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Grassroots Boycott on Borsalino

Chabad bochurim in New York are trying to join a developing boycott in Israel over the ever rising prices of Borsalino fedora hats. Full Story

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The Man's Man
January 23, 2016 6:12 pm

I’ve had my borsalino for 6 years and its still going strong. You pay more for that kind of quality. If you don’t like it, wear a beret or a texas cowboy hat. Can’t beat those for price and quality.

July 1, 2015 11:12 pm

What happens to all the Borsalino’s
When the owner buys a new hat? Or the hat gets too small..
What about recycle/exchange..there are experts in refurbishment…get a community shop going..

Yankel Todres
January 25, 2015 3:26 am

“Hatorah Chas Al Mamonam Shel Yisroel”. Surely we shouldn’t change our manner of dress because one (albeit must have) manufacturer is sticking it to us Chassidim. I would suggest enacting a ban against the Borsalino hats, for all Bocuhrim in Yeshiva. Neither a Bochur (who is charged with the sole duty of learning Torah), nor his parents should be saddled with this unnecessary expense. The most inexpensive and serviceable black hat should be worn by all Bocuhrim. The Rebbe spoke many times against “keeping up with the Joneses” Specifically he spoke out against “Hollywood Kitchens”, “Wall to Wall” carpeting and… Read more »

Nice New Black Fedora Hat $1.00
January 25, 2015 12:11 am

I bought a nice wool fedora black hat in China for $1.00.
My friens bought one too, his lasted years, may still be good.

January 24, 2015 9:08 pm

you can get a very nice hat in primo for 140 (or thats what it was last year)
well every year they go up about 10$.
anyways thats life some stuff cost money.
but lubavitsh must always have a shturem so now its about this

Y Shmully
January 24, 2015 7:47 pm

I wish I has enough time to read this entire comment palooza. Suffice to say, with the incredible brain power and organizational power available today, the boycott is a last resort option, that only comes after negotiations and discussions. If I had a hat store on Kingston, here’s where I’d be advertising my new affordable options.

January 23, 2015 10:20 am

You should buy sefarim and learn them instead of Borsalinos. You can get a much less expensive hat in Boro Park. It’s ridiculous to insist on wearing a hat made for the Italian maffia. Wear a Greek Fisherman’s cap instead

Sholom uVrochoh.
January 23, 2015 8:29 am

With regard to the subject that has arisen recently about what a Chosid puts on his head as a covering: A fedora is worn today since it is meilevushei Sorei HaMelech. There has been no change in this regard. (Note: Someone who is working “in the field” might dress accordingly, with cargo pants and a casquette, as applicable in various circumstances.) Therefore, those who are training as Sorei HaMelech (Bochurim) should undoubtedly dress accordingly. This includes providing a suited “uniform” for those who are unable to afford it (fedora included), vda”l. This said, there is -as it’s called in America-… Read more »

Zev from Phoenix
January 22, 2015 9:30 pm

perhaps we should be looking at tactical headwear that would be cool…or Tacticool. How about those new French toupees they are making for Bochrim so they won’t get beat up for wearing a yarmulkeh?!

to #21
January 22, 2015 8:19 pm

Sorry, 20 years ago it was NOT ok to wear colored or striped shirts. I was there and I remember clearly. Looking at photos from the 50’s, in the US people did wear clothes that would not have been considered chassidish by the 80’s at the latest.

to #83
January 22, 2015 8:17 pm

Yes, the Gerrer Rebbe was well-known for insisting his chassidim avoid extravagance. Came Sukkos, the esrogim came in plain boxes and everybody including the Rebbe just took a box. He also made a takona limiting the number of people allowed to be invited to a simcha… a gvir came to him and said he has more relatives than that and doesn’t have a problem affording having all of them, what should he do, and the Rebbe answered him “Get a different Rebbe.”

Getting giddy
January 22, 2015 7:26 pm

All this hat talk is so entertaining & I’m really enjoying this little break from my Shabbos prep. But seriously, I have to wonder if things like this materialistic nonsense has anything to do with Mashiach having a really hard time coming?

It's a luxury Item
January 22, 2015 6:48 pm

Aside from the fact that this company
sells directly to a Primo a
store operated by a Jew in Crown
heights. This man is a good man he
operates his store with class and dignity this
lashon hara needs to stop. Please have some
empathy. This isn’t communist russia What’s next?
slinging these accusations at the Jewlery and fur stores?

