Mike's Hat


Hello EVeryone,
Anyone know the brand and style of fedora Mike wore?

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A cool one

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Hey rardis,

As I recall, I think both Darin McGavin and Stacey Keach wore similar fedoras which really can take on a number of variations on the theme. Generally speaking, I think a fedora is a soft felt hat which is creased lengthwise on the crown and pinched on both sides running to the front. Having said that, I ruin that description by mentioning that I have a very standard looking fedora that is made of leather instead of felt and certainly is not soft - it is a Stetson brand. I also have two felt fedora styled hats with larger brims that are more like hats worn by workers in the 1940s. With the sides of the brims rolled fairly heavily, they fit in real well as cowboy hats in Tombstone, AZ.

I am sorry I cannot be more specific about styles of fedoras since there really were so many different styles made by what must have been more than a thousand manufacturers in the 40s and 50s. As far as what brand Mike Hammer may have worn, I have no idea, but I can always go with big names such as Stetson, Champ, and Dobbs.

During the late 50s and the 60s, I liked a felt dress hat with a lengthwise crease the length of the crown, no pinched sides, and a narrow 2 inch brim which could be worn with the whole brim up, or the whole brim down, or with the front of the brim down as I preferred. I still have four of this style hat: one each in brown, black, blue, and gray for different colored suits. I also have summer straw hats that are shaped pretty much like my felt dress hats just described.

My problem with my dress hats is that I never get dressed up any more. Since retiring in 1997, my usual idea of dressing up is to wear a new pair of jeans with good dark color. For less formal occasions, it is usually shorts. Not exactly the kind of clothes for dress hats.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

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I wish fedoras were still worn with suits. Those actors in the 40's and 50's looked so sauve and debonair with those hats; actors like Bogart, Stewart, George Reeves, Cary Grant, etc.

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Hey Larry,

Sinatra was another one of those guys who always made a hat look great.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

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Hey David,

You're right about Sinatra of course. How about Alan Ladd and Robert Mitchum.

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Hey Larry,

They sure did. Everyone wore hats up until the 60s, and I do not mean ball caps. Women also wore hats for dress at that same time, too. When I got married in 1964, I remember my wife had more hats than I, and each of her hats was in a seperate hat box. Once I saw how well her hat boxes kept her hats clean and protected, I went out and bought three hat boxes for myself. With her hats, they usually had flowers, feathers, or something else sticking out, and each hat had to have its own hat box, and it had to be the right size for the hat. With my hats, they were all pretty much the same size and shape, and I found I could put two or even three hats in one hat box, and they were all the same size.

I just thought of something else interesting about hats then and now. Think of it, you see guys wearing ball caps today, and the visor of the hat is likely to be pointing in any direction. Back in the days of the felt hat, you would never see someone wearing their hat backwards or sideways. Come to think of it, that is still true with Western hats - you still don't see cowboys wearing their hats backwards. Maybe it is something they use to make ball caps that affects the brains of some of the folks who wear them.

The whole backwards/sideways ball cap thing is just another thing I do not get about the world today. You have a hat with a visor to keep the sun out of your eyes, and what do you do, you turn the visor to the back of your head. Then again, maybe evolution has passed me by, and I just do not realize those folks also have eyes in the back of their heads. If that is the case, maybe I ought to invent a hat with a visor on the front as well as the back. Oh yeah, they already did that. It was called a fedora and had a visor all the way around the hat.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

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Hey David,

I also don't get this basbeball cap worn sideways thing. Do they realize how stupid that makes them look? I mean, if wearing your cap crooked is supposed to be cool, then that would make Gomer Pyle the original 'Mr. Cool'. Yes, speaking about your wife's hats, remember when women would also wear gloves, too? And people would get dressed up to go downtown, or to a movie. Nowadays, people hardly get dressed up to go to a funeral or a wedding reception. And don't get me started on the pants down around the butt thing.

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Hey Larry,

I forgot all about women wearing gloves - even when wearing summer dresses. I loved girls in summer dresses. It reminds me of a verse from a song about girls in their summer dresses:

"Tender arms, so smooth and slender;
Downy and brown from sunlit days;
Wrapped in evening silvery splendor;
Resting on tables in dim cafes."

That verse certainly does not reflect most of my youth, but it does reflect some of the nicest memories I have from some of the grandest days of my youth. I certainly did like having any excuse to wear a tuxedo - especially with a white jacket in the summer time. And the girls in their summer dresses and stylish gloves.

I do not, however, ever remember wearing a hat while wearing a tuxedo.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile




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Hey David,

Yes, somehow a fedora just doesn't go with a tuxedo. I remember Fred Astair wearing those top hats with the tuxedos the of the the 30's, the ones with tails.

I enjoyed that poem by the way. It really paints a picture, doesn't it. People used to dress up more, take more care with their appearance. I must confess, I don't get most of today's styles (or lack thereof). It does feel great to dress up in a suit now and again, as long as I don't have to wear a tie for too long. I never could figure out Ward Cleaver coming home from work and sitting around in his suit and tie. The minute I get home, the tie comes off and I slip into clothes that I can feel comfortable lounging around in.

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Thanks for the healthy laugh you gave me with this hilarious and prescient comment. I have this image of Jim Nabors ... "Goooollly Sarge, I'm makin' a fashion statement!" haha
I have images of Rita Hayworth and other lovely classic cinema beauties in gloves - nice.

My dad was of the era of hats and recall some vintage film noirish photos of him post WW2 wearing them.
This string has prompted me to dig up that old fedora of his somewhere in a hat box .... too bad classic hats aren't worn more these days.

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Hey borodinrodin,

Glad we could give you a little bit of entertainment. David and I have a long running repartee with each other on other boards as well. I have enjoyed our own thread of look-alikes, by the way.

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I thought McGavin's hat was more of a porkpie.

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dont know , but did you know that Stacy Keach was born with a cleft lip, harelip? Obviously thats why he had a mustache to cover it. The elder Mike Hammer Darren McGavin had no mustache so why didnt they go for another actor without that defect? Could the answer be that the real life Mike Hammer Jack Stang used to have a mustache? And did Mickey Spillane have a mustache in the 1963 motion picture? Obviously not? In a way a definite conclusion anyway must be that all three actors are portraying the real life police Jack Stang, right?

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