1950s brown Derby

This vintage brown derby was made during the derby revival of the late 1950s. It was sold by The English Shop / The Libertyville Saddle Shop of Libertyville, Illinois. It is made of brown fur felt. It has a fancy pleated liner with a generic gold stamp. Size 7-1/4

 photo IMG_0455.jpg

 photo IMG_0456.jpg

 photo IMG_0457.jpg

 photo IMG_0458.jpg

 photo IMG_0459.jpg

 photo IMG_0460.jpg

 photo IMG_0461.jpg

Beat up 7-1/4 derby


This vintage derby has had a hard life. It’s been crushed and glued back together. The ribbon and biding is falling off, the sweatband and liner are missing. Probably good for decoration or costume only. None of the damage is reparable. Marked a size 7-1/4.

 photo IMG_1847.jpg
 photo IMG_1848.jpg
 photo IMG_1850.jpg
 photo IMG_1852.jpg
 photo IMG_1853.jpg

Simplified Hat Photography

Most of my shots are done professionally in a studio by Michael G. Stewart, but those of you at home can get good looking results with a minimum of cost or effort.
Here’s how.

01: A hat stand of some description is important for photographing your hat while maintaining the shape of its brim. This purpose made one cost $5. The backdrop is a sheet of 18″x24″ paper from an art store.
02: To minimize shadows, shoot outdoors on an overcast day, or at the very least in shadow. Make sure what you’re shooting does not hang over the edge of the white.
03: In photoshop (or GIMP, it’s free), white balance to the lightest point of the white backdrop.
04: Use a brush tool to knock out all the non-white sections of the photo.
05: Select the shadows and white balance that selection separately to eliminate them.
06: Crop.

Bailey Brown Derby

You don’t see a lot of brown derbies these days. Lots of black ones survived, but the slightly more casual, slightly less common brown ones didn’t make it nearly as well. This is a modern one. Well- I say modern- but I consider any hat made from the mid ’70s on to be pretty modern. It’s soft like a homburg and has a homburg curl to the brim, not a derby curl. But the blocking is all bowler- too low to take a crease, so I guess that’s what it is.