As we're sure anyone who winces at the thought of a million Pete Doherty clones realises, there's plenty of badly made hats in the world. But what makes a good hat? Having been in existence since 1676, we assumed that Lock & Co would know a thing or two about a good hat so we spoke with Lock & Co's Nicholas Payne-Baader to lay down the ground rules.
1 When looking for a trilby or fedora, it should always be made out of fur felt rather than wool felt. Fur felt holds its shape better, is easier to clean and has a more appealing finish than wool felts.
2 Whether or not the hat is lined depends mostly on the purpose it is intended for and is not indicative of the quality.
3 Hats intended for city use tend to be fully lined with silk or, more commonly nowadays to be lined with viscose for better wear. These also tend to have a leather band on the inside of the hat where ones initials can be embossed.
4 Hats designed for outdoor use tend not to be lined and sometimes have a fabric band instead of a leather band which some customers find more comfortable. The best example of this is are racing felts, which are bought with the intention of being worn in the rain for long stretches of time.
5 With tweed caps, the quality of the tweed is obviously an important factor - better quality caps tend to be handmade and have been hand-stitched and hand- blocked. This means they can have a deeper back, decreasing the likelihood of the hat flying off at an inopportune moment.
6 Apart from all that, it's a matter of taste.