”... “My head is too small for hats.”... “I just don't look good in hats.” Challenge accepted! In this two part series, we're going to give you all the expert knowledge you need to find “The Perfect Fit” and “The Perfect Style” of hat for any head.
The first step in finding the perfect fit is to determine your head size. The proper way to measure for a hat is to loop a soft measuring tape approximately 1cm above your ear, across the middle of your forehead and then around the back of your head to meet back at the starting point above the ear. To help with this, you can click on the link below to download a BeauChapeau Measuring Tape. Alternatively, you can use a piece of string and then measure the length with a ruler.
Once you have determined your head size in centimeters or inches, you can use our handy sizing chart to convert that measurement to the desired size. Again, like clothing, hats come in different types of size ranges such as “Small, Medium, Large...” or “6 7/8, 7, 7 1/8...”.
Many people don't realize that hats come in a variety of sizes and much like clothing, they can be tailored for the perfect fit. If the hat isn't fitting quite right, try the next size up or down. Different designers may make their hats sized slightly different so you could find a small difference in between. Likewise with handmade hats, no two are necessarily alike, so you could find that the same size in the exact same hat fits slightly different.
If the hat is too small, we typically recommend going up a size, however if that isn't possible there may be an option of stretching it depending on what fabric the hat is made of. Unfortunately, hats made of straw or leather are not very forgiving when it comes to stretching, but we're always willing to try! We use an antique Feldman Electric Hat Stretcher from the 1930s combined with steam to loosen the fibres in the hat and gradually increase the circumference of the crown. Typically we can stretch a hat 1-2 sizes larger depending on the fabric. You can also do something similar at home by using steam from a kettle and gently stretching the hat over your knee.
Alternatively, hats that are too large can be fitted with sizing tape to make the fit perfectly snug. We use an adhesive foamband that can be applied under the inner sweat band, typically at the back of the hat or on the sides over each ear. This tape is customizable in length, therefore it and can also be placed in small strips anywhere the hat feels loose. For example, bowler hats typically have a longer narrower circumference, so often it is more comfortable to have sizing tape placed in the front and back to give the inside a rounder shape.
Be sure to check out our next newsletter featuring “The Perfect Style” for more great advice from our expert hatters.