How to fit an Akubra Hat
Author: Gracie Date Posted:11 July 2023
The Akubra is arguably Australia's most recognized hat - both here in Australia and around the world. Akubras aren’t just hats. They’re an investment in an Aussie icon that you’ll be wearing for many years to come, so I thought I’d share a few handy things I’ve learned on my own Akubra journey.
Fitting an Akubra
I’ll warn you in advance - fitting an Akubra correctly will initially feel completely wrong. Akubras are crafted in such a way that they adapt and conform to your unique head shape after a little wearing in. So you have to give them room to do that – which totally goes against the grain for most of us.
It works like this. The inner band of an Akubra is made from sheepskin which shrinks slightly with wear, and as it does, it conforms to the shape of your head. If you start with the size that feels ‘right’ and fits snuggly to your head, by the time it shrinks, it will feel too tight – and you just won’t like wearing it! In layman’s terms, find what you think is the perfect fit, then get the next size up. If it feels too loose initially, fold some plain tissues to tuck into the band, or some thin foam strips. This will give you a snug fit while you wear your hat in. An Akubra will feel stiff to start with, but as the leather is worn, it will soften and conform and become completely comfortable. If you’re not coming into Allingtons in person to have your hat fitted, check out the info and chart below.
To determine your Akubra size:
- Measure the circumference of your head - approx 12mm above the ears
- Keep the measuring tape level and firm above the eyebrow ridges to ensure an accurate measurement
- Check the size chart below:
Once you have established your size (which is relatively straight-forward compared to the next step) you need to choose a style. There are so many options with Akubras! Straight brim, curved brim, wide brim, narrow brim, low crown, high crown, creased crown, round crown, country style, western style, town style, farm style (or stile!)
Some of the differences are quite subtle on the shelf, but once you put them on, you'll notice they look significantly different. Check out the range here.
Caring for Your Akubra
Pick up a hat care kit when you buy your Akubra.
Never leave your hat in the car or in direct sunlight when it’s not being worn.
Don’t be tempted to force dry your hat if it’s wet - always let it dry naturally. If you force dry it, the inner leather band will shrink and it’s very difficult to stretch back to size!
Akubras are naturally water resistant, but I’d recommend using a clear water proof spray on your hat as soon as you get it – and at least annually after that. This will help ensure its water resistance and will also help to repel stains. Think of it as scotch-guarding your hat!
Don’t squeeze the front of your hat when you put it on. This can cause a sharp point which will be the first place to wear on your hat. Those old Akubras you see around with a hole at the front at the top of the crown? That’s how it got there!
When it’s not on your head, rest the hat upside down on its crown, or hang it on a hat peg. This prevents the brim from being flattened.
Crown & Brim Distortions
- If your hat brim is out of shape, steam the area until it is moist. Holding the Akubra over a kettle works well. The bent brim can be reshaped with your fingertips and any marks should disappear.
Cleaning your Akubra
- If your Akubra has dirt and/or grime, brush the hat in an anti-clockwise direction to remove it.
- If that fails, you can try rubbing the affected area with a paint thinner or dry-cleaning fluid. Car upholstery cleaner may also work well.
- Spray cleaner on and leave for 15-20 seconds then wipe off with a damp cloth.
- Any serious/stubborn marks should be cleaned by an authorised Akubra refurbisher only. Click here for a list.
Please note: These tips are a guide only. Always test an inconspicuous spot on your hat before applying any of these directions.