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Oh dear, my hat's too big.

I seem to have little to no luck with hats. :-/

I ordered a top hat from Uniformal Wearhouse at the beginning of the month. Before ordering, I made sure to measure my head to order the correct size (21 1/2"). It was WAY too small - it cut into my forehead and gave me a headache just trying it on. So I returned it and asked for the next size up. Still too small.

I ordered the next size up - and now it is too big! I can stick my index fingers in each side, and if I tap the top, the hat slides down my head. The unfortunate thing about this is that I need this for a Saturday night gathering, so returning it again really isn't an option. Is there anything I can do to salvage the hat and make it wearable, or am I doomed to go chapeaux-less?

Any ideas or tips would be great - especially if you've had this trouble before!



( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 24th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC)
If the hat has a hat band or liner you can access, you can tuck folded tissue or narrow strips of foam inside the rim of the hat under the liner/band and it should fit. I've done this with various hats over the years. If the lining is sealed, you could unpick and insert and re-stitch.

If there's no band or liner, you could get inch wide strips of single sided adhesive foam (hardware stores usually have it) and just attach inside the rim. Just check first that it doesn't discolour your skin as some of them are a bit cheap and nasty.

Hope that helps.
Oct. 24th, 2008 12:06 am (UTC)
I 2nd this! This is what we do in theatre!
Oct. 24th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
i third this. it is what is done in hollywood. there is usually only one size of hat or helmet available from prop houses. they are made to fit a variety of head sizes by adding strategically placing foam in rim.
Oct. 24th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
I've done that with hats for years. I actually like the look of a hat that's wide around my head and tucking something under the inside band makes a wide hat fit more snugly but I still have the great wide look that I like.
Oct. 24th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
Yes, it does have an inner band, and the band can fold out. I'm going to try tucking some fabric under the band to see if that helps. If not, I'll head to a fabric store and get some foam.

Thank you, all_laced_in, and elessa for your help! :)
Oct. 24th, 2008 10:38 am (UTC)
The adhesive foam they're referring to is window stripping, and it's fairly inexpensive and comes on a roll. It'll work like a charm!
Oct. 24th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
Also, have you tried on the hat with your hair done? If you have a Gibson Girl hairstyle, that will really effect the fit of a hat, so that is something to consider when padding the inside of the band.
Oct. 24th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
I did last night - I'll be pulling the front back into a low clip, and leaving the back down. It was still too big, until I padded the band with some strips of fabric.
Oct. 24th, 2008 12:07 am (UTC)
Does it have an inner band? If so you can adjust the size somewhat by stuffing it with cotton wool.
Oct. 24th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
Or if you're looking for a slightly nicer, more long-term solution (and you're handy with needle and thread) you can make little pillows from fabric and batting and sew them into the lining/hatband/body of the hat wherever you need them.
Oct. 24th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
If you're like me, the first or second hat may have been the right size, but not the right shape. My skull is, according to the guy who cleans my hats, narrow for its front-to-back length.

The old solution would have been to find a hat shop, take the first or second hat in, and ask them to re-block it for your head. Assuming your LJ profile is correct and you're in New Orleans, there's probably a place near you that sells nice hats who might be able to help you for a fee. My mother's stepfather swore by one place on (I think) Canal St., but the last time I went there with him, Carter was president, so maybe ask around.

Or you could go with the foam/cotton balls suggestions others have made, which have the merit of being way cheaper than what I'm proposing.

Edited at 2008-10-24 12:39 am (UTC)
Oct. 24th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
You may be right. The first one was way too small, but the medium one may have been what I needed to get.

I'll take a look at the phone book and see about hat shops in NOLA - there is probably at least one in town. I don't mind spending the money on fixing this one or getting a quality hat, I'm just pressed for time right now. :)

Oct. 24th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
There are rumors of a union officer that was saved by his oversized hat. The strips of newspaper he had used to make the hat fit actually stopped a bullet.(it probably just slowed an already slowing bullet, but that isn't nearly as exciting for the grandkids)
Oct. 24th, 2008 02:18 am (UTC)
Re: newspaper
i have also heard this rumor..
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 24th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
Re: newspaper
I would love to see this.
Oct. 24th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
Moleskin, layered around the band on the inside?
Oct. 24th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
The stuffing will probably work. Another option: I've also taken a bit of black elastic (about 1/2" to 1" wide, the sort you use when sewing to make waistbands and stuff) and hand-stitched it to the inner hat band across from one side of the hat to the other at the back.
Oct. 24th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
As I have a small head I am always sizing my hats & I use the soft part of velcro that you can buy at sewing stores by the yard- if you are in a hurry they have a sticky back & you can sew it later-
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 24th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
If only it was so easy! :)
Oct. 24th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC)
I have a large head and too much hair so I have the opposite problem. Cute little antique cloche hats laugh at me as I walk past.

But it's good to know I could stuff a really big hat, should I ever find one bigger than my giant Irish head.
Oct. 24th, 2008 09:07 am (UTC)
if you have long hair you could wear it up, and therefore make your head bigger at the point the hat sits?
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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