It’s that time of year again when you need to start…
If the title of this article resonated with you, you or a loved one may have what we lovingly refer to as:
- An enormous nut
- A colossal cranium
- A dome of substantial diameter
- A super-sized skull
Remember, we are saying these things lovingly. And a big head is probably just making room for a really big brain.
However, if a huge head is your blessing or curse (it’s all perspective), you could have a significant irritation on your hands when it comes to buying a hat that fits. Huge head headwear can devolve into a horrible headache because in the world of noggins, one size definitely does not fit all. Even hats that are globally regarded as fitting everyone (ex: baseball caps) may not completely cover a crown of large circumference.
So what do you do?
Well, the perfect hat has a two-fold mission: it needs to enhance your face shape and fit your head beautifully. Let’s break down both of those parts.
You may be tempted to jump at the first hat that fits your large noodle, but you should resist the temptation to go all in without considering your face shape. If you have never thought about your face having a distinct shape, go step in front of a mirror and take a good look. As a general rule when you’re considering a hat, think about your face’s characteristics and find a hat that is the opposite. Let me explain:
- Square: A square face is one that has a distinct jawline and wide features such as the cheekbones and forehead. Since square faces have so many angles already, you want to look for a hat that has a lot of soft curves. Look for beanies, newsboys hats, and flat or “scally” caps.
- Circle: A circular face is about as broad as it is tall and has a very round chin. Circular shaped faces have few angles, so you want to choose a hat that is boxy and has a wide brim. Circular faces can also appear squat or compact, so look for a taller crown that can help elongate your face.
- Diamond: If you have a diamond-shaped face, your cheeks are your widest part and both your chin and forehead narrow significantly. For diamond-shaped faces, you’re not trying to counteract any part of your face, but rather accentuate your natural taper. Look for medium brims and a short crown to help you do this.
- Oval: You’ll know that you’re in the oval shape category if your face is a lot narrower than it is tall. Usually, oval-shaped faces have a fairly rounded chin as well. If you have an oval-shaped face, you need to take care to keep it from looking any longer than it currently does, so scout out short-crowned hats with wide brims to make your face appear more balanced.
Even if you don’t know your exact measurements yet, you already know that your head is not a standard size. To measure your head, grab a measuring tape and wrap it around from the forward-most part of your forehead, close to your ears, back around your head, and then touch the tape together. Where the tape meets is your head measurement in inches. Now here is a breakdown of head/hat sizing (we are going to stick to large head sizes):
|Head Circumference (Inches)||Size||Hat Size|
|22 3/4||L||7 1/4|
|23 1/8||L||7 3/8|
|23 1/2||XL||7 1/2|
|23 7/8||XL||7 5/8|
|24 1/4||XXL||7 3/4|
|24 5/8||XXL||7 7/8|
Once you have your exact hat size, you can walk into a hat shop with confidence and pick out a hat that fits your head just right. As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to stick one finger between your forehead and the crown of the cap.
The Dreaded Shrink
Let’s say that you find the perfect hat that is just a tad too small (happens to the best of us). The hat company simply does not make it any bigger, but you don’t want the eventual headache from a too-small cap.
So what can you do? It’s the hat of your dreams!
Even if your hat fits your head originally, hats are naturally prone to shrinking due to sweat, moisture, the elements, and the fabric that hats are made of. If you run into that problem (or if the hat didn’t fit that great to begin with), you have a few options to stretch the hat out to fit your head.
- Take it to a hat shop. This is the easiest method, but it also costs a little bit of money. Typically, the professionals at the hat shop will steam your hat and put it on a hat jack that is shaped to your head (because not all 23” heads are alike). The upside to this is that you know that it was done correctly with minimal damage to your hat. And you should walk away with a great fit.
- Let off some steam. If your budget is tighter than your cap, one DIY option for you is to stretch the hat out yourself. Hold your hat by the brim over a steaming pot of water or tea kettle for one minute. Remove it and let it rest for 30 seconds, then repeat three more times (at least). Now bust out your hair dryer and blow your hat until it is almost dry. Position it on your head where you plan on wearing it and let it air dry to the exact shape of your head.
- Spritz and dry. This way is similar to the steam method, but it involves a spray bottle instead of a tea kettle. Start by spritzing the crown of your hat on the inside and out with lukewarm water (avoid the brim). DO NOT SATURATE the fabric as this can cause bleeding or damage. Using a hairdryer, hold the hat by the brim and use high heat until your hat is almost dry. Then put the hat on your head and let it air dry the rest of the way.
You Go On Ahead
Finding a hat that fits when you’ve got a massive head can be disheartening, but hopefully this article gave you a little peace of mind. There are options out there for big-headed individuals (in the best sense), but make sure to look for a hat that fits well instead of just fitting at all.