How to Resize your Hat

Everyone's head is a different shape and size. So, some hats can be adjusted to fit just right. Here we show you the tricks to get just the perfect fit. The way to change the size will vary depending upon the type of hat. 


How to make your hat bigger

Boil a tea kettle or a pot of water on your stove to create steam.

Hold the hat in the steam top-down so that you do not get the hat band wet. Be careful not to burn your hands on the steam. Hold the hat in the steam for 10 seconds and then remove it. 

Firmly press the hat down over your head. The steam will make the felt pliable, and it will reshape to fit your head. Wear the hat until it dries. 

Repeat the steaming process as often as you need to stretch the hat to fit your head. You may need to perform the process a few times if the hat is very tight on your head.


How to make your hat smaller

For a more precise fit (and a really easy one at that, that doesn’t require sewing!), follow these instructions:

You need: your hat, scissors, double-sided tape and some foam padding material. Try to find padding that is no bigger than 1cm thick and about 5-8 inches long. The bigger the hat, the longer you’ll need the padding to be.

Measure how wide the sweatband on the inside of the hat is. Cut your foam strip a little more narrow than the band. Before taping it in, just try it out and tuck it behind the sweatband and put the hat on to see the fit. If the hat is really big, you can put two strips of foam on top of each other at the back (never at the front).

Apply double sided tape to just one side of the foam strip.

Take your hat and peel back the sweatband at the back of the hat.

Apply your the foam strip with the sticky side down to the inside of your hat. Press down on the foam strip to secure it. 

Fold the sweatband back up and if you measured it right, it should be invisible behind the band.

Wool Berets - how to make them bigger

Traditional wool berets come in one size, usually around a 56-57cm. However being good quality wool they can be stretched easily to fit your head and will stay the perfect size for you. This is easy to do:

1. Boil a kettle or pan of water until it is steaming

2. Grab your beret by the stalk on top 

3. Hold it gently over the steam for a few seconds, being careful no to get your hands to close to the steam as it burns easily.

4. After a little steam, sit down and put the beret over your knee 

5. Then put your fingers under the headband and pull firmly towards you, thus stretching the headband a little

6. Rotate the beret slightly and keep pulling towards you, repeat all around the beret.

7. Try it on, it should feel larger. If you need to make it bigger then repeat the above steps until its perfect 

8. Your beret should stay this size forever (unless it ever gets really wet) 

9. One tip, if your beret ever gets really wet it can shrink a little, so use this technique to restore it back to the perfect size.


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                Hats with a wide leather headband - how to make them smaller

                Those hats, like a trilby hat or a bowler which often have a wide leather headband stitched inside can easily be adjusted smaller. This clever hat tip dates back a hundred years, when gents would adjust their smart trilby hats with a scrap from their morning paper:

                1. Put the hat on, and feel where it is too big by checking with your finger at the front and side to see where the largest gaps are

                2. Take a square of newspaper or tissue paper about 10cm wide and roll it up using 2-3cm folds

                3. Place the rolled up paper carefully behind the headband at the position you noted needs 'filling out'

                4. You may need to adjust the amount of paper and its position in order to find the perfect fit

                5. Once perfectly adjusted, your hat will remain the perfect size forever

                6. For a bit of fun, you can use a memorable text, page from a book or a personal photo instead of plain old newspaper. Some men used to write their address on the paper in case they ever lost their hat it could be found.

                Hats with a ribbon headband - how to make them smaller

                When a hat has a ribbon headband these are normally not robust enough to support a rolled up piece of paper, like a trilby above. However you can still make the hat smaller with some basic needlework:

                1. Put the hat on, and feel where it is too big by checking with your finger at the front and side to see where the largest gaps are

                2. Once you've noted where it needs adjusting, you can simply make a small fold in the ribbon and stitch the fold with a few holding stitches using needle and thread.

                3. Sometimes its easier and more comfortable to make a series of small folds and stitch them rather than trying to one large fold. 

                4. You may want to carefully pin the tuck first before you actually stitch it and then try your hat on (without pricking yourself ideally) so you know its the right size before you change it permanently.

                5. One tip, don't sew a tuck at the front of the headband (where it would touch your forehead) because the folded ribbon may be inclined to leave a little mark on your head when you wear it, which may attract strange looks whenever you take off your hat in polite company...

                More techniques to come

                For each of these techniques, we will soon be adding short instruction videos so you can see exactly how its done. If you have any more tips for adjusting your hats, please email us on and we'll add them here and credit you. 


                And whilst you're reshaping your hat, why not read about the history of headwear..


                Help your fellow hat wearers and share more of your tips below. Thanks!

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