Hats 101

Determining your Hat Size

You've found the perfect hat - now which size do you order?

Fit is more about what looks/feels right than actual measurements. Some like a bigger hat, for comfort, and some like something good and tight. .

Some general “mirror” statements have been made of late, based on shape of face. Ultimately, you decide what best accentuates your true character. That said, here are some generally accepted guides :


Long/Slender Face

The best hat for a long, slender face would be anything with a low profile. A Driver or Pork Pie Fedora – even a gambler style or visor would do well. A wide brim can also add charm to your character.

Short Face

A short face allows the character to use a lot of vertical space. Wear a high profile crown, or a tapered crown help to create the illusion of a more elongated façade. A stingy (narrow) brim is best, so as not to overshadow your features.

Square Face

Let’s face it: you’ve got a nice jaw! When looking at hats, you want to round your look out. Look for crowns in your hats that are more round than square. The profile of your crown can also help out – choose a profile that is no higher than ½ the height of your head (from chin to crown). Some “experts” would tell you to wear a wider brim, but the fact is you can get away with a stingy (narrow) brim as well – it all depends on that crown.

Round Face

Soft lines are beautiful. Accentuate those lines with a hat that takes on a few more angles. A crown with a square look to it should do nice. You can also wear a wider brim – not too wide, unless you’re avoiding the sun, but around 2 ½ inches out from the break should look nice. Try to stick to bands that are less than 1” in width.

Small Face

"Cute as a button" – you’ve heard it your whole life. Don’t disappoint with a big floppy brim, stick to narrow brims, close-fitting beanies, buckets and cloches. Not many people can wear these styles, so take advantage!

Women's Hats

Most women's hats are available only in One Size Fits Most. Actual sizing varies from designer to designer, but in general they will fit a head with a circumference of 21 1/2"- 22 1/4 ". Some hats will fit a smaller or bigger head depending on the style.

Men's Hats & Caps

There are three types of sizing available in men's hats and caps. Numerical sizing and alpha sizing (Small - X-Large) being the most popular with an occasional one size fits all. At the bottom of this page you will find instructions on measuring your head as well as chart to determine your numerical and alpha sizing. A one size fits all generally will fit a head with the circumference of 21 1/2 " - 23" or a Medium/Large. Some one size fits all hats will fit a smaller or bigger head depending on the style.

Costume and Theatrical Hats

Most of our costume hats are one size fits all. Many of these are adjustable and others offer a universal fit. These hats will normally fit any adult size head, Small - X-Large. Some of our theatrical quality hats are sized. These hats are sized in the same way that men's hats and caps are sized so check the chart below to determine the size needed.

Measuring Your Head

Using a tape measurer or a string and ruler, measure from the back of your head bringing the ends together at the center of your forehead right above your eyebrows. Use the chart below to determine your size, rounding to the nearest 1/8" as necessary.


Measurement in Inches

Hat Size

21 1/8

6 3/4 - S

21 1/2

6 7/8 - S

21 7/8

7 - M

22 1/4

7 1/8 - M

22 5/8

7 1/4 - L


7 3/8 - L

23 1/2

7 1/2 - XL

23 7/8

7 5/8 - XL

24 1/4

7 3/4 - XXL


One rule is nearly universal: don’t submerge your hat in water! Most hats use sizing of some sort to maintain the shape of the hat. Felts and technical materials allow for use in the rain, but, unless you’re wearing a floppy hat without any structure whatsoever, a bath is going to destroy your once beautiful hat.

The best way to care for your hat is by spot cleaning it with a warm damp cloth. Don’t use any harsh cleaning chemicals that could ultimately damage the quality of the hat (unless you’re into that – distressed is a VERY cool look). Allow your hat to air dry in the shade, do not use a dryer or leave it in the sun on a really hot day, as you’ll likely end up with a very different shape to your hat.

To extend the life of your hat, handle it only by the brim. Yes, the brim. The pinch of your hat is not a handle – that’s what the brim is for. The brim is designed to be handled.