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BringBackTheVet

Low Crown 59Fifty question

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I got my first ever 59Fifty, it’s a low crown Phillies maroon alt cap with the new light-blue batterman on the back. I got it because the swirl P is actually very close to the one I had as a kid, rather than the “perfect” ones that most of the retro caps have. 

 

My my question is - do the poly 5950’s stretch? I ordered two, and 7-1/8 is just slightly tight, while 7-1/4 is perfect - but if it stretches it’ll be too big and unwearable.  I’m really pleased with the quality of the caps.  

 

Previous 5950 threads are locked so starting a new one. 

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It is nearly impossible to stretch out the modern, polyester 5950s. I miss the wool ones.  I've had success shrinking them by putting the hat in the oven (on a baking sheet, no, I'm not kidding) at 300 degrees for 5-7 minutes which shrinks the poly.  If anyone has a trick to stretch them I'd be happy to hear it too.

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I think they may run small.  I have a 7 3/8 that was a bit snug when I bought it.  When I try on that size in other hats, they are way too big.  I guess it's possible that mine was mis-sized.

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Low crown 5950s are the best, and now the only New Era caps I will buy. The poly ones won’t give much in the way of stretch. What you’ll find is that New Era sizing in general is very inconsistent. Whenever possible, I try to buy the caps in person, but that’s not always an option since low crowns are harder to find. I purchased both of the Braves spring caps in 7 3/8 online and one is dead on perfect and the other squeezes my noggin a bit. That’s just the game with New Era, unfortunately. But if you do get one that fits perfectly, the quality is great.

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New Era sizing is pretty inconsistent--whether low crown or standard, poly or wool, I can't say that the hats run too large or too small. For high crowns or slightly large hats, water and a blow dryer are my go-to tools.

 

When I get a hat that's slightly small, I've had a decent amount of luck either cutting the sweatband in a few places along the back and then hand stretching the hat--this works best for wool, but I've gotten results with poly as well. In more extreme cases, partially removing the sweat band using cosmetic scissors (only keeping the front part of the sweatband), then getting the hat wet and stretching can usually get me about 1/8 a size increase.

 

For illustration, here's a partially removed sweatband from a LC poly 5950:

Exb9Sr6.jpg

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7 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

cool - so basically, the one that fits perfect out of the box is the one I should keep.

Yes, if anything, I think they usually shrink up. If I buy a 59Fifty and then don't wear it for a while I notice it feels smaller. 

 

To answer your questions though I stretch my hats by putting the crown on my bent knee and slowly pulling on it. This pops some of the seams around the sweat band and will give you a little space. Be careful not to pull from the bill or else you can partially detach it.

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9 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

cool - so basically, the one that fits perfect out of the box is the one I should keep.

 

Correct.

 

I do high-crown 5950s but my collection ranges from too big to perfect to small enough to be unwearable, all in the same size (a range of materials, though). I've switched to snapbacks because of it.

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I'm in the same boat as almost everyone else. I have 5950's that are all the "same" size but vary quite a lot. I have a few that are unwearable because they are small, large ones, and ones that are perfect. One trick I've found for helping the fit (and can even be used to eliminate high crowns) is by heating up the inside with a blow dryer on high until it's almost too hot to touch and then putting it on while cupping it with your hands to your head, repeating the process as much as necessary. Basically you are just melting the polyester just enough to conform perfectly to your head. You just have to be careful because it can warp your hat if you get it too hot. It can be really uncomfortable to put a hot hat on your head but it goes away pretty quick and I find myself doing it with every cap I own now. Took an almost unwearable Cleveland Indians 5950 into one of my favorite hats.

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3 hours ago, Proc said:

It is nearly impossible to stretch out the modern, polyester 5950s. I miss the wool ones.  I've had success shrinking them by putting the hat in the oven (on a baking sheet, no, I'm not kidding) at 300 degrees for 5-7 minutes which shrinks the poly.  If anyone has a trick to stretch them I'd be happy to hear it too.

 

Vouching for this tip.  No more tucking my ears in certain fitteds!

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I have 1 low profile, 2-3930s, 5-5950. I have used a spary bottle of water then hair dryer to shrink hats. I'm 7 1/8 in new era but 7 1/4 in top of the world, zephyr college(I have 75), except zephyr nhl for some reason those run big and I'm 7 1/8(I have 33). I've also cut out the sweat band but hollowed it out so you can't tell. You cut just the non visible side and pull out the foam.

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2 hours ago, Mingjai said:

New Era sizing is pretty inconsistent--whether low crown or standard, poly or wool, I can't say that the hats run too large or too small. For high crowns or slightly large hats, water and a blow dryer are my go-to tools.

 

When I get a hat that's slightly small, I've had a decent amount of luck either cutting the sweatband in a few places along the back and then hand stretching the hat--this works best for wool, but I've gotten results with poly as well. In more extreme cases, partially removing the sweat band using cosmetic scissors (only keeping the front part of the sweatband), then getting the hat wet and stretching can usually get me about 1/8 a size increase.

