Herr Ken's advise is excellent.
I would just emphasize the point that it may be, is, best to combine two elements:
1. Use Period images for the "look" of Period hats. Then use quality makers as a source for the hat "base" or "foundation" to work/rework the "out of the box" "blank." The "style" should be reflective not only of the personal statement but also reflective of your persona's socio-economic class and occupation. And then make a personal statement by bending this, or punching in here or punching out there. Or at least teh minor random changes brought aobut by wearing such a spickng it up by one side of teh bron only tends to start to curl just that brimm up. Or pinching the front of the crown when picking it up, tends to put a "pinch" to the upper fornt. Or using it a pillow might dent in a random spot that is not perfectly placed or that does not look part of a hatmaker's shop steamed block. Etc., etc.
but the second is a bit harder, and that is..
2. Not all hats and hat "styles" work for you. Meaning, one's head size and shape, and one's face and features can really conflict with what a hat looks like in a picture or on the vendor's/maker's shelf. I do recommend checking them out at Sutler's Row if possible to see how a "blank" looks on your head.
My late pard had a weight problem as he aged, and ended up a wee bit rolly-polly, with round face, and slightly bulging eyes. There were some hats he tried on that really made him look comical if not both laughably and sadly bad.
I am reminded of one exception. Whether true or Texas Brigade Lore, the brigade had worn out its earlier hats, and could not get any replacements. So, they devised a stratregy. They gathered around a train that had slowed down, and made a commotion. As the civilians stuck their heads out of the windows to see what was going on, the Texans ran by with sticks knocking off and runing away with the "liberated" hats.
Search for the Perfect Hat Mess
Last edited by Curt Schmidt; 04-14-2012 at 12:39 PM.
In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt
-Hard and sharp as flint...secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
-Haplogroup R1b M343 (Subclade R1b1a2 M269)
-Pointless Folksy Wisdom Troll Mess, Oblio Lodge #1