Monday, September 12, 2011
When I arrived at my office the other day there was a Leon Drexler hat box on my credenza, containing my planter style hat, that beaver felt version of the straw that Clark Gable wore in Gone With the Wind (it is felt because our California summer begins after the official end of straw hat season but I wanted a wide brim that would shield me from the sun while I drove).
The hat is definitely not for the city, emulating as it does something that was designed to be worn on horseback while riding through one's tobacco fields, but looks fine in the country to my eye. I think of it as a porkpie with a wide homburg brim, which was essentially what I asked for, admittedly with some trepidation as neither I nor hatmaker Stephen Tempkin had ever seen a felt version. These experiments do not always work out, but in this case the finished product has already proved itself appropriate for top open country driving in the sunshine, cigar (Fuente Don Carlos Reserve #4) in hand.
Stephen earned every penny of his $465 for this hat and he may hope never to be asked to make another, but if nothing else it got him to set up his brim binding equipment and he is now able to make a conventional homburg as well as the unbound lord's hat version he made for me last season.
Recommended for both smokers and non-smokers.