For all of the uninformed a Bend Down is the type of hat the yeshiva crowd wears, in other places it is simply known as the Stetson or the Fedora, while the Chassidim wear Beavers, these are similar to top hats, in that they are solid and stay in shape. Streimels and Spudicks are those huge fury hats that married Chassidic men wear- but these are in a league of their own and besides I already wrote about them.
Bend downs are much more versatile then beavers, they can be crushed in order to become a Luabvicther (Lubavitchers are the only Chassidic sect I know of that wear bend downs, and they bend them all the way down- choosing to forsake the bent up look- which is possible for bend down hats) besides for their crushing abilities, bend down hats can also flip the brim up or down. Flip it up when you wear tefilin and also to create some sort of drag to keep you from shuckeling too fast. Flip the brim down when you are going for that stealthy gangster look or just want to be first on line at the new Amazing Savings grand opening.
Wind resistance is cut by flipping the brim down, but flipping the brim up provides a measure of laidbackness that beavers can never provide. Kids can sit on your hat and it could be placed back into position with some smacking. Bend downs are also more blending, and you can always say that every Kennedy was the first president not to wear a hat.
Beavers shine in several departments that the bend down will miserably fail no matter what. First of all the beaver is shiny and reflective, which means that you don’t really need to wear one of those reflectors when walking around dark areas (and most people in Monsey and the Catskills don’t) The Beaver is also a very sturdy hat, it can be used as a stool, sukkah support or a bike helmet (which I have seen many a time)
The beaver also makes for a great frisbee which is important when your trying to get into your door and there are throngs of kids coming to greet you, I have heard in Austrailla the Chassidim use their hats as boomerangs to kill wild kangaroos.
Let us not forget that you will be unique, because only Chassidim wear beavers, so if you were to say- put one on in a non chassidic area you will be automatically raised up to a lofty status.
Which one is better- thats really up to you? I am trying to non-biased in this one, I gave you the facts.
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