A hat is a nice way to finish an outfit in any season. It keeps you warm in winter and blocks the rays in summer. So, can you wear felt hat in summer?
Even though men back in the early days wore their felt hats year-round, it doesn’t make much sense to wear one in the summer months these days. This is because felt is a non-breathable material that provides warmth for your head during the rainy days. Also, the leather contact on your head will cause you to sweat which will lead to sweat stains and make the felt hat lose its shape. Go for a straw Panama hat in the summer and wear your felt fedora during the colder days of spring, summer, and fall.
Table of Contents
- What is a Felt Hat
- Felt Hat Vs Straw Hat
- Types of Felt Hat
- What is a Fedora Cowboy Hat?
- How to Wear a Felt Fedora Hat
- How to Take Care of Your Felt Hat
What is a Felt Hat
Felt is a textile most often made of wool or fur. If this wool is rolled into thread and woven, it’s called felted wool. If it’s formed by using heat, moisture, and compressing the wool fibers together, then we refer to it as pure wool felt. Back in the early days of millinery, felt was produced using rabbit fur or beaver fur. Also, blended fibers like rayon or synthetic fibers such as acrylic were used in the making of felts.
Determining the Quality of Your Felt Hat
The quality of a hat could mean different things to different people. It could be the ability of the hat to maintain its color; it could be its ability to withstand any weather condition; it could be its ability of the hat to regain its shape when folded. But taking into consideration the density of the felt, you can determine the quality of a felt hat. A hat with a high density of felt will be less vulnerable to stains and rain. A more tightened fiber will be livelier and also keep its shape. A quick way to test the density is to press a needle into the felt. If the needle doesn’t go in smoothly, then the quality is optimum.
Below is the popular System X, a rating system created to assess the quality of hats all over the world. Most hats have an inscription on the inside headband, indicating the number of Xs. The more the Xs, the more the hat is of quality. taking a critical look at the table you can also answer for yourself the question: is wool hat good for summer?
|Grade||Density g/cm3||Examples of Felts||Properties generally found|
|<0.16||Soft felt – Wool or synthetic||Soft and unshaped|
|X||0.18||Wool felt||Low resistance to deformation|
|XX||0.20||Wool felt||Medium resistance to deformation|
|5X||0.23||Wool felt (Lite felt)||Good resistance to deformation|
|10X||0.25||Wool and rabbit hairs mix||Good resistance to deformation
|20X||0.27||Fur felt (Rabbit hairs)||Good resistance to deformation
|50X||0.29||Fur felt – Beaver, rabbit or mix||High durability
|100X||0.31||Fur felt – Beaver||Great longevity
Modelable and very light
Felt Hat Vs Straw Hat
There are straw cowboy hats and felt cowboy hats and everything in between. Here you can find a Wikipedia article that goes through the difference between straws hats.
A Straw Hat
Felt hats keep heads warm in colder weather while straw construction permits air to pass through with cooling ventilation in hotter months. Felt hats are more likely to withstand rain without sagging into a limp mass like straw is prone to do. Felt hats are more expensive and hold a good shape, but if it gets messed up, you just got to dip it in a tank of water to get it reshaped. Straw hats, on the other hand, once they’re out of shape, they’re pretty much broke down.
Straw is a more practical choice for summer, it’s more lightweight and breathes more. Felt cowboy hats are more for winter and ‘going out.’ Some people tend to adhere strictly, while some are not bothered. Ranchers will wear felt throughout the year because of the changing climate throughout the day and year that they encounter.
Some cowboys, even if the temperature has dictated a switch to straw, continue to keep a well-worn felt rain hat handy in rigging bags for unexpected downpours. Are felt cowboy hats hot? Back in the days, ranchers look great when they change into felt hats and they put on their clean, creased jeans for the after-party.
It comes down to what you like and feels most comfortable wearing. Try them on, figure out what you like, and wear what you prefer. And know that if you’re wearing a cowboy hat, you’re doing it right.
Types of Felt Hat
Since the fourteenth century, men and women have worn different types of felt hats for different purposes. The commonest felt cowboy hats worn till date are:
The fedora, also known as the gangster hat due to its association with criminals in the 1930s. It has initially been for men only but is now adapted for women as well. Fedora has a lateral crease with its brim pulled down low in the front. Historically, its standard colors were purple, green, and blue, but in recent years it regained popularity in colors like brown, black, and tan. I will talk more about the felt fedora and if you can wear a fedora in the summer. Do you want to look good in a fedora hat than it is a must to read this.
