After trying on and off for 25 years, finding nothing suitable, and even having cap sellers say they couldn't do it, I finally found a place that will make a good looking ARES cap! One that doesn't look like it was designed by - oh, well, it's good looking, I personally think.
I ordered it from The VillageHatShop.com at http://www.villagehatshop.com/embroidery.html
This is the Adjustable Wool Blend Ballcap in Navy for $9.95 each (current price, April 2007). I believe it's one of the first ones as you scroll down the opening page. Click on it, which takes you to http://www.villagehatshop.com/adjustable_wool_blend_cap.html
You add one of those to your cart then click on the Embroidery Styles which takes you to http://www.villagehatshop.com/embro-styles.html.
The lettering I chose was Block, with gold thread. Embroidery is $6.95 at this time. Thus with shipping the total cost is about $20.
For instructions, I sent this:
For Embroidery - Block, about 3/4" high, centered on front-
The lettering that came on the cap is a little over 1" high, however, but think it looks OK.
The cap itself is 80% acrylic 20% wool, so it must be dry cleaned or hand washed, the tag inside it says. It's all cloth, with the usual plastic strap in the back. It's made in Vietnam.
They also have other kinds of cloth on other types of caps. Possibly some other type would be better, but from the pictures and what little description there was, this looked best for our first try. I really can't say how well it's made, but it looks good to my untrained eye. So far I'm pleased.
Since I was getting only the two caps for the XYL WD8LPN and myself, I didn't check if there is a discount for large orders (yes, I see that there is, but the first break is at 24 units). They sent about 4 E-mails telling me that they had received the order, sent it to the sewing place, shipped it, and even that they understood that I had received my order. I ordered it on Monday, received it that Saturday.
While the ARES does not have an "official" nationwide dress standard, most groups that I've see or heard about have chosen dark blue pants, a light blue button (unform-style) shirt with the gold-on-black ARES patch on the left shoulder (some put it on both shoulders). Head cover has been the problem. A white hard hat with an ARES patch on each side is standard in many places, but regular caps have been the problem. The one I ordered and received is by far the best I've yet found.
Each emergency/disaster response group has its own color. For example, the Salvation Army and SATERN wears red shirts (officers white); Southern Baptist Disaster Response wears gold; Red Cross wears red or white; CERT wears green; etc. Each has their own patch/ID, of course. If the ARES is to be treated as a group that knows what it is doing, it wouldn't hurt to look like we do.
Old ARES hard hat lying on flame orange raincoat. The tube is a Mini-Maglight holder.|
Note the reflective tape on the sides (and back) and a reflective Star of Life on the front.
Go to the W8WN and WD8LPN Home Page.
See W8WN's work following Hurricane Katrina.