Frequently Asked Questions

Select a question below

  • Q

    How do I contact Optimo?

    A

    To purchase a hat, arrange an online appointment, ask a question, arrange an exchange, or make a suggestion - please call us on

    + 1 (312) 922-2999 or email at Info@Optimo.com

  • Q

    Where is your store located?

    A

    Downtown Chicago at: 51 W Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604.

    Our shop is open Monday-Saturday, 10-5 Central Time, and closed Sundays and major holidays.

    You can reach us at +1 (312) 922-2999 or info@optimo.com.

  • Q

    I’m not able to visit the store in person – what should I do?

    A

    In-stock items are available for purchase here on our website. If you’d prefer, you can schedule a Zoom or FaceTime fitting. Call us or email -- it will take less than 10 minutes (if you’re rushed) … but we love to talk about hats, so we’ll also take as much time as you wish.

    Soon we’ll also have an online calendar so that you can book an appointment directly.

  • Q

    What is your return and exchange policy?

    A

    At Optimo, we want you to love your hat. If you purchase an in-stock hat that you don't like, we're confident we can find another one that will suit you perfectly. So we allow exchanges or refunds for 15 calendar days after purchase, provided you call us at 1-312-922-2999 for a Return Authorization Number before shipping the hat back to us. You are responsible for the cost of shipping your hat back to us and returning it in as-new, unworn condition.

    Custom orders and hats that have been monogrammed or otherwise personalized are not returnable. Pre-release Insider orders are returnable for exchange or store credit only. Hats that are returned to us in less than the condition they left our Factory are returnable for exchange or store credit only; however, a deduction may be made if the returned hat requires cleaning or repair.

  • Q

    How much do your hats cost?

    A

    An Optimo is an investment in the finest materials, craftsmanship, and enduring style.

    Our Milan straw hats run in the $500-600 range, depending on the fineness of the braid.

    Montecristi Panama hats at the Optimo level are rare, and priced from about $600 to well over $5,000. Not unlike diamonds, these handmade hats possess a variety of qualities that combine to make each quite literally a unique piece of wearable fiber art.

    Our felt hats vary from lightweight, 100% beaver felt at $795 to our Heirloom quality 100% belly beaver fur felt at $1250.

    Special finishes – velours and melusines – are priced individually.

    Call, or email us if you need more specifics.

  • Q

    I need to get my Optimo hat cleaned and re-blocked.

    A

    We recommend an annual cleaning, and every five years or so a complete renovation. Arranging for service is easy – call us at +1 (312) 922-2999 or email us at info@optimo.com, and we’ll get some basic information from you and send you a shipping label. Wait times are typically 2-3 weeks.

  • Q

    I don’t look good in hats, or don’t feel confident wearing one. What should I do?

    A

    Most people who don't feel great in a hat have never had a great hat! You wouldn't expect to look good in bad clothing, or wearing styles that don't feel natural to you -- same goes for hats. We'd love to work with you in the store, on the phone, or on videoconference to help you select a style and color that suits you perfectly.

    Hats are unusual garments in that they sit atop the head, and focus attention on your face. So a hat can be a very individual statement of your unique style … even an expression of your mood on any given day ... yet, at the same time, can also serve up a bit of mystery. We think that once you wear an Optimo, a hat will become a favorite element of your dressing routine.

  • Q

    Do you make custom or ‘bespoke’ hats?

    A

    We can make just about any hat, in any color, you would like. Custom hats are priced the same as our regular collections, with the addition of a 10% custom charge, and typically take 4-6 weeks from order to delivery. Holiday orders should be placed as early as possible as we will have a backlog of ‘specials’ at such times.

  • Q

    What kind of deposit is required for a custom hat?

    A

    We take a 50% deposit at the time of the order, and the remaining 50% on completion.

  • Q

    Do I need to make an appointment for an in-store hat fitting?

    A

    No appointment is necessary during store hours.

  • Q

    I want to know more about what makes a great hat.

    A

    We start with the finest materials: straw from a single mountaintop in Ecuador, and the choicest fur felts. We design all of our own styles, incorporating the best of classic hat architecture with the latest features and function. Then, step by careful step, the skilled hands of our artisans fashion each Optimo into some of the purest expressions of wearable fiber art in the world. The result is a hat you will be proud to wear on any occasion, or no occasion at all. And if you want to learn more, just call us. We love to talk about hats.

    Please read our articles on Hatmakers

    You can also follow us on instagram @optimohats

  • Q

    Do you make caps?

    A

    Caps can be useful and fun headwear – and we encourage keeping your head covered to prevent skin cancer and premature aging – but at Optimo we make only hats. Hats provide greater all-around sun and weather protection, and in addition are way cooler than caps.

  • Q

    What are your felt hats made of?

    A

    Felt is a natural, non-woven fabric made from fur or wool. It is by its very nature perhaps the strongest fabric made … try to tear a piece of felt and you’ll find out! Our felts are made of wild furs, primarily beaver, but also hare, nutria, and mink, all sustainably and humanely harvested with reverence and gratitude. Optimo has worldwide exclusives on our two rarest felts – the 100% Silverbelly Beaver felt, and the hare’s fur of the Optimo Rex™ Collection. You can read more about our felt on Hatmakers.

  • Q

    Do you service non-Optimo Hats?

    A

    Only very selectively. Most modern hats are not built to last, but are part of the ‘throwaway culture’ that has crept into almost every area of manufacturing. We will service or restore only hats that predate the erosion of fine hatmaking in the 1960s. We love working on old hats from Mallory, Cavanagh, Stetson, Dobbs, Mr. Disney, so call us or send a photo of your hat and we can tell you if we can handle it. Or, better still, let us make you an Optimo-class duplicate of your favorite vintage lid. Leave the vintage one on display, and wear your Optimo!

  • Q

    Film and television costuming?

    A

    Optimo has worked with many film crews and costuming departments to create custom hats for the big and the small screen. Just contact us and we will be eager to oblige.

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