Hats 101

Anatomy of a Peter Grimm Hat


The anatomy of a hat is simple, easy to understand, and will help you to determine the right hat to accentuate your True Character.


This is our favorite part of the anatomy. It is simply the “dent” that is placed in the crown. The shape of a bash, or it’s absence, defines the crown type.


The Crown is very important. While most people just think it’s the part that covers your head, the actual profile, sizing, and crush of the crown become paramount to your look. There are several crown types available through Peter Grimm Ltd. Brands

  • - Teardrop/C-Crown: The teardrop shape to the bash identifies The Teardrop crown. This crown also has a pinch up front.

  • - Center Dent: A dent down the center of the top of the crown is called a Center Dent. This dent can be accompanied by a pinch either in the front or on either side.

  • - Diamond: The Diamond crown is identifiable by the “diamond” shape in the bash. This particular crown tends to be a bit loose around the top of the head, allowing for some space and airflow. It is commonly found in Fedoras.

  • - Oval/Round: A complete circular (oval) bash in the crown that appears to have been popped back up in the center is called an Oval crown. This crown is often found on gamblers and pork pie fedoras.

  • - Flat Top: The Flat top crown is probably the easiest to identify, due to the flat top finish to the hat. The flat top is most common on “gentleman” styles of hats, such as top hats, but is also used in pork pies, fez’s and a few old-west wide-brim styles.

Crown Profile

The crown profile is generally referred to as “High” or “Low”, but no exact nor specific measurement is applied to the definition, as it wholly depends upon the height of the wearer’s head. A hat with a crown that fits the head of someone with a high forehead would be considered a high profile for someone with a shorter forehead.


The pinch is a pair of dents, normally symmetric, that is applied to either side of the hat, normally perpendicular to the bash. The placement of the pinch changes the crown shape and fit.


The break is the point at which the brim is attached to, or formed away from, the bottom of the crown.


The brim is the flap of fabric attached to, or formed away from, the bottom of the crown. Some hats do not have brims, such as the Fez, but this is more commonly an exception. The width of a brim is important not only to style, but also


The band is normally a belt, made of fabric, leather, or a synthetic material, that encircles the crown. Its purpose is two-fold: first, to provide added structure and second, to provide decoration. It can also assist in reducing the perceived height of the profile.


The Roll refers to the specific to our Drifter style and most “cowboy” hats. Most Peter Grimm Drifters feature a “Tight Roll” as used by many musicians as a “Rocker” style. Characters who need more sun protection or favor a traditional “Cowboy” or “Western” style use a “Loose Roll” more.


The Dip refers to the depth at which the brim is pulled down


A decoration is often applied to the band. In most cases, there is a bow or buckle. Peter Grimm also uses a bow with pin combination.


Often, a liner is included in the inside crown of the hat. In the case of most straw or toyo hats, the liner is not included in order to allow for air-flow.

Inner Band/Sweatband

The inner band or sweatband is placed in the hat to provide comfort to the wearer and to protect the hat from excessive moisture.

Peter Grimm Elasti-Fit

Most Peter Grimm, Ltd. hats come with the Peter Grimm Elasti-Fit: An extremely comfortable elastic sweatband that also allows for multi-sizing (small-medium, large-extra large).

The Peter Grimm Grommet

A hotly debated feature of nearly every Peter Grimm™ hat is the Peter Grimm Grommet. This is placed in the brim, on the rear, right side (as worn) and is a feature specific to Peter Grimm™ hats. Does it have a purpose? Does it need a purpose? We’ll let you decide.

Types of Peter Grimm Hats

The Lifeguard

The “Lifeguard” was first designed and marketed by Peter Grimm, Ltd. in the late 1980’s. Peter Grimm has made it for Quiksilver, Billabong, and Rip Curl to name a few. The surf industry may have made this hat famous, but the pure functionality of its wide brim and comfort fit has made it popular. It is the perfect sun protection hat for doing anything in the sun.


Peter Grimm first developed the “Drifter” style for the Surf Industry. The shape is loved by musicians and surfers alike and has also become a staple in clubs. Peter Grimm has the largest selection of Drifter styles in the headwear industry. There is wire in the brim so that you can fashion and shape it as desired… simple, all-American cool factor, and a trend that never seems to fade.

Many celebrities have been seen in the Peter Grimm Drifters and most certainly rock stars, as well. Fashioned elaborately or simply, the Peter Grimm line of Drifters include special features, such as the “Private Pocket” in the crown of the hat, or the “G-clip” that allows you to hang your hat anywhere.


A fedora is a hat that is creased lengthwise down the crown and pinched in the front on both sides. The creasing does not define the hat, however. Fedoras can also be creased with teardrop crowns, diamond crowns, center dents, and the positioning of pinches can vary if they are found at all. The brim goes all the way around the crown and can be left raw edge, finished with a sewn overwelt or underwelt, bound with grosgrain ribbon, or finished with a self-felted cavanagh edge.


The Gambler is a wide brimmed hat with a flat or round crown. Made popular by several films and television shows about pre-civil war society. The Peter Grimm Gambler shapes are made in straws and sea grass and are the exact shape of hat that Greg Norman likes to wear on the golf course. They also contain wire in the brim to give them an extra curl in the front, like Greg wears his.

Drivers/Flat Cap

A driver hat is a round, soft cap with a small brim in front and a somewhat stiff peak in the back. The material is usually wool, tweed, or cotton.


This military style cap comes in a vast selection of colors and materials including, tweed, herringbone, rip-stop, wool, and cotton. They are inspired by original military army hats with a crown, band and peak (also called a visor). Because of their comfort and durability, they are a great choice for indoor and outdoor work of all kind, and either have sweatbands or adjustable back enclosures.


