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Being a Sneaky Santa - Super Spy Hat Sizing For Gift Giving

OK - so now's the time to get down to business. You, being a hatwearer, naturally want everyone else wearing hats, too. Or, you have taken on the difficult task of getting a hat for someone else, and obviously it has to be a surprise.

So, if you prefer giving a hat to giving a Gift Certificate, how do you do it? How do you buy a hat for them that fits? Fortunately, you don't have to have 10 years experience in the FBI to get the hat size of a friend or spouse without spoiling the surprise. It does take a little snooping around however, and, like all spy work, you should only deal with people you trust (like this writer, of course!)

First: What NOT to do is to attempt to get their hat size by putting measuring tape around their head while they are sleeping. This may result in a spoiled gift idea. (Not to mention they would be slightly creeped out, to say the least.)

However, doing some night time "research" is a very good idea. While they are sleeping, or when they are out of the house, poke around in the closets and see if they have any hats laying around. Look at the size inside. Is it "7 1/2"? "Large"? "59"? Note it down, and what type of hat it was and the hat brand. Try to get a few "size samples" for your research, as hat sizes very somewhat between brands.

Even if they only have an adjustable-size baseball cap, or a hat with no size tag inside, you can use that too. Take a string, and get the distance around the inside of the hat. Then, measure the string in inches. This is roughly how big their head is. (Use this as a last resort, as it can be tough to do.)

Next, take your list and look at an online Hat-Sizing Chart and find what size they are. You can find a hat sizing chart using Google, and you'll also find a link to one in the resource box below. A good size chart will help you "convert" between the different types of hat sizes.

Now, in the Online Catalog of your preferred hat store, Find the hat you want to get as a gift, and then if you need to, use the chart to convert between the various hat size types. Just a note on the types of hat sizes: Sizes like "7 1/2", "7 3/4" are US Sizes, "Large", "X-Large", and so on are called General Sizes, and sizes like "56", "58", "62" are Metric sizes, based on centimeters - European hats mostly use this type.

Don't forget - if you are still stumped, just call your local online hat store. Some offer special Returns & Exchanges policies only for the holidays, so if you don't get it just right the first time, they can help you do so after the fact.

Well, there you go. With that, you should have all you need to go out and get their hat size. Have fun, and remember - a super-spy doesn't get caught!

Happy Holidays!
Ernest DelMonico