Exactly How To Stretch Your Hat, As Told By Hat Pros

Exactly How To Stretch Your Hat, As Told By Hat Pros

So- you’ve just received your new favorite hat in the mail, and you can’t wait to wear it out. You put it on and– oh no- it’s too tight! Don’t stress, because our hat pros have one simple trick that’ll stretch it to the perfect size in under a minute.

We’ve all been there- you’re shopping online for clothing or accessories that you simply can’t get in stores, you’ve checked and re-checked the size guide, and you’re 99% sure you’ve ordered the right size. But when it arrives, the fit is just a little too tight. 

This annoyance can turn into a real hassle once you factor in different return policies, shipping, and restocking fees (not to mention the time it takes to get the correct item delivered). Luckily, if the ill-fitting item is a hat, you might be able to solve the problem yourself. All you’ll need is your hat, your knee, and a little elbow grease.

How To Determine If Your Hat Can Be Stretched

First things first- make sure the hat you want to stretch is a good candidate. If your hat is so small it can’t even fit on your head, it’s probably too small to stretch out enough by hand. In this case, reach out to the company you purchased from and request a larger size. Hopefully, they’ll offer free returns (like us!).

If your hat fits on your head but it’s uncomfortably tight (you might notice this by a slight headache when wearing it or a red ring around your forehead when you remove your hat), keep reading.

This technique works best on hats made from natural and recycled materials, such as leather, cotton, raffia, recycled plastic, and wool. It’s very safe and will not damage your hat, but if you want to be extra sure, check with the manufacturer first!

Hat Stretching In One Simple Step

Ok- ready to get that hat in the right shape (for you)? Say goodbye to the fancy tricks and confusing steps you might find elsewhere. Stretching your hat is quite simple, and you don’t need any special tools to get it done. Read on (or watch this quick video) to find out just what to do:

Find The Front And Back

Pick up your hat and determine the front and back. Typically, the back of a hat has a seam on the hat band and will often also have a label. The front is directly opposite from the back and is usually seamless.

Place The Hat Around Your Knee

Now that you’ve got the front and back, stand up and bend one knee in front of you (if you’re struggling to balance, try setting the foot of your bent leg on a chair). Hold the back of the hat in between your hands and set the inside of the hat over your knee. 


Now- pull the hat towards your body. Keep pressure on the hat for a few seconds, then relax. Try your hat on and test the fit. If it’s still a bit too tight, rotate the hat so that the front is in between your hands, place it back over your knee, and stretch it again. Repeat this process as needed until you reach your desired fit.

If this technique doesn’t work for you, chances are that your hat is simply far too small for your head. In this case, request a larger size! If needed, you can use a hat insert if the next size up is a little too roomy. Here at Conner Hats, you’ll receive free inserts with any hat you purchase from us!

Tips For Measuring Your Hat Size

Want to avoid a hat-stretching issue in the future? Use these tips to find your perfect hat size every time.

  1. First, gather the tools you need! For the best results, use a soft measuring tape that you can fit around your head. If that’s not available, you can use a piece of string (make sure it’s not stretchy), and measure it against a tape measure.
  2. Wrap the measuring tape or string around your head about ½ inch above your ears. This is where your hat will typically sit, so make sure you’ve got the right distance. 
  3.  Check the length of the tape that you used. Now, you’ve got the circumference of your head! Compare this to the size of the chart of the company you are ordering from to find your perfect size.

How Do I Know If My Hat Is Fit Correctly?

Not sure if your hat needs a stretch? A well-fitting hat should fit snugly around your head about ½ inch above your ears. If your hat continually slips down your forehead or touches your ears, it's too large and should either be exchanged for a smaller size or sized down using hat inserts.

If your hat fits around your head in the correct spot, but you find yourself with a slight ache when you wear it, it’s too small. You can also tell that a hat is too small if it leaves a red mark on your forehead. Your hat should be snug enough to stay put when it’s windy, but not so tight that it’s causing you pain!

Ill-fitting hats aren’t just uncomfortable, they also tend to take away from your style! A too-big hat can cause you to look misshapen or messy, while a too-small hat can cause your face to look squeezed or swollen. If you can’t quite tell if your hat is the wrong size, ask a friend how it looks. They’ll be able to tell if it’s just right (or all wrong).

Still trying to figure out how your hat fits? Email us at customerservice@connerhats.com and we’ll get you the assistance you need. Our hat care experts are available 24/7, so you can feel confident about finding your perfect fit!

Ready to find your next favorite hat? Shop our collection of bestselling, handmade hats now!
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