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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 to 22-1/4 inches. Some hats will fit a smaller or bigger head depending on the style.

To determine your head size, use a measuring tape to measure around your head above your ears where you would wear your hat. If your head size falls in between two sizes choose the larger of the two sizes. A small piece of foam behind the sweatband can make a large hat perfect.

XS = 20-3/4 to 21 inches or Size 6-5/8 to 6-3/4
S = 21 to 21-1/2 inches or Size 6-7/8 to 7
M = 22 to 22-1/2 inches or Size 7-1/8 to 7-1/4
L = 22-3/4 to 23 inches or Size 7-1/4 to 7-3/8


Brim Care

Your brim is very impressionable! Storage is vitally important to maintaining the shape of your brim. Hats with brims turned down should always be stored upside down. Pressure is taken off the brim by placing the hat on its crown, thus maintaining its form.

Crown Care

Be kind to your crown! Excessive handling of your crown can lead to variations from its original structure or form. Get into the habit of picking up your hat, putting it on and taking it off with both your hands on the brim.

Drying Your Hat

Your hat will dry by itself. Never attempt to force dry your hat using artificial heat. Hair dryers, radiators, and other sources of high heat will shrink your hat. If your hat gets wet, simply place it on its crown in a dry place and allow it some time to dry itself. Before the hat dries, take the time to smooth out any imperfections.


Felt hats can be cleaned with a soft bristled hat brush or soft sponge. Felt hats must be brushed in a counter-clockwise direction with the crown facing you. When dealing with mud, allow the mud to dry. Once it is dry it will be a great deal easier to brush off. Grease spots can be brushed out with a little cornstarch. Many folks will also use a good dry-cleaner. Straw Hats can be brushed. A small whiskbroom can be used for those deeply textured straws. Other straws can be cleaned using a soft brush, sponge, or cloth. A moist cloth is very effective. Canvas hats can be hand washed. Warm water and mild detergent is all you need. Do not attempt to force dry. All hats: Remove dust and lint from your hat periodically to avoid deterioration of strength and soiling.


There was a time when almost everyone knew the rules of hat etiquette. Ever since hats fell out of fashion about 40 years ago, entire generations have come of age with little understanding of proper protocol. More casual rules are followed today, sometimes appalling people who remember traditional customs. So, it couldn't hurt to know some of the rules. Men aren't expected anymore to tip their hats in passing to women, but they are expected to remove them during the National Anthem. Women are not required to do so.

Nationally syndicated columnist Miss Manners suspects it may have to do with the dramatically different styles of men's and women's hats. Men's hats are easily removed, but women's hats with ribbons, bows, flowers, and other decorations can be quite a production to remove, especially if they're anchored with hat pins. Fair enough, but what if the woman and man are both wearing baseball caps? Without the traditional ladies' hat, you cannot claim the ladies' exemption. Ladies properly keep their hats on indoors, everywhere except their own houses, during the day. Luncheons traditionally required ladies to wear hats. Emily Post is quoted as saying in 1959: "It is impossible for a hatless woman to be chic." She added that it is incorrect to wear a hat with an evening dress, however. Hats can be worn to theaters or concerts, but should be remove if they are blocking anyone's view. Hat-wearers must be careful when putting something on the hatband, by the way. Anything on a woman's hatband must be on the right. Amy Vanderbilt gave women the choice about whether to wear hats to outdoor parties and weddings in her 1963 "New Complete Book of Etiquette." Women should keep their hats on in homes holding christenings, weddings and funerals, because in those occasions the house is treated as if it were a house of worship, she said. Women should not remove hats that go with dinner suits or dinner dresses throughout the evening. Miss Manners notes that daytime hats must be doffed at dusk.

Historically, May 15 signified the start of Straw hat season and September 15 the start of Felt hat season, but today most hat wearers are guided by the thermometer rather than by the calendar. Some people wear felt hats year-round because they retain heat in cold weather and release excess heat when it's hot and they protect the wearer from the sun.

HAT-ISIMS ~ Hold On To Your Hat(s)

A warning that some excitement or danger is imminent. When riding horseback or in an open-air early automobile, the exclamation "hold on to your hat" when the horse broke into a gallop or the car took-off was certainly literal.

Mad As A Hatter
Demented, go mad. Hatmakers use to inhale fumes from the mercury that was part of the process of making felt hats. Not recognizing the violent twitching and derangement as symptoms of a brain disorder, people made fun of affected hatmakers, often treating them as drunkards.

In the U.S., the condition was called the "Danbury Shakes," as Danbury, Connecticut was a hatmaking center. Mercury is no longer used in the felting process and hatmaking is safe.

At the Drop of a Hat
Fast. Dropping a hat, can be a way in which a race can start, instead of a starting gun for example. Also, a hat is an apparel item that can easily become dislodged from its wearer. Anyone who wears hats regularly has experienced the quickness by which a hat can fly off your head.

Bee In Your Bonnet
An indication of agitation or an idea that you can't let go of and just have to express. (A real bee in one's bonnet certainly precipitates expression.)

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