Sunday, August 7, 2011

Life's Better In A Great Hat #TLLBLND

Life IS better in a great hat.  Take a fashion tip from Johnny Depp who is frequently pictured wearing a custom hat from his own personal collection made by our friend Graham Thompson in Chicago. He opened OPTIMO in 1995 after college at the age of 22. Graham purchased traditional gentleman's hatmaking machinery from his old friend Johnny Tyus and studied age old methods of quality hatmaking; a personal passion Graham held since he was a boy.  By the way, Graham taught me never, ever, EVER hold a hat by its crown like in the movies, you will destroy a beautiful handmade piece, handle by the brim only. Graham continues to travel the world purchasing equipment and learning old world techniques that are evident in OPTIMO's wide collection.  Hands down and hats off OPTIMO is the best hat maker in the world today.
Graham's biography in his own words, click PLAY VIDEO on page

Click on this link for the full article written by Chicago Magazine Spring 2009.  'Head For Business'
How to measure your head for the proper hat size:  Hold one end of a tape measure at the center of your forehead and wrap around just above your ears, where you wish the hat to rest.  Conversion chart:
Thank you Graham, Sean and I still wear our fabulous Fedoras made by you; most recently worn to 'Bourbon and Branch'', an original San Francisco Speak-easy along with our friends Ian, Kevin, Carissa and Erin.
POST SCRIPT- In honor of the 'Windy City', here are the ingredients to make a classic Chicago Hot Dog:  Beef dog, neon green relish, classic yellow mustard, pickle spear,white onion-chopped, tomato wedges, sport peppers, celery salt-MUST HAVE, all stuffed in a poppy seed bun.
 What hats do you wear, summer, winter ??


  1. Nice article!
    I love to wear my Fina-Fina Panama Hat in the summer. In the Fall I prefer my brown Optimo Fedora. Wearing a hat takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it you will feel naked without it.

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE HATS! As you know I wear all kinds of hats and live for the weekend to wear them! Great article and thanks for the handy sizing chart.

  3. I love hats. My first hat was a Davy Crockett fur hat with a tail I got at Disneyland, along with a fake black powder rifle. I remember waking up after wearing the hat all night, and my mother told me that Eisenhower had been elected as president. I don’t think there was a connection.
    My next hat was purchased at Disneyland also-Mouse Ears. Moving on....
    You have seen those engineer hats? I wore mine while controlling my American Flyer train set.
    No hats during High School-I wasn’t a jock anyway.
    Then it happened, my first adult hat-I joined the Navy and got a Dixie Cap. Now the theory and design of the hat were all focused on safety. If a sailor falls in the water wearing the hat, it can easily be turned inside out and pulled over the water to create a air bubble. Now you have a flotation device.
    The Navy also issued baseball caps. These caps are I believe the most useful hat of all time. They cover my bald spot and shade my eyes. They are also great for showing identity, locale, age, sex, advertising-you name it. Some are of outstanding quality and more are made pretty cheap. I must have sixty five or more.
    What hat did Frank Sinatra wear? Why the Fedora of course. A fantastic hat that lost popularity I thing because the overhead in cars got gradually lower at time went by.
    Now in the September of my years I have found the perfect hat to wear in the Summer and Winter-the Indiana Jones Fedora-all brown wool felt. Lee

  4. Frank Sinatra wore a few different styles but best known for the classic fedora.

  5. PLEASE, No Hat Wearing at the Dining Table! (article)

  6. My way-cool office mate Lee brought in a baseball cap with 2 LED lights under the brim to use when walking the dog at night. It comes complete with a battery back to change as needed.



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