How to Resize My Fedora Hat

Updated February 21, 2017

The iconic image of Indiana Jones, the dashing and brave archaeologist from four films, features one particularly distinctive piece of clothing: the fedora. These felt hats have become staples for stylish men, conveying an attitude of independence and suaveness. A variety of retailers offer fedora hats, and some may even measure your head and create a hat based specifically for you. However, if your fashion statement seems a bit tight around the head, you can carefully resize the hat for a better fit.

Boil a tea kettle or a pot of water on your stove to create steam.

Hold the hat in the steam top-down so that you do not get the hat band wet. Be careful not to burn your hands on the steam. Hold the hat in the steam for 10 seconds and then remove it.

Firmly press the hat down over your head. The steam will make the felt pliable, and it will reshape to fit your head. Wear the hat until it dries.

Repeat the steaming process as necessary to stretch the hat to fit your head. You may need to perform the process multiple times if the hat is very tight on your head.


Professional hat shapers can use steam cleaners and other devices to resize a hat. If you have trouble with your hat or don't want to risk damage or shrinking, consult a professional hatter. Keep the hat on a hat stand, hook or hat mannequin to maintain its shape.


Never soak or saturate a fedora. Excessive water can cause discolouration, shrinkage and other problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Kettle or pot
  • Stove
  • Water
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About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.