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How to Break in a Stetson Hat

author image Mimi Bullock
Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.
How to Break in a Stetson Hat
Stiffen a drooping hat by spraying it with fabric stiffener. Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Before a Stetson hat makes it to the store shelves, it undergoes a series of processes that includes forming, heating and sewing. Once you purchase a hat, the last step begins -- breaking in or shaping the hat to your head. The Stetson Hat factory in Garland, Texas produces hundreds of hat styles each year, but the Stetson name is commonly associated with the classic cowboy hat. Shaping a hat to fit your head perfectly takes time, and it is important to begin the process with the right-sized hat.

Step 1

Put on the hat by gently tugging the front and back of the brim simultaneously. Do not push down on the crown of the Stetson. This crumples the shape of the crown.

Step 2

Take off the hat when it gets wet and shake off any excess water. Flip up the sweatband to allow hidden moisture to dry. Do not use a blow dryer or heater to dry the hat. Allow the hat to dry naturally or it may shrink.

Step 3

Shape a felt hat by placing it over steam for a few seconds. Wave the hat slowly over the steam to make it more pliable. Curve the brim of the hat in whatever direction you like. Hat steaming is not recommended for wool or straw hats.

Step 4

Bend the edges of a straw hat to get the shape that you want. Straw hats have a thin wire along the rim that allows you to mold the hat to whatever brim style you like.

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