We get inquiries like the one below all the time. We thought it would be useful to reprint one of our responses in this HAT CARE section:
Good Morning Fred,
This email has absolutely nothing to do with the hat that I ordered from you, it's perfect and I am wearing it almost daily and I just love it. I do have a question for a hat expert and hopefully you can help me out, I ordered a used hat (NEVER AGAIN) from a person on eBay ( I'm retired and was trying to save a few bucks). The hat that I have is a Stetson Roadrunner Bryant cote straw (it's really a nice hat) it was advertised in the auction as a size 7 5/8, which is my size but when it arrived, it's a size 7 1/2, which is really too snug to be comfortable, is there any way that I can stretch this hat into a size 7 5/8 ? Also when the seller shipped the hat, it was put into a box that was too narrow for it and it has the brim turned up too much, can the brim be flattened back down some without doing damage to the hat? How Can I do that? Hey Fred, I know that I should have purchased the hat from you and now I'm sorry that I didn't, I'm just trying to make do from a bad situation as the hat can't be returned. If you can give me any advice as what I should do, I certainly will appreciate it very much.
Cheers and you have a great day and take care,
Our response was as follows:
Hello Sheriff Jack,
Don't worry about your eBay purchase; we all look for bargains. Let's see what we can do about your hat:
Size: Hats usually can be stretched from a 7 1/2 to a 7 5/8. We do this, with a professional hat stretching machine, as a service (no charge) to any customer who walks into any of our stores. It is simple, virtually cost free from the merchant's point of view. A good hat merchant, by you in Georgia, should do the same. If you can't find such a merchant, you can carefully try going around the circumference of your hat and stretching it (if you are like me, you've done the same thing with some cotton slacks after they come out of the dryer and you've had a good meal the night before).
Brim: Turn on your tea kettle and create some steam. Don't soak the brim with this steam, but rather carefully expose the turned up brim to the steam. It should soften somewhat. Then train your brim to the result that you are looking for. Go back and forth between steaming and training. The hat should eventually "remember" the way it was originally blocked. (You may also steam the hat at the circumference of base of the crown during the size stretching exercise in number 1).
I hope these suggestions help. Let me know and I hope that you will enjoy all your hats (including your Ebay one). Best regards as always.
[In a second, follow up, email we pointed out the "Hat Jack" hat stretcher
to Sherriff Jack].