Hope everyone is doing well! It's been a while since my last post - in the meantime, I've been working on my collection of vintage hats. Hats are an interesting accessory. Most people steer clear of them as an outdated fashion that borders on the costume. I agree with the sentiment for the most part when it comes to straw boaters and bowlers and such, but there's something elegant about a well-made fedora. Unfortunately, there aren't many too many well-made hats compared to the offerings from the dozens of hat companies that were in competition from the 1920s to the 1960s before the hat died as an everyday accessory. But if you can find a well-made fedora from the golden age of headwear that isn't too worn and hasn't been devoured by mothballs, you might have found a little treasure for yourself.
From what I've seen so far, Stetson's reputation as the king of hat makers was certainly well-deserved. The touch of Stetson felt, even after, 70 or 80 years, is really something to behold. But there more than held their own.
In the picture above, I'm wearing a Champ Featherweight from the late 1940s or early 1950s. The Featherweight was advertised as light to the touch, and the model's logo featured a scale with two packs of cigarettes weighing more than one of Champ's fedoras, an image which certainly speaks to the ubiquitous nature of cigarettes during the middle of the American century.
Also pictured at center is fellow hat aficionados Adam Coren, the vintage hat expert at J&J Hatters in New York City, and Professor William Gallo at right (in an early 1940s Pre-Stetson Mallory, yet another of the long-ago Fifth Avenue Hat companies).
I'll try to post more detailed images of the Featherweight in the next few days!