 

For illustration, here's a partially removed sweatband from a LC poly 5950:

Exb9Sr6.jpg

 

I'm probably asking dumb question here...but does it feel it a little bit unnatural with the back like that? Any discomfort?

 

I need to make some room in a really tight TBTC low profile, and just want to make sure it remains structurally sound. 

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1 hour ago, WSU151 said:

 

I'm probably asking dumb question here...but does it feel it a little bit unnatural with the back like that? Any discomfort?

 

I need to make some room in a really tight TBTC low profile, and just want to make sure it remains structurally sound. 

 

Given New Era's shotgun approach to sizing, I've actually done this with several of my caps and haven't noticed any discomfort directly related to the missing strip of sweatband--but then I never wear my hats backwards. I usually leave the tag on, though I don't have any real reason to do it other than established practice.

 

In terms of structural soundness, so far I haven't had any issue there, and I've applied a decent amount of force when stretching the hats after the sweatband removal.

 

You might be better off experimenting first with a tight hat that is easily replaceable. 

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I’ve got a pretty sizeable and ever expanding collection of 5950s. They’re easily my favourite hat. I never ever order them online though. The sizing is way too inconsistent. I only ever buy if I can find it in person, because I’ve seen hats a size up that are too small and a size down that are too loose. Even if they fit properly sometimes they just look weird how they end up sitting on your head after you bend the brim. The wool ones are notorious for this, and if you wear them even once in the rain they tend to warp into weird shapes. That’s why unless wool is my only option I always try to look for polyester.

 

Also if you’re trying them on in store, bend the brim (please don’t be one of those flat brim people, and for God’s sake take the stickers off). Bending the brim will alter how it sits on your head, loosening it a little. If the store doesn’t let you bend the brim, push the corners of the cap where it meets the brim at your temple towards your head and it will give you a rough approximation. When I get home I like to wrap the brim around a travel coffee mug or a baseball bat or something similar and keep it there with an elastic band overnight so it molds into shape.

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11 hours ago, WSU151 said:

 

I'm probably asking dumb question here...but does it feel it a little bit unnatural with the back like that? Any discomfort?

 

I need to make some room in a really tight TBTC low profile, and just want to make sure it remains structurally sound. 

it doesnt feel weird if you cut where the seam is in the back, turn the sweatband inside out, cut the sweatband on just the side that folds back to the hat and pull the foam out. It will feel close to what it does w the foam in, just far less pressure on your head

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Yeah you’re basically never going to permanently stretch out the current polyester 59Fiftys. The only way I’ve ever been able to do it is by using a special tool called a hat blocker. It’s basically a large metal head that has plates in it that expand using hydraulics and steam. I’ve never seen one for sale though and I’d imagine they’re really expensive. New Era stores used to have them, but those are few and far in between, and I think most places that are left have ditched them because they’re all pretty old. 

spacer.png

 

Ive also used another tool called the Hat Jack to varying degrees of success. It works, but in order to stretch it out for good, you basically have to leave a hat on it for several months.

spacer.png

 

 

In conclusion, always err on the side of too big. You can always find ways to shrink a polyester cap a bit (you can legit toss them in an oven if you have to). If you want to go the other way, though? It’s gonna take more time and money than it’s probably worth to you unless your a really avid hat collector. 

 

 

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@Bucfan56

I feel you're missing one key element to the hat jack. Slightly dampen the outer sweatband. I have increased caps successfully this way. 

 

You basically stretch it one time without water, to the caps limits. And then dampen the edges, and you'll get a few extra turns on the turnbuckle. Then you let it sit in it as it dries up. Or just wear it and do the process again. I have yet to have a cap totally shrink up back it it's original state. Some caps I stretch out more than normal so they're initially too big and they shrink up nicely. 

 

Recently a few hat club caps have arrived that are way too big. I've found a product called hat reducer. It's basically a roll of foam weatherstripping. That's a bit costly if you have a few dozen caps that need work. So I went to Walmart, bought a 24x48 inch sheet of extra thick felt material. And then depending on how big the cap is, you can cut and place on strip of material under the sweatband. Maybe a double layer. Or maybe you just need a slight bump in the forehead area and you place six inches worth around the front sweatband. Use a fabric measuring tape to get the perfect diameter size. 

 

Just one cautionary thing about new eras, USA made or not, some of their caps are built pretty harshly in the forehead area. Sometimes I take off my hat and have red bumps on my forehead. There is nothing you can really do about that. Something in the way that it's constructed makes it do that. I can have a hat that's too big still be uncomfortable. So it's best to try one on and really test it around a store. 

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8 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

Flip Flop Fly Ball has this helpful step-by-step:

 

spacer.png

LOL I always remove the sticker on the top of the brim, but usually leave the hologram sticker (or stickers in the case of my WS Dodgers caps) on the bottom

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