Vintage Resistol Fedora Hat Stetson Open Road Style
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Vintage Resistol Fedora Hat Stetson Open Road Style Picture(s) and Description:
Please review the description below & peruse the slideshow above to help you decide if this is the vintage fedora for you. Mouse over the image to pause or restart. Click View All to go directly to the album. If you can't see the photos, it's likely you're at work & your employer's filters are blocking the photo-sharing site. You'll just have to get your nose back 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're fond of vintage hats, chances are you're a fan of Stetson's beloved Open Road model. The Open Road's classic proportions, soft construction, thin ribbon, and bound brim combined to give the hat a profile that blended casual urban style with a hint of rustic flavor. This profile made the Open Road a perfect "town & country" fedora that just seemed to look right in any environment. This versatility made the Open Road a top seller in Stetson's line for many years, beginning in the late 1940s. Naturally, America's other top hat companies jumped on the OR bandwagon and introduced their own versions of the Open Road (a few of these--like Resistol's "San Antonio" model--became iconic hats in their own right). Although the iconic Open Road model and its clones enjoyed sustained popularity, over the years Stetson & its competitors offered a number of variations on the OR style in an effort to appeal to hat wearers who might prefer either a little more "country" or a little more "town" in their fedoras' styling. We have just such an OR variant up for bids presently. This hat was manufactured by Resistol---one of America's most renowned producers of both western-style & dress hats for much of the twentieth century. No less a personage than President Lyndon Baines Johnson was a loyal Resistol customer for most of his adult life. This particular lid leans more toward the "country hat" end of the OR-style spectrum. It's from Resistol's XXX Beaver "Hand Creased" line; these hats seemed to occupy a niche somewhere between a dress weight fedora and a western-weight (i.e., "cowboy-style") hat. The felt is a little bit thicker & somewhat more firm than a typical dress weight hat, yet it's not quite as thick or stiff as a western-style cowboy hat. Resistol designed the brim & crown to be both sturdy enough to withstand rough outdoor wear and soft/ pliable enough to be "Hand Creased" (the lid had to live up to its moniker, after all). In many respects, this is something of a "best of both worlds" hat: it's tough enough to handle rough wear & its trimmings suggest a rugged western look, yet at the same time, it has the sleeker profile & "shapeability" of a fedora like an OR. If you've been looking to add this type of fedora "hybrid" to your hat line-up, then this may be your new lid. Crest & sweatband stamps suggest a 1960s production date; from the looks of things, it hasn't been worn much since its purchase way back when. Check out the size & condition statements below for all the pertinent specs & details: Size & Dimensions: No size tag present, but the data tag behind the sweatband gives the size as a 7 1/4. I measure the internal circumference (hard to do with absolute accuracy) as 22 5/8". I wear a 7 1/4 myself & I find this hat to be a good fit. As a matter of fact, I'd be keeping this one, but I have a similar western-style fedora in this color & I'm running out of "hat room" here---when two hats are too much alike, one of them has to go. My lack of storage space is your gain, in this instance. Raw-edge brim measures 2 3/4" wide. Crown as creased is 5 1/4" tall at its highest point. Multi-ply "2 cord" knotted ribbon is 3/8" wide. Brown leather sweatband is 1 7/8" wide. Condition: Excellent. The finish on this lid is truly outstanding: it's wonderfully soft & smooth to the touch. Although the felt is a little bit thicker than a standard dress weight, it's still pliable enough to easily shape the brim and crown just the way you want it. When you handle the hat, your fingers will perceive a reassuring density to the felt; that's a sure-fire sign of a high quality vintage hat body with beaver fur incorporated in the fur felt mixture. The addition of beaver fur to the fur felt blend really enhances the "hand"--or texture--as well as the durability of the finished hat. Your fingers will also tell you this felt hat body is of a sort they just don't make anymore; the firmness & substantial feel of the hat indicates the time, trouble, and expense was taken during the felting process to ensure the fur fibers were closely interlaced---or "densely felted." A felt hat body rendered in this manner will be simultaneously soft, durable, and more capable of retaining its shape even after exposure to the elements. Today's economies of scale make it prohibitively expensive for modern hat companies to produce felt in this fashion. Please don't make the mistake of categorizing this lid with modern-day factory-made western hats: those things are made from flimsy, hastily formed hat bodies that have been chemically stiffened to a fare-thee-well. Those hats feel like they're made out of vaguely furry pizza boxes. This vintage hat is nothing like that: it's just thick enough to be rugged & tough, yet it was also carefully designed to be soft, pliable, and "touchably" smooth. Like I said, it's a "best of both worlds" hat. The felt itself is surprisingly clean for such a light-colored hat. This fedora couldn't have seen much wear. No notable stains or blemishes. No signs of insect activity. If you pore over the hat with your jeweler's loupe, you might find a faint smudge or two to indicate handling, but you'd really have to do some hunting to find any sign this hat has been worn. In short, the felt looks fantastic. The felt is rendered in a very attractive shade of light gray. It's a rather refreshing change from the more typical "Silverbelly" shade that has always seemed to be the go-to color for western-style fedoras (not knocking Silverbelly---it's a great color---it's just nice to have a different color option when you reach for this style of hat). I've taken the photos in natural light without flash in order to provide the best possible representation of this splendid color. Inside the hat, the brown leather sweatband is still soft & supple; it exhibits nothing more than the mildest possible hint indication of wear. All stitching is nice & tight. Stamping in gold on the sweatband is still crisp: "Resistol Self-Conforming," "XXX Beaver Hand Creased Wichita" (Wichita may be the model name here, but I'm not certain), and "Helflins' Buckaroo Boulder, Colo." (the original retailer). The satin liner here is a real knockout: it's rendered in a gorgeous shade of red. Red? Heck, make that crimson. The liner tip--with the Resistol crest featuring the classic cowboy-on-a-buckin'-bronco image under a clear plastic crown protector---is bounded in gold piping. In a final classy touch, the ornamental bow at the sweatband seam (these are usually white ribbon) is rendered in the same red color as the lining. This is the sort of liner that rates you a second glance from the hat check girl---if you can find a hat check girl these days, that is... In any case, this beautiful liner is nice & clean and the clear plastic crown protector is unblemished and intact. All in all, this is a great western fedora that seems designed to exhibit a certain unique rugged beauty. It's a distinctive-looking lid & it's clearly well-made. You'd have a hard time finding its equal among contemporary production hats, that's for sure. It has no condition issues & it's a great-looking light color. What more can you ask for in a vintage western-styled fedora? High-quality vintage hats like this one are becoming increasingly scarce; if this one fits, don't let it get away! Offered at a low starting bid with no reserve. 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 bidders: I handle overseas shipping on a case-by-case basis. If you live outside the US, please contact me before you bid. Thanks for looking & happy bidding!