$50 increase in 6 months
January 22, 2015 6:46 pm

BH my four boys take turns for when they need to buy a hat (not all at the same time) so i go to Primo about once or twice a year. last time i paid $200, 6 months later same hat is $250

to #15
January 22, 2015 4:25 pm


Great point

kapotes and hats
January 22, 2015 3:27 pm

thats the way forward for us lubavitchers!!!!!

all kids wearing kapotes!!

from age 13

better yet, from your bris kapote only.

and a dumb down hat from the 60s

just bought - in Warsaw :)
January 22, 2015 12:47 pm

black, price: 260,- PLN (it means ca. 80,- $). Luxury, from the shop of 151 years of tradition (Cieszkowski).
Hey people – there’s a good business to do….. 🙂

Gerrer Rebbe
January 22, 2015 10:01 am

When they raised spudik prices The Gerrer Rebbe ZT”L wore his weekday hat to the Beis Medrash on Friday night instead of his spudik. Fearing a boycott spudik prices rapidly fell

its more complicated than that
January 22, 2015 9:52 am

in Lakewood, you can’t get a shiduch if you don’t wear a borsalino

January 22, 2015 8:51 am

Caskets. Caskettes. Is the way to go
Hats. Only to honor shabbos and Yom tov

Menachem shmoy
January 22, 2015 5:47 am

אז די קאפ ליגט אין שלאפעס איזה דאס גלייך ווי עס ליגט אין גאלאשן
Get real guys , there are far more important issues to attend to.

to 40
January 22, 2015 1:56 am

I agree. We need our rabonim to show clear leadership here. Only the rabonim as elected by the shchuna can make sure this problem is dealt with.

alternative hats from other companies
January 22, 2015 12:25 am

I buy my hats at ferster they have a superior hat at half the price they are located in boro park and realy nice people to deal with also kova hats in boro park caries a great hat made in spain

So I've heard
January 21, 2015 11:29 pm

I heard that Borsalino company in Italy is going out of business.
Think about it, it’s not the 40s 50s or 60s
People aren’t wearing hats except Orthodox Jews.

Moshiach's hat? ;-)
January 21, 2015 11:12 pm

What kind of hat will Moshiach wear?

A Borsalino?

hat maven
January 21, 2015 10:15 pm

You get what you pay for. Buying a better hat will last a lot longer than buying a lower end 100.00 hat . Most stores offer a selction of more than just Borsalinos. Go to Bencraft . They will show you hats at other prices besides 250 to 300

to 62
January 21, 2015 9:22 pm

The chassidim in Russia stayed real chassidim with lots of mesiras nefesh even though they had caskets

The Rebbe's hat in the early 50's
January 21, 2015 9:05 pm

Was a Stetson

get it for chep!!!
January 21, 2015 8:12 pm

I’m a big fan of kesser hatters its cheap and the same thing u will get Ina different store for more expensive

no worries
January 21, 2015 8:07 pm

Moshiach will be here before

January 21, 2015 8:01 pm

Chasidim are smart and the biggest avara is to be a fool do ur homework compare prices and whoever gives you the best price that’s who you buy it from , or get ripped off

Anti Semite
January 21, 2015 7:54 pm

Hatbox told me the new manager in Borsalino doesn’t like yidden . The hatbox stopped ordering from them – I think all other hat strores should too

Was at primo today
January 21, 2015 7:53 pm

Saw a nice hat for 170 got for my son – I heard a branch of Borsalino are separating and making there own hats – will bes lot cheeper

Future streimel- and spodek-wearing Yidden will go synthetic
January 21, 2015 7:44 pm

There was a recent article, I think in Mishpacha Magazine, discussing a movement afoot in Eretz Yisrael to encourage our fellow chasidim who wear streimels or spodeks to make the switch to synthetic fur.

While this may sound drastic, the article pointed out that the bekishes (the brocade coats worn in many chassidishe communities) used to always be silk, until people realized that the synthetic brocade materials were more affordable, more durable, easier to care for, and beautiful. It took a while, but that change from silk to synthetic eventually took hold.

Yeah, #23! And furthermore....
January 21, 2015 7:39 pm

Once you men have bought that hat, you don’t have the high maintenance costs that women have for their sheitels. We women spend upwards of $25-45. each month or two just to get a wash and blowdry; more for a wash and set and even more to restore the color, get the sheitel cut, add more hair when the sheitel has lost hair at the part, get a special “do” for a simchah, etc…. The men just have to buy a brush to remove the dust (which they can easily do themselves), and maybe have the hat steamed and blocked… Read more »

on-line stores
January 21, 2015 7:27 pm

there’re plenty of on-line stores that sell all kinds of fedora hats, Stetson, and many other brands in the $50 – 100 – 150 ranges, wool fedoras etc.

why hats at all?
January 21, 2015 7:24 pm

this is just however the particular fashion of the kreizen has evolved. a kippah is enough to cover your head. when it’s cold, there’re caps and fur hats, etc.

