Just pulled your brand new Stetson out of the box? Not quite sure how to put it all together? Here are a few tips to get you on the right track. Before you put your 37 pieces of flair on it, you might want to get it ready. You will soon be “breaking in” or “wetting down” your Stetson, and it might involve some form of liquid being poured into your brand new hat. Now, in the event that you are forced to drink this liquid, prepare for the inevitable.
Your hat has been dyed to give it color. If the hat gets wet, this dye will run, and it will not only make a mess, but it tastes pretty nasty too, regardless of how much alcohol is mixed with it. The solution is to rinse some of that dye out first. Simply get the hat wet…soaking wet. You will be shaping it later, and having a wet hat will help, but for now your primary goal is to wet the hat and let some of the dye drain out. You could bring it out in the rain or fill it in the sink. As the dye comes off, you will see a very dark and murky color of water come out of it. Once that water runs a little clearer, you are safe to set the hat off to the side and let it dry. If you want to start shaping it, be sure not to set it on a flat surface, or you will end up with a black drill sergeant’s hat! Here is an inexpensive hat stand for your Stetson.
The next step is to set your Stetson up with your hat cord and chin strap (or nape strap, since it will be worn on the nape of your neck). To save you some reading, I will give you the first step only. If you can’t figure it out from there, I have added some images that should help you out. Your hat actually comes with two straps, one is a headband, which will be replaced by your hat cord.
Take one end of your chin strap. It has a loop. You are going to remove that loop by pulling the leather off of the silver snap (unbutton it). Do not attempt to pull the silver snap apart, you could risk damaging the leather and it is not necessary. Once the loop is unbuttoned, you are on your way. Check out the images below:
Now that your stetson is clean and set up, you will want to shape it. Look for a video in the very near future!