Vintage Mallory Fedora Hat Stetson Strat. Style 7 5/8 For Sale
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Vintage Mallory Fedora Hat Stetson Strat. Style 7 5/8:
review the description below & peruse the slideshow above to help
you decide if this is the vintage fedora for you. Mouse over the image
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to the grindstone & view the pictures at home. If you have further
trouble viewing the pics, I'll be happy to send them via email.If you know your vintage lids, then the little abbreviation that appears in this listing's title probably spoke volumes: "Strat," naturally, is short for the Stetson Stratoliner---one of the most enduringly popular hat models introduced by America's #1 hat company during the mid-twentieth century "golden age" of men's style. Like its high-flying namesake (the Stratoliner was the first commercial aircraft capable of flying "above the weather"), Stetson's Stratoliner was designed to be sleek, light, and thoroughly modern. The Stratoliner's lightweight felt, thin ribbon/ bound brim combination, and streamlined proportions epitomized the mix of casual rural style & cutting-edge urban flair that became increasingly popular during the 1940s & 50s. Although Boeing's Stratoliner was quickly eclipsed by other advances in aviation, the Stetson Stratoliner remained a top-selling model from its introduction in the early 40s all the way into the early 1960s; for contemporary collectors, it remains a highly prized hat model. Naturally, the Stratoliner's success encouraged America's other top hat companies to introduce their own versions of the Strat. design; the best of these fedoras became iconic hats in their own right.When it came to producing lids worthy of "icon" status, there weren't many hat companies that could match Mallory's prodigious output. Mallory may not enjoy the same household-name status as Stetson does today, but once upon a time Mallory was known as one of America's most venerable manufacturers of high-quality men's hats. Mallory was founded in the early part of the 19th century (decades before Stetson); for generations---from the mid-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth--Mallory hats were renowned for their quality materials, styling, and construction. For several decades during the 20th century, Mallory competed neck-and-neck with Stetson in terms of sales; eventually, Stetson grew so weary of losing market share to Mallory that the Stetson honchos declared, "if you can't beat `em, buy `em." Stetson purchased Mallory shortly after the end of the Second World War; yet, instead of shutting down their erstwhile nemesis, the Stetson brass made a shrewd business decision: they knew Mallory's manufacturing facility was top-notch, their employees were highly skilled, and customer loyalty to the Mallory brand was second-to-none. Therefore, instead of absorbing the brand, Stetson decided to let Mallory operate autonomously. For many years after the Stetson acquisition, Mallory continued to make heaps of terrific, top-selling hats in their Danbury, CT facility--just as they had since the early 1800s. The only difference was the destination of the profits: they ended up in Stetson's coffers. Pretty neat trick, eh? Stetson made great hats, but they could also wheel `n deal with the best of `em... It's no surprise Stetson was America's #1 hat company for so long...Anyway, the point of all this palaver: Stetson wouldn't have taken such extraordinary steps if Mallory wasn't producing some pretty phenomenal hats; the fedora presently up for offers offers ample evidence of Mallory's now-legendary (among hat aficionados, at least) commitment to quality. Liner crest, tags, and sweatband stamps indicate this hat was produced in the mid-1950s. In terms of design, felt/ finish quality, and profile, this lid is a dead-ringer for a Stratoliner. Moreover, it's rendered in a beautiful color, it's in fantastic condition, and it's a hard-to-find larger size to boot! If the very idea sends your spirits soaring as high as Boeing's Stratoliner, you should read on for all the pertinent specs & details:Size & Dimensions: Sakes alive, this is a big `un. Tagged size is 7 5/8. I measure the internal circumference (hard to do with absolute accuracy) as just over 23 5/8". When I placed this hat with the crown still open on my size 7 1/4 bean, it didn't just travel over my ears---it covered my eyes. Clearly, this fedora is meant for someone with a more prodigious cranium than my own.Brim measures 2 1/2" wide; it's bound with grosgrain. The crown is 5 3/4" high open (I included a couple of pics of the hat before creasing: get a load of that lovely, tall, straight-sided crown). As creased, the crown is 5 5/8" at its highest point in front, 3 7/8" at its lowest point in the rear. That's a pretty deep crease & exaggerated rake---which you can easily change if it isn't to your liking. I shaped the hat in this fashion primarily because it was the only way I could get a hat this large to sit on my head properly while I manipulated the felt (yep, I'm one of those nincompoops who has to have the hat on his head while shaping so I can use a mirror to make sure I'm getting the pinch & brim break centered properly). Even so, I think it looks pretty good this way.Grosgrain ribbon around the crown is 3/8" wide. Brown leather sweatband is 1 7/8" wide. Condition: Excellent. The fur felt is lightweight and pliable; its finish is wonderfully
smooth and buttery soft to the touch. Like the Stratoliner, it's clear this Mallory was meant to be an ideal "4 season hat:" to this end, Mallory used felt that would be both
lightweight enough to remain comfortable in warm weather and tough
enough to withstand harsher fall & winter conditions. This hat is
definitely lightweight, soft, and pliable (you can apply your favorite
fedora crease with ease), yet it somehow feels dense & substantial
at the same time. That's a sure-fire sign of high-quality vintage felt;
the time-consuming & labor-intensive processes required to produce
felt with these characteristics simply aren't in use anymore---today's
economies of scale make these methods prohibitively expensive for
today's manufacturers. That's why contemporary off-the-shelf fedoras
feel so flimsy when compared to a great vintage example like this one. When
it comes to fur felt hats, they really "don't make `em like they used
to," fellas.I can find no indication of wear or handling on the felt. No stains, blemishes, or signs of insect activity. This hat couldn't have been worn much---if it was worn at all.The felt is rendered in a truly gorgeous shade of blue-gray; it's the perfect color for a gent's spring wardrobe. The grosgrain trim & binding are more of a sky blue---this slight contrast really makes the hat's colors "pop," as it were. I've taken the photos in natural light without flash in order to provide the best possible representation of these extraordinary colors.Inside the hat, the brown leather sweatband is still soft & supple; it exhibits no discernible signs of wear. Stitching is still nice & tight. Stamping in gold script on the sweatband is crisp: "Mallory durafelt `Cravenette Processed' Premier." The white satin liner is clean & the clear plastic crown protector over the famous Mallory crest & its equally well-known slogan ("For Youthful Smartness"---marvelously quaint, isn't it?) is unblemished & intact.What more can I say? Rest assured, this is a superlative lid in every respect. If you've read this far, then you're probably aware how often beautiful Mallory Stratoliner clones in this size show up on : you know it wouldn't be hyperbolic for me to say "Practically Never." Vintage hats exhibiting this type of quality, condition, and classic color/ design profile just don't come down the pike that often anymore. If you're a 7 5/8 who has been yearning for a vintage lid in that hard-to-find size, I'm certain you'll find it worth your while if you go to the mat for this fedora. Think of your winning offer as a triumphant way of celebrating spring's glorious renewal! Offered at a low starting offer with .I
describe these vintage items to the best of my ability; unless I've
made a demonstrable error in my description, all sales are final.
Having said that, I will also stipulate that I will do everything
within reason to ensure our transaction is a pleasant one. If you have
any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact me; I will respond
promptly and do what is necessary to resolve the matter to our mutual
satisfaction. Shipping includes delivery confirmation & insurance.
International buyers: I handle overseas shipping on a case-by-case
basis. If you live outside the US, please contact me before you offer.
Thanks for looking & happy offerding!
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