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What is Hat Size

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Hat size goes with shape of head for style and smile.

Each head has its own size, each its own particular shape. A hat may fit perfectly, but if its form, width, height and breadth do not harmonize with the shape of a customer's skull and face, a discordant note seems to spoil the appearance of the wearer.

HEAD SHAPES, SIZES

Headsize is based on the circumference of the head. If a string is placed around a head and it measures 21.8750 inches and this circumference of the odd oval is made into a circle, the diameter of the circle would be 7 inches. The equivalent of a size 7. International hat sizes differ slightly, as can be seen readily in the Table of Sizes reprinted in this issue. English sizes are based on the true diameter of a circle, while American sizes have a slight deviation. The 1/8 difference allowed in the hat size list (reprinted below) almost-but not quite-takes care of this. France, Italy and others using the metric measure have a centimeter (.3927 inch) between sizes, while American and English sizes use the same centimeter differential between sizes.

 

Circumference of American Sizes*
American Sizes English Sizes French Sizes Metric Sizes Nearest Inches 64ths 8ths
6 5.7/8 1/2 48 18.7334 18 47/64 18 6/8
6 1/8 6 1 49 19.1261 19 8/64 19 1/8
6 1/4 6 1/8 1 1/2 50 19.5188 19 33/64 19 4/8
6 3/8 6 1/4 2 51 19.9115 19 58/64 19 7/8
6 1/2 6 3/8 2 1/2 52 20.3042 20 22/64 20 2/8
6 5/8 6 1/2 3 53 20.6969 20 45/64 20 6/8
6 3/4 6 5/8 3 1/2 54 21.0896 21 1/64 21 1/8
6 7/8 6 3/4 4 55 21.4823 21 31/64 21 4/8
7 6 7/8 4 1/2 56 21.8750 21.56/64 21 7/8
7 1/8 7 5 57 22.2677 22 17/64 22 2/8
7 1/4 7 1/8 5 1/2 58 22.66041 22 42/64 22 5/8
7 3/8 7 1/4 6 59 23.0531 23 23
7 1/2 7 3/8 6 1/2 60 23.4458 23 39/64 23 4/8
7 5/8 7 1/2 7 61 23.8485 23 54/64 23 7/8
7 3/4 7 5/8 7 1/2 62 24.2312 24 15/64 24 2/8
7 7/8 7 3/4 8 63 24.6239 24 40/64 24 5/8
8 7 7/8 8 1/2 64 25.0166 25 25
*Measurements given are for the inside of the leather of the finished hat, the part that touches the head. The hat block is made larger than the figures stated, so that the hat will be the size indicated after the leather is inserted.

Headsize circumference given in the table chart are not correct for all American-made hats, because there is not yet a complete standardization in all the factories. They are, however, correct measurements according to the standard in effect in factories making at least three-quarters of American hats. But no matter how well the manufacturer adheres to standardization of sizes, considerable effort is lost if the hat does not look well on the consumer. It must be a fundamental consideration that the form and size of skulls are extremely important right from the very beginning of hat-making. It is here that a hat begins life, and designers should bear in mind always that the skulls of various races and people differ widely in form and size.

People all over the world, of various races, have skulls that are markedly different in type and shape. It should be remembered that the head bones of a man are heavier and differ widely in shape from those of a woman. The man's cranium, it is reported, rises higher from mid-ear to the rear, uppermost part of the head is more developed in the lower part of the head than that of a woman. And so it is, that because of the difference in head shapes, a nicely, well-fitted hat which looks well on one man may very well look awkward on another.

For instance, a high crown widebrim piece may be symmetrically perfect and look fine on a customer, but if this same buyer tried on a hat with a lower crown and smaller brim he might very well feel something lacking when he looked in a mirror. A man walked into Hat Life offices one cold day wearing a high-domed Russian-style hat. It looked very awkward on him, so we tried an experiment. He was asked to remove his hat, and tried one we had in the office, but which had a much lower crown than the one he had worn. The difference was remarkable. Even though it was the same style hat, the second headpiece not only fitted well, but looked outstandingly different, giving the man a refreshing flair.

The shape of his head made the difference. It is important, therefore, that the cranium's shape matches closely the shape and style of the hat. Hat shop proprietors and salesmen will be quick to say the difference is noticed at once. That is why they continue to help customers in selecting a good hat which not only fits well, but is also the best possible piece which blends nicely with his head bone structure and brings out his best personality. When a customer says: "This hat looks great, it sort of goes nicely with the shape of my head," it means that everybody in hats is doing his, or her, job, from designer, manufacturer and salesman.

Head Sizes of Presidents and Well-Known Men for the Past 100 Years.

Chester A. Arthur . . . . . . . .7 1/4 U. S. Grant . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 3/8 William McKinley . . . . . . . . 7 1/8
Fred Astaire . . . . . . . . . . . .7 1/8 Warren G. Harding . . . . . . .7 3/8 Richard M. Nixon . . . . . . . . 7 1/2
Enrico Caruso . . . . . . . . . .7 1/4 Benjamin Harrison . . . . . . 7 1/2 Franklin D. Roosevelt . . . . 7 3/8
Winston Churchill . . . . . . .7 1/8 Rutherford B. Hayes . . . . 7 1/16 Theodore Roosevelt . . . . . 7 3/8
Grover Cleveland . . . . . . . 7 1/2 J. Edgar Hoover . . . . . . . . . 7 1/2 Babe Ruth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 1/2
Calvin Coolidge . . . . . . . . 7 1/8 Herbert Hoover . . . . . . . . . .7 3/8 William H. Taft . . . . . . . . . . .7 3/4
Thomas E. Dewey . . . . . .7 3/8 Andrew Johnson . . . . . . . . 7 1/4 Harry S. Truman . . . . . . . . . 7 3/8
D. Eisenhower . . . . . . . . . 7 1/4 Lyndon B. Johnson . . . . . .7 3/8 Jimmy Walker . . . . . . . . . . 7 1/16
Jas. A. Farley . . . . . . . . . . .7 1/4 John F. Kennedy . . . . . . . .7 5/8 Woodrow Wilson . . . . . . . . 7 1/4
Henry Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 7/8 LaGuardia, F. H . . . . . . . . .7 1/4 Duke of Windsor . . . . . . . . .6 3/4
James A. Garfield . . . . . . 7 3/4 Abraham Lincoln . . . . . . . 7 1/8