In the know
January 21, 2015 7:12 pm

Soon primo hatters will have a hat for you just as good from Italy, a branch of Borsalino separating. No worries and it will not break the bank.

January 21, 2015 6:24 pm

“lo shinu ess levushom” That’s where it starts.

Boycot shaitels
January 21, 2015 6:03 pm

Boycot shaitels! We gotta do this for shaitels!!!! The prices are outrageous! $1,000s every couple of yrs!

To the: Grassroots Boycott on Borsalino
January 21, 2015 5:37 pm

I say my Hat’s off to you,

January 21, 2015 5:35 pm

The last time I bought a Borsalino was when my son was a few months old, which i use for shabbos and yom tov; I wear a casquette during the week. I was planning on buying a hat for both of us in honor of his bar mitzvah in a year. At the current price, I’ll just get both of us casquettes.

To: #24
January 21, 2015 5:34 pm

I have a degree in economics and let me tell you something,
sometimes Volume will reduce the price as we often find in electronic and technology products, since cost of production goes down, however in the case of Borsalino it’s a Supply and demand situation,

to comment #11
January 21, 2015 4:47 pm

Ur very naive! A year ago there was the same price hike of over three hundred dollars! And we’re trying to convince me to buy two hats!!!

January 21, 2015 4:37 pm

The price of seforim has also gone up. Let’s boycott all seforim dealers.

Today most seforim could be downloaded on Smart Phones

hat maven
January 21, 2015 4:32 pm

The prices that the yiddeshe stores charge for Borsalino are a lot less than what is charged in others stores and even department stores. If you cant afford a Borsalino hat , buy something less expensive. There are plenty of alternatives in the 140.00 to 175.00 range.

A gutter Yid git zich an eitza
January 21, 2015 4:12 pm

You can buy a cheap fedora online, or find out where to get one online, from multiple companies.

Oh please
January 21, 2015 4:00 pm

If you can’t afford a Borsalino then don’t buy one. There are hundreds of other brands and I believe primo recently started carrying a new inexpensive line.

to #45
January 21, 2015 3:57 pm

Well said! I too have observed that there is this certain stigma which comes along with not wearing a borsalino. It’s terribly heartbreaking that parents have to shell out mighty dough so that their bar mitzva bochur should look ‘normal’. We better find a solutuon to this magefa soon or else we will have to continue suffering paying outrageous prices for a piece of felt. I firmly believe that even paying a ‘meager’ $170 for a ‘lesser quality’ hat is extremely horrendous and unacceptable. As a community we must do all we can to make a strong statement that we… Read more »

get something cheaper
January 21, 2015 3:53 pm

Buy a ferster hat!

January 21, 2015 3:49 pm

Its a CASQUETTE not a CASKET!!!! Bad mistake.

Stick to the Facts
January 21, 2015 3:39 pm

1. If you knew the names of the bochrim behind this, you would be assured there are no ulterior motives. These are some of the most Chassidisher bochrim out there coming from the best yeshivos. So don’t post unless you know who. 2. While younger bochrim are OK with cheaper hats, older bochrim are reluctant to wear small brimmed hats that look different. My sons say they would feel more like a Chassidisher bochur in a simple black kasket than a small brimmed hat which generates a different kind of reaction. Maybe the tide will turn. So just mouthing off… Read more »

January 21, 2015 3:23 pm


January 21, 2015 3:17 pm


An alternative
January 21, 2015 2:55 pm

Amazon has a very nice hat (Scala brand – can’t post a link, but search for Scala Classico Fedora – it’ll be the first result) for between $30 and $53, depending on the size. I bought one about two years ago and have worn it almost daily since then, and it’s still in excellent shape.

to #42
January 21, 2015 2:38 pm

Wooaa!!! What about the chassidim of old back in russia….they wore caskets and turned out just fine! And btw maybe if everyone would just wear basic caskets it”ll take care of the ‘chiyuv’of wearing a fance shmancy super expensive borsalino or suffer looking like a ‘neb’ in the eyes of many. I’m sure that the rebbe would not be happy AT ALL about chassidim being totaly ripped up arm and leg just to look ‘shpitz’….that’s really all I have to say

January 21, 2015 2:30 pm

making a thirteen year old wear a dress hat is absurd.

