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Bay View couple recreates historic process of custom hat making

Summer's back, which for us hat enthusiasts means the beanies and winter hats are going away and the beloved sun hats and fedoras are coming out of storage; but when was the last time you had a hat custom-fitted and made just for you?
Meet John and Kate McLaughlin, owners of The Brass Rooster in Bay View and two of the few remaining custom hat-makers (technically referred to as master dress hatters) in the nation,

"Kate and I are the only two master dress hatters left in the state," explains John, "and are only two of fifteen left in the country."

But with hats still a popular fashion item today, why are there so few hat makers left? And what really all goes in to making a custom hat, anyways?

Listen the full piece on custom hat making with John and Kate of The Brass Rooster below: 

For more on the historic process of custom hat making, you can visit them online at or visit them at 2252 S Kinnickinnic Ave in Bay View.