A beanie is a soft, close-fitting hat which is usually made of wool, synthetic material, or fleece. They are worn low on the head, covering the forehead, and can be pulled down over the ears as well. There are two main varieties of beanies, those that hug the top of the head, and those that leave the top couple of inches of the hat unstretched on top of the head. These hats protect the head and ears from cold and wind chill, or are worn as a fashion item. They are also called woollen or wooly hats, or bobble hats if they are topped with a pompom.


A bomber hat is a cap with large ear-flaps, a chin strap and, often, a short brim that is commonly turned up at the front to show the lining (often fleece or fur). It may be made of other materials, such as felt, cotton, and polyester.

Peruvian Beanie/Earflap Knits

Styled after the Alpaca wool hats of the Andes, Nepal Peruvian hats are classically a wool blended mixture of wool and acrylic and feature ear flaps for added warmth. Peruvian hats resist even the bitter winds of the Sierra with the two ear flaps that provide the full coverage you need to maintain ever-important head warmth during winter and the Peruvian hat tassles will prevent it taking flight in even the most arctic of winds.


A visor is a crown-less hat with only a brim, normally extending forward only, although there are many popular styles that continue around the head, tapering as they go.

Fit is more about what looks/feels right than actual measurements. Some characters like a bigger hat, for comfort, and some like something good and tight. Still others will accept a pinch to the skull for just the right image in the mirror.

Some general “mirror” statements have been made of late, based on shape of face. Ultimately, you decide what best accentuates your true character. That said, here are some generally accepted guides :

  • Long/Slender Face: The best hat for a long, slender face would be anything with a low profile. A Driver or Pork Pie Fedora – even a gambler style or visor would do well. A wide brim can also add charm to your character.

  • Short Face: A short face allows the character to use a lot of vertical space. Wear a high profile crown, or a tapered crown help to create the illusion of a more elongated façade. A stingy (narrow) brim is best, so as not to overshadow your features.

  • Square Face: Let’s face it: you’ve got a nice jaw! When looking at hats, you want to round your look out. Look for crowns in your hats that are more round than square. The profile of your crown can also help out – choose a profile that is no higher than ½ the height of your head (from chin to crown). Some “experts” would tell you to wear a wider brim, but the fact is you can get away with a stingy (narrow) brim as well – it all depends on that crown.

  • Round Face: Soft lines are beautiful. Accentuate those lines with a hat that takes on a few more angles. A crown with a square look to it should do nice. You can also wear a wider brim – not too wide, unless you’re avoiding the sun, but around 2 ½ inches out from the break should look nice. Try to stick to bands that are less than 1” in width.

  • Small Face: "Cute as a button" – you’ve heard it your whole life. Don’t disappoint with a big floppy brim, stick to narrow brims, close-fitting beanies, buckets and cloches. Not many people can wear these styles, so take advantage!

Hat Care

One rule is nearly universal: don’t submerge your hat in water! Most hats use sizing of some sort to maintain the shape of the hat. Felts and technical materials allow for use in the rain, but, unless you’re wearing a floppy hat without any structure whatsoever, a bath is going to destroy your once beautiful hat.

The best way to care for your hat is by spot cleaning it with a warm damp cloth. Don’t use any harsh cleaning chemicals that could ultimately damage the quality of the hat (unless you’re into that – distressed is a VERY cool look). Allow your hat to air dry in the shade, do not use a dryer or leave it in the sun on a really hot day, as you’ll likely end up with a very different shape to your hat.

To extend the life of your hat, handle it only by the brim. Yes, the brim. The pinch of your hat is not a handle – that’s what the brim is for. The brim is designed to be handled.

There are several types of straws used. Peter Grimm only accepts the highest quality of straws, grown by responsible farmers.

  • Morocca: Morocca Straw is a wide-grade straw and is a common material used in staw hats made in Mexico. The Morocca name comes from Mexico as well and is a staple in the Peter Grimm line. This straw dries quickly and allows for a great deal of distressing if desired.

  • Peanut: This is also a wide-grade straw. No, it’s not from actual peanuts. In fact, we have no idea where the name came from. This straw holds up to more contact and shaping than other straws and does not dry out as quickly.

  • Raffia: Raffia is actually a genus of palms, the leaves of which can be stripped down into individual fibers and woven together.

Featured Hats :



  • Toyo: Toyo is a shiny smooth straw made primarily of shellacked rice paper and used in manufacturing hats. Peter Grimm takes great pride in using Toyo in several of our Spring and Summer styles. We use two primary styles of Toyo:

  • Straight: The Depp (Fedora)

  • Twisted: Clementine (Women’s Resort)

  • Felt: Felt is a non-woven cloth produced by the process of matting, rather than weaving. Most felts come from animal wool or fur, but acrylic fibers are now used widely as well.

Lifeguard Hat 1980’s: Peter Grimm was founded on innovation. Peter Niedermeyer took a tired, beat up, straw hat, dressed it up, changed the way it was formed, added new trims and created an entirely new style of hat: the Lifeguard hat. We at Peter Grimm have cultivated this culture of innovation throughout the last 27 years and will continue to push the boundaries, driving and leading the headwear industry.

The Drifter 1990’s: The Drifter was introduced to the Peter Grimm line in the mid 1990’s, after a large Surf company requested the style for their private label order.

Elasti-Fit Bands 1990’s: Peter Grimm introduced Elasti-Fit bands to our Drifters in the late 1990’s. The increased comfort and size versatility were an instant hit and Peter Grimm began using the bands in all of our Drifters.

Wire Brims 1990’s: Drifters require a wire woven into the edge of the brim in order to achieve the roll. After witnessing the strength and durability achieved with the wire, Peter Niedermeyer made the decision to integrate the feature into our Lifeguard hats as well. Within 2 years, our competitors followed suite.