“Custom,” says Gene Baldwin, “means ‘the way the customer wants it’.”
The only way to obtain a good-fitting custom hat is to have a good hat-fitting. And that is the only way Baldwin will take an order. If you live in Central Oregon, or will be visiting, call Baldwin for an appointment for your fitting at the shop.
For those who live outside the area, Baldwin will send a complete hat-ordering package. It contains easy instructions for the measuring tools and materials enclosed to get the right information. When you finish getting head measurements and making your choices, put everything back in the package and mail it back to Baldwin’s, remembering that this precise information will determine how your custom hat will fit. If you have any questions, just call for clarification. Postage is paid by the customer.
Some of Your Choices
Baldwin’s hats are made from fur felt. They are available in 100% beaver felt, 50/50 hare and beaver or 100% hare. Ask Baldwin about the advantages of each choice.
Many colors are available, from natural to bright to camouflage. Baldwin’s has the colors on hand at the shop, and a felt sampler is included in the box if you’re ordering by mail.
Last comes setting your style. Would you like a Gus crown, cattleman, Tom Horn or telescope? Perhaps a Gus with a mule kick in the back. What size and shape brim will match your chosen crown style and body size? You may even choose an over-sized brim, which is not an option at any price from the mainstream manufacturers. Even the traditional un-sanded styles of the 1800s are available where the finish is fuzzy rather than smooth. The choices are extensive, but Baldwin will guide you in this choice if you wish.
Baldwin also has stampede strings and a large selection of custom hat bands of leather, horsehair, snakeskin, with conchas, Indian bead work, porcupine quills or nearly anything else you can imagine. Custom-sewn beading on the brim and/or crown is the ultimate accessory to make your hat like none other.
After the hat is delivered, there is no breaking in process, no tweaking to make it right. The hat just fits like it grew there. Gone is the stuffing of foam or newspaper in the sweatband to get the fit you want. It just plain fits perfectly. And the big plus is that because it fits perfectly, it is much less likely to blow off in the wind.
The hat will become an extension of your personality, however you wish it to be. The process is completely painless other than the decision-making! Having complete freedom as to style, color and quality can be overwhelming, but the result is complete satisfaction.