A beret is a soft, round, flat-crowned felt hat without a brim that hugs the head. The beret originated from France in the 1920s and was mostly worn by working classes. Today, both men and women wear berets, and it has been adopted by most military and paramilitary organizations as part of their uniforms. The beret is a casual hat and fashionable at a slight angle to the side. Easy to wash and fits into most handbags or a pocket for storage.
A cloche is a fitted soft felt hat worn only by women. It was invented in 1908 by milliner Caroline Reboux and became a popular hat as part of a flapper look from 1922 to 1933. Cloche is a French word for bell. It is best worn for warmth as it hugs the head, dipping down to the neck in back and covering the forehead in front. Part of its embellishment is the hatband and flower.
Derby or Bowler
The bowler, initially named derby, was later renamed the bowler hat, the man who created it, William Bowler. This hat is typically a man’s hat worn while horseback riding. It is mostly black or brown and has a matching hatband located at the crown base.
The Homburg hat is named after the town of Bad Homburg in Germany. After a visit to Germany in 1890, the prince of Whales brought a homburg hat, and since then, it became fashionable. Men typically wear the Homburg hat. Its tapered, creased crown and rolled edge brim make it elegant and stylish.
What is a Fedora Cowboy Hat?
A fedora is a type of felt hat characterized by a pliable brim; usually, two to three inches wide and an indented crown with a center crease pinched on both sides. Most fedoras are made of wool felt even though it was initially constructed from fur felt, such as beaver felt.
Can you wear a fedora in the summer?
It might not be a pretty good idea due to the material used in making it. You will start feeling hot if you wear a felt fedora during the summer. But recently, other materials such as straw, cotton twill, synthetic blends, and even leather are being used to make fedora hat.
Choosing the Right Brim Size
Whoever said size doesn’t matter wasn’t talking about fedora brims. Learn the dos and don’ts for choosing the right size. You should also play with proportion to figure out the style that suits you the most.
For tall people with an egg-shaped or thin face, a wide brim hat can balance out elongated features f. Conversely, if you have around and fuller face or a broad head, a big brim might not be ideal as it could add extra girth.
Short brim fedoras measure less than two inches. If you have a petite stature, the short-brimmed fedora will look more proportional to your body. If you have a large head size, you shouldn’t wear a fedora (or any hat) with a small brim as it will only make your head look bigger.
The rule of thumb in choosing any hat is to choose hats that the brim stays within the width of your shoulder
How to Wear a Felt Fedora Hat
it just takes two things to wear a hat: find a hat that’s right for your head and be confident. Here are a couple of guidelines for wearing a fedora, so you look great:
- Choose a fedora that fits comfortably on your head; make sure it’s neither too tight nor too big. A sure-fire way to test this is by placing one finger between your head and the hat — if there’s enough space for your finger, then you know you have the right size.
- Since the fedora remains a more formal accessory by modern-day terms, as a rule of thumb, it’s best to pair it with a jacket of some kind to form a complete look that is seasonally appropriate, by jacket, we mean a sports coat, suit jacket, blazer or overcoat. Avoid pairing a fedora with aggressive chalk or pinstripe suits.
- Keep your overall look classic. Since the look of the fedora has an excellent quality, it makes sense to pair it with similarly classic clothes. Think double-breasted suits, vests, collar bars, and leather gloves in contrasting colors.
- Choose to wear either a fedora or sunglasses. You may have limited use for sunglasses in the colder months, but again, since the hat is such a strong statement, it’s better to limit your accessories to a hat OR sunglasses, but not both. Leave that look to the Blues Brothers.
How to Take Care of Your Felt Hat
A common mistake that people make when storing their hat is leaving it on its brims. This will cause your felt hat to flatten out and change shape. The proper way of putting your hat down on a flat surface is to lay it upside down on its crown.
If your felt hat is covered with loose dirt, never use a brush made with nylon bristles to clean a felt hat, the nylon bristles can be too abrasive for your felt hat. Instead, a soft shoeshine brush will do the job efficiently. Wrapping a piece of tape around your finger with the sticky side out and gently sweep it across the hat will help to remove pet hair or fuzz.
Handling your felt hat by the crown may look cool, but it’s not good for your felt hat. All that pinching will weaken its shape and create a crease that can’t be fixed. Instead, handle it by the brim.
Never try to dry your hat with artificial heat from a hairdryer or heater; this can distort or shrink the hat. Allow it to dry naturally by turning the sweatband out and place the hat on its brim.
Even though the modus operandi is to wear felt cowboy hats during cold days. Only an individual can answer the question: can you wear a felt cowboy hat in the summer? Because it all boils down to what suits you. If you feel good and comfortable in it. So, enjoy yourself, roam your local department store or hat store and try on as many hats as you can to get an idea of what works for you. There are a variety of hats you can try out for different weather conditions and fashion style.
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