How to Roll a Felt Hat

February 25th, 2014


I love wearing classic brimmed hats, but I always run into problems with storage.

As proper etiquette goes, a gentleman is supposed to remove his hat upon entering an establishment…but where are you supposed to store it? Very few places offer hat check (like restaurants, bars, theaters, etc. did back when men wouldn’t leave the house without one). So you’re stuck holding it. And if you’re carrying a typical Fedora or Trilby, it’s relatively high maintenance. It can’t be folded, rolled or crushed in any way, because then it will require professional re-shaping and steaming.

This is why I wear my “crushable” Borsalino more than any other hat in my collection. I paid a little more for it, but it was totally worth it. Like a good casual blazer, it’s soft and unstructured. It’s made from one thin layer of high-quality fur felt, with no lining or stiffener, just a flexible leather sweatband on the inside. This might not seem like an important detail, but it allows me to roll my hat and stick it in my pocket, which makes all the difference when stepping inside (or traveling).

Here’s how to properly roll a crushable hat.


1. Remove Hat


2. Smooth-out the pinch in the crown, making it nice and round.


3. Fold the crown in half, across the top of the hat from front to back.


4. Start from one side and begin rolling.


5. Boom. Hat is now serviette size.


6. Store hat in pocket (or bag, or suitcase, etc).


7. Continue living, without having to worry about where to place your delicate hat.


…When it’s time to put the hat back on, simply unroll it and reshape the pinch in the crown. Then straighten out the brim to desired angle.

The other beauty of a soft crushable hat, is that you can easily mold the brim to any desired shape. For example, I’ve worn this same hat with both a straight brim and a “floppy” brim (which creates an entirely different look).





Thanks for reading.

Yours in style,

Articles of Style


Photography by Alex Crawford

  • Dan

    Thank you for this information. I have a Tilley hat that I want to pack.

  • darthrex354

    Watching him fold that hat causes me physical pain. I know it’s supposed to do that but it just makes me squirm.

  • Unseen Flirtations

    I love how Dan’s style problems are about half a season ahead of so many others. Walking around London, I still see people struggling with ‘what length should I wear my tie?’ *shakes head, puts hands on hips, sighs deeply, brushes lint off waistcoat*

  • Jon Hester

    Man, you have swag to spare. I hope I can find a hat as cool as that one.

  • Miguel

    Excellent post, I usually wear Fedoras and struggle holding it when I sit down to eat, I think I’m going to have to invest in something like this, thanks Dan.

    • Robert

      Seriously, where else could a hat go without being in the way?

      • Miguel

        Well if you always wear Fedoras and other hats you’ll know what I mean, in the car, at church, someone’s house…

        • Robert

          I do, it stays on my head, in a car, on the passenger seat, at church, on my jacket which is laid next to me (or in the car, on that passenger seat), at someone’s house is a bit trickier, there really aren’t any places to put a hat in a house. hmmm let me think about that one.
          I never knew a hat could be so troubling to some????

          • Dan Trepanier

            I don’t understand the sarcasm… Admittedly, this is more of a problem for those of us who live in places where space is at a premium. At my favorite NYC restaurant, for example, my hat is as big as the table.

            Thx for reading.

            • BossHog

              Now you’ve done it tough guy. Just what is your favourite restaurant in NYC? (I’ll wear my fedora there in your honour.)

              • Dan Trepanier

                Cafe Mogador. Go for brunch. Great people watching in the East Village.

                • BossHog

                  That’s walking distance! Man, NYC has so many hidden treasures. Thanks brother. (And great post!)

            • Robert

              Sarcasm is simply for those that comment as if you discovered the cure for Polio, ps: doctors are still mad about that.

  • Jorge B.

    How convenient you should post this today, I just decided this morning that I was going to rock a classic brimmed hat. Found a hat store on my commute to school that I’m stopping by after class, so I’ll be on the lookout for one of these beauties. Thanks Dan!

    • Dan Trepanier

      Awesome. Make sure to talk to the owner about “crushability”, storage, maintenance, etc. Cheers Jorge.