Apparently Hell has frozen over.  I'm posting in the "Dressing and Grooming" section.

I've caved and am in the market for an everyday-wear cowboy hat.  I already wear boots and drive a diesel pick-up, so I might as well commit.  Been looking at a bunch of styles, and I rather like the shorter brim on the "Justified" hat, as opposed to some rather ridiculous looking gigantic brimmed hats I've seen around.  Seems more understated.

The original Justified hat is apparently a modified Stetson Carson in 6X Silverbelly.  About $250.  Its awfully white looking, though.  I'm going for understated casual wear ... not Boss Hogg.

There's a second Stetson, the "Marshal", that was made specifically because of Justified.  It is 4X Tan, so not-so-white, but lower quality.  Its about $130.  Brim looks too wide for my tastes, and the reviews look mediocre.  Comes with a better hat band, though.  Its concerning that its actually sold on the FX website (among other places).  I'm looking for a functional hat, not a movie costume.

The third -- and the one I'm leaning toward -- is a customized hat from Jaxonbilt Hats ...

Haven't seen any reviews of this specific one, and I've emailed about the cost. I think a custom hat may take wear and tear better, would probably fit better (I have a 7 5/8 hat size). It is in either 5x or 10x beaver fur (or 50x or 100x), so allows for higher quality than the other two ... and it looks great from the pictures.

Anybody have any experience with something like this? I always just bought hats at Cavender's. Never bought a custom one before, and never bought one online.  Any advice?  Anybody heard of Jaxsonbilt?

JB

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That's a good looking hat (the Jaxonbilt). I can't find any reviews on them - and had never heard of them, but I've also not been in the market for a custom cowboy (custom hats, yes...). 

Optimo makes a 3" brim (with grosgrain on the cut) called the Texan, slightly dressier - which might be worth looking at as well - they also do customs, but they can get quite pricey - http://optimo.com/collection/the-texan 

That looks a bit like a Stetson Open Road/ Businessman's Stetson ... which, incidentally, was the hat Elmore Leonard (the author of the books Justified is based on) intended Raylan Givens to wear.  The Open Road is a bit too fedora-looking for my taste.  I was hoping to split the difference between a flyaway brim on a big cowboy hat and the fedora brim on the Open Road.  The Carson and Marshal were about the best I could find on that front.


JB

Lol... my dads is 69 years old and wears an open road. I have always seen it as an old man hat.

Heh - the nod to the fedora is what made me like this one more than the others. I'm showing my city roots again. 

Nah... Fedoras are fucking cool. Doesnt matter who you are... but they unfortunately decide the rest of you wardrobe if you wear it on a regular basis, and thats why I dont own one...

Hell hath absolutely frozen over. Not only are you posting in this forum, but its something I actually know a bit about. 

I never buy at Cavenders anymore... they generally piss me off everytime I go in. I really cant stand pretty boys playing dressup... ok Im gonna stop there before that goes to full blown rant.

The silver belly looks really white in the picture, but in reality its actually somewhere between grey and silver. It looks really nice, and definitely not a Boss Hog look.

The Marshall is a good everyday hat... sure its a little lower quality, but definitely not movie costume quality. Picture executive vs platinum suits at Jos A Bank or Lincoln vs Mazda. Stetson is synonymous with cowboy hats for a reason. They use their lower name brands for the cheaper work. 

Modifying a felt Stetson for shape is extremely easy... just takes steam and time. I usually do it over my stove with the kettle... But to modify the size of the brim and things like that does take someone who knows what their doing. 

I dont know if they still do, but i know 10 years ago Paris Hatters across the street from the Alamo custom made hats they were better quality  hats than Nocona Boots are boots.

The biggest problem youre going to have is not your hat size... but your oval. I wear a 7 3/8 in most things that go on me head (ball caps, motorcycle helmets, ect), but when it comes to actual hats, i wear a 7 3/8 long oval... I cant even get my head in a 7 3/8 round oval. It has to do with the way the hats are made. So before jumping in and spending the money, figure out that situation (and if the hat you want is made in the oval you need) or else you might buy a hat that you cant even wear.

Alright, on the oval thing.  How do I tell?  I have a 7 5/8 7X black Rodeo King hat that fits fine.  Shape looks like a pretty standard oval to me ... but I honestly just tried it on at the Cavender's, and bought right it off the rack unmodified.

The styles I'm looking at seem unlikely to be in-store.  I'll likely have to order.  How do I tell about the oval and make sure it'll fit without buying on-site?


JB

In most hats theres some kind of designation inside for long oval, and in a few theres one for round. Long oval heads are becoming more rare, so most hats are just round oval. In reality, the best way to know for sure is go into a western wear store (Cavenders if you have to... I guess... :P ), and try both. Anyone who works in the hat section should know the difference to be able to give you some choices.

Also anyone making cowboy hats knows the difference. After you find out which you need just get a hold of the company that makes the hat you want by email or phone and ask them. Theres really know way to look at it and tell without some kind of tag inside, becuase the difference is so slight... but makes a world of difference on the head.

So the only options are 'long oval' and 'round oval'?  There's no 'standard oval'?

Have you found a Marshal or Carson in-store somewhere?

JB

Yeah those are the only options. Lance at the Boots and Britches in Corpus had a Marshall last year as a Customer request but it was some pencilneck that ordered it... something like a 6 3/8 round... tiny head.

Sheplers in San Antonio or Austin should also have it, but I dont know how often you make it that way. I dont really know whats in the Houston area, i was born there but avoid it at all costs.... to much city.

Looks like a good place to me.

Hey, finally I did end up going to that Hat Store.  Thanks.

They can custom make the hat I'm looking for by modifying (reshaping and cutting the brim) on either a Stetson or a Resistol.  $230.  They apparently have done it often enough that they keep a picture of the Raylan Givens hat behind the counter.  Its a bit lower quality material ... rabbit fur felt rather than 50% beaver.  I think I'm going to buy that one to make sure I like it enough before ordering the nicer customized version online.

That'll also give me one I can wear working without beating up the really nice one too bad.  Thanks again.


JB

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