April 20, 2021
There are felt hats and straw hats. Felt hats are more often used in winter weather and help keep your head warm. They can also get very expensive -- you can pay as much as you care to; more than you can imagine. Felt hats also can be reshaped and renovated, which is not true of straw hats. I have already met people who have had the same felt hat for 20 or 30 years and it is looking good. Some working men wear felt hats year round in warm weather, and why not?
Hat that are turned up at both sides are done that way to facilitate throwing a rope -- which is something I don't anticipate doing. For just sun protection, the less turning up (and the wider the brim) the better.
Some hats are sized with precision (I take a 7-3/8 and have a normally shaped head). Others have S M L XL sizing. Some people simply avoid the hats that are only available in L or XL because they insist on a precise fit. This is certainly a good plan with a high dollar hat.
If you look at the marketing, you would probably decide that the Resistol brand is the "real deal". Stetson on the other hand seems to be trying to reinvent themselves and distance themselves from their western roots, which is too bad.
These days both Resistol and Stetson are owned by Hatco and are made in the same factory in Garland, Texas. The designs are done by different teams and each brand uses different "blocks" to shape the hats. It seems agreed on by many that Stetson uses a round oval block, while Resistol uses a long oval. A round oval fits my head better, so it will be Stetson for me. Fit, above all, is the most important thing.
Here are some comments from a Hatco representative on the "Fedoralounge" forum back in 2009:
There are differences between the hats. Different Blocks are used as well as profiles. Resistols are longer while Stetsons are rounder. Colors are different. A Silver Belly in Resistol is different from a Silver Belly in Stetson. There is sometimes material crossover (certain type of leather sweatband..etc) but all in all the designers keep their designs and their vendors/sources to themselves. If Stetson were working on a new felt or straw body, Resistol wouldn't get it and vice versa. The designers of the respective brands have a friendly rivalry... Personally I think this is the best way otherwise if they were all the same it really does become slapping a brand on a hat, and that is not what we do.
I had my eyes on the Resistol Palm Leaf "Amarillo Sky", but I found the Sawmill in the shop and liked it quite well. The Amarillo Sky does have a cattleman crown (The Sawmill has a pointed front).
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