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"THE MAN WITH THE HAT IS BACK . . ."

"The man turned to Indy and gave him a look of respect. 'You lost today, kid, but that doesn't mean you have to like it.' He held his hat by the crown and slowly, almost as though he were performing an initiation ceremony, placed it on Indiana's head."
-from the "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" storybook by Anne Digby

If nothin' says lovin' like fresh Tollhouse cookies, then nothin' says 'Indiana Jones' like his classic, wide-brimmed fedora. You could wear a New York Yankees cap every day for twenty years without ever being called 'Babe Ruth'. You could sport an Australian Outback hat for days before getting any 'Crocodile Dundee' comments. But you wouldn't last five minutes out in public wearing a brown fedora without hearing at least one "Hey Indy!". Not since Humphrey Bogart's Rick Blaine in "Casablanca" has one character been so associated with a hat.

Since the character of Indiana Jones was created as a throwback to the heroes of the Saturday Morning serials from the '30s and '40s, a signature piece of headgear was a must. Like 'Zorro' and 'The Lone Ranger' before him, Indy would don a hat that the audience would soon come to identify him with. And like these characters, Indy would seldom, if ever, lose his hat during an action sequence.

While we're led to believe that Indy wore the same hat on all his adventures, the reality is that dozens of different hats were used during each film alone. Despite being made by the same company, the hats changed slightly in appearance from movie to movie. In "Raiders of the Lost Ark", Indy's hat has a tall, untapered crown. But as the trilogy unfolds, his hat gets shorter and shorter, while tapering at will.

The hats worn by Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones reportedly came from The Herbert Johnson Hat Shop in London, England. Although Herbert Johnson offers their 'Indiana Jones' fedora for public purchase, it's not quite "exactly" what was seen on screen, and it's rumored that Herbert Johnson's supplier has changed since the release of the film(s).

A good version of the "Last Crusade" hat is said to be the Indiana Miller from Miller Hats. This hat can be purchased either "bashed" or "open-crowned". The bashed hat is already shaped for you, and looks very much like the "Last Crusade" hat out of the box, while the open-crowned hat must be shaped by you, which gives you more control over how it will ultimately look.

HatsDirect, out of Australia, gives us another open-crowned option called the Akubra Federation. With a few minor ribbon and brim alterations, this sixty-dollar fedora can easily become one of the very best replicas of Indy's hat from "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

Recently, HatsDirect added an "upgraded" version of the Federation to their line, called the Federation Deluxe. The color of the felt and ribbon are much closer to that of the movie hats and comes with a dimensionally cut brim, so all you have to do is shape the crown.

 


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