Men's hats are made from the fur of beasts. Normally rabbit, or beaver or some other fur-bearing animal. This fur is made into felt and is fashioned into hats. The quality of the fur, and the quality of the felt is graded in Xs. The more Xs, the better the quality of the hat.
When I was a kid, our Sheriff's deputies wore a hat described as a "Silver Belly, 3X Stetson", a classic cowboy hat with a cattleman's brim. Of course, today, Stetson isn't Stetson. Neither is Resistol. Once pround stand-alone companies, they're both owned by Hatco, out of Garland, TX.
Regardless, a good hat is a joy, and I had wanted a Silver Belly hat for a while. Today, we walked into Boot Barn, a big retailer with a box store across the river. Blue Eyed Belle was looking for a pair of boots for Zach. It seems that 14 year old boys outgrow boots, and his toes were curling under. Grandma decided the boy needed new boots, so I tagged along.
I"ve got a big old round head, and I was looking at hats, so the gal asked me what I was looking for.
"A Silver Belly, about a 5X in a 7 1/2 or 7 5/8" I replied. Normally, they'll dig around, look at a bunch of hats, then tell me that they don't have any in stock. It keeps me from buying hats, if they don't have what I'm looking for in stock.
I was considerably surprised when the gal, Peggy, came out with a hat that met my specs. It is marked as a Cody James hat, a house brand of Boot Barn, but a quick comparison showed that it's probably made by Hatco. So, I put it on, and it fit.
So, the old man finally has a Silver Belly hat. I think it looks good, and I've got a piece of large hat sabers from Cav-Hooah to put on it.
Oh! Did I mention that Zach was looking for boots? About the time that Peggy found my hat, I wandered back to the boot racks and Zach had picked out a pair of boots.