Dress a hat

to , to rob in a manner very difficult of detection. The business is managed by two or more servants or shopmen of different employers, exchanging their master's goods; as, for instance, a shoemaker's shopman receives shirts or other articles from a hosier's, in return for a pair of boots. Another very ingenious method may be witnessed about eleven o'clock in the forenoon in any of the suburban districts of London. A butcher's boy, with a bit of steak filched from his master's shop, or from a customer, falls in with a neighbouring baker's man, who has a loaf obtained in a similar manner. Their mutual friend, the potboy, in full expectation of their visit, has the tap-room fire bright and clear, and not only cooks the steak, but again, by means of collusion, this time with the barman or barmaid, “stands a shant of gatter” as his share. So a capital luncheon is improvised for the three, without the necessity of paying for it; and this practical communistic operation is styled dressing a hat. Most likely from the fact that a hat receives the attention of three or four people before it is properly fit for wear.