maybe from bar mitzva we should all wear kapotes

Wear a Kasket
January 21, 2015 2:19 pm

Go buy a $30 wool kasket for the winter, and a $30 summery one and be done with it.
Since getting married 5 years ago (and being able to stop caring what everyone might think), this is what I do. My wedding hat is stored in a box, and used for other weddings or special occasions.
I’m using the saved money for outrageous tuition instead. 🙂

The beginning of the end
January 21, 2015 1:55 pm

First bouchorim will change their hats with the excuses of “money”. Then they will start to study for jobs and not focus on going on shlichus or being a mashpia in a yeshiva. Then they will stop keeping shobbos because they won’t have anything left. Keep the hat, keep yiddiahkeit.

There are cheaper options
January 21, 2015 1:43 pm

Primo hatters has new hats for 170 juts got my son a hat from them yesterday – very nice hat

Where are our leaders?
January 21, 2015 1:32 pm

I think we need to see real leadership on this issue. If our rabonim, led by horav broyn of badatz, take the initiative to issuea pdak din, im sure that will help! This is the solution. Where are our rabonim? We need our rabonim!

Prices rising
January 21, 2015 12:54 pm

Not just the prices rising the quality getting less and have to replace them more frequently
And why do bochurim have to wear luxury hat for everyday if they can’t afford it just go to casket last longer more comfortable if anyone feels this is the rebbes kavona to wear a down hat then try to see that it available for everyone at a reasonable price
The main thing is the bochurim look like menchten, not wearing smashed hats bc they can’t afford a new one

Go to yona gelernter!
January 21, 2015 12:43 pm

I just baught a borsalino from him for $200.00 flat! What a bargain!

wool hat
January 21, 2015 12:28 pm

I bought my son a wool hat for his Hanochas Tefillin. It cost $80.00 from gelenter

Other Brands
January 21, 2015 12:21 pm

Casket hats? That’s pathetic. If your boycotting Borsalino simply by other brands that make the same type of hats as Borsalino. Otherwise there’s an ulterior motive here to change the hat type for other reasons.

with the old breed
January 21, 2015 12:06 pm

sounds great. maybe now we can work on on what is under the hat….

Bring back the Stetson, Knox, etc.
January 21, 2015 11:47 am

1) There are other brands other than Borsalino. Remember the Stetson? Knox?

2) The proper name for the kind of hat under discussion is a fedora, not a ‘down hat’.

absurd and a chillul
January 21, 2015 11:37 am

Who said you can do this? Borsalino makes a premium product, it is not for boys or yeshiva men unless they come from rich families. There are plenty of cheap hats so buy those instead. In Eretz Yisroel we pay too much for lousy no name hats already. Stop your whining and avoid this chillul. It sounds like the entitlement mentality has gone amok. This is the dumbest waste of time!

January 21, 2015 11:33 am

They are way cooler!!!

the rebbe told a chosid to wear a casket!!!!
January 21, 2015 10:40 am

the rebbe really is not agenst this bc he him self told reb berke chain to were a casket….

Great Idea?
January 21, 2015 10:19 am

Another option maybe don’t buy new hats, i spend alot of time dealing with top European executives that wear hats that we would consider in lubavitch terms “smashed” and it got alot of class, the rebbi himself from the yuds untill the mid 80’s had hats that looked outdated (until i believe chanina/liborov started arranging new hats all the time) so why do we need to keep buying new hats!!!????

Bring back Felco suits
January 21, 2015 10:08 am

Also instead of pants for $40.00 we could wear jeans for 20.

To No. 24
January 21, 2015 10:03 am

You may be right, but that’s no excuse to be unkind. Using words like “infantile” will turn people off from paying attention to you, so if you want your point to be considered, make it gently and considerately. D’rachecha darkei noam.

January 21, 2015 10:02 am

Back in Russia, they didn’t go to yeshiva, or have to water or read or keep the laws of tznius. Things change.

January 21, 2015 9:59 am

Buchrim don’t work so its hard to compere prices in that way

January 21, 2015 9:55 am

overpriced at 250.00 and one is lucky if they last one year
one rain and forget it
try Yonnie Gerlanter he usually has cheaper brands

January 21, 2015 9:50 am

“It’s a common product and there is no reason the price should be so high,” the person added. “A manufacturer raises prices to increase profits on a product that isn’t selling well, but if the masses are buying this excuse doesn’t exist.” This quote is outrageous and infantile, not to mention false. If a product is not selling, the price is LOWERED not raised. Why don’t you learn about something called the “free market” or the “marketplace”? People buy Borsalino’s and pay more for them because they are better hats than alternative brands. There are plenty of other options for… Read more »

I wish a wig would cost $250!!
January 21, 2015 9:50 am

Don’t complain at least you don’t need to buy a wig! And don’t try to kid yourself you cannot find a good quality one for cheap, if someone can please let me know!!

