9 Aug 2014

The Straw Boater

I ordered my straw boater from Tails and the Unexpected; A beautiful crafted straw hat made in England by Olney hats. I went for the guards band version over the black grosgrain version; a versatile hat during summer. For many different combinations of suitings and jackets.
The boater or skimmer is a choice of some dispute nowadays whereas being the naural choice replacing the Fedora, the Homburg etc. during summer some 90 years ago. But even so I find it versatile. And I hope my surroundings agree; at least my wife uttered that the hat looked better than the Fedoras.
I have ordered a black grosgrain ribbon to replace this band on special occasions;to be able to use the hat for more formal purposes - like wearing it with a Dinner Suit. I thought it too much to have two straw boaters: better to replace the band when necessary.

Straw boater with guards band.
I used the (Tails and the Unexpected) guide to measure my Skimmer size and  I went for a size 7 - being a regular size 7 1/8.

The finish from Olney was not quite up to expectations: the poor effort of applying a velcro closing  was not OK. I had to remove this and replace with proper sewing. I also had to trim the grosgrain band for lose threads.

Leather sweatband; the interior is very appealing
I chose the straw boater today for my niece's 11th birthday party. Together with my Cambridge Sports Jacket and white flannels.

My wife and kids - prior to leaving for the birthday party
The straw boater is the official Summer hat for the black tie Dinner suit - and so I intend to use it for when going to Copenhagen on the 13th of September (if weather permits - temperature must decide whether to go for for straw or fur felt)

1920s black tie
I collected a few inspirational skimmer pictures at Pinterest:


  1. Great hat. And a smashing moustache as well!

  2. It seems, here and in other posts, that the family does not share the passion for the classic wardrobe with the "master of the household"! What a shame ;-) The (wonderful) wife and (lovely) children simply does not match, I am sorry to say.

    1. Sir! You are absolutely right. My Son, though, says that when he grows up he will always wear suit and tie; grow a moustache and take command :-) I am afraid that most of the time I look a tad out of place - even when in my beloved England.

    2. For a summer event like this the wife and daughter might find inspiration in this:

      And the son maybe would like this costume (with shoes!): http://www.fancydressoutlet.co.uk/child-fancy-dress/boys-fancy-dress-costumes/historical/child-edwardian-boy-costume

      Sir, you are very elegant, most men are not. Be in no doubt.

    3. Very nice inspirational pics; my wife sends her regards - would go for the dress (shorten it) and leave the hat.
      A problem is that most people feel confident looking like the neighbour; might dream of trying out hats or waist coats etc. but courage fails when entering public scene. My son have on more than one occasion dressed in the morning with bow tie and waistcoat, but arriving at school removed both. Same goes for hair; might try out a new hairstyle at home, but at school my daughter would undo the braided hair. Again thank you for your kind words; My courage will not fail me.

    4. 3 months ago I was a little critical. Now I must send my compliments to your wife ("Saturday Night Party" in November)! She matches her husband now ;-)


    5. Thank you , sir! We had a splendid night out; the music and the dance matched both of us.