Don't let a packing mishap or wrong move ruin the look of your favorite head wear. That old felt fedora stuffed in the back of your closet, the baseball cap your dad accidentally sat on and even the straw floppy found crushed under a pile of books can all return to their original wrinkle-free shape.
Baseball Caps and Snapbacks
You may think nothing of tossing a sports cap into the back seat of your car or stuffing it into your gym locker when you're in a rush -- but if you leave it crushed long enough, those wrinkles won't smooth out when you're ready to wear the hat again.
For a fitted wool hat, pop it on your head in a hot shower or dampen it while wearing it; then smooth out the wrinkles with your fingers and let the had dry. It will form to the shape of your head.
For a cotton or polyester cap, roll up a towel and stuff it into the crown of the hat to hold the shape, and then steam iron over the wrinkles on a medium setting.
For a mesh hat, wet it, and then blow dry the inside of the hat on a low heat setting.
Structured Wool or Felt Hats
Whether you dug your current head-topper out of a box at the local thrift store or had it crushed in travel baggage, you'll want to turn back time to the crisp, pristine look your wool fedora, cloche or porkpie originally sported. Your personal style leaves no room for less-than-dapper wrinkles and creases.
Heat up a kettle or boil a pot of water, and hold the wrinkled part of the hat in the steam to get the wool to soften. Work the wrinkles out of the hat with your fingers. The steam will reactivate the stiffening agents applied in the hat's manufacturing, and the hat will "want" to return to its original shape.
If you want to use an iron on the brim of a wool hat to get out a stubborn wrinkle, keep it at a medium setting, and place a clean cotton cloth between the iron and the hat to prevent the wool from becoming shiny.
Smoothing unwanted creases out of an ivy, newsboy or beret is going to depend on what it's made from -- wool, for example, responds beautifully to steaming over a kettle or pot of boiling water. For a cotton, hemp or nylon cap, run warm water inside the brim and dampen the outside of the crown. Then smooth out the wrinkles by hand, and let the cap air dry on a flat surface. For a leather cap, stuff the crown with a towel and lay a clean cotton cloth over the wrinkle. Then steam iron it on a medium setting.
Like wool, a straw hat contains a stiffening agent that helps it keep its original shape. Hold your floppy hat, Panama hat, bonnet, fedora or other straw head wear over the steam from a kettle or pot of boiling water to reactivate the stiffening agent, and smooth out wrinkles with your hands while the straw is soft and pliable. Steam small sections at a time, because straw stiffens quickly. You can also iron out stubborn wrinkles on a low steam setting. Place a cotton cloth between the hat and the iron to prevent scorching.