The Search Is Over!
If you've been following me for 3 days or 3 years, you'll know that wearing hats is something of a 'thing' for me. It's something I definitely identify with my personal style and quite unique, definitely unique, within Melbourne. Yeah there are people that wear them, but you don't see it as often as you'd think, or as much as I'd like. I work a lot on weekends in cafes, and if I don't wear one of my many prized possessions, I'll be harassed by the regulars who expect to see one adorned on my head.
The Stetson Highman
Words by Billy George
I still remember the time I got my first fedora. It was a short brim Brixton that I picked from a mens accessory and lifestyle store in South Melbourne, close to where I worked at the time. That was about 7 years ago. Short brims didn't last long for me, I think it was only about a year I wore them until I slowly enjoyed wearing the longer brimmed pieces. Again, it was only smaller fashion brands that I wore. Fallen Broken Street, Lack of Color, Brixton. You get the idea. Great pieces but nothing 'special'.
That was when I met a few people in the 'game' that helped me get to where I am now. A mad hatter; or hat hoarder - depends who you talk to!
My first foray into Akubra's came over 2 years ago with the help of Nathan (@isnathan) and the good lads at Strand Hatters (@strandhatters). From the ever reliable Camp Draft to the comfortable about-town look of the Speak Easy - my collection grew quickly, and for good measure!
In fact, my bedroom's become a monument to all things hat related. I have so many hanging on my walls off hooks, ready to be worn with any outfit. Well not any, but most. I do admit though, there are times when I avoid wearing them. You can't expect to wear them daily. So phasing them in and out at times helps you stay motivated to keep wearing them over time, rather than seeing it as a fad.
So, what exactly do I mean when the search is over?
Well, kind reader, let me just say, that my very first wide brim was black. And I loved it, but it was something that lasted only a year before it became 'unwearable'. The quality wasn't there based on how often I wore it. The brim got floppy, the hat lost shape, and it didn't age well. Over time I picked up more and more hats in a variety of colours, but a black one was always on my mind to find. Believe me, it's a lot harder than you think!
I'm quite picky. I like starting from a blank canvas; an open crown, rather than working off something that's already moulded. Two years of off-and-on-again searching, I finally stumbled across a certain number in my exact size - a Stetson Highman made specifically for a Texan hat shop. It features a 2.75" brim, similar to that of the Stratoliner, but with a 5.5" open crown. It's a little taller than my normal hat size (about an inch), but once shaped and moulded to my liking, It's come off much better than I thought! You don't notice that extra bit of height.
This is my first Stetson to my growing collection of hats. Fingers crossed there are a couple more on the horizon!
What I Wore:
J Crew knit
Jack London cubano boots
Bailey Nelson specs