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Thread: Whats your favorite hat??

  1. #1
    Sven205's Avatar
    Sven205 is offline
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    Whats your favorite hat??

    Just curious what everyone's favorite type of hat is.

    Does it change depending on the season? Do you go to a straw type in the warmer months or a wool hat in the cooler months? Do you wear insignias or cords that represent a division?

  2. #2
    Lou Lou Lou is offline
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    Every team is different. Many have unit designations. Many like mine have different hats.?:Keli , Slouch and Straw
    Lou Lou Lou Ruggiero
    Tammany Regt-42nd NYVI

  3. #3
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    Smile

    I typically wear the brimmed straw hat when on the line. It protects from the sun, which is a huge. The only draw backs are that it came with a CHEAP sweatband made of man made material and it only ?absorbs? sweat at the forehead. Next, was the threat of it being carried off unexpectedly by a gust of wind...

    I remedied the latter issue by getting a set of leather hat/chin straps which Drill Instructors/State Troopers wear on their ?smokies?. Now, with the small black leather strap that graces the back of the wearers head, I NEVER have to worry about loosing my cover, even in high winds ever again!

    However, I am still trying to think of a solution to the lack of a suitable sweat band...

    If my eyes did not deceive me, I thought I spied other skirmishers who modified their straw hats with several, what seemed to be, quarter inch holes made in the hats top. This seems to be an ingenious solution to allow hot air trapped inside the hat to easily escape, thus making the wearer much more comfortable, esp in the summer. This really intrigued me and I be very interested to learn more (how to) if anyone can help. But I digress...


    The required head gear for my team is a Union bummer/kepi. I prefer the look of the bummer, plus I was always told ?officers wore kepis?. When I was near Gettysburg, I called ahead and made an appointment to visit Dirty Billy (he has limited business hours for walking) and I was personally fitted with a VERY nice piece of reproduction head gear that one could ever find. With Billy, you certainly get what you pay for!

    Finally for inclement/rainy weather, I have a nice black, brimmed bee hive hat, from another separate visit, and personal fitting, via Dirty Billy. The brimmed hat holds up very well in the rain (better than the straw hat, or bummer). Like my coveted straw hat, I too have outfitted this cover with the leather hat/chin straps to counter the unwelcome effects of wind gusts.

    As for the ?bells & whistles?:

    The straw had is adorned with an infantry horn on the front, with my team?s letters above. It also has a blue hat cord from Regimental QM (also where I bought the hat).

    My bummer simply has my team?s letters (WBR) above the Infantry horn atop the hat?s flat.

    The bee hive only has a blue hat cord from S&S.



    Side note: For the benefit of newer skirmishers who don?t know Billy (Dirty Billy), he used to be a frequent suttler at the fort. However, with limited customer demand, he ceased attending the nationals. At last check, he was still in business in Gettysburg. This man know more about period head gear than most will ever forget! He is sought after by many for his wares, to include major Hollywood productions (Gods and Generals and Dances with a Wolves) due to the quality and EXACTNESS of his creations. Be advised, his ?stuff ain?t cheap?, but it IS absolutely first rate! In fact Billy is so exacting on the details, if you want your hat ?touched up? with soil from a particular battle, he has dirt from all the key engagements of the war of northern aggression! Dirty Billys is definitely an establishment to frequent if/when you find yourself in Gettysburg, even if you don?t purchase a hat, the education alone on period head gear is impressive. My two cents!
    Semper Fi,
    Rob Freeman
    WBR
    Col, USMC (Ret.) '87 - '19

    The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor. - Vince Lombardi

  4. #4
    Muley Gil is offline
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    I stared skirmishing with the Blue Rifles in 1970. Most members wore kepis with the hunting horn and WBR on top and the company letter on the front. I was able to buy a McDowell forage cap made by WBR member Mark Elrod. I wore it with the chin strap on the back of head, as the good Kurnel Freeman wears his straw hat.

    Many years later, after a looong period away from the N-SSA, I jined up with a rebel cavalry unit and found a Dirty Billy butternut McDowell forage cap, one much like Old Blue Light (Stonewall Jackson) wore. Most Confederate units didn't wear any hat brass and I don't either. I have a brown beehive for rainy weather.
    Gil Davis Tercenio
    # 3020V
    34th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry
    Great, great grandson of Cpl Elijah S Davis, Co I, 6th Alabama Inf CSA

  5. #5
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    Two considerations when choosing a hat:
    {1} Historical accuracy. Want to look same or similar to originals.
    {2} Physical comfort/protection, particularly from sun. Here's where the straw hats come in when acceptable.
    {2}* Here's where I deviate. I'm confederate so lots of flexibility here since the guys wore everything. My thing is my ears. The plug protectors don't give near the hearing protection I want for my delicate ear drums. I much prefer the cup hearing protectors, which aren't very authentic, but are accepted. That rules out the straw hat and the kepi, but that round stiffener can be moved forward out of the way, and ear muffs clamped on, while wearing a bummer cap -- which is what I wear.

  6. #6
    Sven205's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input.

  7. #7
    Harry Gaul's Avatar
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    kepi and straw hat

    As a member of the 3rd US Regular Infantry, the group is big time Artillery. Instead of the horn, most of the folks wear crossed cannons. I kept the horn, and I wear a beat up straw hat with feathers that I found in the woods. Sutler grade kepi and bummers are for the most part acceptable. You do not need exotic, authentic, stitch-counted variety unless you are into that type of thing. I have a authentic repro bummer but do not wear it. Maybe this year and the year of the vaccine, the authentic repro bummer will make it to the line.

    Harry in Pa.
    03626v

  8. #8
    CAGerringer is offline
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    Team Uniform sometimes calls for a specific cover

    When I joined the Old Dominion Dragoons in 1973, the Team Hat was a black felt pinned up on the left side with a Wreath around a VA Button pin. Crossed swords and a yellow hat cord with tassels was the finishing touch. When I came back to the States in 1986, the Team hat was officially a yellow Kepi, so I got one. When I retired and came back to the Dragoons for the 3rd time in 2009, they were still wearing the Kepi, but I got a really nice black 4x beaver hat. I put all my original brass on it from 1973. When the weather is nice, I wear the Kepi. But when it's wet, I wear the black Beaver. I always get to wear both at Nationals.
    Charlie Gerringer
    Old Dominion Dragoons

  9. #9
    Sven205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAGerringer View Post
    When the weather is nice, I wear the Kepi. But when it's wet, I wear the black Beaver. I always get to wear both at Nationals.
    Charlie Gerringer
    Old Dominion Dragoons
    This hits close to another thing I've thought about, waterproofing the wool slouch type hats or others made of wool. Something like scotchguard or another water repelling spray seems like it could be useful in the rain.

  10. #10
    Kevin Tinny is offline
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    Couple related things, please:

    The current formulation of SCOTCHGUARD is significantly less water repellant than prior ones.
    Latest stuff is useless, in my experience.
    There is a spray named REVIVEX that is approved for GORE-TEX, and I have found it works well.

    All the best,
    Kevin Tinny

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