@ 17
January 21, 2015 9:49 am

True that.

replies to # 3, 5, 6, 9 10 &12
January 21, 2015 9:47 am

3 & 6 where did the rebbe say that? would love to see that. 5 this was started in EY where I think borsalino is basically the only real hat available 9 can you buy them online? otherwise no point 10 you sound biased. what’s wrong with bochurim wanting to pay less. if there is less of a demand the original manufacturers be will have to lower prices and the local stores won’t have to lose out 12 check out what our zeides wore in Russia before the war. what was considered chassidishe levush then. or go back just 20… Read more »

I dont understand
January 21, 2015 9:44 am

Why must the alternative be casskets? why cant we wear hats by a different company? there must be cheaper ones out there, borsalino is not the only brand. It seems there are two different issues at play here.

tto #17
January 21, 2015 9:36 am

“Of course since they have no education, they have no idea what inflation is, or what the effects of a strong US dollar has on imports.”

umm, the dollar is quite strong now.. that means it should be cheaper to import from Europe. talk about no education..

or do what I do
January 21, 2015 9:25 am

buy a new hat every 4-5 years, have a seperate hat for dating

Of course since they have no education
January 21, 2015 9:20 am

Of course since they have no education, they have no idea what inflation is, or what the effects of a strong US dollar has on imports.

Been boycotting them for years...
January 21, 2015 8:53 am

Ask a hat vendor (I have) about the ever declining quality of the hats since forever. They have become more and more flimsy and at the same time more and more expensive. They are also a nasty company to deal with (say you get defective hats..and want to return them…). There are other brands (not sure how well the THE REBBE SAID DOWN HATS… crowd read…) I havn’t spent more than 125 for a hat in years.

January 21, 2015 8:52 am

Casket: a usually fancy coffin

Casquette: the French work for “cap”

January 21, 2015 8:49 am

Kol hakovod Bochurim!!!

The hats should be $100.

Bring back Casskets, especially for Bochurim during week.

I'm using casket
January 21, 2015 8:25 am

Since I got married 6 years ago I start using casket, I’m refused to pay $250 for a Borsalino hat. I’m considering getting one for my daughter’s wedding in about 15 years.

January 21, 2015 8:17 am

What is this about the bochurim wanting to wear caskets? Are they joking? Where is our pride in being Chabad? How can they even think of changing our chasidishe levush?
What’s next?

Going Up More
January 21, 2015 8:13 am

Comment 10 should spend 2 minutes talking to Primo before posting. Borsalino hats will soon be over $300 with the next price hike. What does #10 know about hat manufacturing? Better than primo, obviously.

January 21, 2015 7:57 am

This absolutely ridicules.
What do these bochurim know about the manufacturing process and true costs?
Wearing this kind of hat is not a must, If you don’t want to pay the price there are other options.

Imature bochurim feeling all powerful and self entitled.

I hope no one in the business even considers lowering prices.

Get your noses back in the books

January 21, 2015 6:34 am

Australian hats half the price and keeps the shape.

January 21, 2015 4:38 am

Go m. p.

January 21, 2015 3:01 am

I tried making a movement when I learned in 770. thanks for doing this. there is no reason a 13 year old should need a hat for everyday use. back in Russia they wore caskets even on shabbos.

January 21, 2015 2:17 am
buy different brands
January 21, 2015 1:26 am

there are other hats on the market .. who said it needs to be a brand name?
the same is true with the shaitels..
it went way up up up for no reason other than they can get away with it and women are b’teva vain so it’s easier for the sheitel people to get away with this. They have good markleting and get rich .. the young couples really feel the dent from the overpricing.

January 21, 2015 1:21 am

It is about time.
We have to start to boycott lchaims that are outrageous too.
Let this only be a beginning. kol hakavod to whoever lit the candle to show us the truth. The Rebbe is very proud.

where is the Gaon yaakov?!
January 21, 2015 12:55 am

we should be proud as being the Rebbe’s Chassidim, which includes wearing down hats as the Rebbe insituted.

Go OT!!!
January 21, 2015 12:48 am

Great idea!! keep up the good work and don’t give up!!
we need to make this happen!!!

I agree
January 21, 2015 12:44 am

I would join and wear a streimel, like my Zaida in Poland before the war.