Well, all I can say is what a challenge. I've made quite a few TV and film replica hats including Johnny Ringo's hat from Tombstone, Elsa's hat from 1883 and quite a few other obscure Western cinema head pieces but this hat was a BEAST to tackle! This hat took me about as long to make as it did for Ethan Edwards to find Debbie (movie reference, spoiler alert). Why? I'll tell ya why ... First of all, the hat takes on many changes throughout the film. It starts with Ethan (John Wayne) wearing the iconic silver hat band (more on this tidbit later) and when we get to the Winter scene the silver band is gone. Then at one point there's a straw sombrero, then back to the black hat ... AND, there are just no good, detailed close-ups of the Duke's hat in this film. 

I sat down to watch the film and with all the pausing and rewinding and zooming in, I made this film about 3 hours long. Here are some of the details I noticed. 

I had no idea this hat had a stampede string until a scene where Ethan reaches down to pick his hat up off the ground and you can see the long string dangling from underneath. Another scene later on you can see it hanging out of the back. John must have preferred it tucked under his crown for most of the film. I also noticed the double leather cord in front of the crown and single in the back which is a part of the wrapping style around the crown before it exits through the brim to complete the stampede strap.

Upon further investigation I noticed the silver band was over top of a black grossgrain band. There are actually more layers to this hat than one may notice at first glance. 

The pinch in the front is slightly crooked too, created the two dents in the front of the crown. Fortunately there was a great shot of the top of the hat where I could replicate the overall shape of it.

NOW, the silver band! This band is perhaps the hardest thing to replicate and the Duke wore it in many films unless he had multiple? There are markings on the side which are impossible to make out? This was frustrating as I like to be as exact as possible. I studied many pics and still shots and just couldn't lock down that design. However! I'm happy with the way it came out and I think I need a break from attempting it again for a while. I noticed the hat in the film was fairly limber, when the wind would blow it would lift up pretty far. I've made this hat out of a much heavier, more durable fur. This particular one is 210g Western weight, Beaver / Rabbit blend and has a great weight and feel to it. Oh, and the silver band is just some silver leather I managed to find. I made a great trade for this hat! A replica Doc Holliday cross draw rig from the movie. "Tombstone". Thanks to John Holliday over at hollywoodwesternwardrobe.com for the challenge. I think I hate you though. Just kiddin' pard, keep the Western alive!