Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Custom Cowboy Hat Experience at Smithbilt Hats

One of the most exciting things during my visit to Alberta last month was getting a custom cowboy hat made, which would be handcrafted and molded to my head. The friendly folks at Smithbilt Hats had me come by their Calgary store to pick out and get fitted for an authentic cowboy hat that I will cherish forever.
Smithbilt has been an iconic cowboy hat maker since 1919 and originally produced the white hat during the 1940s which is a symbol for the spirit of Calgary. When Will & Kate were visiting Canada last year, the store presented them both with a custom-made white hat made of pure white rabbit fur and valued at over $5000. I was lucky to be in such great company!
Getting my head measured for a perfectly fit cowboy hat from Smithbilt Hats in Calgary (above). Going to be in town for Stampede? Smithbilt will have a pop-up store inside The CORE Shopping Centre (2nd floor) in downtown Calgary, where you can easily grab a cool hat for the festivities.

Here's how my fitting went! My floppy cowboy hat is first heated up and hand-shaped with a wooden mold that matches up to the size of my head. Then the rim of the hat is heated up in what looks like a waffle machine before it is also hand-shaped and then steamed off. 
After so much custom care, I will be keeping this a cowboy hat for the rest of my life. Hats are always stored upside-down as not to distort the shape of the rim and in a proper hat box to protect it from dust.
Howdy! My authentic Calgary cowboy hat fits just right. I'm ready for Stampede!
My final Modern Stampede look! Special thanks to Smithbilt Hats and The CORE Shopping Centre for providing me with such a unique experience. I wore my hat on the plane ride home to make sure it didn't get crushed! See MORE from my Modern Stampede makeover.

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